There are a number of legal complications associated with driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI) in the state of Colorado, and your driving privileges and freedom could be at stake. When dealing with these issues, consult with an experienced Fort Collins DUI defense attorney at The Law Offices of Rachel A. Michael as soon as possible. We leverage our legal experience to provide skilled criminal defense representation to you and your family.
If you have a question, don't hesitate to contact us for answers. Our firm's hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with weekend and evening appointments available upon request. I also offer free initial consultations so that we can discuss your case and your most pressing legal concerns.
What should I do if I am pulled over for a suspected DUI?
If you are pulled over, do your best to remain polite and cooperate with the law enforcement officer. However, keep in mind that although you will likely be asked to perform a roadside sobriety test and submit to a breath, blood or urine test under implied consent law, you are not legally required to do so. You may politely decline these tests, but doing so means that your refusal will likely be used against you in court.
What will happen if I decide to take the test?
If you decide to take the test, you will be allowed to choose between a blood or breath test. Generally, breath tests are less reliable than blood tests, which may lead to the lessening or dismissal of a DUI charge. Keep in mind that the roadside Breathalyzer test, administered by an officer, cannot be used against you in court. If you choose to take a breath test later, it will be administered at a different location.
What if the police officer didn't read me my Miranda rights?
Generally, this will not do much to help your case. If the officer asked you questions before arresting you, it does not matter whether they read you your rights first. However, once you are handcuffed, the officer must read you your rights before asking any more questions. If you made incriminating statements after being arrested but before being read your rights, an attorney may be able to use that information to keep your statements out of evidence.
What are the penalties for a first DUI offense?
Under Colorado law, a first DUI offense is punishable by a maximum of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, 96 hours of public service, and alcohol education classes. You may also face additional penalties for underage drinking if you are under the age of 21.
What are the penalties for a second or third DUI offense?
A second or third DUI conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1,500 fine and 120 hours of public service. Penalties for these convictions may be significantly harsher if they have occurred within five years of the previous conviction.
Will I lose my license?
If you took a blood alcohol content test that showed your level to be at least 0.08, your license will be suspended for 30 days for a first offense with the ability to reinstate with an ignition interlock device for a period thereafter. If you refused a chemical test, your license will be suspended for 60 days, however you will also have the ability to reinstate with the ignition interlock device. It is possible to request a DMV hearing to challenge your license suspension. This request must be done within one week of receiving notice of your revocation. At the hearing, a judge will determine whether the evidence submitted constitutes probable cause that you committed a DUI offense or whether you were properly advised of your rights before taking a chemical test.
Should I hire a lawyer for my DUI case?
DUI cases can be complex, and in these situations, hiring a DUI attorney is the first thing you should do. With the help of an experienced DUI lawyer, you may be able to force the prosecutor to produce additional evidence, suppress evidence and retest blood samples, which will significantly help your case. These types of negotiations are difficult, if not impossible, to carry out on your own.
Contact us at (970) 616-6668 to learn more.