Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs
March 23, 2023
Facing DUI charges is never an easy situation. The potential legal consequences stemming from DUI charges can have a severe impact on a person’s life. From fines to potential prison time, facing DUI is not a do-it-yourself proposition. That is why getting the best possible legal support is crucial.
At the Watkins Law Firm LLC, I am a seasoned criminal defense attorney and can help deliver the best possible DUI defense for individuals in Boulder, Colorado. Also, I have the knowledge and resources to walk you through the process. I proudly serve the people of Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, and Broomfield to protect their right to a fair defense.
Facing DUI Charges in Colorado
Colorado takes DUI very seriously. In 2021, 691 deaths occurred as a result of traffic accidents. Consequently, DUI charges can have serious legal ramifications in Colorado. That is why I am here to shed light on the following questions related to DUI charges.
Can I refuse the breath and/or blood test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI?
In Colorado, if you are lawfully arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, you are required to take a chemical sobriety test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing to take a chemical test can result in penalties, including license suspension and fines.
It is important to note that while you have the right to refuse the initial chemical sobriety test, doing so may result in more severe penalties than if you had taken the test. Additionally, refusing the test can be used against you in court as evidence of guilt.
If I’ve been charged with a DUI, will I go to jail?
A first-time DUI offense is typically classified as a misdemeanor. The potential penalties include fines, license suspension, probation, community service, and attendance at alcohol education classes. In some cases, a judge may also impose a brief period of incarceration, especially if there are aggravating factors involved, such as a high BAC level or property damage and personal injuries.
For repeat offenses or more serious offenses such as DUI involving injury or manslaughter, the penalties can be much more severe and may include long periods of incarceration, mandatory minimum sentences, and permanent revocation of driving privileges.
Will I lose my license? How will I get to work?
A first-time DUI offense can result in a license suspension of several months to a year. Losing your driver's license can be a significant hardship, especially if you rely on your vehicle to get to work. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a restricted or hardship license that allows you to drive to and from work, school, and other essential activities during your suspension period.
What should I expect during the hearing?
If you have been charged with a DUI, you may be required to attend a hearing in court. You can expect the following:
Arraignment. This is the first court appearance where you will be formally charged with the DUI offense and asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Pre-trial hearings. These hearings are designed to allow your attorney and the prosecutor to exchange information and negotiate a plea deal if appropriate.
Trial. During a trial, the prosecutor will present evidence and witnesses to prove that you were driving under the influence. Your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence and witnesses on your behalf.
Sentencing. If you are found guilty or plead guilty, the judge will impose a sentence, which may include fines, jail time, community service, probation, and other penalties. The judge may also impose a license suspension or other restrictions on your driving privileges.
Is it worth it to fight a DUI?
On the whole, yes, it is worth fighting a DUI. However, the decision to fight a DUI charge is a personal one that should be based on careful consideration of your case’s specific circumstances and your personal goals and priorities. It is recommended that you speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney who can help you understand the potential consequences of your charges and work to build a strong defense on your behalf.
Are there any ways to reduce my sentence?
There are several ways to potentially reduce a sentence for a DUI conviction. Here are some options:
Plea bargain. A plea bargain may involve pleading guilty to reckless driving instead of DUI or agreeing to complete an alcohol education program in exchange for a shorter jail sentence.
Pre-sentence investigation. The findings of the investigation may be used to argue for a lighter sentence.
Mitigating factors. Mitigating factors are circumstances that may reduce the severity of the offense or the defendant's culpability, such as a lack of a prior criminal record.
Alternative sentencing. The court may be willing to impose alternative sentencing options instead of jail time, such as community service or house arrest.
Is hiring an attorney necessary?
While it is not legally necessary to hire an attorney, I highly encourage you to do so. An experienced criminal defense attorney has a detailed understanding of the law and court proceedings. Additionally, a top criminal defense attorney can help negotiate potential sentencing while ensuring your rights are protected.
Get in touch with a trusted criminal defense attorney to minimize the consequences of a DUI charge in Colorado.
Take Legal Action Today
Don’t wait to take action. The longer you take action, the weaker your defense becomes. Contact my firm, Watikins Law Firm LLC, to get strong and reliable legal representation. I proudly serve clients in Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, and Broomfield, Colorado. Contact the Watkins Law Firm LLC. I am here to help protect your right to a fair defense.