The view from inside of a jail cell.
If charged with a DUI in Colorado, it’s important to hire a criminal defense lawyer. You should hire a lawyer before your first court date or DMV hearing. Even if you think there is no way to avoid a conviction, you need an attorney. But not just any attorney. You need one that specializes in DUI cases to represent you. Many believe they should accept a plea deal and consequences offered by the court. But, it is important to remember it’s the DA’s responsibility to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A good defense lawyer can uncover weaknesses in the DA’s case against you and apply legal strategies to reduce or get rid of charges.

If a case ends with conviction, a DUI defense attorney will work to get the best solution for their client. Below, we will go over FAQs about Colorado DUIs and what to expect while going through this process.

How do I Hire the Best Colorado DUI Defense Attorney?

Now that you understand the importance of a DUI defense, it’s time to talk about how to choose the right one. First, it’s important to choose a lawyer that specializes in DUI cases. Many firms will advertise DUI defense as one of their specialties. To find out who specializes in this type of case, you need to ask more questions.

To defend you, you will want to choose a lawyer that is well-versed in the evidentiary, criminal, and constitutional law. Each of these areas provides opportunities for a lawyer to defend your DUI case. So it’s important the attorney you choose understands each and how they apply to DUI cases. You will also want to choose counsel that understands blood alcohol and breath test science used by Colorado police.

Will I Have to go to Court when Charged with a DUI?

When accused of a DUI in Colorado, you will have to go to court. There is no way to avoid it. If you want to preserve your right to drive, you will also have to attend a DMV hearing. A DMV hearing must be requested within seven days of your DUI charges. It is imperative that you have representation at both the court hearing and the DMV hearing.

It’s also necessary to realize your ability to drive or what type of license suspension you are facing is determined by the Colorado DMV. The DMV does not handle criminal charges or penalties associated with DUIs. For this reason, all persons accused of DUI must go to court and attend a DMV hearing, if they want to preserve driving privileges.

Will I go to Jail if Convicted of a DUI in Colorado?

One of the first things a defendant asks when charged with DUI is whether they will go to jail as punishment. In most cases, if it is a person’s first offense, they will not face jail time. But, if the driver had a high BAC, an accident took place, or injuries occurred a mandatory jail sentence may be required. A judge can also require jail time based on the following factors:

  • Prior convictions of DUI or drug and alcohol related crimes
  • History of reckless driving
  • No signs of remorse or responsibility
  • Other punishments a defendant could face include:

  • In-Home Detention
  • Jail with Work Release
  • Probation
  • Commitment to a Drug or Alcohol Treatment Facility
  • Will Insurance Premiums Skyrocket After a Colorado DUI Conviction?

    Many defendants worry about the financial consequences of a DUI. For instance, whether their insurance premiums will skyrocket if convicted of a DUI. If found guilty of a DUI charge, insurance premiums will be affected.

    The impact a conviction has on your insurance premiums will be affected by your severity of charges. To reduce financial hardships from a conviction, it is important to work with your attorney.

    How Much Will a DUI Cost?

    Insurance premiums and license fees aren’t the only costs associated with a Colorado DUI conviction. Being convicted of this misdemeanor has several financial consequences including:

  • Court Costs
  • Probation Fees
  • Alcohol or Drug Treatment Costs
  • Loss of Income Due to Court Hearings/Jail Time
  • Surcharges
  • Possible Restitution
  • Fines (ranging from $300 to $1500)
  • A judge will also sentence a DUI defendant to hours of community service. The amount of time required depends on the severity of charges and a defendant’s criminal history. When the costs of all things considered are combined, the sum of money needed to hire a DUI criminal defense attorney is small.

    Will I Lose My Driver’s License when Charged with DUI?

    Yes, you will lose your driving privileges when accused of a DUI. Colorado law is unique because the court system does not determine when, if, or how long a license is suspended or revoked. Instead, a DUI defendant must request a DMV hearing if they wish to have any driving privileges. In general, if it’s a person’s first offense and a blood alcohol test was submitted in the field, the longest suspension will be one month.

    If a person refused the blood alcohol or breath test in the field, they would face up to 1 year of license suspension. Other factors impacting suspension length include injuries, accidents, and behavior towards police when arrested. Regardless of court case status, a defendant can request a provisional license from the DMV.

    It’s also important to realize the DMV hearing and court hearing are independent of each other. A DMV hearing is not required, but a court hearing is. In theory, a person could have their case dismissed at the DMV hearing and still face criminal charges in court.

    Don’t just accept a DUI charge, suspension of license, and other legal ramifications. Whether you think avoiding a conviction is unlikely, or you believe you have been accused of DUI in Colorado unfairly, you need the advice of a DUI attorney. With a lawyer on your team, you will better understand the charges against you, the legal ramifications, and can take part in forming a credible defense on your behalf.

    When you work with an attorney, you can increase your chances of having DUI charges reduced or dismissed. If a conviction is unavoidable, a lawyer can work with the district attorney and court system to create the best outcome for the defendant.