DUI Lawyers in Colorado Springs
Defending Clients Against DUI Charges
Being pulled over or arrested on DUI charges can be an overwhelming experience. The accusations from police officers and law enforcement can be frustrating, especially if you just made a simple mistake or believe that the charges brought against you are unfounded. The best thing you can do for yourself is to seek out an experienced attorney to advocate for you and protect your rights. Without an attorney on your side, drunk driving charges have the potential to impact your life in severe ways and can affect your job status, your housing, and even your educational opportunities.
At Joyner Law, our team has years of experience handling DUI cases in the Colorado Springs area. A criminal defense lawyer from our law firm will stay by your side every step of the way, walking you through any legal matter you may be dealing with. We can negotiate with prosecutors to arrange a plea bargain, or we can represent you in court to reduce or even remove the penalties you may be facing. Give us a call today at 719-294-0566 for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you.
Table of Contents
- How Does Colorado Define a DUI?
- What is a DUI With Injury?
- What Does a DUI Attorney Do?
- What Are Common Defenses Against a DUI?
- What Are the Main Signs of Drunk Driving that Police Look For?
- What Are the Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction?
- Can a DUI Impact Your Career?
- Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer?
How Does Colorado Define a DUI?
DUI, or driving under the influence, is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under Colorado law, a driver is intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Colorado also recognizes driving while ability impaired, also called DWAI. Although the penalties for a DWAI are typically lesser than a DUI, they can still be severe. Individuals can be charged with a DWAI if their blood alcohol concentration is .05 or higher. If a driver is younger than 21 years old, they can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content is higher than .02.
Although a DUI has a single definition, not all DUI charges are the same. A first DUI, second DUI, third DUI, underage DUI, and driving under the influence of drugs may all have different penalties. If an individual drives under the influence and injures or kills someone, they may even face felony DUI charges. If you have been charged with a DUI, get in touch with a DUI lawyer on our team immediately.
What is a DUI With Injury?
In Colorado Springs, the law defines a DUI with injury as a car crash that involves bodily injury of another person. If you are driving under the influence and crash your car into another vehicle or a pedestrian, you could be charged with vehicular assault. In this scenario, vehicular assault is a class 4 felony DUI. Individuals facing these charges could be required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and spend years in jail. A DUI with injury conviction may also lead to a license suspension and a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the victim. In a personal injury lawsuit, you could be ordered to pay damages to the victim, including payment for their medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
If you are driving under the influence and cause a fatal car accident, you may be charged with vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is a class 3 felony and can carry penalties like hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and up to 12 years in state prison. Convicted individuals may also lose their driver’s license and be forced to attend drug and alcohol education classes.
Hurting or killing another person while driving under the influence is a grave offense that carries severe consequences. Depending on the nature of the crime, you could be facing years in prison and hefty fines. Fortunately, our DUI defense attorneys are here to defend you and help you reduce or even remove the penalties you are facing. For more information, call our law firm today.
What Does a DUI Attorney Do?
As your DUI attorney, a member of our team will stay by your side every step of the way. There are many roles a DUI lawyer can take on, but the number one role is being there for you and defending your rights.
As your DUI defense attorney, a member of our team will take the following steps:
- Question witnesses and make arguments at the DMV hearing.
- Review all evidence against you, including police reports, witness statements, dash cam footage, and photos of the alleged crime scene. Gather additional evidence in support of your defense.
- Negotiate with prosecutors in an attempt to reach a plea deal.
- Represent you before a judge in any hearings you are required to attend.
- Build a defense strategy to defend you in court.
- Represent you at trial while cross-examining witnesses and presenting your defense case.
While everyone has the right to defend themselves against criminal charges, hiring a Colorado Springs DUI attorney for your legal defense is highly recommended. Our experienced team has the professional knowledge to navigate the legal system and defend your rights. Police officers and prosecutors may act like they are on your side, but they are not. It’s in their best interests to get you to plead guilty and accept the maximum sentencing option. By hiring a criminal defense lawyer, you can ensure that your best interests are represented throughout the entire case.
We understand that hiring a criminal defense attorney can be a significant commitment and one that some people are hesitant to make. That’s why our team offers free consultations so you can speak with us before you decide to hire us. We will review the facts from your case and come up with a solid legal defense strategy so you know that we’re the right fit for you. Contact our office today for more information.
What Are Common Defenses Against a DUI?
After you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, it’s time to start working on your defense strategy. A member of our team will review your case and determine the best defense you can use to remove or reduce the penalties you are facing. While your defense strategy will differ depending on the unique circumstances of your case, there are some common defense strategies that may be applicable.
Below are the most common defense strategies used against a DUI:
An improper stop implies that the police officer who pulled you over did not have probable cause to do so. When officers pull someone over on the road, they must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is taking place. If you can prove that you were driving correctly and not exhibiting any behaviors of driving under the influence, you may be able to get your case dismissed.
False-Positive Breath Test
If you took a breathalyzer test after being pulled over, that reading will be entered into evidence. However, there are many factors that could affect a breath test and make the reading inadmissible. Certain medical conditions can cause breathalyzers to give a false positive, and even a police officer misusing the equipment may void any results.
Improper Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests like the one-leg stand and the walk-and-run can be used to determine a person’s level of intoxication. However, these tests must be administered according to strict protocol; otherwise, the results cannot be used. Our team can question the reliability of these tests in court and try to get the results thrown out.
Mishandling of Blood Samples
Once you are arrested for a DUI, you will likely be required to submit to a blood test. A blood test shows your level of blood alcohol content and is typically administered by a qualified technician. However, if this chemical test was done improperly or your blood sample was stored incorrectly, then this evidence must be tossed out.
Miranda Rights Violation
Police officers are required to read you your Miranda Rights before questioning. However, some officers neglect to do so or forget. If you were not read your Miranda Rights before an interrogation, our team can argue that anything you said to officers is inadmissible in court. It’s important to note that you are only required to be read your Miranda Rights before an interrogation and after a DUI arrest.
Inconsistent Testimony from Police
If your case goes to trial, the officers who pulled you over will likely be asked to testify. If the law officers’ testimony does not match the police reports, our team can argue that their testimony is unreliable and cannot be used as evidence. In some cases, if a judge does not believe an officer to be a reliable witness, a DUI charge can be thrown out entirely.
Illegal Search and Seizure
If the police conducted an illegal search of your vehicle, any evidence obtained from that search may be inadmissible in court. Our team can argue that because you never consented to a search, things like empty alcohol bottles or drug paraphernalia found in the car cannot be used against you. It is important to note that warrantless searches are allowed in some circumstances, so our team will evaluate your case carefully before using this strategy.
What is Probable Cause?
Colorado state law prohibits officers from pulling someone over unless they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime is occurring. If an officer did not have probable cause before pulling you over, our team can argue that an illegal stop was made. If the officer made an unlawful stop, there is a chance that the charges against you could be dropped entirely.
Officers must prove probable cause in court if your case goes to trial. By examining the evidence against you and cross-examining witnesses, our team can look for evidence of an illegal stop. Our lawyers will use this evidence to convince a judge that the charges against you are unlawful and that you cannot legally be charged with a DUI.
What Are the Main Signs of Drunk Driving that Police Look For?
When an officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, they will likely have noticed a potential sign of driving under the influence. There are many signs that someone is driving while inebriated, but there are some common things officers will look for.
The main signs of drunk or inebriated driving include:
- Driving too slowly
- Braking unnecessary or erratically
Once an officer has probable cause, they will likely pull you over. Once the car is stopped, the officer will look for other signs of intoxication. This can include glassy eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol on your breath. The officer may also use field sobriety tests that involve walking in a straight line or standing on one leg for a short period of time. Failing a field sobriety test often leads to a DUI arrest.
In many DUI cases, these signs will be used as evidence of your inebriation. However, there are many circumstances that can cause someone to act under the influence even when they are completely sober. Medical conditions, allergies, or even extreme fatigue can mimic the symptoms of intoxication. If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact our team immediately to start on your defense case.
What Are the Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction?
Being convicted of a DUI can have severe impacts on your life. The penalties depend on your criminal history and how many DUI charges you have faced in the past.
Below are the potential penalties you may face after a DUI conviction:
- First DUI conviction: Up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. You may also be required to do 100 hours of community service.
- Second DUI conviction: Up to two years in jail and two years of probation, plus fines of up to $1,500. You may also be ordered to complete 120 hours of community service.
- Third or subsequent DUI conviction: Up to two years in jail, two to four years of probation, and fines of up to $1,500. You may also be required to do 120 hours of community service.
DWAI convictions carry slightly fewer penalties and may include up to 180 days in jail plus two years of probation and a fine of $500. After any DUI conviction, you will also face a license suspension or revocation. Depending on your charges, this can range from nine months to a permanent license revocation. You may also get points added to your license. After a certain number of points, your license will be permanently suspended, and you will no longer be able to operate a motor vehicle.
If you are labeled a “persistent drunk driver,” you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. An ignition interlock device requires you to take a breath test before you start your vehicle and at random times throughout your trip. If you refuse to take a breath test upon arrest or your BAC is recorded at .150 or more, you will likely be labeled a persistent drunk driver.
Can a DUI Impact Your Career?
Unfortunately, if you are convicted of a DUI, it has the potential to impact your job status and the rest of your career. If you have a job requiring any driving, your employer will require you to have a valid driver’s license. In most DUI convictions, your license will be suspended, at least temporarily. This could cause you to lose your current job.
Similarly, many employers require you to note criminal convictions on your application when you apply. If you have a conviction on record, some jobs may reject you automatically. While it depends on your employer, many government jobs, healthcare jobs, or jobs that require working with children will not allow convicted criminals to apply. This can limit your job prospects and make it more difficult to find a career path you are interested in.
Some employers may also require you to have a clean driving record. This is typical for jobs that require driving as part of the daily duties but may even be applicable for careers working with children or similar. Some employers may reject your application automatically if you have any points on your license or a DUI on your record.
A DUI conviction may also impact your ability to secure housing. Unfortunately, many landlords and property managers hesitate to rent a home to someone with a criminal record. This can make it difficult when submitting applications for leases or rental property. Many colleges and universities feel the same way, automatically rejecting applicants with criminal records. Some government benefits may be inaccessible to you as well with a criminal conviction on file.
It’s an unfortunate fact that a DUI conviction can negatively affect your life. If you are facing criminal charges, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a team of Colorado Springs DUI lawyers to represent you and fight for your rights.
Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer?
Facing DUI charges can have serious impacts on your life. Jail time, fines, and community service are just some of the penalties you may face. These consequences can compound if you have been convicted of multiple DUIs in the past. That’s not to mention the effect a conviction may have on your job, your livelihood, and your reputation. Although it may be tempting to hope for the best and represent yourself, you have the best chance of defending yourself by hiring a Colorado Springs DUI attorney.
At Joyner Law, our team of DUI lawyers has years of experience defending clients in criminal cases. We know how to craft a compelling defense to reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. We will work together to review your case and develop a legal strategy, either to reach a plea deal with prosecutors or to secure a not-guilty status in court. We pride ourselves on working with our client’s best interests in mind, and we will answer any questions you have along the way as we guide you through the legal process.
You have the right to an experienced attorney who knows how to handle even the most complex DUI cases. Whether you have already been arrested, are facing charges, or need help submitting an appeal for a conviction, our team is here to help. Call our office today at 719-294-0566 for a free and confidential consultation from one of our compassionate and experienced lawyers.