Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorney
DUI arrests and charges can be upsetting. This is especially true in light of the fact that DUI laws and penalties in Colorado continue to get increasingly harsh. There are, however, ways to fight DUI charges and achieve favorable outcomes in these cases.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, the sooner you partner with an experienced Colorado Springs defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C., the better. With a skilled, aggressive advocate in your corner, you can be confident that you have someone ready to fight for you and defend your rights at every step of your case moving forward.
Our DUI lawyers are available 24/7 to answer your questions, help you understand the case ahead of you, and protect your rights. We can meet you and/or a loved one at jail or our Colorado Springs office. We can also discuss your case over the phone. Call or send us a message online to schedule your free consultation.
Colorado DUI Resources
- Do I Need a Lawyer?
- Types of DUI Cases We Handle
- After a DUI Arrest
- Colorado DUI Laws & Penalties
- Will I Face Jail Time?
- Fighting DUI Charges
- How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
- When is a DUI a Felony?
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- DUI FAQs
- Contact Our Attorneys
Do I Need a Lawyer for a DUI Case in Colorado?
In the state of Colorado, it is always best to hire an attorney if you are facing a DUI charge. DUI charges are very serious and can have lasting effects on your life, even if it is your first offense. The consequences of a conviction can include jail time, loss of driving privileges, and expensive fines. A skilled DUI attorney will know how to build a strong defense and get the best possible outcome for your case. Here are four reasons why you should hire a DUI attorney in Colorado.
1. A DUI Attorney Understands the Law
DUI laws are complex and constantly changing. An experienced DUI attorney will know the ins and outs of the law and how it applies to your case. This knowledge can be invaluable in building a strong defense and protecting your rights.
2. A DUI Attorney Knows the Local Courts and Judges
An experienced DUI attorney will also be familiar with the local court system and judges. This means they will know what to expect and how to best prepare your case for a favorable outcome.
3. A DUI Attorney Can Negotiate with the Prosecutor
In many cases, a skilled DUI attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction or dismissal of charges. This is something that would be very difficult to do on your own without an attorney’s help.
4. A DUI Attorney Can Help You Get Your Life Back on Track
A conviction for driving under the influence can have serious consequences that can impact every area of your life, from your job to your family relationships. An experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer can help you get your life back on track by fighting hard for a favorable outcome in your case.
Types of DUI Cases We Handle
We are experienced at defending clients in all types of DUI cases, including (but not limited to):
- DUIs involving accidents, injuries, and/or deaths
- DUIs involving alleged marijuana or other drug impairment
- DUIs for CDL holders
- First-Time DUIs
- Military DUIs
- Multiple DUIs
- Out-of-state DUIs
- Underage DUIs
After a DUI Arrest: The DMV Administrative Case & The Criminal DUI Case
The two cases that can be triggered by a DUI arrest will proceed on different timelines, independently from each, and the outcome of either case will not impact the outcome of the other. These DUI cases include the:
- DMV DUI case – Also referred to as an “express consent” hearing or action, the DMV administrative case is a civil proceeding that only looks at your driving privileges and whether you should be able to keep them after a DUI arrest. If you do not request this hearing within seven days of your arrest, you will automatically lose your license. If you do request this hearing, you will have the opportunity to argue why you should be allowed to keep your driving privileges, and that determination will be made by a Hearing Officer from the Department of Revenue.
- Criminal DUI case – The criminal case will determine whether you are guilty or not guilty of the DUI charges you face. These cases may end in a dismissal of charges, plea deals, or trials. Convictions or plea deals can result in various penalties, like fines and possibly jail time.
The attorneys at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. can effectively and vigorously defend you in both of these cases.
Colorado DUI Laws & Penalties
Colorado DUI laws set forth different legal limits for different types of drivers, including:
- Zero tolerance for underage motorists, with a BAC as low as 0.02 typically being sufficient to trigger DUI charges.
- A 0.04 BAC limit for drivers who are over 21 and who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs)
- A 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers who are over 21 and who hold standard driver’s licenses.
Colorado DUI laws also set forth different penalties based on the accused person’s BAC and whether (s)he has any prior offenses.
If drivers refuse to submit to chemical testing, additional penalties can include:
- A 1-year license revocation for first-time refusals
- A 2-year license revocation for second-time refusals
- A 3-year license revocation for third-time refusals
With DUIs in Colorado, it’s also important to be aware that:
- In some first-time DUI cases, it may be possible to work out a deal with prosecutors to plead to the lesser charges of “wet reckless.”
- A previous DWAI may be counted as a prior alcohol conviction in a subsequent case, for the purposes of filing charges and imposing a sentence.
- Aggravating factors, like accidents and injuries, can result in harsher charges and penalties.
- Colorado does not have a “lookback” or “washout” period. This means that all prior DUIs will stay on your record, regardless of how long ago you got them, and they can be counted as priors for the purposes of filing new DUI charges and/or handing down a sentence.
What Jail Time Could I Face For A DUI?
After being arrested for a drunk driving charge, one of the first questions people ask is, “Am I going to jail?” The honest answer is, it depends. DUI penalties, including jail time, vary according to the specific charge, the amount of alcohol in your blood, and your prior record.
First-Offense Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
- Fines of $100 to $500
- Jail: Two to 180 days
- Mandatory public service: From 24 to 48 hours
- Eight points on your DMV record
Second-Offense Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
- Fines of $300 to $1,000
- Jail: From 45 days to one year
- Mandatory public service: From 48 to 96 hours
- License revoked for one year
First Drunk Driving Conviction (DUI)
- Fines of $300 to $1,000
- Jail: Five days to one year
- Mandatory public service: From 48 to 96 hours
- License revoked for one year
Second Drunk Driving Conviction (DUI)
- Fines of $500 to $1,500
- Jail: Between 90 days to one year
- Mandatory public service of 60 to 120 hours
- Twelve points on your driving record
If you are convicted of a second DUI or DWAI within five years of your first offense, you may be required to take an alcohol treatment program and you may be sentenced to additional jail time.
How to Fight DUI Charges in Colorado Springs
The details of your DUI stop and arrest can help determine the best strategies for fighting the charges you face. During an initial consultation, a Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. can provide you with clear answers regarding your best defense options. In general, however, some effective ways to defend against DUI charges can include proving things like:
- Inaccuracies with the field sobriety test results due to subjective assessment, failure to properly administer the test, or other factors
- Inaccuracies with chemical test results due to an uncalibrated breathalyzer, mistakes at the lab, or other factors
- Inconsistencies in the police report and/or the prosecutor’s arguments
- No or questionable probable cause to make the traffic stop, request chemical testing, or make the arrest
- Procedural mistakes made by police, like administering chemical tests within 20 minutes of the stop and/or the driver having regurgitated or consumed something
- Violations of the accused person’s rights during or after the arrest.
How Much Does a Colorado DUI Lawyer Cost?
If you’re facing DUI charges in Colorado, you might be wondering how much it will cost to hire a lawyer. The short answer is that it depends. Some factors that will affect the cost include:
The Severity of the Charge
One of the biggest factors that can affect the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer is the severity of the charge. If you are facing a first-time DUI charge, your lawyer may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether, which means your case could be resolved quicker and cost less. However, if you are facing a second or third DUI charge, your lawyer may need to go to trial to try to get you a favorable outcome. This is more time-consuming and complicated, which would bring more hours and a higher cost.
The Experience of the Lawyer You Hire
Another factor that can affect how much it costs to hire a DUI lawyer is the experience of the lawyer you hire. Generally speaking, lawyers who have been practicing for longer periods of time charge more per hour than newer lawyers. That said, experienced lawyers may also be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether, which could save you money in the long run.
Some lawyers charge an hourly rate, while others might charge a flat fee for certain stages of your case. The average cost of a DUI lawyer in Colorado is between $3,000 and $6,000.
When is a DUI a Felony in Colorado?
In Colorado, a first DUI offense is usually classified as a misdemeanor, but can sometimes be charged as a felony. In Colorado, a DUI becomes a felony when one of the following aggravating factors are present:
- You have been convicted of three or more DUIs. It doesn’t matter when the DUIs occurred; a fourth one is a felony no matter what. This also includes DUIs that you were convicted of anywhere else in the country.
- While driving under the influence, you caused serious bodily injury to another person. This makes your DUI a felony even if you’ve never been convicted of one before. Serious bodily injuries typically include death, permanent disfigurement, loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ function, breaks/fractures, or second or third-degree burns.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) Lawyer
DUI laws are relatively straightforward. In Colorado, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent or greater may result in charges of DWAI or DUI. However, lawmakers have struggled to develop laws surrounding driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in light of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. At Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C., we represent drivers facing charges of DUID in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities.
Complications In Colorado DUID Cases
Marijuana stays in the body much longer than alcohol, which means a person may test positive for marijuana use days or weeks after using it even though he or she is clearly not impaired. This makes drug tests a very poor indication of whether a driver is impaired by marijuana at the time of a traffic stop. In addition, the amount of marijuana in a person’s system may vary greatly depending on his or her age, health, metabolism, and frequency of marijuana use.
Given these variables, it is particularly important that you and your attorney act quickly to understand the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop and begin building your defense against DUID charges. We have successfully represented clients facing DUI and drug charges in Colorado for decades, and we know how to structure cases for success.
“Thank you Eric for being a true and honest man that truly cares for his clients and is not in for the money.”
Colorado DUI FAQs
Will I Lose My Driver’s License?
DUI convictions in Colorado include a penalty of having your license suspended. The length of suspension time will depend on whether this is your first offense.
- First DUI charge: Nine-month license suspension
- Second DUI charge: One-year license suspension
- Third or additional DUI charge: Two-year license suspension
Should I Plead Guilty or Not Guilty?
Deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty requires careful consideration, and your defense attorney will guide you in making the decision. Both options have their implications, and the best choice depends on the specifics of your case. Here’s a breakdown of the consequences for each.
- Admitting Responsibility: By pleading guilty, you are admitting that you committed the offense as charged. This could lead to a conviction on your record, which may have consequences for your future.
- Potential Leniency: In some cases, prosecutors may offer a plea deal that includes reduced charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. This could result in lighter consequences than those associated with a full conviction.
- Quicker Resolution: Pleading guilty can lead to a quicker resolution of your case, sparing you from a lengthy legal process and potential court appearances.
Pleading Not Guilty:
- Preserving Defenses: Pleading not guilty allows you to challenge the evidence against you. An experienced DUI attorney can review the evidence, such as the circumstances of the arrest and the validity of tests, to determine if there are grounds for a defense.
- Negotiation and Reduction: A not-guilty plea provides an opportunity for your attorney to negotiate with prosecutors for a reduction in charges or penalties. This may lead to a more favorable outcome than initially anticipated.
- Trial Option: If negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory result, a not-guilty plea allows you to take your case to trial. A trial gives you the chance to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses, seeking an acquittal.
Factors to Consider:
- Evidence: Evaluate the evidence against you. If there are weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, a not-guilty plea could be more appropriate.
- Prior Record: Your criminal history, especially any prior DUI convictions, can impact the consequences of a guilty plea. Consult with an attorney to understand how your record may influence your decision.
- Potential Consequences: Consider the potential consequences of a guilty plea, such as fines, license suspension, mandatory classes, and possible jail time. Are you comfortable with these outcomes?
- Legal Counsel: Consulting with a DUI attorney is crucial before making a decision. An attorney can assess the strength of the case against you and advise you on the best course of action.
- Long-Term Impact: Think about how a DUI conviction may affect your future employment, insurance rates, and personal reputation. Balancing short-term consequences with long-term implications is important.
Ultimately, the decision to plead guilty or not guilty is highly individual. It’s important to seek legal advice from an experienced DUI attorney who can evaluate your case’s unique circumstances and guide you toward the option that aligns with your best interests.
Can I Expunge a DUI Conviction in Colorado?
No, you cannot expunge a DUI conviction in Colorado. DUI convictions are not eligible for expungement under Colorado law. This is true even if you have completed all of the terms of your sentence and have not been convicted of any other crimes since your DUI conviction.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if your DUI conviction was the result of mistaken identity, you may be able to have it expunged. Additionally, juveniles who were convicted of underage drinking and driving (UDD) may be eligible to have their records expunged after 10 years.
If you have a DUI conviction on your record, it is important to understand that it will not be eligible for expungement. This means that it will be visible to potential employers, landlords, and others who conduct background checks. If you are concerned about the impact of your DUI conviction on your life, you should speak with an attorney about your options.
Contact Our Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorneys
As former prosecutors, we have deep knowledge of the tactics and arguments prosecutors use to try to secure DUI convictions. This empowers us with the insight to anticipate what the prosecution may do and strategically structure your DUI defense.
If you are facing DUI charges of any kind, reach out to our law firm today and schedule a free case consultation. You don’t have to face your charges alone.
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Neighborhoods We Serve
Briargate | Broadmoor | Cimarron Hills | Downtown Colorado Springs | East Colorado Springs | Knob Hill | Middle Shooks Run | Old Colorado City | Pleasant Valley | Pueblo | Stratton Meadows | West Colorado Springs | and more