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Prosecutor laments strength of Colorado DUI laws

A 57-year-old man was recently indicted by a grand jury in Colorado on nine charges in relation to an alleged DUI accident in Arapahoe County. The 57-year-old man reportedly has 20 previous citations for alcohol-related convictions and has been convicted 16 times. Most of these convictions took place in Colorado.

The choice to use a grand jury indictment to pursue an alleged habitual DUI offender is unusual. However, the office of 18th Judicial District Attorney stated it was the only option due to weak Colorado DUI laws. Colorado is one of five states that does not have a felony DUI law. This means a person can be convicted of DUI multiple times and serve no more than one year in a county jail, authorities say.

Nevertheless, a conviction on DUI charges may still result in fines, jail time and driving restrictions, three penalties which, alone or combined, can have life-altering consequences for many people. This is especially true for individuals with a professional career. However, a criminal defense lawyer may assist accused drivers to avoid the harshest penalties accompanying a DUI conviction by either negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution or arguing against the prosecution's case at trial.

A lawyer can review an accused driver's case to determine which defense strategy makes the most sense. The defendant has the choice whether to move forward with a particular strategy. For example, the defendant does not have to accept a plea deal.

It is important to note that all drivers are innocent until proven guilty. While defense attorneys may prepare and present a compelling case on behalf of an accused driver, it is the obligation of the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: 9News.com, "Man ith 16 DUIs calls Colorado law into question", Anastasiya Bolton, December 03, 2014

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