DUI charges, convictions and possible defenses
Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges and whether it is a first or subsequent offense, the judge may determine fines or time in jail is appropriate upon a conviction decree. Although the prosecution may present findings that seem cut and dried, several defenses are available that may reduce charges or help avoid a conviction.
A DUI in Colorado typically results in a misdemeanor charge. However, according to the Colorado General Assembly, the fourth and subsequent DUI and driving while ability impaired convictions results in felony charges.
Testing and consent laws
Colorado’s express consent law presumes that you will take a test when requested by an officer if he or she pulls you over. Law enforcement can use breath, saliva, blood, urine or a combination of these tests if they suspect impairment from alcohol or drugs.
Although the tests are voluntary, the officer may arrest you if you refuse. It may also result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Even if you keep it, you may need an SR-22 auto policy as many insurance companies consider you at high risk for an accident.
Defense against DUI charges
While a first, second or third DUI is typically a misdemeanor, it can become more serious if an incident included injuries or property damage. However, if no other offenses accompany the DUI charges, you may get the charges reduced. There are several ways to combat drunk driving allegation; even you have multiple DUI convictions, they include the following:
- Improper administration of the field sobriety tests
- Contaminated breath, saliva, blood or urine testing samples
- Misconduct by the officers involved
- Inaccurate results due to a medical condition
- Uncalibrated equipment used when taking samples
A fourth conviction is a class 4 felony, even if there are no injuries. It does not matter how long ago the prior convictions occurred. It is critical that you understand the consequences of a potential conviction so that you can work towards the most favorable outcome possible.