Adams County DUI Attorney
Adams County DUI Law
The penalties for a DUI or DWAI (A.K.A. OUI and DWI) in Adams County Colorado range from loss of driver license and probation to a prison term of up to six years. The severity of the consequences depend upon factors such as how many prior alcohol arrests you have, your alcohol level, and whether there was an accident. Different judges also sentence differently for the same type of offense. If you had a high alcohol level over 0.2 BAC or prior DUI convictions expect mandatory jail. A conviction in Adams County for DUI-Drugs (for example driving under the influence of marijuana or "meth") requires a minimum one year drivers license revocation.
Colorado's DUI law requires a minimum nine month to one year drivers license suspension for a first DUI offense. If your license is revoked, adult drivers may be eligible to drive with an ignition interlock after one month of no driving under Colorado's Early Reinstatement Program Drivers who are revoked for refusing a breath or blood test must wait for two months before they can get an ignition interlock license. Drivers under 21 years of age who are revoked for DUI must wait one year before "early reinstatement" with an interlock. These are only some of the possible DUI consequences.
Cliff Hypsher is a former Adams County Assistant County Attorney and is acknowledged as one the best DUI lawyers in Colorado. Cliff has successfully defended thousands of people accused of drunk driving and drugged driving over the last twenty years. If you're charged with DUI or DWAI in the following cities: Aurora, Bennett, Brighton, Federal Heights, Henderson, Northglenn, Thornton, Strasburg, Watkins, Westminster your case will probably be sent to the Adams County Courts located at the Adams County Justice Center, 1100 Judicial Center Drive, Brighton, Colorado 80601.
Summary of Adams County DUI Penalties
|Violation||Mandatory Jail||Jail Time Range||Misd./Felony||Community Service||Fines||Probation|
|DWAI First||None*||10days-6Months||Misdemeanor||24-48hours||$200-$500||up to 2yrs|
|DUI First||None*||5days-1yr||Misdemeanor||48-96hours||$600-$1000||up to 2yrs||2nd DUI/DWAI more than 5yrs||10days**||10days-1yr||Misdemeanor||48day-120hours||$600-$1500||2-4years||2nd DUI/DWAI within 5 years||10days***||10days-1yr||Misdemeanor||48-120hours||$600-$1500||2-4year||3rd DUI/DWAI||60days****||60days-1year||Misdemeanor||48-120hours||$600-$1500||2-4years||4th DUI/DWAI or More||N/A||2-6years DOC||Felony||N/A||$2000-$5000||3years Parole|
*All convictions over 0.20 BAC must serve at least 10days jail, Work Release or IHD
**IHD and Work Release possible
***Work Release Possible
****Work Release Possible, must serve full 60 days, consecutive
WHAT TO EXPECT IN ADAMS COUNTY COURT
If you were arrested and released but did not have to "bond out" of jail, your summons or ticket will tell you the date of your first court appearance. I recommend that you talk to an experienced Adams County DUI lawyer well before that date to allow time to evaluate and prepare your defense case. If you were arrested and had to post bond, you may have to appear in Adams County Court for a "bond return." If you have issues about your bond, for instance if you need to travel outside of Colorado, it is very helpful if you have a DWI attorney to help you with a request to modify bond.
You must attend all scheduled appearances or face a warrant being issued for your arrest. The court will not grant a continuance to defendants over the telephone or by mail. Your attorney can usually obtain a continuance of the first court date if you are not on bond. Rescheduling is desirable since it allows time to obtain police reports etc.("Discovery") from the Adams County District Attorney. A brief delay also allows for investigation of defenses, interviewing favourable witnesses or obtaining medical reports that could help your case.
The Adams County Colorado, County Court handles all misdemeanor DUI, DUID and DWAI cases. DUI is a misdemeanor in Colorado unless you have three or more prior DUI, DWI, DWAI, OUI, Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homicide and similar convictions in another state. In other words, your fourth or subsequent offense may be prosecuted as a felony in Colorado. Felony DUI cases in are done in District Court. Only the criminal portion of your case is handled in the courts, i.e., charges for which you can be fined, jailed or placed on criminal probation. Decisions effecting your driver's license will be handled by the Colorado Department of Revenue, DMV.
During the pre-trial phase of your case, your DUI lawyer will discuss the case with the Adams County District Attorney and attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement of your case. This is also the time when additional discovery that might be helpful to your case will be requested from the District Attorney. If an acceptable plea bargain is reached in the pre-trial phase the case will end here with either dismissal of charges or the imposition of criminal penalties by a judge. Examples of consequences that can come from a guilty plea are fines, probation and, in some cases, jail or "In Home Detention." If the deputy district attorney assigned to your case refuses to make an acceptable plea bargain offer, you may set the matter for a jury trial.
Adams County DUI Jury Trial
A DUI jury trial will usually include a preliminary step called a "Motions Hearing." The function of the motions hearing is to get the Court, if possible, to throw out evidence illegally obtained by the police. If key evidence is "suppressed" the Prosecution may be forced to move for dismissal of your case. For example if you were stopped without "reasonable suspicion" everything after the initial traffic stop may be suppressed. This will normally leave the prosecutor with insufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
A jury trial is too complicated to describe here in its entirety. The broad outline of a trial is that the District Attorney and "the Defendant," get to tell "their sides of the story" to a six person jury in a misdemeanor case or twelve jurors in a felony case. Jurors come from the community via "jury summons." A trial is conducted according to formal rules of evidence and procedure that structure and restrict the presentation of evidence by the parties to the case. A trial is not, as some people believe, like an argument around the kitchen table. It takes a great deal of preparation and skill to present a successful case before a jury.
At the beginning of the trial the parties pick a jury in what is called "Jury Selection." Next, each party can make an "opening statement" intended to tell the jurors what evidence will be presented during the trial. After "Opening Statements" the portion of the trial where evidence is presented begins. During the evidence portion of an Adams County DUI trial both sides present witnesses who testify about what happened during the case. Each side may also present evidence via media (e.g., body worn camera video)or documentary evidence.
At the conclusion of the trial the jury returns a verdict of acquittal or guilt as to each of the criminal violations charged. If the defendant is acquitted on all charges the case is over and no penalties are imposed. If there are findings of guilt a judge will impose penalties ranging from fines and probation to jail. This is called the sentencing phase of the case. Sentencing may occur immediately following the trial or later, after an evaluation by the probation department.
MORE ABOUT COLORADO DUI
Colorado License Suspensions
Your driver's license may be suspended or revoked if you've been charged with DUI, DUID or DWAI in Adams County. If you refused a breath or blood test you must request a hearing with the DMV within 7 days to protect your license. Similarly, if you took a test and the result is over 0.08 you must also request a hearing as soon as possible. You or your DUI attorney may make your hearing request in Adams County at the full service office. At the time this is written there is a full service DMV office at 11900 North Washington Street, Northglenn, CO 80233. I prefer to make requests at the Main DMV office, 1881 Pierce Street Lakewood, CO 80124. The actual hearings for Adams County are usually held at the main office OR the Boulder DMV Office at 2850 Iris Avenue, Boulder 80301. When you make a DMV hearing request you should also be issued a temporary driving license unless you are already suspended.
Criminal DUI Consequences
Colorado Law establishes a number of criminal consequences for a DUI or DWAI conviction in Adams County include the following penalties. All convictions carry with them a possibility of jail sentence, probation sentence, monitored sobriety, fines and court costs of up to several thousand dollars. Jail or "In Home Detention" is mandatory if you have prior DUI, DWAI or alcohol related Driving Under Restraint convictions. You may be looking at a Felony DUI conviction if you have three or more prior convictions.
Normally there is no jail on a first DUI or DWAI conviction unless your alcohol level was over 0.20 or there was some type of crash. If there was a crash involving serious bodily injury or death you can be charged with vehicular assault or homicide. These are serious felonies that are beyond the scope of this discussion. On a second DUI conviction many judges will impose a short jail sentence or "in home detention." Jail or IHD are mandatory if your prior alcohol related driving conviction was within five years of the second conviction. On a third conviction 60 days in jail are mandatory however, most judges will impose a longer sentence of six months to a year on a third offense.
In Colorado judges are given authority to allow persons convicted of misdemeanor offenses to serve a jail sentence as "Work Release," or "In Home Detention," AKA "Electronic Monitoring." These options to a straight jail sentence, if allowed by statute, are at the discretion of the sentencing judge. Some judges have a policy of not granting IHD on second DUI offenses. In the case of a third or subsequent conviction the 60 Day mandatory jail sentence that must be served in jail or as work release.