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Arapahoe Attorney

Arapahoe DUI FAQ

The Law Office of Clifton Hypsher has successfully handled hundreds of Arapahoe DUIs. Our office is conveniently located in Englewood, Colorado in the heart of Arapahoe County. Are you the victim of an improper DUI Checkpoint or an illegal traffic stop? Ask an attorney about your DUI or DWAI by calling (877)362.9091! The consultation is free and takes about 15 minutes. If you're charged with DUI or DWAI in Aurora, Bennett, Bow Mar, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Deer Trail, Englewood, Glendale, Greenwood Village, Littleton or Sheridan your case will be heard in the Arapahoe County Courts located at 7325 S. Potomac Street, Centennial Colorado 80122.

Summary of Arapahoe 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

ARAPAHOE PRETRIAL PROCEDURES

First, second and third DUI and DWAI cases are handled by the County Court. Felony DUI cases are done in Arapahoe District Court. The Arapahoe County Courts handle only the criminal portion of a DUI case, i.e., charges for which the defendant can be fined, jailed or placed on criminal probation. DUI license revocations are handled by the Colorado Department of Revenue, DMV. Most good Arapahoe County DWI lawyers will handle both the criminal and DMV driver's license parts of the case together.

If the defendant is placed on summons (i.e., arrested and released), their first court appearance will usually be on the date written on the ticket given to them by the police. If the defendant was arrested and had to post bond, he/she may have to appear earlier than the summons date for a "bond return" appearance.

Defendants are required to attend all court appearances unless excused by the judge. Failure to appear (FTA) will likely result in issuance of a warrant for defendant's arrest. Most Arapahoe DUI lawyers will try to reschedule the first court date to allow time to investigate their client's case and get police reports etc.("Discovery") from the district attorney. Expect to discuss new "Discovery" in advance of Court dates.

During the pre-trial phase, the DA and defense attorney usually discuss the case and attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement of the case, a.k.a. "plea bargain." Defense counsel may also request additional discovery from the Arapahoe County District Attorney. Finally, at a pre-trial conference defense counsel should work out any scheduling matters and discuss any court orders that might be needed. If the district attorney refuses to make an acceptable offer, the defendant may set the matter for jury trial. A jury trial is sometimes the only way to obtain a good resolution of the case.

ARAPAHOE JURY TRIALS

The number and types of hearings leading up to an Arapahoe jury trial vary depending on the judge involved and the issues in the case. The first step towards trial in Colorado is entry of a formal "not guilty" plea. At that time the court will usually set several hearing dates. The first is the "speedy trial date," the last day on which the State can bring the defendant to trial. The speedy trial date is six months after the date of the not guilty plea. The second hearing set is a "motions hearing." The motions hearing gives defendant a chance to raise constitutional challenges to the prosecution. Challenges usually consist of mistakes made by the police. Commonly defense attorneys will challenge the initial police contact with the defendant, searches subsequent to initial contact and any incriminating statements allegedly made by defendant. The final court date set will be the the trial itself. The court may also set a trial readiness conference before the trial date.

Misdemeanor trials are conducted with either a jury of six or, in rare instances, a judge. The burden of proof is always on the prosecutor who must prove defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." The trial starts with selection of a jury. After the jury is selected each side, beginning with the prosecutor, has an opportunity to make an opening statement. Opening statements are a "roadmap" of what each party expects to present during trial. Parties are specifically not allowed to "argue" their case during opening statements.

After opening statements the prosecution presents its case in the form of testimony and documentary evidence. Prosecution evidence can consist of such things as testimony about defendant's driving behaviour, indicators of intoxication observed by law enforcement officers, observations of lay witnesses, statements made by the defendant and chemical test results. The prosecution my introduce expert testimony to support its case against the defendant. After each prosecution witness testifies the defendant has an opportunity to "cross examine" that witness.

At the close of the prosecution's case the defendant is given an opportunity to call witnesses and present evidence. The defendant may testify if he/she wishes but cannot be compelled to do so by the prosecution. In DUI cases it is often helpful to present expert witness testimony concerning such issues as improper procedures with roadside sobriety tests or the chemical test offered as evidence of guilt by the state. Defense oriented expert witnesses are often expensive. However, the testimony of an expert witness is an effective way to offset the testimony of law enforcement personnel and create reasonable doubt.

At the conclusion of defendant's evidence, the prosecution has an opportunity to give rebuttal evidence. Rebuttal is evidence intended to address matters raised by the defendant that were not covered in the prosecution's case in chief. At the conclusion of rebuttal evidence both sides will have an opportunity to make closing statements. During closing arguments the parties may "argue" their case, i.e., suggest how the evidence presented during during the trial should be interpreted and call for a verdict favourable to their side . Closing argument is also a good time for defendant to remind the jury of the burden of proof and of defendant's constitutional right to be found innocent unless the prosecution has proved defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

After closing arguments the judge will "instruct the jury" concerning how they are to determine whether the defendant committed the crimes alleged by the prosecution. The six jurors will then be escorted to the jury room where they will consider the evidence and decide whether to convict or acquit the defendant. Upon reaching a decision the jury will be escorted back to the courtroom where the jury foreperson will deliver the jury's verdict. If the defendant is acquitted the judge will release the defendant and the case is over.

If the defendant is convicted of any or all of the charges the court will either sentence immediately or set a sentence date within the next month to two months. If the defendant is convicted of traffic violations only, sentencing is usually immediate. For first DUIs below 0.15 BAC most judges will sentence immediately.

For second or subsequent DUIs most judges will require a pre-sentence investigation and an alcohol evaluation. The first purpose of the investigation is establish whether the defendant has been previously convicted of drunk driving. This will determine whether a mandatory sentence is required. Second the pre-sentence investigation will give the sentencing judge recommendations on the length of any jail sentence, whether the sentence should be via electronic monitoring or actual confinement in jail, whether the defendant requires substance abuse monitoring while on probation and the length of substance abuse treatment.

On the date of sentencing if mandatory sentencing is not required, the judge may simply place the defendant on probation, impose fines and court costs, impose community service and inform the defendant of the other requirements of the probation. Defendant should immediately take care of any fines and report to the probation department and arrange community service.

In addition to the above, if you are subject to mandatory sentencing the judge will impose either a jail sentence or electronic monitoring sentence or both. Depending on the judge, the number of prior convictions and the circumstances of the case, the judge may set a date in the future by which the defendant must report to jail to begin his sentence. If an electronic monitoring sentence is imposed defendant will be given time to begin the monitoring. If judge decides that immediate custody is appropriate, sheriff's deputies will search the defendant, handcuff him and take him straight to the jail next door to the Arapahoe Justice Center. Before going into custody or immediately after release from jail the defendant must report to the probation department, pay fines and costs etc.

LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

If you've been charged with DUI in Arapahoe County you are most likely also facing suspension of your drivers license. If you refused testing or took a breath test you must request a hearing with the DMV within 7 days to protect your license. There are two full service DMV offices in Arapahoe County that can take your hearing request: 14391 East 4th Avenue, Aurora CO and 311 East Countyline Rd, Littleton CO 80122. The best place to request a hearing though is at the Main DMV office located at 1881 Pierce Street Lakewood, CO 80214. The hearings for Arapahoe County are held at the Lakewood Main Office. A temporary Colorado driving permit good for sixty days or until a hearing is held will be issued with your hearing request.

DUI CONSEQUENCES

The possible consequences of a DUI or DWAI conviction in Arapahoe County are more than just those shown above. Below are some of the hidden costs of an alcohol related offense in Arapahoe:

  1. Loss of your CDL license for a year on first offense, for life on second
  2. deportation for foreign residents
  3. monitored sobriety
  4. court costs/supervision fees/mandatory treatment fees - up to several thousand dollars
  5. increased insurance costs
  6. difficulty in in obtaining employment
  7. civil disabilities such as not being able to join the military or enter certain countries

With these possible penalties its best to consult with a lawyer familiar with Arapahoe County.

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