If you were charged for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), it may be in your best interest to consult with a criminal lawyer Denver CO trusts like Richard J. Banta of the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. He has extensive experience handling DUI cases and may help you build a strong defense. With a skilled Colorado lawyer like Richard on your side, you may feel a little more at ease about your situation.
Can a Lawyer Help With My DWI Charge?
Being charged with a DWI can be a scary situation. When you are first charged, you might have many questions racing through your head, including “should I hire an attorney?”, “am I going to prison?”, “will I lose my license?” and more. While it can be hard to process, one of the best options you have after being charged with a DWI is getting a criminal lawyer in Denver, CO. The attorneys at The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. have helped many clients with their DWI cases, and have years of experience working to get these charges reduced or dropped for their clients. Whatever your circumstances are, a criminal lawyer serving Denver, CO will work hard to find the best solution for you.
What Should You Do When You Have Been Charged With a DWI?
One of the most important things you can do when you have been charged with a DWI is document the details. Your memory can get fuzzy over time and writing down what you remember can be incredibly helpful to your case. Your Denver, CO criminal lawyer will recommend writing down some of the following as soon as possible to help you remember:
- What responses did you give the officer (what did you tell him or her about your alcohol consumption?
- Did they perform a breath test?
- Where were you stopped and what time was it?
- What kind of tests did the officer perform?
When writing this list, although it can be very helpful to you, do not share it with anyone except your lawyer.
What are my rights when being questioned by law enforcement?
When a client has been questioned by law enforcement, our defense lawyer understands the importance of knowing exactly what the client said and the responses of those questioning them. This is because law enforcement is infamous for tricking people into incriminating themselves. It is actually legal for them to try to trick even innocent people as long as their lies do not cause the defendant to think their only choice is to agree with the lie. For instance, if the accused is told by police that if they don’t confess to a crime they did not commit, they will face the death penalty. This is much more likely to happen if you do not have a defense lawyer by your side during questioning.
Can I lie to the police?
Though the police have a lot of leeway when it comes to fabricating information when talking to a suspect, the general public does not. Our defense lawyer is aware of many instances of this.) Specifically, it is illegal to lie about one’s name or other identifying information when asked by law enforcement to provide it. If one lies about who they are, they can be charged with obstructing justice. They can be arrested on that basis alone if the police prove they were provided with false information (or no information) when they asked the suspect their name.
Do I have to talk with the police?
If you have been pulled over and are facing potential drug charges, upon the request of the officer, you should give your real name and any requested identification. Apart from this, you are not obligated to speak with the police. You should remain cordial and polite and explain that you do not wish to conversate with them unless your Denver, CO drug crime lawyer Denver COis present. This statement should invoke your constitutional right and most police will cease trying to talk with you from this point on.
If you have been arrested for any drug related crime, you may face various penalties including jail time, imprisonment, probation, fees, a criminal record, and more. With non-violent drug offenses being penalized significantly worse now than ever in Colorado, you might naturally feel you should explain your side of the story to law enforcement. However, unless your drug crime lawyer from Denver CO is present, this is not recommended.
Avoid Explaining Your Side to Police
Natural instincts might encourage you to justify your actions or explain your side to police in hopes of not being arrested or charged. This is an inaccurate assumption based around misconceptions of interrogations. An interrogation is not a time to explain your side of the story. Rather it is done by police with the intention of getting information from you that proves your guilt, gives police probable cause for a warrant, or implicating you for your illegal actions. In other words, the police officer is hoping you will open up and say things that make way for a lawful arrest and prosecution.
In truth, the police are not your friend. In general, they are not going to be too open for feeling sorry for you. They don’t want to hear why you are a good person. They only want to find a way to ensure the arrest and charges hold up in a court. This means there is no reason to tell your side of the story.
In Hollywood movies and popular TV shows, you might see scenes that suggest by talking to the police, you can improve your situation. In reality, if you discuss the circumstances of your case, your personal life, or any information with the police and without a legal advocate on your side, you are only helping law enforcement out with their job. These people have undergone years of training and know how to conduct interrogations. If you attempt to go through this interview without a drug crime lawyer Denver CO trusts, you may be putting your case and life at risk.
Understanding Your Miranda Rights
One of the more common mistakes made by people who have been arrested for a drug crime is to assume whatever they have discussed cannot be used against them because they have not been read their Miranda Rights. However, there is no explicit law which states all statements made by you will follow the Miranda warning. Furthermore, only when you are in custody do officers have to read it to you. That said, it is your right to remain silent and have a drug crime lawyer from Denver CO present during any questioning. It is recommended that you clearly utilize both requests.
Your Miranda Rights only apply one you are in legal custody. It may be of use to verify whether you are under arrest or are free to leave. The officer might not tell you this right away in hopes that you will incriminate yourself. If you are free to leave, you should do so and then contact a Denver, Colorado drug crime lawyer. If the officer says you are not allowed to leave, it may be a good idea to articulate again you would like a drug crime lawyer present before answering any questions.
To speak with a drug crime lawyer in Denver CO, call the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. now.
Do they have to read me my rights when arresting me?
Despite what they portray on many television police procedural shows, when a person is arrested the officer is not required to read the defendant their rights. However, if they question you about a crime without having first informed you of your rights, the information you provide cannot be used against you in court. (As our defense lawyer might remind you, they can still convict you on other evidence.) In addition:
- A police officer can delay in reading you your rights until you are formally questioned by them, even if you are already in custody.
- In circumstances deemed in the interest of public safety, a court may rule that reading the suspect their rights was not required.
- Regardless of whether or not they have read you your rights, other than providing them with your lawful identity, it can make all the difference to your case if you do not speak until after you have hired a lawyer and received their guidance.
What are Miranda Rights?
The Miranda Rights are a summary of the rights that an individual has when being questioned by a law enforcement agent. The Miranda Rights have several components, each of which must be explained to a suspect, and they are:
- You have the legal right to remain silent and not answer questions asked of you by law enforcement.
- If you choose to tell them anything, the information you provide can be used against you in a court of law in the pursuit of criminal charges against you.
- You have the legal right to have a defense lawyer with you when you are questioned by a law enforcement representative.
- If you are unable to afford a lawyer, and wish to have legal representation, the judicial system will provide you with a public defender at no charge. (They will not pay for a private practice defense lawyer.)
If you have questions about your rights when being questioned by law enforcement, request a free consultation with our defense lawyer.
What Else Can Help Your Case?
One step that can greatly affect your case is finding a witness. A witness could be just about anyone—a friend or a family member—who could speak to your mental and physical capacity before, during, or after your traffic stop. The sooner you can gather witnesses, the sooner your attorney can get their testimonies.
Criminal lawyers in Denver, CO have also found that it can be helpful to make your social media posts private. This includes accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Any photos on your social media sites can be used out of context in a court hearing, and it is best to keep those private. Not only can they damage your reputation, but if appearing before a jury, they can turn a jury against you quickly.
Finally, it is best not to post about your case online or on social media while the proceedings are happening. It can damage your reputation and make your situation worse, especially when appearing before a court.
How Can Your Team Help Me?
There are many routes to navigate when you have been charged with a DWI. Although this can be one of the most stressful times of your life, having an experienced criminal lawyer in Denver, CO on your side. You should work with someone you can trust, which will allow you to stress less and focus on the best way to face this case. Our team at The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. is dedicated to their work and will fight to get you the best results possible. Don’t hesitate any longer with this decision. Contact The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. to schedule a consultation with a trusted criminal lawyer serving Denver, CO today!
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
A DUI is a serious offense and can carry some harsh penalties. Here are the consequences you may face with a DUI conviction:
- Suspended Driver’s License: If you get convicted of a DUI, the judge will most likely suspend your driver’s license for a long period of time, as a criminal lawyer in Denver CO can attest. Without a license, you may have a harder time getting to work and other important places. You may have to rely on family and friends to give you rides when public bussing is not available or practical.
- Fewer Job Opportunities: As a criminal lawyer Denver CO respects can explain, there may be fewer job opportunities with someone with a criminal record. Many employers are apprehensive about hiring candidates with criminal backgrounds. You may have even more trouble getting hired at jobs that require you to drive a vehicle.
- Strained Personal Relationships: If you get convicted of a DUI, it might also hurt your relationships with your friends and family members. They may view you as less trustworthy and want to spend less time around you.
- Fewer Housing Opportunities: A criminal lawyer Denver CO counts on has seen individuals with DUI convictions have difficulties finding places to live. Many landlords perform background checks and might think twice about renting to someone with a criminal background. They may fear that these individuals could bring trouble to the apartment complex and endanger other tenants.
- Higher Insurance Rates: With a DUI conviction on your record, you can expect your auto insurance rates to skyrocket. As a criminal lawyer Denver CO clients recommend can explain, insurance companies consider people with DUI convictions high risk and often charge them higher insurance rates. Your insurance company might even choose to cancel your coverage altogether.
What Are the Penalties for DUI Conviction in Colorado?
As a Denver criminal lawyer may explain, under Colorado law, if a person 21 years or older has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, they can be charged with driving under the influence. If a driver is under the age of 21, the legal BAC limit is .02%.
Colorado also has another level of drunk driving offenses for those drivers who are found to have a BAC level of between .05% and .08%: driving while ability is impaired (DWAI). A person who is found guilty of DWAI may also face loss of license, making it crucial to contact a criminal lawyer Denver CO clients turn to for assistance.
If you have been charged with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado, you not only face penalties via the criminal court system, but you may also face administrative penalties through the Colorado the Division of Motor Vehicles. These two legal hearings are separate and the outcome of one does not affect the outcome of the other. For example, you could be found not guilty of the criminal charges, but still lose your license in the administrative hearing. A skilled criminal lawyer Denver CO residents turn to can represent you during both these processes.
If you are found guilty of having a BAC of more than .08% and it is your first offense, then you could lose your license for nine months. If it is your second offense, you could lose your license for 12 months. A third or subsequent offense means loss of license for 24 months. If it your second DWAI, you could lose your license for 12 months. If it your third, loss of license is for 24 months. In addition to loss of license, your criminal lawyer in Denver CO can explain how the DMV will also access points on your driving record. These can range anywhere from four to 12, depending on your past DUI or DWAI record.
A seasoned criminal lawyer Denver CO offers knows that under Colorado law, if you are convicted of DWAI first offense, you can be sentenced from two to 180 days in jail, receive a fine of between $200 to $500, and have to perform 24 to 48 hours of community service.
If you are convicted of your first DUI, then you can be sentenced from five days to one year in jail, receive a fine of between $600 to $1,000, and 48 to 96 hours of community service.
If you are convicted for a DWAI or DUI and have a prior conviction, then you can be sentenced from 10 days to one year in jail, receive a fine of between $600 to $1,500, and 48 to 120 hours of community service.
If you are convicted for a DWAI or DUI and have two prior convictions, then you can be sentenced from 60 days to one year in jail, receive a fine of between $600 to $1,500, and 48 to 120 hours of community service.
If you are convicted for a DWAI or DUI and have three prior convictions, then you can be sentenced from two to six years in prison, three years of parole, and 48 to 120 hours of community service.
What is life like after a DUI?
Going through the process of a DUI is stressful, time-consuming, shameful, and embarrassing- especially if it’s your first DUI offense. You’ve been arrested, charged with at least a misdemeanor, met with lawyers, and potentially sat through a trial. You’ve done any jail time, made it through your license suspension, paid the fines, and did any other punishments you were given. And now that the process is over, you are just ready to move on with your life. Unfortunately, because of the severity of a drunk driving charge, it tends to follow you after the court and legal process is over. In this article, we’ll walk through what life is like after a DUI.
A DUI can affect your insurance
After being found guilty of driving under the influence, you will be required to obtain liability insurance by the state. Your insurance company will be notified of the drunk driving charge and you can expect to pay a much higher premium due to the fact that you are now considered a high-risk driver. Sometimes, insurance companies can drop your policy and coverage completely, leaving you to search for new coverage with both a DUI and a canceled insurance policy on your hands. These high insurance premiums can last for years on your policy and as a result, can be much more expensive than the original fines paid for the DUI charge.
A DUI can impact your employment
If you are charged with a felony DUI, you will have to disclose this information to any future employer. In most states, employers are allowed to deny employment to people who have been convicted of a felony – including a DUI. If you already have a job at the time of the DUI, it can still have an impact on you. Employers are allowed to run background checks on their employees (new and current) for a variety of reasons. And if they run one on you after your DUI charge – depending upon your job and the state you live in could result in termination. For example, if you are convicted of a DUI you could lose any job that requires a commercial drivers license or is considered a professional driver.
Getting your DUI expunged
A DUI can not only impact your job or insurance but it could affect your credit, ability to rent an apartment, or even get a loan. It’s understandable to want this charge expunged, or removed from your record. How to get your DUI expunged varies from state to state and is mostly limited to first-time offenses. Some states allow you to file a petition after you’ve completed your punishment while other states only allow it if the charges were dropped. Expungement is up to the court to decide if they believe this charge is not a pattern of behavior and deserves to be removed from your record.
There are a lot of unintended consequences when it comes to a DUI charge. It can complicate your life in more ways than you imagined and the charge can follow you around for years. It’s important to know the breadth of the penalties you could face when determining how to plead or deal with a drunk driving charge.
What to Expect During Your First Consultation with a Criminal Lawyer Denver CO Clients Depend On
During your first meeting with a Denver criminal lawyer, he may need to ask you background information about your case. He may also ask you if you have previous DUI convictions on your record. It is important to answer each question truthfully. If you leave out important details, your lawyer may not be able to effectively help you.
If you have questions you’d like to ask a criminal lawyer Denver CO depends on, do not be afraid to voice them. For example, you may want to find out if you have a good shot at winning your case and how long the entire legal process will take.
If you are searching for a criminal lawyer Denver CO offers, contact the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C.at 720-704-0010 to request a free consultation.