You may believe a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) charge is minor as it’s charged as a misdemeanor in the state of Colorado. However, it’s important you don’t underestimate the consequences of a first DUI in the state of Colorado. The penalties for DUI, even a first-time one, includes jail time, court fines, a license suspension, and even the installation of an ignition interlock device. Not to mention the collateral consequences a first DUI can have on your career, personal life, and future goals.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI or DWAI for the first time, get in contact with an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney today. An attorney with extensive DUI practice can explain to you all your legal options and then guide you through the judiciary system so you face minimal penalties. Find out what you can do to protect your rights and future by calling a knowledgeable first-time DUI attorney in Denver today.
First Offense DUI Attorney in Denver, Colorado
The penalties for DUI are too steep to settle for a court-appointed lawyer. If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence for the first time, we recommend you call Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Attorney Matthew Martin can investigate every aspect of your case and collect evidence that undermines the prosecution’s case. He can then put his litigation skills to work in the courtroom advocating for your rights.
Call us now at (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area including nearby counties such as Boulder County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Broomfield County, Arapahoe County, and Adams County.
- What Happens When You Get Your First DUI in Colorado?
- Can You Lose Your License on Your First DUI Charge?
- Should I Get a Lawyer for My First DUI?
- Additional Resources
What Happens When You Get Your First DUI in Colorado?
If you’re convicted of DUI for the first time, then you’ll face a misdemeanor. The exact penalties of the crime will depend on whether you were charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired from a controlled substance (DWAI). A first-time DUI or DUI per se can result in the following penalties:
- Between 5 days to 1 year in jail
- A fine of $600 to $1,000
- 48 to 96 hours of community service
- A 9-month license suspension.
The penalties for DWAI are not as harsh as DUI, but still could impact your life. Listed below are the penalties for DWAI in Colorado.
- Two to 180 days in jail
- A fine between $200 and $500
- 24 to 48 hours of community service
Underaged drivers will also face penalties if they are caught driving under the influence. They also have a much lighter legal limit of .02 BAC. The penalties for a first UDD (underaged driver) charged as Class A traffic infraction include:
- $150 in fines
- 24 hours of community service
- 3-month license suspension
- 4 DMV points.
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.15% or higher, then you will be designated as a “persistent drunk driver (PDD)” with enhanced sanctions that apply to repeat-DUI offenders. Some of these include an alcohol education class, alcohol treatment, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Can You Lose Your License on the First DUI Charge?
Even for a first-time DUI, the arresting officer can trigger a 9-month administrative license suspension imposed by the DMV. But if you act quickly after the arrest, your attorney can help you demand a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension.
At the DMV hearing, your attorney can obtain documents and question witnesses even before the prosecutor gets the file in the criminal case. That information from the DMV hearing can later be used to fight your criminal case in court or impeach witnesses at trial.
If you win the DMV hearing, then the suspension is invalidated or set aside. Even if you don’t win the hearing for a first offense, you can often resume driving after 30 days if you install an ignition interlock device (IID). After using the ignition interlock device for four (4) months, then your full driving privileges can be reinstated.
A DWAI charge does not carry a license suspension. But if you refuse to take a lawfully requested breath or blood test for a first violation, then you will face a twelve (12) month suspension. A 3-month suspension might be imposed for a first violation when any driver under the age of 21 years old accused of “underage drinking and driving” (UDD).
Should I Get a Lawyer for My First DUI?
After a DUI arrest, an attorney can help you determine whether the officer had a valid basis for conducting the stop of you or your vehicle. For these reasons, it’s best you hire an attorney for your first-time DUI. An attorney understands the in-depth procedures law enforcement must follow and can use that knowledge to build you a formidable defense.
For instance, the officer needs a legal basis to continue the detention and request that you submit to field sobriety testing. To make a DUI arrest, the officer needs probable cause that the crime was committed. The officer must comply with their standard operating procedures at each stage of the investigation.
If the officer asked for a breath or blood test and your BAC was over the legal limit, then your attorney must determine if there is any way to get the BAC test result excluded from the trial.
Colorado has strict rules regarding how the machines must be maintained, inspected, and calibrated. To get the result excluded, an attorney at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. can look at the maintenance history of the breathalyzer to determine if the rules were followed.
In blood test cases, your attorney might be able to use an expert witness to show problems with the way the sample was analyzed or conduct an independent analysis of the blood sample. If errors are found, then a motion to suppress the results can be filed and litigated.
Drunk Driving Laws in CO | Colorado Revised Statutes– Visit the official website for the Colorado General Assembly to read up on the legislation pertaining to DUI and DWAI in Colorado. Access the site to learn about how DUI and DWAI is defined, what happens if you refuse a BAC test, penalties for a first DUI, and what factors may enhance sentencing.
DUI DMV Hearing Process | CDOR – Visit the official website for the Colorado Department of Revenue: Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to learn more about the administrative hearing for a license suspension in detail. Access the site to look at a flow chart showing the administrative process step by step, how to request a hearing, and other relative information.
DUI Attorney for First-Time Offense in Denver, Colorado
If you or someone you love has been arrested for a first-time DUI, it’s within your best interest to gain legal representation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Attorney Matthew Martin has over 22 years of DUI trial experience that he can utilize for your case. His in-depth knowledge of BAC testing, police procedures, and criminal law can serve as your greatest asset in the courtroom.
Set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. by calling our offices at (303) 725-0017. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. has locations in Denver, but opens its doors to people in other counties including Douglas County, Jefferson County, Boulder County, Broomfield County, Arapahoe County, and Adams County.