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Denver DUI & DWAI Attorney

Pulled over and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance? Now what? You will be faced with many decisions in the hours and days after your arrest. Do you agree to the blood or breath test? What about the field sobriety test? Do you understand the consequences if you refuse?

And what about the automatic driver’s license suspension? Individuals charged with drunk driving (DUI/DWAI) usually have many questions as this is often their first encounter with the criminal justice system.

Make no mistake — the DUI lawyer you hire to protect your rights will be one of the most important decisions you will make as your case progresses.

DUI defense is a complex area of the law. Working to get charges dismissed or reduced requires understanding how prosecutors handle these cases. With more than 40 years of experience, James L. Finegan won’t miss the minor details that could be overlooked. Call him today at (303) 980-5511 for an aggressive defense. The firm defends clients against DUI charges in metro Denver and throughout Jefferson County.

Driver’s License & DUI In Colorado

When you are charged with DUI, you are actually facing two separate legal problems: Losing your driver’s license and the criminal charge. Following a DUI, your driver’s license is immediately at jeopardy. You have just seven days to request a hearing at the local Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to fight against revocation.

James L. Finegan will begin working on your case immediately. He will attend the hearing with the appropriate administrative law officer and present arguments on your behalf. The DMV hearing is often a good opportunity to begin laying the groundwork for an effective defense and can even result in the case being dismissed, if the police and prosecutor lack strong evidence.

What Are The Penalties For a DUI In Colorado?

Colorado DUI penalties are harsh and meant to make sure drivers do not get charged again. Penalties vary according to the number of previous offenses, the level of alcohol in your bloodstream, your age, whether a previous offense was for DUI or for DWAI, whether someone was injured or killed, and whether there was a child in the car. This makes it impossible to predict in detail the exact penalties. Every case is different but can include:

  • Court costs and fines into the thousands
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Loss of driving privileges and long-term driver’s license revocation
  • Jail time ranging from a few days to over a year in prison
  • Increased insurance rates or cancellation of insurance
  • 12 license points for DUI counted against your license
  • Additional charges for other traffic violations

Alcohol treatment programs may also be ordered as well as public service time and loss of employment opportunities. If you are a habitual offender or repeat offender, you may even face felony charges.

Courts do have the ability to decide the exact penalties in your specific case. That is why it is so important to have a strong advocate at your side.

Denver DUI attorney James L. Finegan is often able to reduce the length of a jail sentence, the number of community service hours required and the amount of any fines.

What Is a DWAI in Colorado?

In the United States, a court may convict individuals of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge at or above .08% BAC. Colorado’s individual laws prove stricter. If you blow over under .08% and above .05%, a court may convict you of being illegally impaired behind the wheel.

Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges bring consequences similar to DUI charges. If convicted, a misdemeanor will land on your record, and you may face significant fines and license suspension. DWAI charges fall the same category as DUI charges, so multiple offenses could mean a revoked license and jailtime.

What Penalties Exist If I Blow Under a .08%  on a Breathalyzer in Colorado?

If an officer pulls you over for suspicion of driving while drunk, he or she may arrest you even though you may breathalyze less than .08% BAC (the federal legal limit of bodily alcohol content to drive). A court may convict you, and you may face serious consequences. Understanding the details of specific laws for your state arms you with the knowledge in avoiding all charges.

Nearly 60 people are arrested daily for impaired driving in Colorado. Depending on gender and body type, your alcohol level may significantly increase after only one or two drinks.

An adult weighing approximately 160 pounds may blow over .05% after only two or three drinks. Other factors of blowing higher BAC levels include:

  • Whether you consumed food
  • How many hours you have drank
  • The specific alcohol content of each drink
  • The vehicle operator’s age

Because of your inability to know how alcohol will affect you based on these circumstances, it proves critical to avoid operating a vehicle after multiple drinks in Colorado. Should you be charged with a DWAI, seeking aid from an experienced DWAI attorney in Denver, CO can help reduce charges defendants are facing.

What Are Different Types of DUIs in Colorado?

Many people accept a guilty plea to DUI charges without understanding the full consequences of a conviction. If you have already agreed to accept a plea arrangement, there may be circumstances that can help you get the charge or the penalties reduced. Perhaps the police did not fully explain your rights, or you may not have fully understood the extent of the charges. It makes sense to talk to an experienced DUI attorney to make sure your rights — and your future — are fully protected.

Attorney James L. Finegan offers assistance to those charged with even the most complex and stringent DUI charges, including:

  • Underage DUIs: These charges are serious, as the law does not tolerate underage drinking, and especially drinking and driving. Even a small amount of alcohol could get you a criminal record. We help minimize the damage to your future.
  • First-offense DUIs: DUI charges are serious, regardless of whether or not this is your first charge. However, because you are not a repeat offender, it may be possible to secure a beneficial arrangement or get the charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Repeat offense DUIs: No matter how many DUIs you may have faced in the past, we can still secure you a favorable outcome. It may be tempting to think there is nothing you can do, but we can advocate and negotiate alternative penalties.
  • Felony DUIs: Drivers facing a fourth or subsequent offense are potentially facing felony charges, which include prison time. We can help.
  • Commercial driver DUIs: Whether your DUI charge was garnered while working on the job or driving your personal vehicle, your livelihood could be at stake if your license permissions are revoked or rescinded. Attorney James L. Finegan can help mitigate the charges.
  • Drug-related DUIs: Even without a BAC, you could be charged with a DUID if you were under the influence of a narcotic or even prescription drugs that caused unsafe or erratic driving. Mr. Finegan also handles other drug-related crimes and can help with this charge as well.
  • Associated charges: Charges including speeding, reckless driving, vehicular homicide, or running a red light may be associated with your DUI incident. Attorney James L. Finegan is prepared to handle all these and other criminal charges, as well.

Can I Get a DUID If The Drug Was a Prescription in Colorado?

The drug does not have to be an illegal narcotic. If a legal, prescription drug results in unsafe or erratic behavior behind the wheel, the driver may still face a DUID charge.

What Should I Do After a DUI Arrest in Colorado?

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI), make no further statements about the circumstances to anyone. Contact an experienced Denver DUI/DWAI defense lawyer immediately. It has happened, and you have to face up to it. The decisions you make soon after your DUI/DWAI arrest in Colorado could be critical for your freedom, finances and future. Fast action is essential — even though it may feel challenging right now — especially if your driver’s license is important to you.

Any charge of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) must be taken seriously. Denver DUI lawyer James L. Finegan will act quickly in your defense, handling DMV procedures to take your license that begins immediately and looking aggressively into your case. He is prepared to thoroughly evaluate your likelihood of success fighting the charge or to pursue consequences you can live with if the case against you is strong.

Contact Our Denver DUI & DWAI Lawyers

For more information about how attorney James L. Finegan can help protect your rights in the face of Colorado DWAI charges, call us at (303) 980-5511, or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.