Getting charged with a DUI / DWAI can be a frightening experience. Don’t try to resolve this complex issue on your own. Let Cabral Law Firm look at the police reports, analyze the facts, the law, and determine the best possible outcome for your case.
The most frequently asked question that we receive is whether we accept payments. And yes, we do. We require at least half of the fee down and can accept payments on the other half. We also accept credit cards.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DUI / DWAI
I was just recently charged with a DUI what should I do?
The first thing to do is go to the DMV and request a hearing. In very small print on the paperwork given by the arresting officer is the notice that one has only “7 days” to request a hearing before the Department of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends the driver’s license. Read below to see how long your license can be suspended.
What is the difference between a DUI and a DWAI?
The simple answer: the effect that alcohol had on your ability to drive—substantial or slight. For more detail, see below.
This is my first offense. Do I really need a lawyer?
The simple answer is absolutely. After all an attorney, especially an experienced and practiced attorney, can look at the police reports and analyze the facts, the law, and determine the best possible outcome in mere minutes. An attorney is more like a guide who is there to walk you through the steps of the legal process. Just as you may think twice about trying to handle rafting rapids, fly fishing, or even a safari, one should consider the dangers of walking through the legal system without a guide and the advantages of having a guide. An attorney in this area of the law is likely to have an established relationship with the District Attorney, the Judge, and even the Judge’s clerk. These relationships can only help your case and avoid any unnecessary waste of your time, in addition to ensuring that you are treated with respect.
Be careful of advice that you receive from non-attorneys. There are many stories and rumors as to how cases have been won or lost. Some of the stories are true, but sadly many more are not. So lets clear up how a first time offense should be handled legally.
Once the ticket is received, besides requesting a hearing at the DMV and requesting the officer’s presence for such, one should request the “discovery” (defined below) and read the police reports in order to look for any Constitutional violations. In this day and age, it is rare that the police officers violate anyone’s rights in a DUI case, (or at least it is rare that the officer would put it down in his report). The next step is to find out what the level of alcohol of the driver. Typically, the DA’s office will offer a first offender whose alcohol level is below a .150 (this number varies by jurisdiction), a DWAI with probation. Many times this is the best offer that can be made in a case. However there are many exceptions especially if the person charged is underage or has a CDL or there just isn’t enough evidence to go forward. These are the type of cases that where it is especially important that you have a good attorney on your side.
Even if you receive an offer of DWAI with probation, an attorney can aid at sentencing with communicating with the judge reasons why you should receive a lighter sentence or suspending of the fines, as well as assisting you with being prepared for sentencing. The end result can save hundreds of dollars in fines and costs as well as saving many hours of classes and community service depending on the circumstance.
DUI or Driving Under the Influence means driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantiallyincapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. (Quoted from Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-1301 (f)).
Level of alcohol in your system associated with this charge: .080 or higher BAC (within 2 hrs of driving).
However, if the blood alcohol level is OVER a .200 BAC within 2 hours of driving, there is a minimum sentence of ten (10) days jail, otherwise there is a minimum five (5) days.
This charge carries twelve (12) points. Read below to see how the points will affect your license.
DWAI or Driving While Ability Impaired means driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to the slightest degree so that the person is less able than the person ordinarily would have been, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. (Quoted from Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-1301 (g)).
Level of alcohol in your system associated with this charge: .050 or higher BAC (within 2 hrs of driving).
This charge carries eight (8) points. Read below to see how the points will affect your license.
How long will my license be suspended?
The DMV must find that you were driving and had at least a .08 alcohol level in either your blood or breath before they make any findings regarding a suspension of your license. This is where having an attorney is an extreme advantage as the attorney can argue Constitutional grounds for not suspending the license and has a chance to cross examine the police officer involved in the incident as practice for any hearings in the Criminal Court Case.
If the DMV makes such a finding that a person was driving with .08 or higher level of alcohol in their system, and this is the first offense in a lifetime, the DMV will suspend the driver’s license for nine (9) months. However, after one month, a person can request a restricted license for the remaining eight months if they have installed in their car the INTERLOCK system. This is called a “ Per Se” suspension.
If this is a second (or more) offense, then the DMV suspends the license of a full year without any chance of early reinstatement.
What happens to my license if I am convicted or plead guilty to the offense in court?
This is a great question that can be very complicated. The DMV has at its disposal many ways to suspend your license to drive, even if you have never had a license. One such was to suspend the license is detailed above at what is called a “Per Se” suspension. Another suspension is a points suspension. The rule is that anyone over the age of 21 is allowed to incur up to 12 points in any twelve month period, or 18 points in any 24 month time period. (See “Points Chart” below). However, there is an exception to this. If a person obtains 12 or more points as related to a single DUI charge, they will not be suspended for any further time period than they incurred for the “Per Se” suspension. Thus if one is suspended after a hearing at the DMV for driving with an alcohol level above .080 and then pleads guilty to DUI or is found guilty, and incurs 12 or more points for the DUI, (e.g. DUI (12points) + Weaving/ lane violation (3points) for a total of 15 points) the DMV will not suspend your license. HOWEVER, if you receive even a single point after that (e.g. speeding ticket pled down to a 1-point offense), will cause the license to be suspended for points for a period up to a year.
Once a person has the points listed below on their driving record, the DMV can suspend their license from 0-12 months, with the exception of the Minor Driver’s License. If a minor obtains more points than allowed for the entire period of their license, their license will be suspended for the entire period.