Because a DUI conviction can have devastating consequences, your best DUI defense starts the moment you’re pulled over. Today our DUI defense attorney at the Iyer Law Office in Denver provides the insight you need to protect yourself from a wrongful DUI arrest and conviction. Of course, if you need help with an active situation, please contact us right away for your free case evaluation. With so much on the line, there’s no time for anything less than an aggressive and defense from an experienced DUI lawyer.
Why You Need a Denver DUI Defense Attorney
Here in Colorado, like many states, the penalties for a DUI conviction are multi-faceted, making it vital to have expert legal representation to provide you with the best DUI defense. Sentencing and fines will be imposed by a judge while the DMV will be in charge of suspending your driver’s license. No matter what, even a basic, first-time DUI (with no injuries or damages caused) can come with hefty consequences:
- 5 days or up to 1 year in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
- Driver’s license suspension of up to 9 months
- Up to 96 hours of community service
And that’s just the start. Once you get your license back, you may be subject to years of “high-risk” car insurance rates, possibly double or triple your current cost. The judge may require an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and that cost (around $2,000) will come out your pocket. The DUI conviction will also show up when a potential employer runs a background check, costing you gainful employment. It goes on and on, impacting all areas of your life, even personal and professional relationships.
If You Get Stopped for a Suspected DUI in Denver
Getting pulled over for any reason is a nerve-racking experience. With so much on the line, a DUI stop takes it to a whole different level. Let’s talk about what you need to do. As soon as you see lights come on behind you, try to remain calm. Find a safe spot and carefully pull off the road. Any erratic driving or slamming on the brakes will be noted by the officer and included in his or her report.
Once you’re safely off the road, turn off the car and set the emergency brake. Roll the window down far enough to communicate and pass documents, but not all the way down. Finally, place your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them when walking up from behind. You can turn on the interior lights as well if it’s dark out. All movements should be made slowly.
When talking to an officer, be polite but remember your rights. Your best DUI defense is to remain silent unless spoken to and keep answers brief. You can decline to answer potentially incriminating questions but never lie. You can remain silent or reply with, “I’m sorry officer, but I’ve been advised not to answer any questions.” This is easier said than done, just remember that they are noting what you say and how you say it. A nervous stutter or slurring of speech can be used against you later in court.
You can then legally refuse to take the preliminary breath test performed using a handheld breathalyzer device. They are notorious for unreliable results. You can also decline the field sobriety test. Again, this is not going to be easy to do. The officer will try to convince you otherwise, say it’s in your best interest to just go ahead and get it done so that you can be on your way. But legally, they have no recourse.
If You Get Arrested for a Suspected DUI in Denver
While you cannot be arrested for declining to answer questions or refusing to take the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, that’s not the end of the story. If you were swerving through traffic or show physical signs of intoxication, an officer may determine that they have sufficient evidence to arrest you.
As a licensed driver in the state of Colorado, you will then be obligated via “express consent” to take an evidentiary DUI breath test or DUI blood test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This is not optional and refusing to comply comes with very serious consequences – even if you are acquitted of all DUI charges. Here are the penalties:
- Automatic suspension of your driver’s license for one full year
- Identification as a PDD, persistent drunk driver, even for a first DUI arrest
- Requirement to attend a treatment/education program for drugs and alcohol
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for 1 year after license reinstated
- Requirement to carry expensive SR-22 insurance – even if found not guilty
In addition, this will affect your trial and undermine the best DUI defense your attorney can present to a judge. First and foremost, it’s seen as evidence of your guilt. Additionally, the district attorney (DA) may not offer a plea bargain and push for a harsher punishment. Even the judge may increase your penalties due to the refusal to cooperate. Your best bet is to submit to the evidentiary DUI breath test which has been known to produce unreliable results just like its handheld counterpart.
The Right Attorney for the Best DUI Defense
At the Iyer Law Office in Denver, our DUI lawyer will look at every possibility to determine the best DUI defense for your specific circumstances. Perhaps, you were improperly stopped without “reasonable suspicion” or have a medical condition that falsely creates the appearance of intoxication. Maybe, if you did consent to the field sobriety test, it was pouring rain which interfered with the heel-toe test. And maybe, the officer did not provide you with the Miranda warning when arresting you.
The list goes on, so remember – just because you’ve been arrested for a DUI after blowing a big number on the handheld breathalyzer doesn’t mean you’ve been convicted yet. Simply call the Iyer Law Office in Denver for a free case assessment by an experienced DUI attorney. We’ll provide a smart and relentless defense to fight for your rights and restore your good name.