DUI Defense Lawyer Summit County, CO
While most people who get into law enforcement probably have the best of intentions, a DUI defense lawyer Summit County, CO at Zweig Law, PC knows there are some that don’t. Some officers may intentionally act unlawfully during a DUI arrest because they think they are above the law. Or, an officer who is new to the force may not have been properly trained, and thus conducted a DUI arrest inaccurately. When meeting with a Colorado DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, the accused may ask questions similar to the following:
What if the officer didn’t abide by sobriety test protocols?
Field sobriety tests (FSTs) must be given in a fair and accurate manner. An officer who requires the driver to take a field test in an unreasonable way or environment, may result in the case being tossed out altogether. Field sobriety tests aren’t required of the driver and it is isn’t actually proof of being under the influence. Instead, field sobriety tests are used as indicators of evidence that suggests perhaps the driver has a blood alcohol count (BAC) above the legal limit.
However, tests like urine, blood, or breath are required and if the driver declines these tests then they may lose their license for up to one year no matter what the outcome of the DUI case is. An officer who has swayed from the sobriety test protocols in any way may cause the case to be dropped.
What if I think I was illegally stopped by the arresting officer?
A CO DUI defense lawyer in Summit County has heard about the ways that police officers can get ahead of themselves in an effort to make an arrest. They may conjure a lie that they saw the driver operating the vehicle erratically when it isn’t really true, just to have a reasonable explanation for pulling them over. An officer cannot halt a driver simply based on a gut feeling. The driver must have been violating traffic laws by:
- Running a stop sign or traffic light
- Swerving across multiple lanes
- Driving so slow that it endangers other drivers
- Braking and accelerating abruptly
- Hitting another car, property, or object
- Almost getting into an accident
- Illegally changing lanes
The officer was aggressive with me, does that help my case?
If the officer who arrested you was being inappropriate, aggressive, or unlawful in communicating with you, then you will want to share this with the Summit County DUI defense lawyer who is representing your case. Officers are required to conduct themselves in a way that is respectful and calm. An officer may need to be verbally or physically firm during the arrest, particularly in the event of resistance, but not anything which violates that driver’s rights.
What if the officer interrogated me but didn’t read me my rights until after?
From the beginning of an interrogation, an officer must have read the driver his or her Miranda rights before asking questions. The driver must be informed that he or she can remain silent and has a right to seek an attorney. If the rights are not technically issued, then any evidence obtained during the conversation may be thrown out of the case.
If you were recently arrested for a DUI, then please contact a DUI defense lawyer in Colorado at Zweig Law, PC today for a no-obligation case evaluation.
What Happens if this is My Third DUI Offense?
A DUI conviction is considered to be a serious offense that can have devastating consequences on your life now and into the future. Yet, while the maximum penalties for a first time DUI offense can be up to one year in jail, it is very rare for the offender to receive this type of punishment. Rather, they may lose their license for a short time, have to pay a fine, and be ordered to attend counseling. That being said, repeat offenses do not often get the same treatment.
The court tends to view repeat offenders as those who may pose a high risk to themselves and other drivers on the road. If you have had more than one DUI conviction, it is important you call a Summit County DUI defense lawyer right away.
Penalties for a Third Offense
In all states driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more will be enough to charge you with a DUI. In certain cases, the driver can be charged with a DUI for a lower BAC amount. The first DUI offense is typically punishable by a fine, a maximum jail time of one year, and a license suspension. A second DUI offense may have the same penalties as the first offense, but with greater amounts, as well as, mandatory counseling or treatment. A third offense can vary by state but may carry a sentence of incarceration in prison, a fine up to $10,000, up to 12 points on a license, a driver’s license revocation, community service, alcohol or drug treatment, a mandatory interlock ignition device at the drivers expense, probation, high-risk insurance, and more. As you might see, the penalties for a third DUI offense are not to be taken lightly. It is important to find a DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, Colorado for repeat DUI offenses who may be able to help you to reduce the maximum penalties.
Defending a Multiple Offense DUI Case
When you hire a DUI defense lawyer Summit County, Colorado has to offer, such as Zweig Law, PC, he or she may put aside the fact that there have been prior DUIs, and rather focus on the laws, the setup of what the officer saw, and how everything was processed. If a lawyer can show any reasonable doubt or some sort of violation in regards to your rights or the procedure, they may be able to win your case.
Helping a Friend Who Has Been Arrested for a DUI
If your friend or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI and are in jail, you might be wondering how you can help them. Who should you call? What should you say to them (or not say)? In a moment like this, it can be difficult not to panic. As a DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, CO, we have outlined some steps that you can take to comfort your friend and help the situation as a whole.
If you are present at the time of your arrest, or are going to the police station, you should be polite and respectful to the police. Remember, police are public employees and it is your right to ask them questions as long as you are not preventing them from doing their job. Most officers will provide basic information as long as they are politely asked.
Confirm the Arrest
In order to help your friend, you should confirm their arrest. You can ask police if your friend is free to go, and if not, ask if they have been detained or arrested. If they have been arrested, you may ask why. You might even ask if the arrest was pursuant of a warrant and in what jurisdiction the warrant was issued. You can also ask police questions like:
- Is it possible to bail my friend out?
- What is the cost of the bond?
- What are the charges?
- Where will my friend be booked?
If your friend has a DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, CO, this step can be taken by the lawyer. However, if you are trying to gather information before you call a Summit County, Colorado DUI defense lawyer, you should consider the following:
- Get the name of the arresting agency and arresting officers
- Write down the time and date of the arrest
- You may need these facts in future court motions, especially if you plan to challenge the arrest.
Support Your Friend
After your friend has been arrested, it is not the time to criticize them for what happened. Rather, you should try to help them. If you can speak with them before they are taken to jail, let them know not to answer any questions beyond standard booking questions such as “What is your full name?” Reassure them that you are doing what you can and a DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, CO will be helping them. Be sure you remain available and keep your phone on and nearby.
Calling from Jail
If your friend calls from jail, you should avoid asking any questions about what happened. If your friend starts to talk about what happened, or is saying things that might incriminate them, you should tell them to stop immediately. In general, all phone calls are recorded. The prosecutor will very likely get a copy of this recording. You can ask them things like where they are being held, how they are doing, or other basic questions.
If you need a DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, call Zweig Law, PC for honest, knowledgeable, and tenacious legal representation.
The DUI Laws Used To File Charges
Most people never really stop and think about the DUI laws. However, the most serious crime that the average person may ever be accused of is a DUI. The average person will never be a suspect in a murder case, but having a little too much to drink and getting behind the wheel is a very real possibility. To protect yourself, you should know exactly what the DUI laws are so you can be perfectly certain that you never break them. Driving while impaired is incredibly dangerous and the obligation to never drive while drunk should be taken seriously by every citizen.
The DUI Laws
There are two laws that govern impaired driving. These two laws together cover all possible situations, so no one who drives while drunk or otherwise impaired get off through a loophole. A DUI defense lawyer in Summit County knows that the two laws state that it is illegal to drive when:
- Your blood alcohol content level is at or above 0.08
- You are too drunk to drive safely
The first of these two laws is objective in nature. The legal limit of 0.08 is spelled out clearly so there is no question whether someone has exceeded it. This law can result in a DUI, simple DUI, or aggravated DUI. The exact name for this kind of charge largely depends on the state you live in.
The second of the two DUI laws is subjective in nature. It may not sound fair for the law to be subjective at first, but there is a very good reason for it here. Alcohol affects each person differently. It is possible to be too drunk to drive safely while having a blood alcohol content level within the legal limits. In this situation, the police would be powerless to arrest someone. The subjectivity of this second law provides flexibility to adapt to each unique situation. The arresting police officer is the one who has to decide whether someone is impaired to the point of it being unsafe.
This also allows arrests to be made for cases with non-alcohol, mind-altering substances without specifying the particular drug or the difficult-to-quantify level of high. This law can result in a “per se” DUI or DWI. Finally, it is entirely possible for charges under both laws to simultaneously be brought against one driver. This is commonly done to double the chances of a conviction being made. If you have any other questions or have recently been accused of a DUI, speak with an attorney immediately.
Call a Summit County, CO DUI Defense Lawyer Now
If you have been arrested and charged with a third DUI, you are advised to turn to an experienced DUI defense lawyer for help. The right lawyer can begin to craft a strong defense that supports you and gathers important evidence that helps your case. Let us investigate your situation and help to determine a defense that supports your rights and freedoms. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may challenge:
- Whether the initial stop was legal
- Whether the arrest was legal
- Any evidence that arose from an illegal stop or search
- The reliability of breathalyzer test
For optimal legal defense by an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Summit County, CO, please call Zweig Law, PC.