Charges for driving under the influence stay on a driver’s record for a long time. So, getting one after years of a clean driving record means that the driver still potentially faces more severe penalties than the first time or second time, with the law outlining mandatory minimums on penalties.
The circumstances behind the charges will impact the penalties, such as high blood alcohol content (BAC), damage to property or causing injury to others. There may be administrative penalties that result in a longer license suspension. There also may be criminal penalties that could include severe felony charges and imprisonment, parole, substantial fines, required public service, and an addiction treatment program.
Addressing the issues
It is in the defendant’s best interests (and their dependents) to be proactive in addressing the charges. An attorney can help determine if law enforcement had probable cause for pulling over the driver. They can also help determine if law enforcement made errors when collecting evidence. The errors could lead to false allegations, which can mean reducing or dismissing the charges.
Reducing the pain
Criminal law often has mandatory minimums, but judges have a lot of leeway in determining penalties. Attorneys can strive to propose viable alternatives to long-term incarceration, including Community Corrections, treatment, and other penalties that enable the driver to continue to support their family and meaningfully contribute to society here in Colorado.
Time for an honest discussion
An attorney with experienced handling DUIs can be a tremendous help, whether through plea bargaining or negotiations for a sentencing alternative. Rather than concentrating on avoiding the charge altogether, it may be a matter of trying to find a solution that is acceptable to the judge while avoiding the harshest penalties.