No. In most situations the police need either your consent or a search warrant to enter your house. Most police officers will ask your permission to search because it saves them a great deal of hassle in getting a search warrant. The sufficiency of any search warrant can later be tested to see if it was properly obtained. However, if you give consent, any defects in procedure or evidence will probably not help your situation and the search will probably be allowed.
Motor vehicles are a slightly different matter. Usually the police will be able to search your car if you are being arrested. However, this usually does not include stops for speeding or other minor traffic violations.
If you are stopped by the police in your vehicle, you always have the right to say “No, you cannot search my car.” If the police have the legal right to search it, they will do so anyway. If they were wrong, anything they found cannot be used in court. Unfortunately, if you consent to the search, the items found will likely be used against you, even if they had no legal right to search.
Without your consent, private investigators and detectives cannot search your car or home.
It is frightening that the answer is YES. The police are allowed to tell you an outright lie in their attempt to get you to incriminate yourself. One of the most common lies is to say they have witnesses or other evidence when they do not, or to tell someone that their accomplices have already confessed so they should as well.
Probably. The police frequently use what is called a “pretext phone call” to try to get a confession over the phone. This usually occurs in alleged sexual assaults and consists of the alleged victim calling the alleged perpetrator and asking him to apologize or explain why he did something. Most of these phone calls are recorded and forwarded to the district attorney.
Depends on the cop. Many police officers are men and women of their word, but some are not. The best policy is to have an attorney negotiate with the police and the district attorney and get the agreement in writing. Many times the police exaggerate the trouble you are in or the evidence they really have.
Many people wind up getting strung along as the police keep asking for just one more piece of information and it never seems to reach a conclusion. An agreement should include exactly what benefit(s) you are to receive, what they are expecting, who it is they are trying to arrest, and how long or how many times must you assist. These things should be explored before putting yourself at risk as an informer.
Not necessarily. It really depends upon the level of violation and the charge itself. Many have accepted an unfair plea simply because they were promised that they would not get jail time. A number of these people probably had little or no risk of actually serving a jail sentence even if they went to trial and lost.
Most people who get misdemeanor charges do not go to jail on their first offense. In most cases this is because the district attorney could not get the judge to give a jail sentence to a first-time offender. For example, a class one misdemeanor, such as 3rd degree assault, is punishable by 6 months to 24 months in jail. However, the judge may and usually does suspend all or some of that jail time. It is best to have one of our attorneys look at your case to determine what a reasonable offer from the district attorney might be.
Individuals who are charged with felonies are looking at penalties ranging from 1 year to the rest of their life in prison. Again, in many cases it is possible and sometimes likely that the judge will forego any prison time in favor of probation. Further, many felony cases can be reduced to misdemeanors, or you may receive a deferred sentence (an agreement to stay out of trouble and comply with other specified conditions in return for a dismissal of the case). Additionally, the law and facts sometimes warrant that a case be totally dismissed.
Each case is different and you should have one of our attorneys review your situation before accepting any disposition to your case. Some criminal charges such as driving under restraint or suspension, sexual assaults, and statutory crimes of violence have mandatory jail or prison sentences. Information is power and to make an informed decision in your case you should consult one of our attorneys for a free initial consultation.
It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as you are charged with any crime. There are time limits and rules that must be followed to make sure that every opportunity to challenge and investigate the case against you is undertaken.
Probably. Most people charged with a crime in Colorado are entitled to have a reasonable bond set in their case. Felony cases usually have bonds ranging from $750 to $50,000. However, in very serious cases such as murder the bonds can be even higher. Misdemeanor cases usually have bonds ranging from $100 to $1,500.
To bond someone out of jail you must give the courts the amount of money equal to the bond. This money then serves as a guarantee that all court appearances will be made. Once the case is complete the money will be returned to the person who posted the bond. In serious cases it may be impossible for you to post the entire bond amount.
If you are unable to post a cash bond in the amount needed you can consult a professional bail bondsman. These companies will charge you a premium of usually 10-15 % to bond a person out of jail. This money is their fee and you will not receive any of that money back once the case is complete. Depending on the amount of the bond and the nature of the case, the bondsman might ask for some form of collateral on the bond (often it is a lien on your house or property).
Bondsmen do not represent you in a criminal case. They are not advocates, nor can they give you legal advice on your case. It is illegal for a bondsman to refer you to an attorney. One reason it is illegal for a bondsman to refer you to an attorney is that the bondsman may decide to revoke your bond at a later date and if you are using the lawyer he suggested it might be that your lawyer has a relationship with the bondsman. This means the attorney may have a conflict of interest and could not adequately be fair to you and the bondsman. It is better for you to have an attorney who is independent and does not owe any loyalty to your bondsman.
Drug cases often involve the search and seizure of private property. Many times the police try to build a case involving simple possession into something much more serious such as distribution, intent to sell, trafficking, and more. They will do this by searching for additional evidence past what they find either on you or at the scene. The police can search your car, your home, your work, and anywhere else they believe is connected with the crime. They may take your car, money they found on you, things in your home, and whatever they think was involved in the crime or bought with drug money.
Unfortunately, no. Police are only required to read you those Miranda warnings if you are placed in custody and then interrogated. Sometimes this does occur during the course of an investigation, but not always. Each case is different and must be evaluated individually. However, remember that even if the police don’t tell you specifically, you do have the right to remain silent.
You have the right to remain silent. Even if you feel like you were in the right, you do not have to give a statement. Often, the Police are unsure of whether a crime has been committed, are do not have the necessary evidence to charge someone if the parties do not give statements. If you are unsure of what to do, the best choice is often to invoke your 5th amendment rights and remain silent.
Unfortunately the answer is usually no. Police are only required to read you those Miranda warnings if you are placed in custody and then interrogated. Sometimes this does occur during the course of a DUI investigation, but usually it does not. Each case is different and must be evaluated individually. However, remember that even if the police don’t tell you specifically, you do have the right to remain silent.
No you don’t. Those roadside maneuvers or field sobriety tests, as they are called by police, are voluntary. You have the absolute right to decline to participate. The officer is entitled to ask and it is not uncommon for it to sound like an order, not a request, but you may absolutely refuseto take those tests.
One additional test that is often offered is the Portable Breath Test (PBT).
The PBT is also voluntary, and its results cannot be used in court against you.
No you don’t. However, if you refuse to take a chemical test your license is likely to be revoked for 1 year on a first refusal, 2 years on a second refusal, and 3 years on a third refusal. If you take a blood or a breath test and the test result is above .08, your license could be revoked for 9 months if this is the first time your license is revoked for excessive alcohol content. There is a provision for early reinstatement with an interlock device after 1 month of no driving. If your license has been revoked for having a prior excessive alcohol content, your driving privileges will be revoked for 1 year. If your license has been revoked for having 2 prior excessive alcohol contents, your driving privileges will be revoked for 2 years. If you have more than one revocation for an excessive alcohol content, you may also be eligible for an early reinstatement of your driver’s license if you install an ignition interlock in your car. No matter whether you took a test or refused you are entitled to request a hearing to determine if the state has a right to revoke your license. You are allowed to maintain your driving privilege until the date of that hearing.
A Department of Motor Vehicle administrative hearing will be held if your test result is .08 or over (.02 if you are under 21 years of age) or if you refused to take a chemical test. On first offenses the DMV will revoke your license for 9 months. You are eligible to reinstate after 1 month of no driving if you install an interlock device in your car. If you install the interlock, there are no limitations on where or when you can drive. There are provisions which may allow the interlock device to be removed early. If your license has been revoked on a prior offense in which you submitted to a chemical test, your driving privileges will be revoked for 1 year. If your license has been revoked on 2 prior offenses in which you submitted to a chemical test, your driving privileges will be revoked for 2 years. If you refused to take a chemical test and lose the hearing then your license will be revoked for 1 year on a first offense refusal, 2 years on a second refusal, and 3 years on a third refusal. You may also be eligible for early reinstatement if you install an interlock device in your car.
The courthouse is the second place your license is in jeopardy. In Colorado a driver aged 21 or over has 12 points in any one-year period. If you plead guilty to DUI, the period of suspension is 9 months. If your license was revoked for excess alcohol (BAC above .08), the revocations will run concurrently and the DMV will not suspend your license for any more time. DMV proceedings and court proceedings are hardly related at all. It is entirely possible to lose at DMV and not be convicted in court or vice versa.
People who have been previously convicted of DUI, DWAI or have been revoked by DMV in the past or revoked for an alleged refusal are subject to various rules regarding length of revocations and early reinstatement. The changes in Colorado DUI laws have made license issues very complicated. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as you are charged or aware that there may be a problem. Our office offers a free initial consultation so don’t hesitate to call us.
If you refused the test or if you submitted to a breath test with a result at or above the limits stated above, you should have been served with a notice of revocation. This notice gives you 7 days to request a hearing. You can request a hearing at most DMV offices by simply walking in with the notice of revocation and your driver’s license. They will take your driver’s license if the cop has not already done so and issue you a temporary permit that is valid for up to 60 days or until you have your DMV hearing (which is usually at least a month after your request).
If you chose a blood test you will be notified by mail if your test was at or in excess of the limit. If you receive such a notice look carefully at the notice as it will indicate how long you have to request your hearing.
You will also have to determine if you want to have the officer show up at the DMV hearing. If the police officer is requested to show up and fails to do so your license will usually be returned and the DMV case will be dismissed. There are times and situations where it is more advantageous to not have the police officer show at the DMV. Perhaps crucial information is missing from his report and his showing up will only allow him to rectify the situation. We recommend that you contact our attorneys immediately after you have been charged and prior to requesting a DMV hearing even in the case of blood tests where results are not immediately available.
If you are revoked, you are generally not eligible for a work license or any other driving privilege unless you are eligible for a restricted interlock driver’s license. In some situations, you may be able to reinstate early. A suspension usually results from getting too many points and you are usually eligible for limited driving privileges for work, school and medical purposes if approved by the DMV.
If you driver’s license is revoked for excess alcohol, you may apply for early reinstatement after 1 month of no driving. However, you will have to install an interlock device in your car for 8 months. You can apply to remove the interlock early if you have 4 straight months without any problems, and your BAC was below .15. If your license is revoked for some other reason, the law often does not allow for restricted licenses to drive to work or school. A person under revocation for more than one year because of alcohol offenses may be eligible to apply for the Early Reinstatement Program. However, eligibility is very dependent on individual circumstances. Early Reinstatement requires placing an ignition interlock device in your car that requires you to breath into it before the car will operate to make sure you have not ingested any alcohol. You have to pay installation and monitoring costs.
Persons who are suspended because they have too many points over a particular time frame, but who are not currently under revocation by DMV may be eligible for a probationary (restricted) license that allows driving for specified work, school, medical, or other purposes.
Depends on your age. If you are age 16-17 you are subject to suspension if you accumulate 6 points or more during any 12-month period or 7 points or more for the duration of your license. If you are 18-20 you are subject to suspension if you accumulate 9 points or more in any 12-month period, 12 points or more during any 24-month period or 14 points or more for the period of the license. If you are 21 or older you are subject to suspension if you accumulate 12 points or more in any 12-month period or 18 points or more over any 24-month period. However, for people under 21 years of age any drunk driving conviction, regardless of the number of points, results in a one-year revocation.
It can be difficult to determine if you are in danger of losing your license. Remember that points are figured based on date(s) of violation(s), not the day you pay the fine or show up in court and plead guilty. It is also based on the age you were on the date(s) of violation(s). You can go to DMV and request a copy of your DMV record and try to figure it out yourself. If you have any doubt or uncertainty contact us, and one of our experienced attorneys will review your record and help you to understand it and minimize the effects of any new offense.
Be careful. If you plead guilty to a traffic related violation that occurred while you were under Revocation/Denial/Suspension, the DMV is likely to once again revoke or suspend your driving privilege. Contact us to determine if the offer you are contemplating is a good one in your situation or to see if it can be improved.
The district attorney is likely to indicate to you that you are facing mandatory jail when charged with Driving Under Revocation/Suspension/Denial (mandatory 30 days jail for alcohol related revocations). Faced with these startling possibilities it is easy to understand why any offer not involving jail would sound good. However, accepting the wrong disposition can lead to once again losing your license. Contact us and we can discuss those issues and any possible defenses you may have.
Some Colorado statutes indicate that jail is mandatory in certain situations. For instance, if you are convicted of DUI or DWAI and have a prior conviction for an alcohol driving offense, you could be facing a sentence of a minimum 10 days up to 60 days, or having felony charges filed. Also, for first offenders where the breath or blood test is .20 or higher within 2 hours of driving, you will also face a mandatory sentence of 10 days. Every case has its own facts and circumstances and there are numerous ways to try and avoid or minimize jail! Also, jail alternatives are often available. There are many factors to consider and you should discuss all the possibilities and probabilities with an experienced lawyer.
An interlock device on your car requires you to breath into it before the car will operate to make sure you have not ingested any alcohol. You have to pay installation and monitoring costs. The interlock must be installed on any car you drive or own. If you are caught driving a car that does not have the interlock, you may be charged with a new offense. If your interlock device detects alcohol, your car won’t start, and it will be reported to the DMV as a violation. These violations can lead to various penalties with the DMV. There are different interlock devices on the market and some clients have experienced problems with some of the units. Our attorneys can help advise you on how to deal with this situation if you are ordered to have an interlock installed in your car.
If you are a driver from another state, you are subject to the same laws and penalties as a Colorado-licensed driver. This also applies to the Colorado express consent laws. That means that as a condition of driving in Colorado, you agree to chemical testing if you are stopped by law enforcement. If you refuse a test, your driver’s license will most likely be revoked for one year. Even though you are not a Colorado citizen, this revocation can affect your driving privileges in your home state as well. We represent out-of-state drivers charged with DUI here in Colorado, and we can help you with DMV issues that arise from you refusing a chemical test. Depending on the county in which you were charged, we can often resolve the situation for out of state clients without them having to return to Colorado.
If you seriously injure someone while you are driving drunk, you may be charged with vehicular assault. This is a Class 4 felony with a potential prison sentence of four to 12 years. If you kill someone while driving under the influence, you could be charged with vehicular homicide, a Class 3 felony, punishable by prison time. When we defend a vehicular assault case, we get to work quickly to build a strong case. It is important to investigate the accident thoroughly. To do this, we may hire an accident reconstruction expert to interpret and analyze the evidence in your case. We go to the scene, interview witnesses, aggressively litigate motion issues, and whatever else is needed to build the strongest defense possible. Your very future and your freedom are at stake, and our attorneys take our DUI and DWI defense work very seriously. Our goal is to get the charges reduced, dismissed, or if necessary, take your case to trial.
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