After a DUI arrest in Colorado, people will have to deal with two cases – a DMV administrative case (regarding their driving privileges) and a criminal court case (focused on determining whether the offense was committed and, if so, what the penalties should be).
These cases are very different, and they proceed along different timelines. Understanding what each entails, however, can provide some insight as to what people should do after a DUI arrest in order to bring their case to a favorable resolution.
The DMV DUI Administrative Case
Motorists must request a hearing with the Colorado DMV within 7 days of their DUI arrest. This hearing provides the people who accused of impaired driving with the opportunity to try to retain their driving privileges. It is less formal than a court hearing, but it can still be important to have an attorney’s representation for it because:
- The arresting officer(s) may appear at the hearing, providing an opportunity for cross examination.
- The determination of this hearing impacts whether motorists will lose their driving privileges.
If drivers fail to request this DMV hearing within 7 days of their DUI arrest (or if the DMV official does not decide in favor of the driver), a driver’s license suspension will go into effect.
The length of this suspension will depend on various factors, including (but not limited to) whether the driver submitted to chemical testing and whether the driver has prior refusals and/or DUI convictions.
The DUI Court Case
A Colorado DUI court case will typically start with an arraignment, which may be held approximately 30 to 60 days following the charges being filed (depending on whether misdemeanor or felony charges have been filed).
During the arraignment, the person accused of drunk driving will be notified of the charges filed against him or her, as well as his or her rights.
People who are represented by a lawyer may not have to appear at the arraignment. Following the arraignment, there is generally a(n):
- Pretrial meeting, where the defense meets with the prosecution to discuss the case. This can be a time when both sides discuss possibilities for plea deals.
- Additional hearing(s), which may occur if either party files motions to suppress evidence (for example)
- Trial, which will involve both sides presenting their evidence to a jury
- Sentencing, which will occur if the trial ends in a conviction or a plea deal is accepted before the end of the trial.
Keep in mind that the above is a general overview. For specifics pertaining to your case and situation, contact an experienced Broomfield DUI attorney at The Datz Law Firm.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that, after a DUI arrest in Colorado, there can be a lot at stake – and there can be a lot to do in order to resolve both of the cases you face. Having an experienced DUI lawyer on your side, protecting your rights and aggressively defending you, can be the key to favorable resolutions – and to putting both cases behind you.
Contact a Broomfield DUI Attorney at The Datz Law Firm
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI in Colorado? If so, a Broomfield DUI attorney at The Datz Law Firm is ready to provide you with superior defense representation.
To schedule an initial consultation with one of our lawyers and find out more about your best DUI defense options, call our firm at (720) 256-2404, or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.