Being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Colorado is a serious offense, and if you are convicted it will stay on your driving record and criminal history forever. It is also costly, with fines of up to $1000, not to mention the mandatory court surcharges and funds that are specific to DUI and DWAI cases, as well as the increased insurance costs, fees for an ignition interlock device, and potentially the loss of future earning potential with a conviction. So, with all these expenses and the possibility that you won’t skate clean from the charge, how would a defense attorney help you?
First, there may be a way out for you, if you have the right attorneys. Not every case is beatable even with the best trial attorney by your side. There are, however, times when defenses exist or opportunities arise during the course of the case that can only be recognized, and taken advantage of, by a skilled DUI attorney. Therefore, the cost of representation could be the cheapest option should your case ultimately get dismissed or reduced to a non-alcohol related infraction.
Also, an attorney that knows the system and court where your case is pending can make sure that you get the best possible result given your set of circumstances. Competent counsel can make sure that the deal you accept is the best on in light of the circumstances, and that you don’t get collateral consequences, such as the further loss of your driver’s license, as a result of what happens in court. All too often, motorists hire an attorney based mainly on cost to later find out that they are at a greater disadvantage because they weren’t properly informed of a potential consequence such as a driver’s license suspension.
Finally, a good attorney can get you through a rather uncomfortable and stressful set of circumstances with as little anxiety as possible. Knowing that you are in good hands and not having to directly deal with the prosecutors, police officers, DMV hearing officers, and judges involved in your case can be a great relief. After all, you wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself so why try to do the work of a trained professional has gone to school for many years and litigated hundreds of cases to be able to represent you the best that he or she can?
If you have a prior alcohol or drug-related conviction on your record, the stakes are much higher. Not only do you face probation, the loss of your driver’s license, and expensive fines and costs, but incarceration is mandatory under Colorado’s criminal laws. Even on first offenses, some judges give actual jail time (not house arrest or in-home detention). When your freedom is at stake is when you need counsel to protect you the most.
Hiring a good law firm that specializes in DUI defense could cost you thousands of dollars, but it is an expense that may pay off in a value to you that is worth much more than what the legal fees cost.