Many individuals who are charged with DUI or a related crime are first-time offenders who are unfamiliar with the court system in general, and especially with the court process with respect to a DUI charge. While there are some differences in the initial DUI court process from one Colorado county to the next, all courts that handle DUI charges have common characteristics in terms of initially processing a DUI case through the criminal justice system. By educating yourself about these similarities, you can better prepare yourself for what to expect if you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in the state of Colorado.
Arrest or Citation? What Happens First?
A law enforcement officer who pulls over an individual on suspicion of DUI has the discretion to immediately arrest the individual and take him or her to jail, or to simply issue you a citation and allow another person to come and pick you up. The officer also may take you to a detox center. Finally, the officer will decide whether to have your vehicle towed to an impound lot or allow someone else to retrieve your vehicle for you. Unfortunately, undergoing detox and having your car impounded both can cost you several hundred dollars. Plus, if the officer arrests you at the scene, you may have to post bond in order to be released. Whatever occurs in your particular situation, you will be ordered to appear in court at a certain time and date in order to face the formal charges against you.
Dealing with the DMV
The driver’s license suspension process moves very quickly; whether you refused a breathalyzer or submitted to the test, you only have seven days from the date of arrest in which to request an express consent hearing at the DMV. When it receives your request, the DMV will send you a Notice of Hearing, which will set a hearing date for you at the DMV within 60 days. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if your driver’s license should be suspended.
Arraignment on DUI Charges in Court
Your first court date will be for your arraignment or bond appearance, which is where the court will formally read the charges against you and explain the potential penalties for each charge. The court also will impose certain terms and conditions of your bond, if you posted one. For instance, these conditions might prohibit you from leaving the state without permission, drinking alcohol, or driving without a valid driver’s license. This is one of many court dates that you are required to attend. If you fail to appear at any of these court dates, the court will issue a bench warrant for your failure to appear. Enlisting an experienced Colorado DUI defense attorney, however, may enable you to avoid some court appearances and help move your case along through the DUI process.
Facing a DUI Charge? Contact The Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C.
The Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who are accused of DUI or related crimes. We know the nuances of Colorado DUI law, and, as a result, we have the ability to build a strong defense in your favor and try to minimize the potential repercussions of a DUI charge and/or conviction. Contact our office today and set up an appointment with one of our skilled and knowledgeable Denver drunk driving defense lawyers.