Jay Tiftickjian Voted Colorado’s “Best DUI Lawyer”

best DUI lawyer in Colorado

Jay Tiftickjian voted Best Colorado DUI Lawyer

For a second consecutive year, Denver DUI attorney Jay Tiftickjian was voted Colorado’s “best DUI attorney” in the State’s official bar journal, Law Week Colorado. Jay received the most votes out of any practice area in the annual poll of lawyers and judges.

Tiftickjian practices in the areas of DUI defense and major traffic offenses. He represents motorists charged with drunk driving and drug offenses. Tiftickjian represents good people that sometimes make poor decisions. “There is never a malicious intent involved with a DUI case,” says Tiftickjian.

The recognition would never happen if not for the excellent defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm and his overly supportive family. All of the attorneys and staff at Tiftickjian Law Firm put their all into each and every client’s case. “I am honored as this is public approval from judges, colleagues, prosecutors and the entire legal community that our entire team does a great job.”

Tiftickjian is the chair of the upcoming Colorado DUI Nuts and Bolts seminar to take place at the Colorado Bar Association on September 19. He recently participated on a panel at the CBA’s Hanging Your Shingle CLE and has also assisted the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar with its annual DUI seminar. Tiftickjian sits on the CCDB board of directors. In 2013, Colorado DUI Defense: The Law and Practice was released by Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company. It is co-authored by Tiftickjian and DUI attorney James Nesci. Colorado DUI Defense details the criminal practice and administrative aspects of representing a client facing a Colorado DUI charge, from the initial consultation through possible sentencing and appeal. Tiftickjian also wrote Facing a DUI Charge in Colorado, which is in its second edition and published by West/Thomson Reuters-Aspatore.

Tiftickjian was named Law Week’s Barrister’s Best Lawyer in 2012 and 2013.

A New Tool in Denver Marijuana DUI-D Enforcement?

Recently, news of the new ‘nose telescope” hit the Internet, detailing a smell monitor that allegedly can detect the odor of marijuana smoke from a fair distance away. The device, called an olfactometer, may be used in the near future in Colorado cities and counties to enforce smell ordinances aimed at keeping marijuana users in their homes and out of the public eye (or air).

An olfactometer looks like a large blow-dryer, where the user puts the barrel to his or her nose while the device sucks air in and enhances the smell.

Another use for the olfactometer is likely not far off—DUI checkpoints and saturation patrol. If this device can be used for tracking the scent of marijuana and handing out civil fines for “polluting” the public air, will law enforcement start using it for tracking the presence of marijuana in vehicles on the highway?

Jay Tiftickjian, a DUI attorney in Denver, says this poses a constitutional problem. A recent United States Supreme Court case held that the use of drug detection dogs to sniff on private property required a warrant. In Florida v. Jardines, the Court held that law enforcement couldn’t bring dogs outside of a person’s property to “smell” for evidence without the use of a search warrant. This situation is akin to the use of an olfactometer, and its use at a DUI checkpoint or for any purpose to try and “smell” into a person’s private property, whether it is a residence or vehicle, poses constitutional problems and would likely be deemed an illegal search.

The government will always look for new devices to seek prosecution of persons for law violations. This new device is another in a long-list of advanced technology that will need to be challenged by defense attorneys seeking to preserve citizens’ rights under the United States Constitution.

Tiftickjian Law Firm to Teach DUI Law at Jefferson County Court

Denver DUI LawyersDenver DUI attorneys Jay Tiftickjian and Adrienne Bershinsky are in high demand to teach other lawyers and judges about the new Colorado DUI laws. Another seminar added to their schedule will take place on Monday, December 16 in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Titled The New DUI Driver’s License Laws: A Brave New World, Tiftickjian and Bershinsky will review the current and pending changes to Colorado’s DUI laws, such as the marijuana permissible inference, the defense of reasonable suspicion at DMV hearings, and the new driver’s license revocation laws that allow for reinstatement for multiple offenders and refusal cases.

In conjunction with the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, the Jefferson County Chapter will sponsor this event, which is open to all attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

The presentation will take place at noon in the Lookout Mountain Room of Jefferson County Courthouse. You may RSVP to Dee at O’Brien, Thomas & Bibik by calling 303-238-0648.

The description of the event is as follows:

This presentation will focus on the new drivers’ license revocation rules for DUI cases that take effect on January 1, 2014. Included are the new early reinstatement rules for refusal cases and multiple offenders, the new persistent drunk driver rules,
ignition interlock requirements, and their retroactive application to current cases. There will be sample reinstatement letters and 
forms for practical use by judges and lawyers.

This seminar is the final in a string of presentations that Denver DUI attorneys Tiftickjian and Bershinsky have given about the changes to Colorado’s DUI law. The duo has also presented in both the Weld County Courthouse and the Adams County Courthouse, as well as to the Arapahoe and Douglas County Public Defender’s Offices. They are also slated to present at the Colorado Bar Association’s headquarters on December 2.

Denver DUI Attorney Says Closing Colorado’s Lab Was the Wrong Move

The permanent closure of the State of Colorado’s DUI blood testing laboratory was announced on Monday, but the process took a while. For a long time, DUI attorneys were clawing away at the credibility of the lab piece by piece, and this all culminated with the release of an employment report by the Attorney General’s Office in June detailing an internal investigation that was conducted and showed internal bias toward the prosecution in an environment that by its nature must be neutral.

In the aftermath of the announcement this week that the Colorado Department of Health and Environment would no longer be involved in DUI blood testing, many news outlets turned to Denver DUI attorney Jay Tiftickjian for commentary. Tiftickjian appeared on both the 9News and 7News evening edition on Monday night, as well as 9News’s affiliate, Channel 20. He was also quoted on News Radio 850 KOA on Tuesday morning.

Tiftickjian made it a point to state that the closure of the State’s laboratory was not the right move. Instead, the government should have worked to reopen it with better operating procedures and protocols. He also stressed that the legislature needs to revisit the standard of admissibility for blood and breath testing results, from “substantial compliance” to “strict compliance.”

Instead, the government “punted” its responsibility to private labs, and in the process cost the taxpayers of the State of Colorado a substantial amount of money.

Tiftickjian Presents to Lawyers in Mexico about Office Management

DUI lawyer CancunYesterday, Colorado DUI attorney Jay Tiftickjian presented on office management and work-life balance at the annual Warhorse Marketing seminar in Cancun, Mexico. Tiftickjian was one of multiple attorneys and legal professionals that discussed topics such as marketing, management, and strategy for criminal defense attorneys.

Tiftickjian presented twice—first on ethical marketing and then on work-life balance. He discussed the benefits of a happy office filled with smart attorneys and staff, how to balance a successful law firm practice with family commitments and goals, and how to successfully market in an over-saturated world of defense attorneys.

Texas DWI attorney Jamie Balagia also spoke about his marketing and ethics. Known as the “DWI Dude” around Austin and San Antonio, Balagia gave an impassioned speech about his practice.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Denver Lawyer Jay Tiftickjian


Mr. Jay's guitar classDefense attorney Jay Tiftickjian took five minutes out of his hectic schedule to sit down and talk non-shop. If you want to get to know him better, read on.

1. Everyone knows about your reputation in the legal community, especially in the DUI defense area, but what do you outside of work?

I spend the majority of my time with my family. People think that because I am a criminal defense attorney that I lead some kind of high-roller lifestyle, but nothing could be further from the truth. I live in a modest house, drive a Honda (by choice), and save for retirement instead of throw money at material things. Most of my vacations are in Colorado because we prefer to drive rather than fly, and when we do go on vacation we budget just like anyone else.

My hobby is playing guitar. I play almost every day, and while I am not a virtuoso by means, I enjoy learning music theory and different styles. I grew up jamming to Metallica and Megadeth, but my musical interests have certainly expanded over the years. I now listen to many styles, including blues, jazz, and country. I’ve become a big Brad Paisley fan and wish I could chicken pick like he does. I still put in the Yngwie Malmsteen CDs from time to time. I don’t play in a band due to my lack of abilities and time, but would like to someday.

2. What types of volunteer work do you do?

I spend a lot of my time and energy assisting other lawyers in different ways. For the past few years I have organized the annual DUI defense seminar for the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. Each one was attended by over 100 attorneys and each made a good profit for our criminal defense bar. I also organize legal training for the Adams County Bar Association.

My favorite day is Friday. On Friday mornings I teach guitar to grade school students at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. I am never nervous standing in front of a jury, but getting in front of a group of 5th graders and trying to keep their attention gives me a lot of anxiety.

3. What is your favorite food?

Pizza. I am from Buffalo and grew up on a steady diet of pizza. My waistline gives it away. I like Mexican food, which I was never exposed to as a child, but nothing beats a good, Buffalo-style peperoni pizza. I am not a big fan of fish but the doctor recommends it, and my wife is from San Francisco.  I grew up on wings, pizza and later beer, but she is a wine and fish gal.

4. What is your favorite show on television?

Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of television. It doesn’t keep my interest. When I do watch TV, I watch sports. I would not miss the television at all when the NFL is not in season. Whenever I watch TV or a movie, I fall asleep. Even in a movie theatre, I am out in 20 minutes. I do enjoy some shows that I have watched on DVD and Netflix, such as Breaking Bad, The Wire, and Dexter.

5. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I think I would be Superman so I could fly. It would sure cut down on travel time between courts, especially our cases in Aspen. There is some appeal to being invisible too, so perhaps the Invisible Man.

Travis Zeigler joins Tiftickjian’s DUI Defense Team

DUI lawyer TravisDefense attorney Travis Zeigler has litigated hundreds of DUI and criminal cases in Colorado courts, and on October 1 he joins the team at Tiftickjian Law Firm.

A Colorado native, Mr. Zeigler is admitted to practice in Colorado and The United States District Court. Over the course of Mr. Zeigler’s legal career, he has focused solely on criminal defense. Zeigler has represented hundreds of clients in and around Denver, and litigated cases ranging from minor traffic offenses, petty offenses, misdemeanors, and serious felonies.

In law school, he was a member of the Honors Program and earned Semester Honors over four semesters. Mr. Zeigler also clerked for a Chief Judge of the United States District Court. Mr. Zeigler graduated in the top ten-percent of his law school class.

“I have watched Travis in court over the past few years and have always been impressed with his demeanor and attention to detail that he puts into his cases,” says Jay Tiftickjian, the law firm’s president. The DUI attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm represent clients both in the metro area and also in Colorado’s mountain communities through its satellite office in Aspen.


Boating Under the Influence in Colorado

Denver DUI attorney Jay Tiftickjian was a live guest on 9News Colorado on Sunday, August 4 to discuss Colorado Boating Under the Influence law.

Operation Dry Water is a national campaign that takes place during the last weekend of July. Last weekend, Denver iJournal reported that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff contacted 1,646 vessels and more than 5,000 boaters, issuing 36 citations and 430 safety warnings over the three days last weekend, including one BUI arrest. The same source stated there have been nine BUI arrests this year up until last week.

Colorado Revised Statute § 33-13-108.1 makes it a misdemeanor for a person to operate a boat, or any other vessel, while under the influence of alcohol or any drug, or when the amount of alcohol in the person’s blood or breath measures 0.08 at the time of operating the vessel or within two hours after. C.R.S. § 33-13-108.1 (1)(a)(I), (1)(a)(2). This law is similar to Colorado’s DUI statute in Title 42. For instance, the BUI law contains an express consent provision, C.R.S. § 33-13-108.1(4)(a), which means that if an officer has probable cause that the person is operating a boat under the influence, the officer may request a person submit to a chemical test to determine alcohol or drug content. If the person’s BAC result is at or above 0.08, a legal inference may be made that the person is under the influence of alcohol, and details the penalties for a conviction under the statute. See C.R.S. § 33-13-108.1(12). The BUI statute does not (yet) include a 5 nanogram THC inference like was just passed and included in the DUI statute, but it is likely only a matter of time until one is included. Regardless, being under the influence of any drug, even prescribed, is illegal if it affects your ability to safely operate the vessel.

The penalties for Boating under the Influence (BUI) are the same for DUI, which means an offender can face up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 of fines plus mandatory court costs and surcharges for a first offense. In addition, a first BUI carries a minimum 5-day jail sentence, but this minimum jail may also be suspended if the offender participates in a state-mandated alcohol and substance-abuse evaluation and an education and therapy program, which is also the same as in the DUI statute. In addition, a court could impose probation, public service, and any other alternative available under the DUI statute.

Boating under the influence causes a three-month revocation on operating a vessel. A second offense causes a one-year ban. Note a “vessel” is defined under Colorado law as pretty much anything that you can operate on the water. It doesn’t need to be a motorized boat, but also includes jet skis, canoes, etc… Also note that the legal definition of “operating” is pretty open. Idling a boat on open water would still be considered operating, even if the boat isn’t moving or if the engine is off.

Also, it is a misdemeanor for the owner of a boat to allow an intoxicated person to operate it, § 33-13-108.1 (13)(a), and allowing someone to do so could cause a jail sentence to the owner of up to one-year (no minimum sentence) and up to $1,000 in fines.

Finally, there are no driver’s license consequences for a BUI conviction or for refusing to take a test in a BUI case. Title 42, which contains all of the driver’s license consequences for Driving under the Influence, mandates that a motor vehicle must be involved for the Department of Revenue to get involved with a driver’s license revocation action, like it would in a DUI case.

Colorado DUI Lawyers Featured in New Book on Search and Seizure

Colorado attorneys Jay Tiftickjian and Timothy Bussey both appear in the new Thomson-Reuters book, The Legality of Search and Seizure in DUI Cases. Tiftickjian coauthored a chapter with Bakersfield DUI defense lawyer Jeremy Brehmer, focusing on forced blood draws after the United Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. McNeely. Bussey’s chapter concentrates on challenges of search and seizure issues in DUI cases.

From the author:

The Legality of Search and Seizure in DUI Cases provides an authoritative, insider’s perspective on best practices for identifying and litigating Fourth Amendment violations in DUI cases. Written by partners and chairs from some of the nation’s leading law firms, this book guides the reader through the proper search and seizure procedures and NHTSA standards that law enforcement should follow during the initial stop, investigation, and DUI arrest.

These authors also discuss the mistakes that officers make during this process, and how lawyers can explore and exploit these errors to reclaim a client’s rights under the Fourth Amendment. Emphasizing the science that serves as the backdrop for searches and seizures in DUI cases, these authors also provide the necessary guidance for helping clients understand the key issues that arise during a DUI case. Finally, these leaders examine the latest trends and caselaw in the enforcement and prosecution of DUIs and reflect on how they affect defense strategies, clients, and counsel.

The different niches represented and the breadth of perspectives presented enable readers to get inside some of the great legal minds of today, as these experienced lawyers offer up their thoughts on the keys to success within this ever-evolving field.

“I am honored to join such high-caliber attorneys in the completion of this book,” says Tiftickjian. “The Colorado DUI defense bar has some of the best DUI lawyers in the country, and no doubt Mr. Bussey falls in that category.” Tiftickjian was also honored work with Brehmer, noting his past experience in the forensics laboratory before becoming a DUI defense attorney.

You can follow Tiftickjian Law Firm at @DUI5280, and visit our Colorado DUI news website at http://www.mydenverduilawyer.com.


Colorado Bar Association Presents Anatomy of a DUI Case

Defense attorney Jay Tiftickjian will be at the Colorado Bar Association headquarters on July 8 to present Anatomy of a DUI Case – What to Do When Your Get the Call. The presentation will cover the initial questions that clients ask when arrested for drunk driving, what an happen to an attorney with a DUI conviction, and also what to do and not do if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Included in the information presented are areas such as the difference between DUI and DWAI, how to get a temporary driver’s license while the case is pending, and the possible sentences for a DUI conviction in court. While there are likely to be any local DUI defense lawyers in attendance, the seminar is geared toward professionals in the legal field who do not have a considerable DUI defense experience.

In the past year, Tiftickjian has presented on ethics, criminal law, and DUI defense. He also has been published in several national books about drug crimes and defending alcohol-related driving offenses. In 2012, Tiftickjian was named Best DUI Lawyer by Law Week Colorado.

For more information about this CBA continuing legal education seminar, contact the CLE at cle@cobar.org or call (303) 860-0608.

Keep up with Tiftickjian Law Firm at @DUI5280, and check out our Colorado legal news blog at http://www.mydenverduilawyer.com