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Can the court change your charge that was originally written?

Colorado Springs, CO |

If my charge was written as a first offense DUI and then when I go to court they find out that I had one in another state before can they change my charge to a second offense?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Yes. They can and they will.

Nothing in the answer provided should be considered legal advice because all cases and facts are different and require a thorough examination of the facts by an attorney before any decisions are made.

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Christopher Paul Kendrick

Christopher Paul Kendrick

Posted

If you are on the Springs, you should call Tim Bussey

Posted

Yes. That is called "Amending the Charge" and the District Attorney can do that. The District Attorney also has to prove that conviction and it is not up to you to say anything about it to confirm it. Please make sure you contact a DUI Attorney to help you with your case as there are things a good DUI attorney can advise you on for a second offense. Also, in general you want someone who knows what they are looking for to review all of the evidence in your case to assess the strength or weakness of the government's case against you and any defenses you may have.

Ann Toney, P.C. is a law firm in Denver, CO defending DUI, DUID, and marijuana drug charges.

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Posted

Yes, most definitely. The officer on the scene has no idea if it is your first or your tenth, because of not having immediate access to all of the other jurisdictions. What is more is that if you plead guilty to it as a first offense and the alcohol evaluator with Probation finds that you have priors, the judge will be totally ticked off and either have you withdraw your plea or sentence you accordingly (taking into consideration that the judge will think that you were dishonest with him or her by NOT divulging the prior). You definitely need an attorney. I recommend David Foley or Clinton Black in Colorado Springs as great DUI attorneys.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.

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Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Posted

I was a judge for 7 years in the Four Corners and we frequently had people with priors from UT, NM, AZ, and elsewhere. If the DA did not catch it, then Probation always did, and it simply made matters worse for you. I agree with Ms. Toney that you are not obligated to divulge the prior. However, if you do not divulge it and plea bargain the case without disclosing it, I can guarantee you as a former judge that most judges will be pissed. That is the reality of things, not the legality of things that Ms. Toney referenced.

Daniel Nelson Deasy

Daniel Nelson Deasy

Posted

Super answer and guidance.

Posted

Although I agree with the previous comments, I would state the charge has not been changed. A person charged with DUI is charged with violating Section 42-4-1301 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The charging document, summons and complaint, makes no mention nor does it require a notation as to whether this DUI was a first or a second. Rather if you are convicted, or if you plead guilty, then the statute provides for different levels of sentencing depending on the number of priors, if any.

The term "prior conviction" includes priors from states other than Colorado. Thus if you have a prior alcohol related traffic plea in another state, you may be subject to mandatory jail and probation. Given the serious nature of your situation, please speak with a quality DUI attorney, who is familiar with El Paso County, prior to entering into a plea.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Posted

Rob is absolutely correct. It is considered by the court as an enhancer for sentencing. It does not need need to be proven to the jury.

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Posted

Hire Mr. Werking. He is one of the best attorneys that I have encountered in 21 years of practice

Robert Gerald Werking

Robert Gerald Werking

Posted

Thanks for the plug Chris. However, I would recommend that you hire someone familiar with El Paso County. There are many wonderful attorneys in Colorado Springs.

Posted

Yes, they can amend the charge. There is mandatory jail time if you are convicted of s second or subsequent driving under the influence or impaired offense. However, more information is needed to evaluate the case. Your charge in another state may not be down as a conviction if you received a favorable plea offer.

Marijuana is against federal law. Federal law supersedes state law. A person could be charged and convicted for marijuana related crimes such as possession, cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, transportation, and conspiracy.

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Posted

Absolutely, they can and will change the charge if they find the prior. In fact if you plead as a first and then go to probation they will run a full background check. If they find the second, they will send you back to court to be resentenced. Many times the Judge will punish people worse for not being honest. Dealing with how to get the best result in these cases is tricky. I would consult with an attorney to make sure you don’t get yourself into deeper issues.

The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C - 303-818-2448 - Is Colorado's Premier DUI and Criminal Traffic Defense Law Firm. Rhidian Orr is the senior partner and owner of the firm and focuses his practice exclusively to DUI and criminal traffic matters in the state of Colorado. His decision to answer your questions does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. The Orr Law Firm offers FREE Consultations and we encourage that you contact his firm to discuss your case in more detail.

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