I have a good job as a roofing contractor & have stopped drinking completely. I have my pre-trial conference set within a month & am sti ll not sure what to do. I live in littleton & this case is adams county. The judge said he HAS TO GIVE ME JAIL, IT'S COLORADO LAW. What should I do?
Three offenses in a lifetime carries serious consequences. A judge can only sentence you to jail based on a conviction, which according to you hasn't entered yet. With your situation aggravated by those prior DUI convictions you need a DUI attorney on your side who can aggressively challenge the evidence as well as determine any mitigating factors in your situation. You're at the pre-trial conference phase, a conviction hasn't entered yet, nothing has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, get a DUI lawyer.
If you are convicted, the judge has to give you SOME jail. It does not have to be all jail. Some can be on work release, home detention, or on the MOPS program. The fact simply is that with 3 DUIs - most judges will give you between 6 months and a a year of jail and just say the heck with probation and alcohol classes. The judges in Adams County have that mindset for the most part. Plan on spending a lot of time in jail, losing your job, and possibly your residence. You MUST get an attorney for argue on your behalf what MITIGATION they possibly can in order to try to convince the judge to lighten the sentence if you are convicted. Simply put, you have not given your attorney much mitigation to work worth. 3 DUIs spaced out over 13 years shows that you have not learned anything from the past 2. Personally, I was a county court judge and I was very lenient, but I still would have given you 6 months of jail. Most of the judges down in Arapahoe County would give you 9 months to a year - which is what I expect from Adams County as well.
If I'm reading your facts correctly, this is either your thrid or fourth DUI. In either case, there's a multiple offender program which may give you a little hope, but it does require jail.
You need a lawyer. If you start mitigation now, in cooperation with your lawyer, he/she might be able to keep the jail to a minimum. But don't wait, the sooner you start, the more you and your lawyer can do.
The fact that you only get caught every 4-5 years is not admirable. The penalties get progressively more serious and the judges are usually quite willing to impose the penalties for multiple offenses because your return to the courtroom shows that the first two times did not make a sufficient impression on you to not get behind the wheel after drinking.
A good attorney can help minimize the damage. Starting counseling before sentencing can impress the judge with your seriousness. It may even be possible to avoid an alcohol conviction depending on the circumstances of your case. You need to consult with an attorney.
The Judge is correct. The minimum mandatory jail is 60 days on a 3rd or subsequent offense with the maximum being 1 year. Not to mention that probation is mandatory in your circumstance and has to be for no less than 24 months. If you violated probation, you could do another year in jail. The fact that your priors are relatively close together will not benefit you. The DA's in Adams County have a policy of not giving Caps or Stips, but merely "recommendations" which means you would be going in open to the Judge.
You may get W/R. but understand that the Judge can only authorize that. W/R approval is up to the jail and the Judge cannot force the jail to give you work release. Bottom line is that you need to hire the best DUI defense attorney you can afford. It is going to cost you a lot more money in the long run to not hire one. You mentioned not drinking anymore. What proof do you have? Or do you expect the Judge to "trust" you? Are in enrolled in Level II with monitored sobriety? Are you in AA? Have you considered some sort of in-patient treatment? If you want to minimize your jail sentence you need to do as much mitigation as possible. Your word isn't worth anything at this point, so you need to prove what you say is true by your actions.
If you decide to hire an attorney, you hire them to tear your case apart and get you the best result possible given the facts of your case. If they can get it dismissed, great. If not, it is to get you the best deal possible. I always tell my clients to help me help you. What are you doing right now to help yourself?
Step one should be calling a DUI defense attorney for a consultation so you can make an educated and informed decision.
Feel free to call my office if you would like to discuss your case and what options you have.
Hire a very competent DUI attorney in that area. No matter what jurisdiction you come from, a 3rd offense DUI will carry very serious consequences. While you may be "expecting" work release, it is possible that Colorado law does not permit that. That is one of the many reasons you need a competent DUI attorney working for you right now.
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