What to do (or not do) after you are charged with DUI in Colorado
Many people charged with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado are unsure as to where to begin and what needs to be done immediately. This guide helps you take the first few steps to ensure your bases are covered and you get to the point where a qualified attorney can assist you.
Request an Express Consent Administrative HearingThe officer will issue most people a document called an Express Consent Affidavit and Notice of Revocation. There are three instances when you receiver this. First, you refused to complete a chemical test. Second, you are 21 years or older and submitted to a breath test within two hours of driving and you BAC was .08 or higher. Third, you are under 21 years old and you submitted a breath test within two hours of driving and your BAC was .02 or higher. This document means that the DMV will take your license or privilege to drive away eight days in the future unless you ask for an Express Consent Hearing. You can make the request in person at any DMV office in the state or you can mail or fax the request. It is recommended that you do it in person to guarantee the request is timely and to obtain a Colorado Identification card so you have an official government issued picture ID after you turn in your license. Requesting this hearing will extend your license or privilege to drive up and until the hearing which will be held within 60 days.
Ask for the officer to be present at the Express Consent HearingWhen you ask for the hearing the DMV official will have you answer a question about whether or not you wish the officer to be present at the Express Consent Hearing. You should say "YES" you want the officer present. If you were to answer "NO," then all the officer has to do is mail in the police reports and discovery to the DMV and you have to fight the reports only. If you say "YES," then the officer must appear and defend his actions. If the officer fails to appear, then you win the Express Consent Hearing. If the officer does show and you are represented by a competent DUI defense attorney, then that attorney gets an opportunity to examine the officer about the DUI and look for weaknesses in the case.
Contact a local attorney who is well-versed in DUI lawIt is important to move swiftly and engage an attorney. First, there may be evidence such as video or audio which if not requested timely may be destroyed. Second, you want your attorney to be prepared for the Express Consent Hearing and to have time to request the necessary documents from the District Attorney and the DMV. Lastly, knowing you have an attorney who will look after you and protect you from the state is reassuring and will help you get by without as much worrying. Shop around for a good attorney and don't settle for the first lawyer who calls you back.