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What are the Plea Bargain Options in Colorado?

The first step for your Denver DUI attorney will be to look for a way to avoid a conviction in your DUI case. DUI is a criminal offense in Colorado, and in all other states. As a defendant in a criminal case, you always have the right to take your case to jury trial, and seek an acquittal on the charges that you face. Some cases will present a good opportunity for an acquittal at trial, and others will not. Your attorney will not only look for weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, but will also look for ways to exclude some or all of the evidence against you, either because your rights were violated, or because the evidence is faulty.

For example, if the police did not have probable cause to stop your car in the first place, your lawyer can try to have all of the observations, statements, and evidence that is collected after the stop thrown out in a motion to suppress. An experienced DUI lawyer will also look at any breath, blood, or urine results and see if there’s any way to get those thrown out as well if they negatively impact your case. Whether there’s a viable motion to suppress will play a part in your decision to accept a plea bargain or not. A competent Denver DUI lawyer will provide you with good advice as to whether the evidence against you can be defeated, or whether you will be better off accepting a plea bargain.

The best opportunity to get a good plea bargain will always come as a result of uncovering weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Contrary to popular belief, your occupation, or the fact that you are an upstanding member of the community will have little or no effect on the prosecutor’s willingness to give you a good deal. In other types of criminal cases, your background may play a role in reducing the severity of the outcome. However, this is rarely true in DUI cases, and that is largely because all types of people, from all walks of life, get charged with DUI’s. The policy of the office of the Denver district attorney is to treat doctors, lawyers, or business people who get drunk driving charges the same as those who are unemployed or have a less prestigious social status.

This is incredibly important to understand because of the severe consequences that a DUI conviction can have. You may lose your driver’s license or other privileges, which can significantly impact your ability to work. Most prosecutors don’t care if you need your license for work or to get to school – this fact won’t get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

The two factors that will affect the plea offer that your attorney is able to achieve for you will be:

  1. How effectively can your defense case challenge the prosecutor’s evidence? If the district attorney looks at their case and sees no weaknesses, they’re unlikely to make a plea bargain worth considering. Some factors they will consider are the strength of the evidence, the viability of any motions from the defense, and the credibility of their witnesses (usually law enforcement, though sometimes there are civilian witnesses necessary to prove a DUI). If you were seen driving, the police officers observed clear signs that you were intoxicated, and there are no issues with the reliability of any tests that show you were under the influence, a good offer is unlikely.
  2. What effort have you, the defendant, put into getting into treatment or classes in order to prevent a future offense? If you’ve done nothing between the time of your arrest and the next few court dates coming up for your DUI, it’s unlikely that the prosecutor will be willing to make any kind of decent offer. If, on the other hand, you’ve been in drug or alcohol treatment and have been actively trying to better yourself and make sure that you never drive while under the influence again, this will increase the chances that they might make you an offer worth considering. Your DUI lawyer is responsible for evaluating your ability to effectively challenge the evidence in the case.

What you can do to help yourself is to get into treatment of some kind. At the minimum, you can begin Level Two Alcohol Education classes, which are provided at numerous locations through the Denver area. If you are facing a third (or more) DUI offense in a lifetime, you should consider something more intensive. such as inpatient treatment to show that you’re serious about getting your life on track and to show that you’re doing everything in your power to ensure that you never drive while under the influence again. Please call our office to discuss this.

Your attorney will obtain a plea bargain offer for you. You do not have to accept this plea offer, and may always set your case for jury trial. You alone can make that decision. We will advise you what the chances of winning your case at trial will be, as well as whether the plea offer is reasonable, given the evidence and your prior record. Many people take offers because it helps resolve the case in a more timely manner and because the penalties are often less severe. However, it’s ultimately your decision if you want to go to trial or take a plea bargain offer.

Contact Churchill Criminal Defense If You Need Help with a DUI

Churchill Criminal Defense, Attorney at Law has been handling DUI cases for more than 22 years. If you find yourself facing any type of DUI charge, it’s imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We are always here to assist. We can help you determine if the district attorney’s plea bargain offer is worth considering. We will do everything in our power to help you come to the best decision. Contact us today at 303-832-9000 or use our easy online contact form to schedule a free consultation.