Collateral Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Colorado
Clients will often focus on the direct punishment of driving under the influence. This can include jail time, fines, and probation. The length of each will be dependent on whether the defendant has priors and the facts of the case.
First-time offenders usually don't go to jail, unless their blood alcohol level is higher than 0.20. Second and third offenses come with mandatory jail time.
DUI lawyers are also concerned with secondary impacts of a DUI conviction. People commonly refer to these as collateral consequences. These consequences may be more sever or costly than the punishment for a DUI conviction.
A DUI attorney will be able to advise on possible collateral consequences as part of their defense strategies. Always be honest with your lawyer so they know how a criminal conviction might affect your life. This DUI article aims to outline some of the common collateral consequences that people see in Colorado.
A DUI Could Have Immigration Consequences
A police officer can charge anyone with a case involving driving under the influence. Unfortunately, the term anyone will include people with immigration concerns. This can include people that have status in United States and people without legal status.
Speaking with an immigration attorney is always important to understand the specifics of your case. However, a first DUI offense will generally not result in a deportation. It can impact naturalization or VISA renewal.
Immigrants will have more issues if they are facing multiple DUI charges. At this point, it can be viewed as substances abuse issue or crime involving moral turpitude.
DUI attorneys must provide counsel regarding potential immigration consequences of a conviction, unlike other collateral issues. Most firms will work closely with immigration attorneys to fully advise defendants.
A DUI Can Impact a Professional License
Work and employment are extremely important. If a person cannot work, they cannot eat or pay their bills. Understanding the impact of a DUI on a defendant’s ability to work is extremely important.
Professional licenses are unique. They impose requirements on defendants to report certain criminal activity. Knowing the details of a defendant's license and job contract is crucial in a DUI case. A DUI conviction may result in a license suspension.
For example, the Nurse and Nurse Aides practice act governs nurses. This act states that the nurse cannot face mandatory discipline for a DUI conviction. However, the nurse's employment contract could require suspension or termination for a DUI conviction.
A defendant will also need to consider secondary factors in employment. Doctors are permitted to issue prescriptions through DEA licenses. Some employees hold security clearances. A DUI could impact these licenses which impact a person’s ability to work.
During a DUI consultation, a defense attorney may ask questions concerning employment. The purpose of this questioning is to examine your employment and potential consequences.
A DUI Can Impact a Parenting Plan
Divorces are ugly, and child custody disputes are equally as problematic. A person can be charged with child abuse if the minor child is in the car during the DUI. The lack of the child can still raise concerns for other parents.
Adverse parents will attempt to cease any chance they can to restrict parenting time. Parents have alleged the DUI is evidence of a substantial drinking problem. This will be used as a basis for restricting parenting time.
Additionally, a defendant may suffer the loss of driving privileges because of the DUI. Losing their ability to drive significantly impacts a defendant's ability to take care of children. The custody dispute can use the criminal record.
A DUI Conviction can result in a loss of Driving Privileges.
Colorado law permits the Department of Revenue to revoke your license based on chemical testing. The testing is of a defendant’s blood or breath. If the BAC is above a .08, a defendant’s privilege to drive in Colorado will be revoked.
However, a defendant can challenge this revocation. If they are victorious, a defendant will still potentially face revocation of their driver’s license. Colorado law permits the DMV to revoke a defendant’s license based on a conviction.
A defendant that is convicted of driving under the influence of drugs will have their license revoked. A conviction based off a refusal will also result in a revocation. Colorado law specifically sets out which convictions will result in a revocation.
If a defendant’s job is dependent on a driver’s license, it is important to remember that saving the driver’s license may not save the job. Most jobs that require a driver’s license have commercial insurance policies. These policies will have policy limits that could pay out over a million dollars in damages. These insurance companies will routinely refuse to insurance individuals convicted of DUI.
A DUI Can Impact other Criminal Cases.
A defendant with pending or other criminal cases can get a DUI. In those cases, it is important to understand a defendant’s criminal history. Defendant’s that have open cases will suffer additional consequences.
Probation is a common sanction imposed in Colorado criminal courts. A defendant on probation may face consequences if they are charged with DUI. A standard term and condition of probation is to not break the law.
A probation revocation will be a second case. The court in that case simply determines if a new law violation has occurred. Defense lawyers often handle both the DUI law infraction and the probation revocation case.
Certainly, law enforcement will view a DUI arrest as a new violation of the law. The importance of the DUI conviction will be dependent on facts of the case and history of the defendant. Each case is different and requires a skilled defense attorney to assess the possible impacts.
A DUI Can Impact a Defendant's ability to own firearms.
A DUI does not operate as an absolute bar to possession of firearms, unless it is a felony offense. Individuals with convictions for felony offenses cannot own firearms. However, the court may prohibit a defendant from possessing firearms during probation.
Probation has standard terms and conditions. A standard term and condition of a dui probation sentence is to not own or possess firearms. Having that condition lifted is possible. Our firm regularly represents hunters and firearm owners.
ALWAYS SPEAK WITH A DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY WHEN CHARGED WITH DUI IN COLORADO
While a DUI may seem simple, it can get complicated quickly. A Colorado DUI lawyer must customize their defense for each unique case and defendant. This is because every case and defendant have their own specific circumstances and objectives.
Schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney from the Lawrence Law Firm. We are ready, willing, and able to represent you. Our firm charges flat fees, but we also provide flexible payments plans. Your financial situation should not compromise your legal defenses.