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Do you need a Lawyer for your First DUI?

By: Lain A. Lawrence - DUI Defense Attorney April 27, 2023

It is a common question to ask, and it is understandable. A DUI attorney could be expensive, and it is hard to challenge the facts of a drunk driving case. The answer to the question is complicated, and it is not always yes. It will depend on the facts of your case and your specific circumstances.

It is always advisable to speak with a DUI lawyer. The Lawrence Law Firm provides a free consultation to individuals facing DUI Charges. Our firm is in Aurora, Colorado. However, we travel to all Courts within the Denver Metro Area. 

The purpose of this article is to provide context to the question of do you need a First DUI Defense Attorney.

What is driving under the influence?

The obvious first step in understanding do you need a lawyer is understanding law surrounding DUI. Driving under the influence is the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The driver must be substantially intoxicated to not be able to safely operate a motor vehicle. The intoxication can be a result of alcohol or drugs.

Driving means more than the common understanding of the term. Colorado DUI law will look at whether you are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. This is being in a position to quickly exercise control over the vehicle.

Motor vehicle means a vehicle propelled by a motor. This would include cars and motorcycles, but it would also include ATV’s and other vehicles.

What is the Punishment for a first time DUI?

Colorado law specifies the punishment for DUI Offenses. DUI is an unclassified misdemeanor. It carries a maximum possible jail sentence of one-year. A court can also impose a fine of up to $1,000. 

There is no mandatory minimum jail time for a first DUI, unless the blood alcohol content is above .02. In that case, the mandatory minimum jail sentence would be 10 days. 

The Court will typically require a defendant to complete a probationary sentence. This would require the defendant to submit to monitored sobriety and complete alcohol classes and treatment. Community service will also be imposed. The lengths and term of probation will be at the discretion of the court.

How can a DUI Defense Attorney help with a First DUI Offense?

A DUI offense may seem like a simple and easy to handle violation, but it can be complicated. It is always best to have an experienced defense attorney assist you with your case. There are several questions about a DUI offense that the average defendant will have. Always get a free consultation to understand your options.

A first DUI attorney can help deal with your case in a variety of ways.

A.     First DUI Jail

A First DUI offense does not typically come with jail unless the BAC is high. In cases involving high blood alcohol, an attorney could help limit the sentence. A mandatory sentence is the minimum a court can impose. Court will often impose first dui jail sentences above the minimum if the BAC is extremely high.

Jail can also be imposed in a variety of ways. A court could impose work release or in-home detention. The facts of your case and mitigation that you provide will help get the best outcome.

Jail time may also be something a prosecuting attorney wants based on the facts of your case, even if it isn’t mandatory. 

B.      DUI Mitigation 

Mitigation is an important aspect of DUI defense. This is especially true if the facts of your case are aggravated. Mitigation includes getting enrolled in classes and starting treatment early.

Our firm works throughout the Denver Metro Area, and we are familiar with a majority of the treatment providers. We can assist you and find a class that works for you.

C.      Limiting DUI Probation

Probation is typically a year, and the Court has some discretion in the terms and conditions of probation. A DUI attorney can help minimize those terms to get the least restrictive probationary sentence possible. The probationary sentence will still be complicated, but a first DUI offense can lessen the burden.

The DUI Defense Attorney at the Lawrence Law Firm will also be with you throughout the probationary process. If we are needed, we will happily assist. This even includes filing for early termination of probation.

D.     Cost of a First DUI Offense in Colorado

A First DUI offense can be extremely expensive. A drunk driving lawyer should not just be focused on jail and probation but the financial impact as well. A lawyer could help limit waive fines and point you to services to reduce this burden.

If probation is terminated early, a defendant will save a substantial amount of money.

E.      Collateral Issues

A DUI can come with secondary issues. This would include employment or immigration concerns. In some cases, it may be best to speak with an attorney to fully understand the scope of your situation. A DUI attorney would be able to look at employment contracts and regulations to advise on the impact of a conviction.

The biggest secondary issue that a defendant's driving privileges. A DUI will come with a secondary case involving the Colorado Express Consent Statute. This statute will revoke a Defendant’s driver's license based off the results of a blood test or breathalyzer test. A DUI lawyer can explain the best way to get back to driving after a license suspension.


The answer to the question is not always yes. You should still always speak with a DUI Defense attorney if you are facing drunk driving charges. Most defense attorneys will provide a free consultation.

While a DUI may seem simple, it can get complicated quickly. No two DUI cases are the same. Each case and each defendant require a DUI attorney to tailor a defense to their case and goals.

If you are charged with a first DUI in Aurora or the Denver Metro Area, request a consultation today. If you want to hire a lawyer, we are open during regular business hours. We have weekend and afterhours available.

Schedule a free consultation with a DUI 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.

If you have questions concerning a DUI offense, do not hesitate to request a free consultation from a DUI Defense attorney.