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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver Explains New DUI Laws


November 8, 2017

Anyone who has been charged with driving under the influence should understand the current DUI laws. State legislators have recently made a few changes to the DUI laws in Colorado, and it’s important to understand how these changes could affect your case. Here’s what you need to know according to John L. Buckley, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver:

2015 Changes to the DUI Law

Prior to 2015, DUI was never charged as a felony in the state of Colorado. But in 2015, Colorado passed a law that made a fourth DUI charge a felony. This meant someone who had three prior DUI convictions on his record would be charged with a felony if he was accused of driving under the influence for the fourth time. The law was initially established to ensure that fourth time offenders would be treated more harshly than first, second, and third time DUI offenders. However, the law did not work the way it was intended.

There was a loophole in the law that meant many fourth time offenders were treated more leniently than third time offenders. Whereas third time offenders were sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail, judges had complete control over how fourth time DUI offenders were sentenced. As a result, some fourth time offenders were spending no time in jail at all—even though third time offenders had to spend at least 60 days in jail.

2017 Changes to the DUI Law

State legislators set out to close this loophole so the law could work the way it was intended. In August of this year, the new law finally went into effect. Now, fourth time offenders must spend a minimum of 90 to 180 days in jail even if the judge decides to go easy on them and sentence them to probation. If the judge allows the defendant to participate in a work release program, the defendant still must spend a minimum of 120 days to 2 years behind bars. Learn more about the Colorado felony DUI offender law.

The changes that went into effect this year ensure that fourth time offenders are not given lighter sentences than third time DUI offenders. However, it’s important to note that these changes only apply to DUI cases that were filed after the new law went into effect. If you were charged with DUI prior to August of this year, the old law still applies to your case, which means you could avoid jail time altogether even if it is your fourth DUI offense.

Regardless of whether it is your first or fourth DUI, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. If you have been charged with DUI, get in touch with the Law Office of John Buckley as soon as possible. John L. Buckley can guide you through the legal process and defend your rights every step of the way. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your DUI case.
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The Perils of Daylight Savings Time

An extra hour of drinking can wind up with a DUI charge

By John Buckley - November 4, 2017

Whenever people hear about 'falling back' for the end of daylight savings time, they inevitably think of that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning.  Some think about the fact that bars will be open an extra hour.  Few think about the ramifications of the latter.  Denver DUI Defense Attorney John Buckley explains the consequences.

People often consider how much they can safely drink over the course of an evening out with a plan to stop drinking at a certain point and let their bodies metabolize the alcohol that they've consumed.  It is not against the law to drink and drive.  It is against the law to have too much alcohol in your system when you drive.  On the Saturday night when Daylight Savings ends, these well-intentioned folks often go a bit overboard with that extra hour.  You can count on DUI enforcement officers in Denver and throughout Colorado to be aware of this as well.  When the bars let out tonight, they will be on hightened alert looking for alleged drunk drivers.

Please be safe tonight.  If you've had too much to drink, call a cab or ride-sharing company and get home safely!
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Do’s And Don’ts Of DUIs By A Denver Criminal Defense Attorney


No one ever plans on being arrested for or charged with driving under the influence. But, it can happen to anyone, which is why it’s important to know what to do in case you ever find yourself in this situation. Here’s a look at the do’s and don’ts of DUIs according to experienced Denver criminal defense attorney John L. Buckley:

Do: Be Polite
Be polite to the police officer who has pulled you over. Address the police officer as either “sir” or “ma'am” to show your respect even if you are annoyed by the fact that you have been pulled over. Being polite certainly won’t get you out of being charged with DUI, but it will make the process go much smoother.

Don’t: Perform Field Sobriety Tests
The officer may ask that you step out of your vehicle to perform field sobriety tests on the side of the road. These tests are supposed to tell an officer whether you are under the influence of alcohol. But, they produce unreliable results that can be used against you in court. In fact, studies show that 1 out of 5 sober people will 'fail' these tests.  Fortunately, there are no penalties for refusing to perform field sobriety tests. This means it’s in your best interests to refuse to do them. Learn more about field sobriety tests.

Do: Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
Many people make the mistake of thinking they can talk themselves out of a DUI charge. These people think that by admitting to having one or two drinks, the police officer will respect their honesty and let them off of the hook. Saying more than necessary is a huge mistake that could affect the outcome of your case. It’s recommended that you exercise your right to remain silent in this situation so you don’t end up saying something that could be used against you later on.  The only questions you must answer involve providing your identity and, if requested to do so, which chemical test (breath or blood) you wish to take.  If you don't answer this question, your silence will be deemed a 'refusal' to cooperate with testing.

Don’t: Forget What Happened
Take mental notes of the events that take place starting when the police officer’s lights begin flashing behind you. Why? Your criminal defense attorney will want to know exactly what took place to make sure the police officer followed all of the proper procedures when he was making the arrest. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you remember the details of your interaction with the police officer so you can relay them to your attorney.  

Do: Contact An Attorney
Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest, preferably before your arraignment. An attorney can go over all of your legal options and help you decide whether you should plead guilty or not guilty. This decision can greatly affect the rest of your life, so don’t make it without discussing it with a criminal defense attorney first.

If you have been charged with DUI, get in touch with the Law Office of John Buckley as soon as possible. John L. Buckley can guide you through the legal process and defend your rights every step of the way. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your DUI case.
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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver Explains What Happens At A DUI Arraignment


October 25, 2017

An arraignment is the first time that a DUI defendant will appear in court before a judge. What happens at an arraignment? Why is it important to find a criminal defense lawyer in Denver before the arraignment? Here’s everything you need to know about this step in your criminal case:

What to Expect During the Arraignment

DUI defendants will be called before a judge to hear the charges that have been filed against them during the arraignment. He will also ask you if you have an attorney and if not, if you are able to afford legal representation. Then, the judge will ask the defendant to plead guilty, not guilty, or ask if they wish to hire a DUI attorney. If the defendant pleads guilty, the case will go directly to sentencing. However, if he pleads not guilty, the state must prepare to take the case to trial. Either way, the judge will discuss the next steps in your case during the arraignment. Learn more about a DUI arraignment here.

The Importance of Being Represented By An Attorney

Many defendants assume they do not need an attorney until the case goes to trial, but that’s not true. Anyone that has been charged with a crime should seek legal representation from an attorney before the arraignment. Why? It’s strongly recommended that you consult an attorney before formally entering a plea. An attorney can review the details of your case and decide if it is in your best interests to plead guilty or not guilty.

It’s possible that the prosecutor will be prepared to offer you a plea deal at the arraignment. This is another decision that should not be made without first speaking with an attorney. Accepting a plea deal means having a conviction on your record, so make sure you understand how this will affect your life in the future before agreeing to it.

An attorney can also help you understand the criminal charges that have been filed against you. This is important so you are fully aware of what potential penalties you could face if you are convicted of the crimes.

If this is your first time facing criminal charges, having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side can also make you feel more comfortable. Going into court and speaking with a judge by yourself can be intimidating, but it helps to have someone who is familiar with the court standing beside you.  

If you have been arrested for DUI, get in touch with the Law Office of John Buckley before your arraignment. During every step in the legal process, our criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your DUI case.
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Denver Criminal Lawyer Explains How to Get Car Insurance After A DUI


October 18, 2017

People that have been convicted of DUI must have car insurance in order to regain their driving privileges. But, finding car insurance after a DUI can sometimes be a challenge according to John L. Buckley, a Denver DUI defense lawyer. If you are a DUI offender looking for car insurance, follow these tips:

Be prepared.

Before beginning, it’s important to understand that your rates will not be as low as they were prior to your arrest. Now that you have a DUI on your record, insurance companies view you as a high-risk driver. This means that your rates will increase significantly for the next several years.

Contact multiple companies.

Anyone that has been convicted of a DUI must get a SR-22 document, which is basically proof of insurance, from the insurance company. Unfortunately, some insurance companies will not provide this to you, so you may need to contact multiple companies to find one that is willing to work with a DUI offender.

Consider alternative options.

Get quotes from a few different insurance companies so you have a better idea of how much you will have to pay now that you are a high-risk driver. At this point, you may come to the realization that you can no longer afford car insurance. If this is the case, think of other ways you can get around town while you wait for the DUI to come off of your insurance record. You may want to consider taking public transportation or carpooling with a friend or family member until your rates have dropped back down.

Obtain the SR-22.

Don’t forget that the insurance company that you do business with must prepare an SR-22 document and file it with the DMV on your behalf. Even though it is the insurance company’s responsibility to file this document, you should still check in and make sure that they didn’t forget to do this. Learn more about the SR-22 and other insurance requirements in Colorado.

Don’t miss payments.

DUI offenders should always make on-time auto insurance payments. If a DUI offender fails to make a payment, the SR-22 will be canceled and the insurance company will immediately notify the DMV to let them know that you are no longer insured. As soon as they are notified, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license until a new SR-22 in your name is filed. For this reason, it’s important to remember to make on-time payments so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of having a suspended license.  

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. We will do everything possible to prove your innocence so you do not have to worry about how your conviction will affect your car insurance. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your DUI case.
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