DUI & Criminal Defense Blog

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5 Signs You May Be Too Drunk to Drive from Your Denver Criminal Lawyer


Each year, hundreds of people across the Southwest end up behind bars just because they drove after a night out on the town. Unsurprisingly, younger individuals are more likely to get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get caught, the last thing any driver wants to do is have to call a Denver criminal defense attorney to represent them in court. Every DUI can be prevented when people learn to recognize the signs that someone should get a ride home. The next time you and your friends are out on the town, watch for these warning signs.

Strange Speech Patterns

Slurred speech is a well-known sign that someone has had too much to drink, but it’s not the only one to watch for. Before your friend gets behind the wheel, have a quick conversation with them. Are they speaking slower than normal or having difficulty controlling the volume of their voice? If so, it’s best to call them a cab. Even a lightly tipsy person may have a hard time forming words the way they normally would. 

Weaving or Wobbling

When you’re buzzed, you may find it more difficult to balance, walk, or even sit. If your friend is weaving as they walk or wobbling in their chair, they shouldn’t get behind the wheel. This is a sure-fire sign that they’ve had too much to drink and may lack the coordination required to drive a car safely. 

Short-Term Memory Problems

When you’re sober, your memory can typically keep track of what happened in the last few hours. However, if you’re drunk, it’s not uncommon to forget what happened, who you talked to, or even how much you’ve had to drink already. If you find yourself forgetting what just happened or a friend can’t remember what you just talked about a moment ago, call a cab. It’s not safe to get behind the wheel. 

Glassy Eyes

Alcohol can delay response times and this includes your ability to focus on objects. For most people, this results in a glassy or glazed over look. If you find yourself seeing double or see a friend that seems to be staring at nothing in particular, don’t get behind the wheel. Find a designated driver, take public transit, or request a rideshare on your phone.

Asking If You’re Sober Enough

When in doubt, don’t get behind the wheel. In fact, if you’re having to ask yourself whether or not you’re sober enough to drive, you’ve probably had too much. If anyone in your friends group is asking if they’re okay to drive, immediately take their keys away, phone a friend to drive them home, or schedule a rideshare pickup. If they get behind the wheel, they could, at best, get pulled over for DUI and, at worst, hurt themselves or someone else on the road. 

Mistakes happen and if you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, you don’t have to go through it alone. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team today. Call (303) 501-1800 today.
 
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How to Prepare for Trial With Your Denver Criminal Defense Attorney


November 7, 2018

Awaiting trial is a stressful process, whether you’re facing a DUI charge or have been accused of another crime. While an experienced Denver criminal lawyer will be able to help represent your case to the court, it’s still important that you feel prepared for the hearing. There’s more to preparation than steeling your nerves and letting your attorney explain their strategy to you. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready for the big day. 

Familiarize Yourself with the Terminology

Before your trial, take the time to familiarize yourself with some of the legal jargon you might hear. Head to the library and pick up a book on the basics of the legal system or ask your attorney to clarify some of the terms they use when they meet with you. The more terms you know and the more familiar you are with the legal system, the better prepared you’ll be for your hearing. You’ll be able to follow what the judge is saying and be better able to answer their questions as they come up. 

Meet With Your Attorney

Whether you choose to hire an attorney or are working with a public defender, make sure to meet with them at least once before the hearing. They’ll have questions about the incident and your background, but they also want to get to know you. Representing a client is easier when they have a better understanding of your character. Remember, it’s their job to explain your side of the story and to argue on your behalf. The better they know you, the better equipped they’ll be. 

Make Sure You Understand the Charges

When you meet with your attorney, make sure you understand the charges against you. Often, the legal system can seem confusing, leaving some defendants unsure of what precisely they’re accused of. Ask your attorney to explain the charges against you in plain English and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on anything you’re unsure of. 

Be Prepared to Tell the Truth

Believe it or not, lying in court is illegal. If you do and you’re caught, you could face a perjury charge, subject to fines or increased prison terms if you’re convicted of the charges against you. Instead of trying to formulate a story that makes you seem completely innocent, tell the truth. If you’re worried about how to respond to questions in the court room, discuss your concerns with your attorney. They’ll help you run through your answers so you can focus on providing honest testimony without worrying about accidentally committing perjury. 

Regardless of the criminal charges against you, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney instead of representing yourself. Doing so ensures that you present the best case possible while also sparing yourself the stress of navigating the legal system alone. If you’re facing criminal or DUI charges, contact The Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. We’ll meet with you to discuss the charges you’re facing and represent you in court. Schedule a free consultation today. 
 
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4 Reasons to Hire a Denver Criminal Lawyer for Your Upcoming DUI Trial


October 31, 2018

Facing any criminal charge is a stressful experience, but knowing that you’re going to have to head to trial is enough to make most people nervous. While you’re free to represent yourself in court, doing so can be more challenging than you might expect. Hiring an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney is the best way to handle your upcoming case. If you’ve been debating whether or not you should represent yourself or allow the court to appoint legal representation for you, here are a few reasons to consider hiring a DUI attorney instead.

Court-Appointed Representation May Not Focus their practice on DUIs

Court-appointed attorneys are typically considered legal generalists. This means they’re familiar with the legal system and the charges against you, but they do not focus on defending against DUIs. While some will be perfectly capable of representing your best interests, others may not be equipped to advocate for you. This can result in higher penalties, potentially unfair punishments, or stricter-than-necessary sentencing. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to get your fines reduced or argue for a lesser sentence. 

DUI Attorneys Are Familiar with Sobriety Testing

Roadside sobriety tests are not always accurate and an experienced attorney knows this. They’ll be able to look at the tests you underwent and argue on your behalf, especially if the results were out of proportion or entirely inaccurate. They’ll even have access to expert witnesses to explain why the tests were not the best way to judge what happened on the road. If you were to represent yourself, it would be far more difficult to prove any errors in testing. John Buckley is certified in administering roadside sobriety tests and certified to teach police officers how to do so.

They Have Experience in the Courtroom 

Court proceedings are confusing if you’ve never experienced a trial before. This confusion, combined with the nerves of speaking to a judge, can make it difficult to represent yourself properly. Experienced DUI attorneys have countless hours of courtroom experience. This means they won’t get flustered when the judge poses a question, they’ll understand the complicated legal jargon, and be able to explain each step of the proceedings to you easily. 

Attorneys Understand How Charges Impact Your Record

If you’re like most people, you probably aren’t sure how the charges against you will impact your record in the long run. Google® is a great resource, but it’s no substitute for explanations from an experienced attorney. They understand the nuances of each charge, punishment, and fine and can explain to you precisely how they’ll impact your future. Without an attorney to guide you through the process, you may be surprised with unexpected consequences of the DUI charge. 

You’re Going Up Against Legal Professionals

When you represent yourself, you’re going up against a team of experienced legal professionals that know the laws and regulations like the backs of their hands. They’re prepared to sentence you to whatever they deem fair and appropriate. This can make it difficult to argue on your own behalf without getting caught up in the technicalities of the legal system. An experienced attorney will be just as prepared as the court.

Looking for a DUI attorney to represent you in an upcoming trial or case? Contact The Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. and schedule a free consultation today. Our team is happy to come to you, wherever you’re located in the Denver-metro area. 
 
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Denver Criminal Lawyer Answers Common Questions About Breathalyzer Tests


October 24, 2018

Getting pulled over for a suspected DUI can be stressful. While there are several roadside sobriety tests the authorities might ask you to undergo at a traffic stop, none is more common than the Breathalyzer test. This test has a reputation for being both inaccurate and incredibly popular and if you’ve never been pulled over before, you may have several questions about the test. Your trusted Denver criminal defense attorney shares some of the most frequently asked questions about the Breathalyzer test and what you can expect during a routine DUI traffic stop. 

What does the breathalyzer test really check?

The Breathalyzer test, in theory, tests for alcohol on your breath. As you drink, your body metabolizes the alcohol, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be measured accurately. The thought is, if you’ve been drinking before you get behind the wheel, the test will pick up the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream as you exhale, not just what’s on your breath.  

Is the test accurate?

The most accurate form of blood alcohol testing is done by taking a blood sample. The breathalyzer test can be fooled or measured inaccurately by many household substances like mouthwash and even some chewing gum. A single sip of alcohol can be enough to trigger a false reading, making the test less reliable.

Can I be arrested for a positive breathalyzer test?

The breathalyzer test is used by law enforcement to act as probable cause in possible DUI cases. It’s not admissible in court, but it does give them enough evidence to justify taking you into custody. Keep in mind that most courts rely on the BAC levels found through blood tests and more formal breathalyzer tests done at the police station rather than a roadside breathalyzer check. 

Can I refuse to take the test?

You can. However, depending on the other observations the officer has made of your behavior (erratic driving, slurred speech, poor balance, etc) they may have enough evidence to arrest you without the result of the roadside breath test.  

Is there any way to beat the test?

It seems like there’s a new method to help people beat the breathalyzer test popping up out of the woodwork. Almost as soon as they pop up, they’re debunked. Just because the test is not the most accurate method to measure BAC doesn’t mean it can be fooled. In truth, there’s no way to completely fool the test. If you’ve been drinking, you’ll test positive with the breathalyzer. To borrow a phrase from the 80s movie "Wargames"... "The only winning move is not to play."  Simply decline to participate in taking the roadside breath test.

If you’re facing DUI charges after a failed roadside breathalyzer test, contact the legal team at The Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. We’ll help you prepare a defense and get you ready for everything the legal system can throw your way. Schedule a consultation today and let our team help you manage and navigate the legal system so you’ll never have to be on your own. Contact us online or call (303) 501-1800 to discuss your case today.
 
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Denver Criminal Lawyer Answers Common Questions About DUI Convictions


October 17, 2018

Getting a DUI is serious, but if it’s your first conviction, you likely have a few questions about what the charges mean. An experienced Denver criminal defense attorney will help you represent your case in court, but it’s still important that you understand the charges, what they mean, and what a conviction could do to your personal life. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about DUI charges. 

What does it take to earn a DUI in Colorado?

In Colorado, the two most common causes of a DUI conviction come from alcohol and marijuana use. Drivers pulled over who exhibit any signs of being high behind the wheel who then have THC levels of 5 nanograms or more in their systems as shown by a blood test, can be charged with a DUI. For drivers under the influence of alcohol, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent is enough to result in a criminal charge. Keep in mind that DUIs can arise from any drug or substance that alters your ability to drive.

What if I got a DUI due to prescription drugs?

Even if you were given a prescription, you can still be charged with a DUI. If your ability to drive is diminished by the drugs or you’re found to be over the legal limit when you’re pulled over, the state is permitted to charge you with a DUI. 

Can I lose my license if I’m convicted?

A successful DUI conviction can lead to the suspension of your license, an increase in auto insurance premiums, and hefty fines. The length of license suspension will depend on the severity of the charges against you and the number of offenses on your record. As a condition of having your license reinstated, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device that tests your breath for alcohol anytime you get behind the wheel. 

I know I’m guilty. Do I really need an attorney?

It’s always a good idea to work with an experienced attorney if you’re facing DUI charges, even if you plan on pleading guilty. Attorneys understand the legal system and may be able to help negotiate a lower sentence or fine. Even if you think you don’t need an attorney, schedule a consultation. They’ll be able to advise you on the best way to navigate the legal system, give insight into what to expect during your trial, and prepare you to present your case to the court. 

Is there any way to beat a DUI charge?

With DUIs, the best way to beat a charge is not to get one in the first place. If you’re out with friends and feel like driving might not be the best idea, don’t get behind the wheel. Grab a ride from a friend, call a cab, or use a ride-share app to make sure you get home safely. Just let the staff at the bar or restaurant know that you need to leave your car. They’d rather have you pick it up the next day than drive drunk or tipsy.  However, if you have been charged, an experienced DUI defense attorney will explore all of the evidence against you and offer the best opportunity to defend against the charges.

Have you been charged with a DUI? Contact The Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. and schedule a free consultation with our legal team. 

 
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