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What To Know About Driving High In Colorado From a Denver DUI Defense Lawyer

February 21, 2018

In 2012, Colorado voted in favor of recreational marijuana. The green rush that has occurred since then has been a boon to the local economy, but it has also created a series of important legal questions that have since needed to be answered. While recreational marijuana has increased personal freedom, it also has increased the degree to which a person is responsible. That’s why it’s important to understand the current driving while high laws, with the help of a Denver criminal lawyer.  

How much is too much?

In regards to new driving while high laws, the total amount of THC that is present in your bloodstream can be no more than 5 nanograms. The guidelines state that although the police can charge you with driving under the influence for this small amount, they make their determination of intoxication based on observed behavior.

Even if you are a patient who has received their medical marijuana card and has a current prescription, you can still be charged with a DUI if you have noticeable levels of marijuana in your system and are displaying signs of being high.

Police officers will assess your level of intoxication by examining how much of this substance is presently in your bloodstream. Although this test has been shown to be unpredictable in determining how intoxicated a person is, this is the current way police determine if you are legally too high to drive.

Where can you have marijuana and paraphernalia?  

The legal possession of marijuana allows for an individual to travel with pot on their person. But it is important to understand that you are not able to have marijuana and paraphernalia in the passenger area of a vehicle. You must have it stored in the trunk or another location away from being readily accessible.

If it is determined that you have been using marijuana in the passenger area of your car, you may be charged with an open container violation, and police may look to pressing additional charges as well.

Driving with Marijuana with Children Present

Current laws allow for police officers to charge individuals with additional criminal charges if children are present. Although marijuana affects each individual differently depending on the amount consumed, the state of Colorado allows for this to be used to charge people with a much more serious offense.

Although marijuana is now legal and readily available to citizens of Colorado, it is important to be aware of the current legal environment that currently exists around this controversial plant. There are still a variety of ways that possession and use of this plant can get an individual into serious legal trouble if they do not take the correct precautions.

If you have recently been charged with a driving while high offense or know someone who is in need, contact the law offices of John L Buckley today. We work tirelessly to ensure your rights are defended, and we guarantee the best possible representation for your individual situation.

4 Substances Other Than Alcohol That Can Leave You Needing a Denver Criminal Lawyer

February 14, 2018

When most people think about getting a DUI, they think about driving while drunk or buzzed. While alcohol may be the most common reason people call a Denver criminal defense attorney, it’s not the only substance that can get you pulled over. In fact, there are many different legal substances that may put you and others in danger when you get behind the wheel. Here are a few of the most commonly used substances that, when abused, can end up making you too intoxicated to drive.

Prescription Drugs

Believe it or not, certain prescription drugs can impair your motor skills, making it difficult if not dangerous to get behind the wheel. Some painkillers, sleep aids, and even cough medicine is strong enough to earn you a DUI if you end up driving while the medication is in your system. Before giving you the medication, your doctor and your pharmacist should go over the potential side effects of the drugs and warning labels will indicate if the medication could interfere with your driving ability. Remember, just because a drug is prescribed by your doctor doesn’t mean you’re okay to drive—you can still be arrested and charged with a DUI if you’re caught behind the wheel.  


Though marijuana is fully legal in Colorado, it can still impair your judgement behind the wheel. Typically, drivers under the influence of marijuana are more cautious and less aggressive than those that drive drunk. Most often, high drivers stick to slow speeds and long stopping distances, but they also tend to weave in the lane and may have delayed reaction times. While socially considered less harmful and dangerous than alcohol, it can still put you at risk for a DUI if you drive while high. Though the legal limit for marijuana impairment in Colorado is 5 nanograms of TCH in your system. However, officers will arrest you if they perceive that you’re impaired or high.


While going to the dentist and having your wisdom teeth extracted may not seem like a big deal, the medications they use to help you through the pain can do serious damage to your driving ability. Even local anesthetics and topical analgesics can leave you feeling groggy and slow your reaction time. Depending on how you react to these side effects, the impairment may be severe enough to change how you drive home. When in doubt, call a cab and pick your car up when the medicine wears off.

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Many over-the-counter medicines like cough syrup, decongestants, and antihistamines can leave you feeling drowsy. While their side effects may not be as severe as their prescription counterparts, they can still be dangerous. When combined with other substances, like a single drink after work, their effects can be extreme. Just because the medicine is available without a prescription does not mean it’s incapable of impairing your driving ability.
If you’re fighting a DUI conviction, you don’t have to deal with the legal proceedings on your own. Contact the Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. He’ll work to help you mount the best defense possible. 

Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the Bail Process

January 31, 2018

When you’re arrested and facing DUI charges, a Denver criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. However, it’s up to you and your family to get out of jail until your scheduled hearing. This process is known as posting bail, and if you’ve never done it before, the process can be a bit confusing. Here’s a brief guide to navigating the bail process so you can get back to your daily life more quickly.

Why Bail Exists

The justice system recognizes that many defendants have families and lives outside of their legal infractions. By holding individuals in jail until a formal hearing, the justice system is unnecessarily punishing defendants’ families, exposing them to financial hardship and emotional strain. The bail system allows defendants to maintain some sense of normalcy for their loved ones until the formal sentencing appointment.

Setting Bail

If the charges you’re facing are minor enough, you’ll likely be released and sent home until your formal hearing. However, if the charges are more severe, you may end up being held in jail until your scheduled court hearing. If this is the case, a judge responsible for making the determination will set bail. Bail is an amount of money that you or your family can pay to get you out of jail until the hearing. The judge ultimately decides whether or not the defendant deserves the option of bail as well as the dollar amount required. For more severe charges or if you have previous offenses, you can expect the bail amount to be higher.

Posting Bail

Once the judge decides on a bail amount, you’ll have the option to pay it or not. By not paying bail, you accept that you’ll serve time in jail until your hearing. If you decide to pay, you or your family can post bail with cash, check, or physical property worth an equivalent amount. Should you be unable to pay the specified bail amount, you can ask the judge to lower it in a formal bail hearing or work with a bail bondsman to receive a loan for the amount.  

What Happens Once You’re Out

When you post bail, you’ll be expected to remain in the area and attend all hearings and court proceedings at their scheduled times. Bail only excuses you from serving time in jail until your formal hearing and sentencing. It lets you go back to work, support your loved ones, and live life as you normally would until a decision is reached by the court. Keep in mind that if you attend all hearings, the bail money will be returned even if you’re convicted. The fee only serves as assurance that you’ll work with your attorney as well as the judicial system.

You never have to handle a DUI conviction on your own. At the Law Office of John L. Buckley, we believe that everyone deserves fair and equal representation. Let us represent you in your upcoming DUI case and see the difference having an experienced Denver criminal lawyer can make in helping you navigate the legal system. Don’t wait. Contact us today.  

Denver Criminal Lawyer on Convincing a Friend or Loved One Not to Drive Drunk

January 24, 2018

You’ve just thrown an amazing party, and plenty of your guests are intoxicated from the alcohol you’ve served. As the night begins to wind down, some of your more intoxicated guests, some of them close friends, decide to get behind the wheel in order to get back home. This situation has probably happened to you at least once, and it can be a difficult thing to deal with as a host. But according to Denver criminal lawyers, it is important to persuade them against such a decision.

Provide Solutions

Your friend may think the best option for themselves is to drive home drunk, as they want to sleep in their bed and not have to pay for a ride home. Often, people drive drunk because they don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of leaving their car or because they don’t want to shell out the dollars for an expensive taxi or rideshare home.

In this scenario, it can be hugely beneficial for your friend to know that there are other options available. Offering to give your friend reasonable solutions will make it easier for them to choose the smart choice of not driving home drunk. If you have a spare bed or couch, offer it up to them and assure them that they are not imposing by staying. Often, people will refuse such offers because they don’t want to feel like a burden to the host.

If the person is insistent on leaving your home, encourage them to use the services of a taxi or rideshare. Perhaps you can find someone who is sober and heading in the same direction if they could drop them off. Make it known to them that there are more preferable options out there available to them, ones that won’t result in an expensive legal problem down the road.

Provide Support

Often times, friends and loved ones are unable to admit that they are too intoxicated to drive, as this can be an issue of pride for some people. Being able to provide assurances that it is completely ok to have had too much to drink can be helpful for those who are thinking about driving home drunk. Letting them know that it is totally understandable will alleviate their shame about the situation.

As someone who cares about them, you will want to let them know that you are looking out for their best interest by dissuading them from driving home. Reminding someone that there are others out there that care about them can be a helpful tip to keep an intoxicated associate off the roads. Letting a person know that you’ve been in their shoes before will help reduce feelings of guilt or shame, as you can inform them that you’ve been in the same situation.

If you are in need of DUI legal defense, or know someone who is in need, contact the law offices of John L Buckley today. We work tirelessly to ensure your rights are defended, and we guarantee the best possible representation for your individual situation.

Can the Police Search Your Car? Your Denver Criminal Lawyer Explains Your Rights

January 17, 2018

When getting pulled over by the police, you may feel nervous. This is normal and it is important to stay calm. You have rights and do not have to consent to all questions you are asked. Be prepared and know your rights. The best way to learn is through your local Denver criminal lawyer, who understands the ins and outs of the law. From learning what to do if you get pulled over, and what you are legally bound to do, to working with a lawyer, use this as your guide to be prepared.

How to Handle Getting Pulled Over

A police officer will pull you over if they see a reason to do so. Police are not allowed to pull you over just to see your license. It could be anything from speeding to little-known traffic laws in Colorado that you may be breaking.

Upon seeing the flashing lights in your rearview window, remain calm and follow these steps:
  • When Getting Pulled Over: Use your turn signal and slowly pull to the side of the road. As you wait for the officer to approach your window, get your license, insurance card and registration ready. Put it in the passenger seat or have it in hand to provide to the officer.
  • How to Interact with the Officer: While you know you are not a threat, it is important to be respectful. Roll down your window and have your hands on the steering wheel when the officer approaches your car. If it is dark out, turn on your interior lights so the officer can see better. Be polite and courteous as they greet you.

Know Your Rights

Once the officer has reviewed your information, they will begin to ask you questions such as “Have you been drinking tonight?” or “How much alcohol have you consumed?” These are questions you do not have to answer. Decline and say something along the lines of “I decline to answer,” or “I am going to remain silent.”

Next, they may ask to look through your car. You do not have to consent to a search. It is your right to tell the officer you do not consent to having your vehicle searched. They may also ask you to perform a field sobriety test. It is your right to decline this as well.

If they have probable cause and think you are driving while intoxicated, there is the “Expressed Consent Law” which you will need to submit a blood or breath test. You can still refuse to do so, but it will lead to a one-year suspension on your license. Learn how to handle your next steps by reviewing the FAQ: criminal and DUI defense.  It is important to note that in the context of a Colorado DUI investigation, you must answer whether you will submit to a blood or breath test and you DO NOT have the right to consult with a lawyer before doing so.

At this point, the police officer may detain you as they try to resolve the situation. This is not a punishment for remaining silent, but normal procedure. You are still legally allowed to remain silent and ask to speak with your lawyer. Do not say anything until you speak with your lawyer.

Working with a Lawyer

Your lawyer will handle your next steps. Continue to decline to answer without an attorney present. Your attorney will handle everything. The best thing you can do to be prepared is to have your attorneys phone number saved in your contacts.

Be prepared and have the Law Office of John L. Buckley, 303-501-1800, saved in your phone. Our office will help you with your case.