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The Process of Reinstating A Driver’s License Explained By A Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver

December 6, 2017

Anyone who is charged with driving under the influence (DUI) may face an immediate revocation of his or her driving privileges. A criminal defense lawyer in Denver may be able to fight this revocation on your behalf, but if not, it will remain in effect. Once the revocation period has come to an end, the driver is responsible for reinstating his driver’s license. Here’s what needs to be done:

Meet All of the Requirements

First, make sure you meet all of the requirements to request a reinstatement. For example, if the DMV issued a nine-month revocation of your driving privileges, count one more time to ensure it has been nine months. If you were supposed to take an alcohol education course prior to reinstatement, get this done as well. Talk to your attorney to determine if there are any other requirements that need to be met in order to regain driving privileges.  In fact, you may be eligible to reinstate your driving privileges early.

Get A SR-22 Document

DUI offenders are required to get a SR-22 document before filing for reinstatement. The SR-22 document is often referred to as SR-22 insurance, but it’s not an actual insurance policy. In fact, it’s simply a document that tells the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you are an insured driver. Without this document, the DMV will not be able to reinstate your license. Learn more about the SR-22 and other insurance requirements in Colorado.

Mail in the Appropriate Documents

Now, gather all of the documents that are needed to reinstate your license and prepare to mail them out. This includes the SR-22 document and the standard application for reinstatement, which can be found online. The state of Colorado charges DUI offenders $95 to reinstate their driver’s licenses, which will need to be paid at this time. Write a check to cover this fee and mail it in along with the other documents.

Some drivers are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle in order to have their license reinstated. If this is the case, the DMV will need to see a copy of the interlock lease agreement, installation certificate, and Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit, which should be notarized. The address that these items need to be mailed to can be found on the application.

Wait For the Letter of Clearance

The DMV will review all of these documents and issue a letter of clearance to anyone who is approved for reinstatement. But, this does not mean that your driving privileges have been reinstated. Before you can legally drive, you will need to reapply for a driver’s license at any local Driver’s License Office. You cannot legally operate a vehicle until a new license has been issued from this office.

If you are ever charged with DUI, get in touch with the Law Office of John Buckley as soon as possible. John L. Buckley will work tirelessly to protect your driving privileges and your rights. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible after an arrest to schedule a legal consultation regarding your DUI case.

Denver Criminal Lawyer: How the State Will Prove A DUI in Court

November 29, 2017

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) does not always mean that you will be convicted of this crime, especially if you are working with a Denver criminal lawyer. The prosecutor may decide to drop the charges if there is not enough evidence to take you to court. Even if the case is taken to court, the state will have to show evidence that proves you are guilty of the crime. How does the state prove a DUI in court? Here are some of the ways:

How You Were Driving

A police officer typically suspects that a driver is intoxicated when he is going above or below the speed limit, stopping randomly, making wide turns, or having trouble staying in his lane. If the arresting police officer observes this type of behavior before pulling you over, it will be used against you in court. This evidence will be used to show that you were incapable of safely operating a vehicle because you were intoxicated.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that you were distracted or having car trouble, not intoxicated. He can also point out that you quickly and safely pulled over to the side of the road as soon as the officer turned his lights on, which shows that you were well aware of your surroundings and able to operate a vehicle.

Breathalyzer Results

The prosecutor will use the results from your breathalyzer test to show that you were above the legal limit of 0.08 at the time of your arrest. However, the results of breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. A criminal defense attorney may be able to prove that the results are not reliable because the test was performed incorrectly or the device was not calibrated properly. Certain medical conditions and over-the-counter medications can also affect the results. Even doing something as innocent as using mouthwash prior to being pulled over could make it appear as if you are intoxicated when you’re not. All of this information will be mentioned in court by you criminal defense attorney. Are breathalyzers accurate?

Field Sobriety Test Results

The prosecutor may also go over the arresting officer’s notes that discussed how you performed on the field sobriety tests. But, the results of the field sobriety tests are even more unreliable than the results of the breathalyzer. These physical tasks that are designed to test your balance, focus, and coordination can be difficult for anyone. It can be even harder to perform these tests if you are nervous or wearing uncomfortable shoes. For these reasons, the results of the field sobriety test are often not enough to prove that you were intoxicated at the time of your arrest.

If you are accused of DUI, stay positive and remember that it’s possible to fight these charges. But, you will need the help of a criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of John Buckley. 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.

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.

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!

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.