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Everything You Need to Know About Wet Reckless Charges According to A Denver Criminal Defense Attorney


August 16, 2017

The state of Colorado takes driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously, so it’s no surprise that there are harsh penalties for this crime. If you have been charged with DUI, a Denver criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced to what is known as a “wet reckless.” Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a wet reckless?
There is no actual crime in Colorado that is called a wet reckless. This is just a term used to describe a certain type of plea bargain that a prosecutor may offer to a DUI defendant. If the prosecutor decides to offer you a wet reckless plea bargain, you will be asked to plead guilty to reckless driving instead of DUI. The term “wet reckless” is used because the plea bargain involves a reckless driving charge and the use of alcohol.

It’s important to note that not every DUI defendant will be offered this type of plea deal. A wet reckless plea deal is typically only offered in cases where the defendant is a first-time offender, did not cause any injuries or fatalities, and did not have a very high BAC level at the time of his arrest.

What happens if you accept a wet reckless plea bargain?
If you decide to accept a wet reckless plea bargain, you will be convicted of reckless driving. This charge will show up on your record just as it would if you were found guilty of it in court—there is no asterisk by the charge that indicates you accepted a plea deal.

Reckless driving is a far less serious crime than DUI, so the penalties aren’t as severe. If you accept this plea deal, you may face penalties such as a brief stint in jail, fines, license revocation, and the mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education course. Points will also be added to your license, which means your monthly insurance rate will go up indefinitely. Can I plead to wet reckless in Colorado?

Should you accept a wet reckless plea deal?
Every DUI case is unique, so the answer to this question will vary on a case-by-case basis. It’s never a good idea to accept or reject a plea deal without talking to an attorney. A criminal defense attorney can review the evidence that the state has against you and determine if the plea deal is in your best interest. In some cases, the attorney may feel that you have a good chance of being acquitted in trial, so taking the plea deal would not be a smart move. However, if the state has a lot of evidence against you, a plea deal may be the best option to protect your future.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 case.
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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver Explains Probable Cause in DUI Cases


August 9, 2017

Police officers do not have the power to pull over anyone that they desire. In order to lawfully pull someone over, a police officer must have probable cause that the driver has broken the law. Probable cause means the police officer has enough evidence to reasonably believe that you have violated a law. Here’s what you need to know about probable cause in DUI cases according to John Buckley, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver:

Erratic Driving Could Be Probable Cause

Police officers closely watch drivers on the road to look for signs that a driver is intoxicated. If a driver seems to have trouble staying within one lane, fails to use his turning signals, stops abruptly, or makes narrow or wide turns, police officers could use this as probable cause to pull him over. Erratic driving may indicate intoxication so this is often how police officers justify pulling drivers over for a DUI stop. Learn how police identify drunk drivers through signs of impairment.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Fight Probable Cause

Police officers cannot pull you over without probable cause, so if you believe that a police officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, then you should let your attorney know immediately. An attorney may be able to fight the charges that you face by proving the police officer had no right to pull you over in the first place. This can be challenging to prove, but it’s not impossible, especially if there were witnesses or surveillance cameras that support your side of the story. If you successfully prove that the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, the entire case may be thrown out.

Police Officers Will Continue to Look for Probable Cause

If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the police officer will continue to observe you to look for signs that you are intoxicated. For example, if you are slurring your speech or having a hard time keeping your eyes open, the police officer may use this as probable cause to test you for or charge you with DUI. Likewise, if the police officer smells alcohol on your breath or in your vehicle, this could also be used as probable cause.

Accidents Can Be Probable Cause

If you get into an accident, a police officer can use this as probable cause. In this situation, the police officer is allowed to pull over to the scene of the accident and make contact with the drivers even if he did not witness the accident. Hopefully, you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, it can be very difficult to fight that the officer did not have probable cause.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 case.
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Denver Criminal Lawyer Describes What Happens When You Are Pulled Over


August 2, 2017

According to Denver criminal lawyer John Buckley, DUI arrests almost always begin with a traffic stop. If you see the flashing lights of a police car behind you, it’s important that you know what to expect if you are under suspicion of driving under the influence.

First, the police officer will approach your vehicle and ask for your license and registration. He may ask you a few other questions if he has reason to believe that you were drinking. For example, he may ask if you’ve consumed any alcohol or if you know why he is pulling you over. Remember, you are only required to give your name, driver’s license, and registration. Besides that, keep the conversation to a minimum.

If the police officer believes you are intoxicated, he may then ask you to perform either a preliminary breath test or a series of field sobriety tests. Drivers can decline these tests without penalties. Field sobriety tests are unreliable, so it’s not recommended that you agree to do these. If you agree to the preliminary breath test, the police officer may let you leave if you have a BAC lower than 0.05%. If you have a BAC at or above 0.05%, the police officer will likely arrest you for driving while ability impaired. If your BAC is above 0.08%, the police officer will arrest you for driving under the influence.

Blowing above a 0.08% on the preliminary breath test gives the officer probable cause to believe you are intoxicated. At this point, the express consent law applies and you will no longer be able to decline taking tests without being penalized. Preliminary breath test results cannot be used as evidence against you in court, so another test must be conducted. The officer will ask you to choose between a breath test and a blood test unless he suspects that you are under the influence of drugs, in which case he will not offer the breath test as an option. Learn about Colorado DUI: refusal to take a blood, breath, or urine test.

If you choose a breath test, the police officer has the authority to take away your driver’s license if you blow above a 0.08%. However, you have the right to a hearing with the DMV to challenge this. If you choose a blood test, two vials of blood will be taken. One of these vials will be sent for testing while the other will be stored so you can conduct independent testing on it if needed. After taking the tests, you will be booked and possibly released on bail to a loved one. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may have to post a bond.  

If you have been charged with DUI, contact the Law Office of John Buckley right away. We 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 case.
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Ask the Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver: How Does A DUI Affect Your Job?


July 26, 2017

People who are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) may be nervous about the possibility of spending time behind bars or paying massive fines after a conviction.

But, there are other consequences that can negatively affect your career for years after a conviction. A criminal defense lawyer in Denver can defend you against DUI charges so you don’t suffer these career-related consequences:

Lack of Transportation

If you are convicted of DUI, one of the consequences that you will likely face is a suspended license. This means you cannot drive anywhere—even to work—until your license has been reinstated. Those who have a suspended license will need to either turn to friends or family members or take public transportation to get to their place of employment. But, these methods of transportation are not nearly as reliable as driving yourself, and a result, you may show up late to the office once or twice. Learn about the process to reinstate driving privilege from the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.

Professional License

Some defendants may be stripped of their professional licenses after being convicted of a DUI. Nurses, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals may have their licenses revoked or suspended after a DUI conviction. Without a license, these individuals can no longer work in the profession that they have worked in all of their lives or trained extensively for. If you work in one of these professions, please be extra cautious of driving after drinking.

Professional Image

Even if you do not have a professional license, a DUI conviction can still impact your work. Once coworkers and supervisors learn of your DUI, they may start to look at you differently or question whether you have a substance abuse problem. In general, people that you work with may not take you as seriously if they know that you were convicted of DUI. This is a reputation that can follow you for years after the conviction and it can interfere with your ability to advance within your company.

Company Reputation

In addition to harming your own reputation, a DUI conviction can affect your company’s reputation as well. This is especially true if you are a representative of the company and well known within the community or among others in the industry. News travels fast, so even if you don’t publicly announce that you have a DUI on your record, this tidbit is bound to get out eventually.

Missed Work

Before you are convicted, you will need to attend court hearings and meetings with your attorney regarding your case. If you are found guilty, the judge may require you to attend alcohol education courses. In order to meet all of these obligations, you will most likely need to take time off of work, which could affect your reputation and your ability to meet deadlines and get your job done.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 case.
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Criminal Defense in Denver: Can A Police Officer Search Your Phone During A DUI Stop?


July 19, 2017

You’ve probably heard “you have the right to remain silent” on your favorite crime or cop TV show, but do you know your other rights? If a police officer pulls you over because he believes that you are under the influence of alcohol, he may want to search your phone to look for more evidence. Do you have the right to say no? According to John Buckley, an attorney who practices criminal defense in Denver, you can absolutely say no to this request.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that police officers cannot search someone’s private property without that person’s consent or a search warrant. In 2014, the Supreme Court heard a case regarding whether warrantless cell phone searches were prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. The court ruled those police officers are not allowed to search through someone’s cell phone without a warrant or the person’s consent. Learn more about the Fourth Amendment here.

Why would a police officer want to search your phone during a DUI stop? Police officers are interested in finding evidence that you were recently drinking. They may look through your photos to see if there are any recent photos of you chugging a beer or taking shots. He could also look at your texts to see if you engaged in conversations with friends or family about how intoxicated you are. All of this evidence can be used to prove that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol.

But, there are some exceptions where police officers can legally search your phone even if you do not give their consent and they do not have a warrant to conduct the search. If the police officer believes that there are exigent circumstances, he may conduct a search of your phone without waiting to obtain a warrant. For example, if the police officer believes that there is evidence on your phone that may be destroyed if it is not captured right away, he may use this as a reason to search your phone without a warrant.

It’s also important to note that if you are arrested, a police officer can seize your phone and hold onto it until he has obtained a warrant. There is no guarantee that the police officer will be able to obtain the warrant, though.

It’s imperative to understand these rights so you know how to protect yourself in the event that you are pulled over by a police officer. If a police officer asks if he can search your phone, politely and firmly say that you do not consent to the search. Even if you don’t think there is anything incriminating on your phone, it’s best to say no to this request.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.
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