DUI & Criminal Defense Blog

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Denver DUI Attorney Offers Tips on Avoiding a DUI This Summer

June 13, 2018

Summertime is almost here, and so are the summer parties, barbecues, and festivals. There is plenty of opportunity for drinking—and that means the police will be out in full force, looking for drivers who are operating their vehicles while under the influence. These tips from a Denver DUI attorney will help ensure you are not one of these drivers.

Make a Plan Ahead of Time

If you’ve had a few drinks, you might start making bad decisions so it’s a good idea to have your plan in place before you get started. If you are meeting with a group of people, make sure one person has agreed to be the designated driver. (At many events, the designated driver can even drink soft drinks for free.) You can plan to call a cab. Or you can use a driving service such as Uber or Lyft. If the party is taking place at someone’s house, you can bring your overnight bag and plan to stay the night. You can even turn your keys in to the host at the beginning of the evening to ensure you don’t decide to drive home when you shouldn’t.

Go Out Near Your Home

If there are bars and restaurants near where you live, go there—and walk. This will keep you off the roads and still give you an enjoyable time out. If you meet others who have driven, plan for them to stay at your house. Have fresh sheets ready for the couch or pull out the blow-up mattress to keep everyone safe.

Use Public Transportation

Often big events are held in downtown areas or other popular places that have access to public transportation. The Light Rail or bus is a sure bet that you’ll stay off the road, keeping you and others safe.

Driving under the influence puts your life at risk as well as the lives of others on the road. You can also count on it costing you a lot of money because your insurance rates are likely to go way up. Read An In-Depth Look at How DUIs Affect Your Insurance Costs in Each State to get specifics.

If you make a bad decision about getting behind the wheel after you have been drinking and you get pulled over, you might wonder if you need a Denver DUI attorney or not. You are putting your entire future at risk by not hiring an attorney after a DUI, so don’t follow one bad decision with another.

People make mistakes, and if you are one of them and find yourself charged with a DUI, do not try to navigate the legal system alone. At the Law Office of John L. Buckley, we will fight on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome. Regardless of the charges you are facing, we can help you prepare the best defense. Everyone deserves fair and reliable representation from an expert such as those at the Law Office of John L. Buckley, PC. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

What To Do When You've Been Arrested - Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

May 30, 2018

Getting arrested is one of the most stressful experiences you can imagine. Not only are you placed in handcuffs and put in the back of a police car, but you’re taken to an unfamiliar place where people have expectations of your behavior that you barely understand. Before you can call your Denver criminal lawyer to represent your legal interests, you’ll have to go through the booking process. The easier the booking process is, the more prepared you’ll be to speak to your attorney when you have the opportunity. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do once you’ve been arrested.

You Should

  • Remain silent. When you’re arrested, you’re read your Miranda rights. These rights stipulate that you’re allowed to remain silent to avoid incriminating yourself or admitting guilt to the charges against you. No matter how belligerent the officers may seem, you are under no obligation to answer their questions.  There are situations where the police will not advise you of your Miranda rights. If they don't plan to question you, this may be permissible.  However, if you volunteer something incriminating, that may still be used against you.  Quite simply...just be quiet.  If asked a question, insist on a lawyer being present during any questioning.
  • Try to stay calm. In the middle of an arrest, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Whenever possible, try to avoid panicking. The calmer you are, the more reasonable the officers are likely to be. It’s perfectly acceptable to get nervous, but take a few deep breaths and close your eyes while you’re riding in the back of the car. Try to lower your heart rate and remember that the law entitles you to the opportunity to speak with your attorney. You simply have to be patient and wait for the booking process to be over with.
  • Make a note of the officers’ names. Once you’re calmed down, try to make a mental note of the officers’ names and badge numbers. The more information you can give to your attorney, the better off you’ll be. This is particularly useful if the officers were violent towards you or hurt you in the course of the arrest.

You Shouldn’t

  • Act out. It’s easy for emotions to get the best of you when you’ve been arrested, especially if the charges against you are incorrect. However, it’s important to stay as calm and respectful towards law enforcement as possible. The more respectful you are towards the officers, the more likely they are to help expedite the booking process.
  • Allow officers in your home. If you’re surprised by law enforcement at your house, do your best to avoid letting them into your house. While the officers can arrest you at your house, they still need a warrant to search your home without probable cause. Whenever possible, keep the officers from entering your home and speaking with your family members. Step outside and let them take you into custody on the front step. If they have a warrant, your family is free to cooperate.
Don’t let an arrest keep you from living your life. Let the  Law Office of John L. Buckley help you mount a defense for your case. Their experienced legal team believes that everyone deserves fair representation. Spare yourself the stress of representing yourself. Contact our experienced legal team today. Call (303) 501-1800 to schedule a free consultation.

Denver Criminal Lawyer Explains Boating Under the Influence

May 23, 2018

Summer in Colorado means more people will be spending time outdoors and what better way to enjoy the warmer weather than by getting out on the water? With so many lakes in and around the Denver area, there are no shortages of great places to boat, waterski, and enjoy a few cold ones while gently rocking on the water. However, like all motorized vehicles, boating under the influence can easily get you a ticket and force you to start looking for the services of an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. Before you head out in a boat, it’s important that you understand just what it means to be boating under the influence.

Boating Under the Influence Defined

Boating under the influence occurs anytime the person in control of the boat is found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. However, in Colorado, using recreational marijuana or being high while boating can leave you facing the same legal charges as alcohol intoxication. If you are found to be under the influence while in control of a boat, even a non-motorized watercraft, you can be charged with a BUI.

How Police Monitor Activity On The Water

The most common way people are caught boating under the influence is through others reporting their activity on the water. Anyone who suspects someone of controlling the boat while under the influence can call and report the driver to the marina who will then ensure that the authorities are contacted. In peak season, many municipalities establish BUI checkpoints on the lake, allowing police to monitor activity in real time, reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents on the water significantly. However, if an officer is patrolling the lake, they can pull you over under suspicion of boating under the influence, regardless of whether or not someone else reported you.

If you are pulled over, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test, just as you would on the road. Typically, officers rely on breathalyzer results rather than standard field sobriety checks as most of the tasks are impossible to perform within the confines of a watercraft. However, you may be asked to recite phrases to see if your speech is slurred or perform simple movements that would be easy for a sober person, even on the water. If you’re found to be boating under the influence, the officers have the right to arrest you and tow your boat to shore, just as they could if you were driving a regular vehicle.

What a Conviction Means

Boating under the influence is treated similarly to average DUI charges. Your boating license may be suspended, you may lose your driver’s license, and your insurance for both your commuter vehicle and your boat may increase. The punishments for boating under the influence are typically handled in the same way as punishments for DUIs. Depending on the severity of the charge, you may face fines, license suspension, and possibly jail time.

If you’ve been charged with a BUI, you don’t have to navigate the legal system on your own. Contact the DUI defense experts at The Law Office of John L. Buckley.

Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Explains How DUIs Impact Your Car Insurance

May 16, 2018

A DUI conviction does more than leave a mark on your permanent record. It can impact your relationship with friends, cost you your job, and even increase your expenses day to day. While an experienced Denver criminal lawyer will help you navigate the legal proceedings and mount a fair defense, you’ll still need to be prepared to face the realities of how a conviction can impact your daily life. One of the most noticeable ways a DUI can change your monthly expenses is through your car insurance.

Increased Perceived Risk

When insurance companies offer you a rate quote for a policy, they base their decision largely on your driving history. Those with few to no negative marks on their record are considered to be low-risk drivers. This means they’re less likely to get into an accident and thus less likely to need to file a claim with the insurance provider. The fewer claims an individual files, the more money they save the insurance company, making them more attractive clients and safer investments. If an individual with an extensive history of speeding tickets, traffic infractions, or even a single DUI looks for a policy, they’ll likely receive a higher monthly premium rate.

Though higher rates can be expected when searching for new policies after a DUI conviction, you may end up having to pay more each month to your current insurance provider. For many drivers, a single conviction can cause their rates to increase several hundred dollars.

Insurance Records Can Change

Unlike court record and criminal records where a DUI conviction is not likely to get expunged, insurance companies are a bit more forgiving. Most drivers see increased rates for no more than seven years after a conviction. However, during that time, you may be required to submit additional documentation to your insurer as proof of safe driving and financial responsibility. This may mean you’ll need to purchase additional liability insurance to satisfy state requirements or to address the increased financial risk the insurance provider assumes by issuing your coverage.

After those years, your insurance premiums should go down. If your existing insurer is not willing to lower your premiums back to a standard rate, you’ll want to shop for a new policy. Keep in mind that shopping for new coverage before the DUI conviction expires on your insurance record, you’ll likely be ineligible for discounts and should be prepared to pay a significantly higher monthly premium.

How to Lower Your Rates Quickly

Look for an insurance company that specializes in coverage for high-risk and post-DUI conviction drivers. When shopping for a policy, be honest with the insurance agent and let them know the details of your conviction if they ask for them. The more they understand your unique situation, the better prepared they’ll be to provide you with a fair quote.

DUI convictions can have far-reaching effects on your life and your finances. However, with the right representation, you’ll be able to mount a proper defense and argue your case. If you need help getting through a DUI conviction, contact The Law Office of John L. Buckley today.

Denver Criminal Lawyer Explains How to Repair Your Reputation After a DUI

May 2, 2018

You’ve worked hard to develop your reputation. You pay your bills, you attend jury duty, you’re reliable and hardworking. Until it all comes crashing down around you with a single DUI charge. For many people, being arrested for driving under the influence can have long-lasting effects on their reputation in the community. Your trusted Denver DUI defense attorney wants to help you bounce back after a DUI charge. Here are a few simple ways you can start rebuilding your reputation after your arrest.

Show Genuine Remorse

The “tough-guy” act may seem like the best defense, especially when it feels like everyone is judging you for a single mistake. This is not the case. In fact, it’s far better to express your remorse than it is to hide it away. Apologize to those you hurt, your friends, your family, and your employer. Let them see that you truly feel sorry for your actions and don’t be afraid to show your emotions. The more genuine your contrition is, the more likely they are to start to rebuild their trust in you.

Donate Time or Money to a Non-Profit That Promotes Safe Driving

Pick a charity or organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and make a donation. It doesn’t have to be much, but it can go a long way towards helping you feel more like yourself. If you cannot afford a monetary donation, consider volunteering at an event or pledge to participate in their Designated Rider program. This program allows you to commit to calling a friend or using a driving service to get home after a night out on the town. By holding yourself accountable and demonstrating to your friends and family your commitment to staying off the roads after having a few drinks, they’ll see that you’re actively working to avoid a repeated charge.  

Start Promoting Safe Driving Practices

There’s no better way to illustrate your remorse than to actively promote sober driving. Encourage your friends to start using rideshare apps when they go out rather than driving themselves. If you’re hosting a party, consider pre-purchasing rides for your friends so they won’t have to worry about facing a DUI charge like you did. If you know you’re going out yourself, lead by example. Make use of a rideshare app or ask a friend to be a designated driver. If you still have your driver’s license, volunteer to be that designated driver and enjoy a couple mocktails with your friends.

The easiest way to rebuild trust and repair your reputation is to take it seriously. Examine the actions that led to your arrest and do everything you can to avoid repeating the same mistake. If you’re currently awaiting trial or are in need of an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you navigate the legal system, contact the Law Office of John L. Buckley today. Our experienced team understands that mistakes happen and will treat you with the respect you deserve. Don’t wait. Call (303) 501-1800 to schedule a consultation with our staff.