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Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Explains What to Expect With an Out-of-State DUI


March 28, 2018

Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the country. With so much scenery to take in and so many craft breweries and distilleries opening along the Front Range, it’s no wonder that people flock to the state year after year on vacation. However, if you’re like many out of state travelers, the altitude can catch you off-guard, leaving you feeling the effects of the alcohol after only a few drinks. All too often, this unexpected buzz leads to DUIs and out-of-state charges you’ll need to navigate through. Though all states have certain similarities in how they handle DUIs, the laws in Colorado will no doubt be different than those in your home state. Your trusted Denver criminal lawyer explains what you can expect if you’re charged with a DUI while on vacation.

Out-of-State Does Not Give You Leeway

When you’re visiting any state, not just Colorado, you’re expected to abide by the local laws and regulations. If you’re found to be in violation of any local laws while you’re on vacation, you can be charged for the crimes you committed. For example, if a Denver resident traveled to your home state with marijuana that was legally purchased in Colorado, they could be arrested for possession at a bare minimum and charged according to the local regulations. If you’re caught drinking and driving in Colorado, you’ll be arrested and charged according to Colorado law.

What Happens If You’re Arrested

Unfortunately, the legal system does not relax its requirements just because you’re on vacation. If you’re arrested, you’ll be expected to attend all court hearings in Colorado when they’re scheduled. Your case will not likely be remanded to your home state nor will you be allowed to respond to hearings remotely. When you’re placed in custody, the arresting officer will file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles who will then suspend your license until your court date. Typically, this suspension only applies in Colorado, but if you miss your court hearing, the suspension could become permanent, impacting your ability to drive in your home state.

Once you attend your court date, the judge’s decision will be shared with the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as your local law enforcement organization at home. If your license is suspended in Colorado due to a conviction, it’s likely that your local government enforce the punishment.

Your best bet to navigating an out-of-state DUI charge while visiting Colorado is to hire a local Denver-based attorney to help you mount a defense. Denver attorneys have an intimate understanding of the Colorado legal system and will be better equipped to help you argue your case. Though you may have a trusted attorney in your home state, they are often only able to practice law in the state where they passed the bar.  By all means, ask them for advice and let them guide you through the process of reinstating your license and your good name once you get home, but let a Denver attorney handle your case while you’re on vacation.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI while visiting Colorado, contact the Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. Our experienced team is here to help.