How to Fight DUI Charges in Colorado

5 Ways You Can Fight DUI Charges in Colorado

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Colorado, it doesn’t mean that you will be convicted immediately. However, Colorado has strict DUI laws that can affect the outcome of your case. Fortunately, there are many defenses that you can use to fight these charges.

1. DUI breath test wasn’t done correctly

Before you can take a breath test, some procedures must be followed to ensure that the results are true. Therefore, when the laid-down procedures are not followed to the letter, you can argue that the results were inaccurate. Some of the common procedural errors in DUI breath tests include:

  • Poor calibration of the Breathalyzer
  • The law enforcement officer didn’t receive proper training on how to administer the breathalyzer test
  • You didn’t get tested after driving for over 2 hours
  • The officer conducted the test without observing you for 20 minutes
  • The accurate results of the test were not preserved

2. Inconsistent blood test results

Even though breathalyzer test results are prone to human error, blood tests conducted in a lab can also give false-positive results. This is why Colorado DUI laws require that the lab save some of the DUI blood samples for a maximum of one year for independent testing.

If a certified independent lab analyzes the samples, and the results come up lower than what the police used, a Colorado court of law can give you the benefit of the doubt. This is why you should opt for a blood test over a DUI breath test.

3. DUI breath test was inaccurate

It’s not uncommon for breath tests to give false-positive results. Some of the reasons for a false positive breath test result can include health conditions, diet, and consuming substances like mouthwash, which contains alcohol. Additionally, there are external factors that can affect these results, like the temperature of the room.

4. No probable cause for you to be stopped

Before a police officer pulls you over and detains you for a DUI investigation, arrest, or for a chemical test, they need to have probable cause. This means that the officer should either be suspicious or believe that you’re breaking the law. Therefore, if the officer doesn’t have probable cause, they are not allowed to stop you or even build a case against you. If you’re in such a situation, the evidence they build up against you is inadmissible in a Colorado court of law.

5. The officer didn’t read you your Miranda rights

Before any arrest in Colorado, a law enforcement officer is legally required to read you your Miranda rights. This means that the officer conducting the interrogation during an arrest should read you your Miranda rights. Therefore, if they were not read to you, anything you say cannot be used as admissible evidence. However, you should note that anything you say before an arrest and before your Miranda rights are read to you can be used against you in court.

Get a DUI Attorney to Fight on Your Side

Colorado DUI cases are more complex than they appear. However, if you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, don’t despair. Experienced Denver DUI lawyers from the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC know all the tricks prosecutors use. Call us today at 303-529-2242 for a free consultation to discuss how we can protect your rights and defend you from your Colorado DUI charges.

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When Should I Call A Criminal Defense Attorney in Ohio?

When Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney?

First, understand that you have the right to seek the advice and representation of a criminal defense attorney at any time. Nothing prevents you from calling a lawyer as soon as a police officer approaches you. You can reach out during a traffic stop, at a DUI checkpoint, when stopped for questioning, or when an officer shows up at your door.

You will want to be polite and respectful when speaking with the officer. Avoid reaching into a pocket or purse to retrieve a phone. Being rude and/or sudden movements create far more problems than they resolve.

Based on my years of experience doing criminal defense in and around Columbus, Ohio, there are times when it is critical to call a criminal defense lawyer like me. If you have been taken into custody, if you are being questioned prior to arrest, if you believe there may be an investigation that could result in charges being filed, or if you have been formally charged with allegedly committing a crime, use your lifeline to contact a lawyer.  Even if you decide not to hire them or charges never get filed, it is very important to get much needed advice from an experienced lawyer.

When in Custody

Speaking with a lawyer soon after it becomes obvious that you will likely be arrested and charged will help you understand what to expect and how to act. This can be especially important if you have limited experience with the police and courts.

How you interact with officers and detectives will influence how they treat you and can either help or severely hurt you as the case moves forward.

During Questioning

Asking for legal representation before and during questioning will not necessarily stop law enforcement officials from trying to interrogate you, but it can be used to keep out evidence that was gathered during the interrogation. You must continue to assert that you wish to speak to a lawyer prior to answering questions.  This will allow you to refuse to answer or at least wait to answer until your criminal defense attorney can be present.

For Your Arraignment

An arraignment is a court hearing at which a judge reads the charges being filed against you. The judge will ask you if you understand the charges and how you plead. The best response is almost always to request a continuance to speak with a lawyer.  Entering a not guilty plea can also be appropriate if you have already talked to your lawyer.  Entering a not guilty or requesting a continuance gives you and your lawyer an opportunity to prepare a defense while assessing all the evidence gathered by the police and prosecutors.

Having a lawyer with you in court ensures that you completely understand your legal options and what the judge tells you. A lawyer may also be able to take actions during or immediately after the arraignment that can benefit you as the case proceeds.

For instance, asking to appeal a license suspension made in conjunction with an arrest on suspicion of drunk driving must be done within the time period currently required by law.  Missing the deadline waives the ability to have the suspension removed based on improper procedures, paperwork, etc.

While Preparing for Trial

This should seem obvious, but too many criminal defendants decide against hiring a lawyer. Most states require people to demonstrate actual financial need before they can be assigned a public defender for the duration of their case. Since not everyone qualifies for public defender services, the potential cost of hiring a private defense lawyer can deter many defendants from doing so. We, as criminal,traffic and DUI defense lawyers, understand that most people don’t save for these types of potential legal problems.

The truth is that most criminal defense attorneys will work with clients to set up reasonable payment plans. A dedicated lawyer will do all they can to ensure a client receives necessary services.

Partnering with an attorney while preparing a defense is extremely important. I can’t tell you how many times I receive call from people who were fresh out of court having been found guilty likely because they represented themselves. Prosecutors know the law and the court system. They will use this knowledge to increase the odds of securing a conviction and maximizing the potential penalties. A criminal defense attorney also knows the law and the courts.  This knowledge can and will be used to protect and benefit you in your case.

Your criminal and traffic defense lawyer will know how to obtain and analyze evidence, arrange for expert testimony if necessary, and prevent the prosecutor from violating strict rules put in place to protect your rights. Beyond that, an experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to negotiate a plea deal that benefits their client. Getting charges dismissed is not always possible, but avoiding a bad outcome due to lack of knowledge is almost always an option.

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Can You Travel with Medical Marijuana?

It now seems almost inevitable that medical marijuana will be legalized throughout the United States in the not-too-distant future. For one thing, in 33 of our 50 states it is already legal to use marijuana for medical purposes (even recreational marijuana is now legal in 10 states). For another, statistics demonstrate that an increasing number of individuals with serious and often fatal diseases respond well to the use of medical marijuana.

In the Meantime

Now that so many states have legalized medical marijuana, it is no longer necessary for individuals suffering from symptoms medical cannabis can help to send relatives to the seedy side of town to “score” some illegal marijuana since in states that have legalized medical marijuana there are now legal dispensaries. Patients also do not have to smoke marijuana in order to reap its benefits since the drug is available in other forms. This is beneficial because [1] smoking is associated with other medical hazards and [2] for some patients, “smoking pot” has negative connotations.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the component of cannabis that results in exhilaration (the sensation of being “high”). In some states, low-THC marijuana is available, meaning that patients can self-medicate without feeling high, spacy, drowsy or disoriented in order to obtain relief. It should be noted, however, that some disease symptoms are aided by the THC in the drug, so marijuana for patients suffering with these symptoms must contain a high percentage of the ingredient. It is essential to know whether you are taking low-THC or high-THC cannabis.

Some Illnesses Marijuana Benefits

Patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, cancer, dementia, glaucoma, arthritis, PTSD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) — all have reported, depending on the nature of their illness, less pain, less spasticity, less cramping and diarrhea, less anxiety, fewer seizures, easier mobility — in general a greater sense of well-being and enjoyment of life. Medical marijuana has also proven very effective in calming patients as they go through end-of-life suffering, making their transition much more bearable. 

Traveling with Marijuana

Patients like those with conditions mentioned above do not, unless bedridden, have to stay in one place. They will, for a variety of reasons, be traveling — to the doctor, the store, school, a friend’s house, a restaurant, a movie theatre, or a place of business. They may be driving or riding in a friend or family member’s car, a rideshare vehicle, or any of a number of types of public transportation. In any case, since they are not always at home when they require medical treatment, they have to know the answer to the following question: Can you travel with medical marijuana?

 

The answer has to be Yes because otherwise, medical marijuana would only offer patients symptom relief at the price of virtual imprisonment. If fact, all but the most severely ill of those taking medical marijuana, travel without legal interference. They, like you, just have to be careful.

Beware: Federal Law Still Defines Marijuana as an Illegal Drug

Despite medical evidence to the contrary, federal law continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” It is important to be aware that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and carries significant penalties. In most circumstances, however, you can avoid coming to the attention of federal authorities. Care must be taken, especially if you are traveling to a state that has not legalized marijuana or are involved in international travel.

Even in states in which medical marijuana is legal, physicians can only recommend its use; they are not permitted to prescribe it, since that would be a violation of federal law. It’s important to understand that you (the patient) although you may live in a state that allows the use of medical marijuana, will be violating federal law when you do so. This is certainly a strange contradiction, but you should be aware that if you end up in a federal courtroom for any reason, your attorney will not be able to offer a medical defense for your use or possession of medical marijuana.

Ways Around the Problem

A great many patients throughout the country (over a million) use medical marijuana on a regular basis. Clearly they have learned how to purchase and use, as well as travel with, an adequate supply, without getting into trouble with the law.

Depending on the laws of your particular state, you may or may not be allowed to possess high-THC cannabis in public places, so if you are medicating with this type of marijuana you have to be extra-careful regarding where you self-administer this medication.

Traveling by Car with Medical Marijuana

Traveling by Car with Medical MarijuanaFirst, remember that you cannot be under the influence of medical marijuana while driving. This means you should wait several hours after a dose to operate a motor vehicle, regardless of its THC content. Second, keep your cannabis enclosed in the trunk or some other inaccessible place so any law enforcement officer who pulls you over for a traffic infraction will not immediately doubt your sobriety. Can You Get in Trouble for Driving While High on Marijuana?

In some states, like Florida, as long as you have legally purchased your medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary, you are permitted to medicate with low-THC in public places. Public places include cars, boats, and public transportation. 

Traveling by Plane with Medical Marijuana

As far as commercial airlines are concerned, planes are under federal jurisdiction so flying with any form of marijuana, medical or not, remains illegal. This makes plane travel very tricky for patients who use medical marijuana. While it is generally understood that TSA agents at airports do not proactively search for drugs, either in suitcases that will be stowed or in carry-on bags, you should still remember that if they find a bag of marijuana they are required to call law enforcement.

Depending on which state an airport is in, you may be permitted to board with the medication or required to dispose of it before boarding. In a state with particularly strict regulations against drug possession, you may actually be arrested and/or have your medication confiscated.

International travel makes you even more vulnerable since some countries have truly Draconian laws relative to possession of marijuana. The takeaway here is it that it is never entirely safe to travel by air with medical marijuana. If you feel you must do so, you should research the laws in the pertinent states and airports and, especially if traveling internationally, consult with a criminal defense attorney well-schooled in this branch of the law.

Some Places to Avoid Medicating with Marijuana

As part of being careful about where you medicate with marijuana, you should leave 1500 feet between yourself and any school, daycare center, correctional institution, park or any place considered a Drug-Free Zone. You don’t want to make a mistake about this rule since if you have the misfortune to be brought to a federal court for any reason, your maximum sentence can then be doubled.

Ways to Be Safe

There are several ways to protect yourself if you are using medical cannabis away from home. You should make absolutely sure that you:

  • Obtain a Patient Registry Card
  • Don’t alter your Patient Registry Card in any way
  • Carry the smallest amount of marijuana possible
  • Make sure to store high-THC medical cannabis out of your reach in your car
  • Research the laws in your state and in any states or countries you travel to
  • Don’t lend you Patient Registry Card to anyone else for any reason

Also, make sure you do not travel with a marijuana plant, smoke marijuana or medicate with high-THC marijuana in public or on public transportation in any state you visit.

Don’t Put Your Medical Marijuana Recommendation in Jeopardy

If you give misleading or fraudulent information about your marijuana usage to the Department of Health, the department may suspend or revoke your registration or your doctor’s. Also, you should know that your doctor has the right to revoke your patient certification for cannabis for any reason, so keep the lines of communication open and comply with any rules stated by your physician.

Your Goal Should Be Your Own Health and Preserving the Health Rights of Others

If you are traveling with medical marijuana, be cautious and wise. Make sure to follow the regulation closely. You certainly don’t want to put your health and comfort at risk; nor do you want to jeopardize the rights of other patients to receive the help they need.

After his graduation from American University’s Washington College of Law, Miami attorney Antonio F. Valiente, Esq. began his legal career at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. There, he gained valuable insight and extensive experience over the course of six+ years. Between his time at the Public Defender’s Office & since founding Valiente Law, he’s tried close to 50 felony jury trials as lead counsel, dozens of misdemeanor jury trials, taken over one thousand depositions, & dozens of juvenile trials/adjudicatory hearings. Mr. Valiente’s experience encompasses everything from minor traffic-related misdemeanors to serious first-degree murder charges. Since 2015, Mr. Valiente has expanded his practice to handle all types of family law matters – from divorce and child custody cases to paternity and same-sex adoptions. Having the opportunity to work with & learn from some of the best and most experienced family law attorneys in the State, Mr. Valiente now provides his family law clients with the same excellent representation he is known for providing his client’s accused of state & federal criminal offenses.

What to Do When Your Child is Arrested for DUI

As parents, we all like the best for our children. However, there are terrible situations that cannot be, for the most part, avoided. For instance, when our child gets arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) charge.

Let’s face it. Teenagers and youngsters, more often than not, do bad judgment and if that includes driving and alcohol, the repercussions can be very severe. Not like us adults, youngsters are more willing to take a risk. However, the problem is that they don’t know the consequence of alcohol that can take effect on them.

We, as parents, must protect and guide them when this situation happens. We need to make sure that they know the severity of this charge. For a little help, here’s what you can do when your child gets arrested for a DUI charge.

Stay Calm

First things first, stay calm and keep things on track. In this way, you can think rationally to help your child get through the process. If you happen to be on the actual arrest, follow these steps:

  • Ask the officer for the name of the charges calmly and politely.
  • Ask the officer where your child will be taken.
  • Don’t argue or try to fight with the officer because it won’t change the situation of your child. Instead, it might make the situation worse.

On the other hand, if you’re not present on the actual arrest, try calming your child on the phone. Use this time to ask what really happened, what charges they’ll be facing, and where they are exactly. Take advantage of the time you have with them on the phone. Remind them to not talk about anything that happened until you have hired a DUI Attorney.

Communicate With a Bail Bondsman

Once you have calmed your child, contact or reach out to a bail bondsman right away. Without a doubt, getting a person out of jail takes lots of time. Even if you have paid for the bail, you still need to wait for that person to get arraigned and processed before you can bring them home.

The sad truth is that it can take days to take someone out of jail, depending on where and when your child was arrested. Fortunately, there’s a way to hasten the process. That is to contact a bail bondsman right away before you contact a lawyer.

A bail bondsman has access to data that you do not. As long as the bail bondsman knows who and where your child is, rest assured that you can get your child out of jail as humanly and as soon as possible.

But you need to give the bail bondsman at least 10 percent of the entire bail amount to speed up the process. Furthermore, you can even speed up the process even more by letting the bail bondsman to give the bail to have your child released.

Call a Lawyer

After contacting a bail bondsman, the next thing to do is to contact a lawyer. Get the best legal defense for your child that can help you make the process for your child as simple as possible. Make sure that the lawyer you get fully understands DUI cases.

Takeaway

What should you do when your child gets arrested for a DUI case? For sure, it’s a situation every parent would never wish to face. Taking the appropriate steps is the only way you can ensure that your child gets out of jail safely and quickly. Follow the steps above to be able to deal with this situation accordingly.

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Underage Drinking and Driving Charges in Ohio

Ohio, like every other state, makes it illegal for anyone younger than 21 to purchase alcohol. Consuming and possessing alcohol in public before reaching the age of 21 are also criminal offenses.

It only makes sense, then, that police, prosecutors, and judges in Ohio take charges of operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption very seriously. A first-time conviction for driving under the influence while below the legal drinking age can bring all of the following penalties: Read more

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5 Kinds of Attorneys You Need at Some time in Your Life

Are you looking for an attorney that can be of great help for solving your legal issues? However, what type of attorney you are searching for. Now, there are several kinds of attorney. The legal field is really very complex as well as large. You will discover that different attorneys specialize in different areas. That’s the reason why there are different attorneys, and whatever may be your legal issue, there’s an attorney who is an expert in dealing with a particular issue. Read more

John Barret is a blogger with the Elder Law Center of Wisconsin from the past four years. He is a law graduate in the US and enjoys writing about different legal processes, aspects of the laws, and the significance of having an attorney.

Drawbacks to Getting Your License Suspended

Losing your license is more than an inconvenience. Being unable to drive legally can make it impossible to keep a job or meet all your personal and family obligations.

Unfortunately, Ohio courts and statutes recognize more than 30 reasons to suspend a driver’s license. The punishment can apply to everything from leaving the scene of an accident, letting your auto insurance policy expire, failing to pay child support, getting convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), which is what state officials call driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and much more. AVOID AN OVI CONVICTION ON YOUR RECORD Read more

Hiring an experienced Columbus DUI attorney to fight an OVI charge is a must if you drive for a living.

Infographics: Probation Sentences You Can Expect for a DUI Conviction

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Avoid an OVI Conviction on Your Record

OVI, or operating a vehicle while intoxicated, is what Ohio law enforcement officials, courts, and statutes call driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Avoiding an OVI conviction is the only way to keep the charge off your permanent record because, unlike most other misdemeanors or low-level felonies, an OVI conviction cannot be expunged with the completion of a sentence and proof of continued good behavior. Read more

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.