If you get charged with a DUI in Colorado, you could face severe consequences, including incarceration and fines. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was greater than 0.20%, the potential penalties resulting from a conviction could increase. A DUI conviction can have serious ramifications on your life in a variety of ways.
At the law offices of Christian A. Schwaner, we are well aware of the ways in which a DUI conviction can negatively impact your life. We will work diligently to help you beat a charge or plea bargain for a reduced penalty. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free initial case consultation.
A DUI With a High BAC Can Result in an Aggravated DUI Charge
Any DUI charge can result in serious consequences. However, if a chemical test shows that your BAC was 0.20% or higher, the penalties you face can increase. For example, a first-offense DUI will normally result in five days to one year in prison. In cases involving a high BAC, the minimum jail time increases from five to 10 days.
Furthermore, the minimum sentence in a standard case can be replaced with counseling and drug and alcohol education. However, incarceration can not be suspended in cases involving a high BAC. Although, it is possible that the court can order home detention rather than jail time.
A DUI with a high BAC is categorized as a type of aggravated DUI charge. High BAC is one of several factors that can bump a charge from a standard DUI to an aggravated DUI. If you are charged with an aggravated DUI, you are more likely to receive the maximum sentence for a DUI conviction.
The Penalties Increase for Subsequent Offenses
If you have already been convicted of a DUI, a subsequent charge comes with more significant penalties. When a judge considers the penalties you will face for a conviction, they take several factors into account. A high BAC will decrease the chances of leniency in your case.
Furthermore, a judge will consider the details of any past DUI convictions on your record. If you have a history of DUI charges involving a high BAC, the odds are high that you will face the maximum penalties allowed by law.
Plea Bargaining Down a DUI Charge
While the goal will always be to beat the DUI charge against you, in some cases, the evidence against you may be too overwhelming. However, even if beating the charge isn’t possible, you may still have options for minimizing the penalties. Your lawyer can help negotiate a plea deal on your behalf and advise you on whether taking a deal or going to court is in your best interest.
If you are facing an aggravated DUI charge due to a high BAC, there are two common reductions to this charge that your lawyer may be able to secure for you. The first is to reduce the charge from an aggravated DUI to a standard DUI charge. This deal could include dropping the mandatory incarceration penalty and substituting counseling and alcohol education.
It is also possible to negotiate the charge down to reckless driving. A guilty plea for reckless driving could significantly decrease the penalties you would face with a DUI conviction, especially if you have past DUI offenses on your record.
Best Defenses Against a High BAC DUI Charge
When facing a DUI charge involving a high BAC, there are a variety of defenses you may be able to use to avoid a conviction. The specific details of your case and the strength of the evidence available will determine what defense is best for your case. Some of the most common defenses include:
- You were not intoxicated
- You were not informed of your rights
- Police violated your rights
You Were Not Intoxicated
There are many ways to call into question the evidence presented by the prosecution of your intoxication. For example, chemical testing often results in errors. Your lawyer can show the jury the unreliability of this evidence and argue that the results of your testing were false.
Faulty equipment and the mishandling of this evidence by law enforcement officers and lab technicians are the most common errors surrounding chemical testing. While demonstrating the unreliable nature of chemical testing can help your case, evidence of specific errors in your case can greatly improve your odds of beating a charge.
You Were Not Informed of Your Rights
When making an arrest, law enforcement officers are required to read the person being arrested their Miranda rights. If the arresting officer in your case failed to Mirandize you, then any evidence collected as a result of your arrest may be inadmissible in your case.
There is also a small chance that your case will be thrown out entirely in these situations. However, the odds of this are low, especially when dealing with a serious charge like a DUI.
Police Violated Your Rights
Unfortunately, police officers do not always follow the required procedures when pursuing a case. If you can prove that your rights were violated due to a police officer cutting corners, your attorney may be able to get the charges against you dropped.
Contact an Experienced Colorado DUI Attorney Today
When facing a DUI charge with a high BAC, it is essential that you have experienced legal representation. Attempting to beat a DUI charge on your own is unlikely to yield favorable results. Christian A. Schwaner has over twenty years of experience handling these types of cases and will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Schedule a free initial consultation today by giving us a call or completing our online contact form.