In the event that you're arrested for DUI in the state of Colorado, the process that follows will occur in these seven stages:
- Arrest - Depending on your level of intoxication, police department policy and how well you cooperate with law enforcement officials after you've been pulled over for drunk driving, you may not be booked into jail and required to post bond. Instead of booking you, the officer may simply give you a summons and release you to a sober party or to the custody of Detox staff.
- Express consent hearing - If you refused testing or submitted to a breath test, you have seven days to request an administrative hearing. Otherwise, your driving privileges will automatically be revoked. If you submitted to a blood test, the DMV will mail you a letter called an Order of Revocation upon receipt of the blood test result from the police officer. This Order of Revocation letter can take 4-12 weeks to be received.
- Arraignment/Bond Appearance - The date, time and location of your arraignment or bond appearance will be on the summons or your bond paperwork. This first hearing is where a judge will officially advise you of the charges brought against you and what the maximum possible penalties are for these charges. The judge will also advise you of what your rights are at this hearing.
- Pre-trial conferences - Known as the "negotiation stage," this phase of the DUI process consists of you and your Colorado DUI attorney meeting in court with the district attorney to discuss the facts of your case and negotiate a plea offer.
- Motions - This is often referred to as the "legal argument stage," and it comes after written motions have been filed with the court. During this phase, the Denver DUI lawyer and the district attorney argue case law in front of a judge and the judge determines if any evidence will be suppressed.
- Jury trial - Over the course of a few days, your case will be presented to a jury of six of your peers, who will determine whether you are guilty of the charges being levied against you.
- Sentencing - This is the final phase of the DUI process and only happens if you are found guilty either through a plea or finding of guilt at trial. The judge will take all information into consideration as presented by both the defense and the district attorney and assign you your punishment.
If you've been arrested for DUI, it's in your best interest to consult a Denver DUI attorney as soon as possible. With the help of a professional, you have a better chance of attaining a less severe punishment and hopefully, no punishment at all.