In Lakewood, you could face any one of three possible charges for driving while intoxicated or under the influence (DUI). A conviction on any of driving under the influence can be penalized by fines, public service hours, and incarceration in the county jail. Contact the legal team at Nicol Gersch Petterson right away if you have been charged with a DUI, DWAI, or DUI per se.
A Lakewood drug lawyer could review the prosecution’s case and help you fight the charges. Individuals with prior convictions could face more severe penalties, including a longer jail sentence and higher fines. An experienced defense attorney can work on your behalf to secure the best outcome possible.
A person commits a DUI in Lakewood when driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or another intoxicating substance. The Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated define driving under the influence as operating a vehicle after using alcohol, drugs, or both to the extent that the individual is mentally or physically incapable of exercising clear judgment, due care, or sufficient physical control while driving.
DUI offenses are misdemeanors unless an individual has three prior convictions, in which case all subsequent incidents are charged as class 4 felonies. The penalties for misdemeanor DUI could include probation, $600 to $1,000 in fines, and mandatory public service of between 48 to 96 hours. Additionally, sentencing could also include confinement in the county jail for up to one year.
When a DUI offense is classified as a class 4 felony, it is punishable by a two to six year prison sentence and a fine between $2,000 and $500,000. An attorney who handles DUI cases in Lakewood could answer questions about the laws and penalties.
The offense of DUI per se occurs when a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, which is typically confirmed by a blood test or breathalyzer. The difference between a DUI and a DUI per se is that a person could be convicted for a DUI without establishing the BAC, whereas the BAC must be proven to convict on a DUI per se charge.
An individual can be charged and tried for both DUI and DUI per se. The penalties for a DUI per se conviction are the same as for a DUI, which could include confinement in jail for up to one year. A lawyer who knows DUI laws could explain additional differences between the two offenses.
DWAI refers to driving while ability impaired, which is defined in the state statutes as driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both to the extent that the individual is mentally or physically affected in the slightest degree and is less able to exercise clear judgment, due care, or sufficient physical control while driving. A person does not have to be drunk or high to be charged with DWAI. In fact, driving after taking a legal prescription or over-the-counter medication that affects the ability to drive could result in a DWAI.
Sanctions for a DWAI conviction are fines of $200 to $500, 24 to 48 public service hours, and confinement in the county jail for up to 180 days. If it is the first offense, an individual potentially could be placed on probation rather than sentenced to serve time in jail. Harsher penalties could be imposed for subsequent convictions.
Speak with a Lakewood DUI lawyer if you have been arrested for driving under the influence. A lawyer will be able to safeguard your rights and devise a strategy for fighting the charges. Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson are ready to help fight your case. Call today to get started building your defense.