If you are facing criminal allegations for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Larimer County, it is imperative that you discuss your options with a skilled criminal defense attorney. Even for first-time offenders, a conviction for DUI could radically alter your life in ways you might not expect.
In addition to the possibility of jail time or fines, you could also face challenges regarding your employment or in your personal life. Thankfully, it is often possible to prevail in a DUI trial. Let a Larimer County DUI lawyer help you fight back against the charges levied against you.
DUI vs. DWAI in Larimer County
According to state law, there are two different criminal offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While many jurisdictions combine all of their alcohol-related charges into a single offense, Larimer County has a secondary offense that is below the standard threshold of DUI. This offense is known as driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results are central to both of these charges. Like many jurisdictions, state law provides that a driver operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater may be found guilty of DUI. The threshold for DWAI is lower, as there is an inference that a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired following a BAC result that is below .08 but above .05.
The difference between these charges is important. Both carry serious criminal consequences, even for a first-time offender. However, the potential penalty for a DUI is higher than that of a DWAI offense. For first-time offenders, a DUI could result in as much as one year in jail, while a DWAI sentence is capped at 180 days.
Either a DUI or DWAI arrest requires an aggressive defense. With the right approach, dismissal or acquittal could be possible. A Larimer County attorney could review the evidence from an arrest and identify the strongest DUI defense available.
Collateral Consequences of a DUI
Most people arrested for DWI understand that they face the potential for jail time, fines, and the loss of their driving privileges. What many people do not realize is that there are also collateral consequences that can follow a DWI conviction as well. There is a stigma among those convicted of alcohol-related offenses, and the consequences of these arrests could last long after jail terms are completed, and fines are paid.
In some limited circumstances, a DUI conviction could result in the suspension or revocation of a professional license. While most professional regulatory bodies will not revoke a license based on a single misdemeanor, certain professions like airline pilots are held to higher standards.
A DUI conviction could also cost a person access to their preferred housing or employment. Landlords are under no obligation to rent housing to someone with a criminal record. Similarly, employers are under no obligation to hire anyone with a criminal record. Many employers will disqualify an application based on a DUI conviction alone. The best option for avoiding these collateral consequences is by beating the DUI charges with the help of a Larimer County attorney.
Speak with a Larimer County DUI Attorney Today
It is never too soon to address your defense options following a DUI arrest. The state will not hesitate to pursue your conviction, and a delay on your end could only put you further behind.
Let a Larimer County DUI lawyer jump-start your defense efforts. To learn more, schedule a case evaluation immediately.