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Felony DUI Blog

What does the new Colorado Felony Drunk Driving Bill mean for me?  Triple L Law answers…

The DUI Felony bill, Colorado House Bill 1043 passed the State Senate on May 6, 2015 and headed for the desk of Governor John Hickenlooper.  If he does has he previously indicated, Gov. Hickenlooper will sign the bill and Felony DUI will become a reality.   Colorado will then join the vast majority of other states in having a higher penalty for repeated drunk drivers.  So, what does this really mean?

The new Felony DUI will charge people who have three or more prior DUIs, DWAIs, vehicular homicides, or vehicular assaults with a new class 4 Felony DUI.  Prior to its passage, a Coloradan could only be convicted of misdemeanor DUI, no matter how many priors they possessed.  Now, the fourth DUI is a felony.  These prior DUIs can be from Colorado or from any other state and it DOES NOT MATTER HOW OLD THESE CONVICTIONS ARE.  If you picked up 3 DUIs when you were 20 years old and didn’t get another one until 40 years later, you would still be facing a felony now.  Triple L Law is here to help!  It is possible to challenge older DUI convictions and out-of-state DUI convictions to make sure the crimes match current Colorado law and that the previous convictions were properly documented. 

By making a fourth DUI a felony, the legislature is drastically changing the penalties for DUI to standard F4 penalties.  This means 2-6 years in prison if a Defendant is sentenced to prison.  That 2 years is a minimum if a Defendant receives prison time as a result of a conviction.  However, the bill does not require prison time and in fact requires that a court make a specific determination as to whether incarceration is the most suitable option.  You need an aggressive, experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney at Triple L Law to fight to make sure you don’t go to prison on this new offense!

One thing to keep in mind with a new felony DUI.  Felonies are subject to Habitual Counts or Repeat Offender Charges.  These change the penalty range based upon other felony (including non-DUI related) convictions and can greatly increase the penalties of a felony DUI.   While we don’t know how often prosecutors will use these tools, they are frequently used in other jurisdictions.  When I was a prosecutor in Texas, I frequently saw the incarceration range change from 2-10 years for a felony DWI Third all the way to 25 years to 99 years prison based on Habitual Counts.  You need an experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney at Triple L Law who knows what they are doing!

One thing that makes Colorado different than so many other states with a felony DUI law is the inclusion of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) as a prerequisite offense for felony DUI.  DWAI is the lesser DUI in that it only requires a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .05 to .08 or the slightest degree of impairment.  This means that getting a case reduced from DUI to DWAI for would not be helpful in saving a person from getting a felony DUI should they pick up more offenses.  It is now more important than ever to have a lawyer ready, willing, and able to go to trial on your DUIs to fight for your rights.

This new felony law is NOT the same thing as a Persistent Drunk Driving designation or PDD.  PDD applies to those who either have a BAC over .15 or refuse to take the tests.   PDD also applies if you have been convicted of or had your driver’s license revoked for two or more alcohol related driving violations.  PDD then increases certain penalties you would receive as a result of the latest arrest.

If you are facing a felony DUI arrest, contact Triple L Law immediately!!  Every moment you wait is a moment wasted in your extremely important defense!

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Colorado DUI – Protect Your Rights!

DMV Case

Most people don’t realize that regardless of the success of their criminal case, there is a second independent process running at the DMV.  This is a completely different process than the criminal case and must be handled as well.  Oftentimes, the impact of losing one’s license is greater than any sentence a criminal court could impose.  Many times people are more concerned with getting their license back than they are with the possible criminal penalties.  You need a criminal lawyer for this part of the process too!  You need one quick!  YOU ONLY HAVE 7 DAYS TO REQUEST A HEARING TO KEEP YOUR LICENSE FROM TIME OF ARREST.  You need to get an attorney fast!

Criminal Case

Once you are arrested, there begins a long, drawn out process to determine possible criminal implications.  There will be conferences, status checks, motions hearings and perhaps a trial.  You are not required to plead guilty at any point and have a legal right to a trial by a jury of your peers if you so desire.  An experienced DUI attorney can fight for you during these hearings and conferences, can evaluate your case honestly, and can advise you whether a plea offer is a good offer or not for your individual circumstances.  A good DUI attorney will explore every possible option for getting your case dismissed or reduced before even discussing a plea with you.  Additionally, a good DUI attorney can explain the risks and rewards of trial and will always be willing to fight for you at trial if you chose to do so.  Ultimately it’s your choice whether to go to trial or accept a plea, but a truly good DUI attorney will explain all of the implications of both choices and fight for you no matter what you pick. 

The below tables summarize punishments from a criminal DUI or related cases. 

OffenseJailFinesPublic Service
1st UDD (Class A Traffic)None$15-$100Up to 24 hours
UDD with one or more prior UDD (Class 2 Traffic Misdemeanor)10-90 days$150-$300Up to 24 hours

You need a good DUI attorney on your side.  Contact Triple L Law today!

Glossary of Terms

DUI, DWAI, DUID, UDD are all scary terms and bring huge possible penalties.  For many people, DUI is their first and only contact with the criminal justice system.  Many people that are not career criminals make a mistake with alcohol and get arrested.  Plenty of people didn’t even have that much to drink but are incorrectly accused by the officer and charged based only on an opinion that they are under the influence.  First, what are these crimes?  In Colorado:

This is the term people usually think of when they say Drunk Driving.  However, DUI means a lot more than driving while drunk.  You can be intoxicated by the State’s definition and no reasonable person would consider you drunk.  Moreover, you don’t even have to actually be driving the vehicle as people have been convicted in Colorado for DUI in a parked vehicle.  DUI per se means that you have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .08 or higher.  However, even with a BAC, you can be charged with DUI if, in the Officer’s opinion, you are substantially incapable at the time of driving. 

This charge is pretty unique from the rest of the United States.  Even though you’ve always been taught that the legal limit for alcohol is .08, that’s not really true in Colorado.  In Colorado, having a BAC of .05 to .08 will quickly get you charged with DWAI.  In fact, the DWAI standard is so low that any impairment whatsoever will bring about this charge.  Think about if you’re super tired and have one beer.  Could you be impaired to the slightest degree?  If the police officer thinks so, you can be arrested for DWAI.  While the penalties may not be as harsh as DUI, there are still very serious consequences to this crime.  Those consequences are much more serious than people realize.

This charge is the fastest growing of all DUID charges.  When people think of this charge, they think of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.  However, driving under the influence of Marijuana is included even though there is almost no practical way to tell when someone ingested Marijuana or how much.  The State has tried to establish a Marijuana cutoff level for a blood that has almost nothing to do with actual science and can result in a charge for you when you smoked Marijuana a long time before driving and were definitely not under its’ influence when driving.  Legal prescription drugs can also result in DUID charges.  Even though your doctor legally prescribed you the medication and you took the correct dose, you can be considered too intoxicated to drive.  I’ve seen too many cases to count where a respectable citizen took the appropriate amount of their prescribed medication and ended up arrested for DUID.

In Colorado, the charge associated with a DUI for those under the age of 21 is called an Underage Drinking and Driving Offense (UDD) and applies to those who have BAC level at .02 but less than .05.  Persons under the age of 21 who have a BAC level of .05 and higher receive the same administrative and criminal penalties as an adult driver.

There are ways to fight every kind of DUI charges, ways that most lay people are not even aware of.  Many people think, oh, I blew over .08, I’m definitely guilty and might as well just plead so.  Not so fast!  DUI cases are extremely complicated and can require a great deal more technical knowledge than all but the worst felony cases.  The stop of your car has to be for an appropriate reason.  The officer must have probable cause to arrest you for DUI.  The officer must appropriately advise you of your choices concerning taking a test or not (this is not your Miranda warnings – just because the officer did not read you Miranda does not mean your case is being dismissed).  The test must be performed in an appropriate place and manner.  Finally, the samples must be handled and tested properly.  There is a lot that can go wrong in this process and it takes an experienced DUI attorney to obtain all of the evidence and evaluate it to see what could have gone wrong!

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Felonies

Being arrested for a felony crime in Colorado is a life changing experience.  The moment those handcuffs go on your wrist, you start wondering “is my whole world ending?”  It doesn’t have to but you need representation FAST!  Waiting around to see what happens is only going to make things worse.  You need an attorney not afraid to take the most difficult cases to trial and challenge the State at every step of the process!

At Triple L Law PC, we handle all kinds of felonies.  These include:

  • Gun Crimes
  • Assaults, Robbery, Burglary
  • Homicide
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sex Crimes
  • Federal and Economic Crimes
  • Computer Crimes
  • Felony Traffic Crimes
  • Thefts
  • Probation Revocation
  • Habitual Offenders
  • Military Crimes, including Article 15s and Courts Martial

With extensive experience prosecuting at the State, Federal, and Military levels, Triple L Law knows what it takes to defend you from these most serious of crimes.  We aren’t afraid of the toughest cases and know that, no matter what the State says, there is always more to the story.

We understand the penalties involved in this case and are prepared to challenge the State at Motions Hearings, at Trial, and on Sentencing if it comes to that.  Triple L Law will negotiate hard for you and show the other side of the story at all times.  We’ll ensure that your rights are protected at all times and that you are aware of every possible outcome and strategy.  Most importantly, we’ll ALWAYS BE READY TO TAKE A CASE TO TRIAL, whenever the client wants to.  Triple L Law attorneys relish trial and the chance to put the State’s case to the fire.  While a trial result is never guaranteed, Triple L Law will fight for you with determination, with understanding of the law and your situation, and with all the tools in the legal arsenal.

Colorado has a confusing system of penalties for violations, depending on the charge, the range, habitual statutes, enhancements, crimes of violence, and many other factors.  You need an experienced criminal attorney who can work through the penalties and advise you on what the deal the State offers you really means when deciding whether to take a deal or go to trial.  Furthermore, sentencing and evidence based probation practices have dramatically changed over the last decade and you need a professional to explore all possible options with you.

You need a trial lawyer not afraid to fight in court for you! Call us for a free consultation today!

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I’ve been arrested, now what?

I’ve just been arrested! Now, what do I do?

STOP TALKING! The first thing you do is shut your mouth. I can’t count the number of people who’ve talked their way into a conviction just by talking too much. You have the right to remain SILENT. Use it! You have to tell the police your name and basic biographical information. Be nice about it. Rudeness never helps anything and the police are just trying to do their job. Whatever, you do, don’t be a jerk to them. Even if you think they are being a jerk to you. But, politely, refuse to answer any questions without your attorney there. Call a Criminal Defense Attorney right away!

Remember, police can say whatever they want to you. They can lie to you and claim to have all sorts of information they really don’t have. It’s a common interrogation technique. If you were the police, wouldn’t you use it to see if someone confessed? Call a Criminal Defense Attorney right away!

No matter what they say, the police cannot cut you a deal. They can promise to intercede with the prosecutor all day long but only the prosecutors can cut deals. Call a Criminal Defense Attorney right away! Let your attorney work out any deals! Trust me. The time for deals is when the case is in front of a court. NEVER, EVER, EVER does anyone get a better deal at the police station or on the side of the road.

If you’re being investigated, you’re almost certainly going to jail. If you’re arrested, you’re definitely going to jail! Think about it! The standard to arrest is very low; it’s probable case. That means that they think you did it and they have an idea of how. That’s it! Conviction by a jury is beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a much, much higher standard. So, if you were a police officer, you’d arrest someone even if you’re just a little sure and then try to get them to confess right? Once they have a confession, the case is more often than not, over!

I’ve never seen anyone talk themselves out of going to jail in all my years as a prosecutor. I’ve seen lots of people talk themselves into a conviction!!

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney right away!

Once you’re at jail, don’t talk to anyone!!! Do you really think other inmates have your best intentions at heart and aren’t looking for a confession to give to the DA to get a better sentence themselves. You’ll get a hearing and, usually, except for certain crimes and circumstances, you’ll get bonded out. Then you need an attorney. FAST. The clock starts ticking immediately and the longer you wait, the more of a head start you give the prosecution. Call a Criminal Defense Attorney right away!

And don’t let them search anything either! Warrants are required for a reason. If they say they can get a warrant, say “Great, I’ll wait.” If they can get a warrant, they will. Make them do it. If you give them consent to search, you just tied one of your attorney’s arms behind their back.

So, I don’t really need a lawyer do I? It’s just a simple case and I want to plead guilty anyway.

Would you perform on yourself without a doctor because it’s simple?

Would you build a bridge for your road without talking to a construction worker?

You might but I’d stay far away. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know. You want someone who knows the little things that seem stupid but make or break a case. You want an expert who has done this hundreds and thousands of times just to look at your case and see what can be done. Attorneys are expensive. There is no getting around that. Sometimes, an attorney can do very little for you. Sometimes, you’ve given the prosecution a perfect case and the best bet is to get the best deal possible. But, YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL AN EXPERT HAS REVIEWED YOUR CASE. You don’t know all of the evidence the prosecution have. You don’t know if the police made a tiny error that will be fatal to your case. Unless you’ve tried hundreds of cases, you don’t know what a jury will do. Even the experts don’t always know. But I’d rather have an expert on my side. How about you?

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney right away!!! You need the best and the most passionate advocate on your side. Don’t Wait!!

You only get one shot at getting a criminal case right! Do you want to take that shot without the best possible lawyer on your side?

Do you want the best? Then call Jake Lilly today!

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Why Pick Triple L Law

Have you been arrested for a crime in the Front Range and Denver area? If so, you are probably very nervous about what the future might bring, and YOU SHOULD BE!

The state has excellent prosecutors on their side and you need THE BEST on your side. Coming in second doesn’t count in this race. You need a defense attorney who knows how to fight! You know a defense attorney who knows how it works! You need a defense attorney who will be totally upfront with you, even when the news is bad!

Thousands of cases of experience! Over 120 trials! State, Federal, and Military Prosecutor! Little crimes to huge crimes! Jake Lilly has done it all! He learned how to fight in Iraq! And now Triple L Law will fight for you! You need a passionate advocate! You need a fighter!

Once you’ve been arrested for a crime, the state has decided that you are a criminal. That can haunt you for the rest of your life. They can take away your life, your liberty, and your hard earned money. At this very moment, your future and your freedom are hanging by a thread and you need the best Colorado criminal defense lawyer you can find. Who you choose to represent you during this critical time in your life is extremely important and this cannot be stressed enough. The last thing you want to do is choose an inexperienced or overburdened defender who isn’t emotionally invested in your case, and who sees you and your case as just another number in the revolving door of criminal cases.

At Triple L Law, you and your case are treated with the respect, care and compassion that you deserve. We’ve seen everything there is to see in life and understand nothing is ever as black and white as it seems. We understand that there are additional facts that the police don’t know about or don’t care about. We understand that there are explanations and sometimes, the police just get it wrong. There is always more to a case than what is in a police report. There is always more to a person than just an arrest for a crime that sounds awful!

As a former military, federal, and state prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, Jake has the knowledge, insight and experience to understand how the “other side” thinks and acts. We will make one promise up front to you and only one; Jake will fight with all that can be done for you. We don’t promise a victory, a not guilty or a dismissal and you should be wary of any attorney that does. We promise to always be upfront with you and give you the absolute best legal advice, even when it’s hard to hear. We promise to always keep you informed and to fight for what is best for you. There are lots of attorneys out there and picking the one you trust is the most important. You need to trust that your attorney knows every bit of the law and possible strategies out there. You need to trust that your attorney has the experience to know what to do. You need to trust that your attorney will fight for you. And you need to trust that your attorney will always tell you what is best, regardless of it iss good news or bad news. Triple L Law will earn that trust from you! Check us out!

You don’t get a second chance at picking the right attorney! Every minute you hesitate is more time for the state to build its’ case against you! Call now! Put Triple L Law in your corner and find out how much an experienced fighter is worth!

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Misdemeanors

For many people, a low level traffic offense or misdemeanor domestic violence charge are the only contact they will ever have with the Judicial system. Viewed as a potential defendant, the judicial system can be extremely scary and the consequences seem overwhelming. You need a knowledgeable and sympathetic ear to guide you the process, to advise you of the best choices, and to be prepared to fight for you every step of the way. You need the trial team at Triple L Law!

At Triple L Law, PC, we handle all types of misdemeanors from traffic tickets and municipal violations to County Court misdemeanors and DUI/DWAI/DUID. Some of the types handled include:

  • Misdemeanor Domestic Violence
  • Restraining Orders and their Violations
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Misdemeanor Drug Crimes
  • Theft, Criminal Trespass,
  • Property Crimes
  • Municipal Violations
  • DUI/DWAI/DUID
  • Driving Under
  • Restriction

In many large law firms, misdemeanor violations are seen as relatively unimportant cases that can be handled in the fastest and easiest manner possible with little client contact. At Triple L Law, we understand that your case is the most important thing in the world to you and deserves all of the same attention and passion that a large felony murder trial would. We understand that it’s your life and liberty that are on the line and promise that each case will get the same attorney, the same work, and the same dedication of the larger felony cases.

Triple L Law has handled thousands of misdemeanor cases and stands ready to assist you in this difficult time. We’re aware that even the smallest case can have unintended long term consequences and needs to the expert hands of someone who is an expert in criminal allegations of all levels. Too often, overworked police officers and Assistant District Attorneys have to handle cases like these in the speediest manner possible and can’t take the time to truly look deep into what happened. At Triple L Law, we will thoroughly investigate all cases to see what the State missed, consult with you to determine the outcomes most favorable to your particular situation, and are prepared to fight in trial as necessary for every case, no matter how big or how small.

Jake Lilly is your trial attorney! Call him today! Don’t delay!

Remember, with some crimes, you have as little as seven days to get your defense going before you forfeit certain rights! Call today!

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Regulatory & Licensing

We understand that defending your professional license is your number one concern. We have a breadth of experience in defending against regulatory action at both the federal and state levels, from a driver’s license to a medical license.

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Veterans’ Services

As a veteran owned and operated firm, we know what it takes when dealing with the VA or other government agencies. We’ve been there and we are here to help you!

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Internal Investigations

Allegations of wrongdoing by an individual or accusations concerning regulatory compliance are serious matters and can be destructive to your organization. Conducting a careful review is paramount to avoiding scrutiny by the state or federal government. We represent individuals accused of misconduct, as well as board of directors, and organizations themselves and guide them through the complex review process.

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Disability

We understand that when you are having to apply for disability benefits you have likely had a major life changing event. Applying for benefits is a lengthy and often frustrating process. Whether you are applying for Social Security benefits, dealing with Medicaid enrollment, or applying to the VA for needed benefits we have the experience to guide you through this frustrating time.