The DUI criminal court process in Colorado typically (though not always) follows a seven-step process. The process can be intimidating to people who are not already familiar with the criminal court process, such as those offenders who are charged with a first-time DUI. Fret not – here is a breakdown of the process.
- The arrest. You might not know this, but you don’t have to go to jail to be “arrested.” It is up to the officer handling your case to decide whether to jail you or send you to detox or let you go home with a friend or family member. If you were cited for DUI, that counts as “arrest.”
- The Express Consent hearing. In Colorado, drivers arrested for DUI who refuse a blood or breath test must request an Express Consent hearing with the Colorado DMV to protect their future driving privileges. If you fail to do this, your license will be automatically revoked. Your Express Consent hearing is an administrative action totally separate from your criminal charges.
- Arraignment. You will receive a Uniform Summons and Complaint (fancy word for ticket) that dictates when you are to appear in court. This is where a judge will explain the charges against you.
- Pre-trial conferences. Here, your attorney meets with the district attorney to negotiate evidence, charges and potential plea bargains.
- Motions. Your attorney and the DA will file motions with the court and begin the legal argument stage.
- Jury trial. These usually last two days or longer and place you before a jury of your peers to determine guilt. Colorado juries in misdemeanor DUI cases often consist of six people.
- Sentencing. Unless your charges have been dismissed, a judge will determine your DUI penalties here, which can include jail time, fines, alcohol education and other penalties.
Too much to take in? Our Denver DUI attorneys are prepared to help you through every step of the process.