Information About Colorado Misdemeanor Defense

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How Much “Good Time” do I get in El Paso County, CO

  • How Much “Good Time” do I get in El Paso County, CO

    One question I’m frequently asked when dealing with jail or work release, is how much good time do I get? The short answer is, it depends, but I’ll break it down and try to provide a way for you to calculate the amount of time you may actually serve.

    First, we need to look at the offense that you’re going to be incarcerated for. If it’s a DUI, how many priors do you have. In Colorado, a first offense requires no mandatory jail (unless the BAC is above a .200, but that’s another post), while a second offense requires a mandatory minimum of 10 days jail or work release, and a third offense requires 60 days of jail or work release. A felony DUI requires 90 days straight jail or 120 days work release. THERE IS NO GOOD TIME CREDITED TOWARD THE MANDATORY MINIMUM TIMES ABOVE. With that said, just because an offense requires a certain amount of jail or work release, that doesn’t mean that will be the offer/sentence. For instance, the standard plea offer in El Paso County for a second offense DUI is 30 days jail or work release. Therefore, if you accept that offer, you will not get good time on the first 10 days of the sentence, but you will get good time credit for any amount of time you’re sentenced to above the mandatory minimum. Therefore, if you accept a 30 day jail sentence on a second offense, you will do 20 days of jail (50% good time credit applied to the 20 days above the mandatory minimum). This rule only applies to DUI and Felony DUI charges.

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  • Will Your DUI Case Get Dismissed if the Cop Didn’t Read You Your Miranda Rights?

    One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is whether or not the police officer needs to read your rights to you, after they contact you for a DUI. Unfortunately, there’s not really an easy answer. The idea of “reading your rights,” or giving the Miranda warning, comes from a 1966 United States Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona. I won’t bore you with the details of the case, but the ruling is important. The Court held that “the defendant must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires” Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 479 (1966). In short, the police do not have to advise you of your rights unless you are in custody and being interrogated.

    What is Custodial Interrogation?

    Again, there’s no easy answer. The Colorado Supreme Court has held that “to determine whether a suspect was in custody, we ask whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would have felt deprived of his freedom of action to the degree associated with a formal arrest”. People v. Taylor, 41 P.3d 681, 691 (Colo.2002). But even this isn’t a clear answer. Anytime the law uses a “reasonable person” standard, things get messy. The following nine factors are considered to determine whether or not someone’s in custody for the purposes of Miranda:

    • the time, place and purpose of the encounter;
    • the persons present during the interrogation;
    • the words spoken by the officer to the defendant;
    • the officer’s tone of voice and general demeanor;
    • the length and mood of the interrogation;
    • whether any limitation of movement or other form of restraint was placed on the defendant during the interrogation;
    • the officer’s response to any questions asked by the defendant;
    • whether directions were given to the defendant during the interrogation;
    • the defendant’s verbal or nonverbal response to such directions.

    People v. Hankins, 201 P.3d 1218,1218-1219 (Colo.2009)

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  • DUI Classes in Colorado. An Overview of Level II Education and Therapy

    If you receive a DUI charge in Colorado, chances are, you’ll have to do some kind of DUI classes/therapy through a state-certified treatment provider. In fact, it’s possible to have the criminal charges outright dismissed and still have to do the DUI classes, since the DMV also requires it. So if you lose your license at DMV and you want to reinstate your license early, or if you were a high BAC offender or had a refusal, regardless of whether or not you want to early reinstate, you’ll need to do those classes. Below we offer information about how to find level 2 alcohol classes near you.

    What does Colorado’s DUI Treatment System Consist Of?

    Colorado’s DUI treatment system consists of two parts, Level II alcohol education (or in the instance of a minor charged with a DUI and the BAC is greater than a .02 but less than a .08, a level I class), followed by therapy. Generally, you will have to complete an alcohol evaluation through the probation department in your jurisdiction, where they’ll assign you a specific “track”, A-D, which corresponds to the number of hours of therapy. Track A consists of 42 hours of therapy, track B is 52 hours of therapy, track C is 68 hours of therapy, and track D is 86 hours of therapy.

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