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Denver DUI/DWAI Law Blog

Even first-time DUI offenders can get jail time

In Colorado, the punishment for driving under the influence (DUI) can be quite severe, even if it is your first offense. In fact, DUI penalties for first-time offenders may include a fine, license revocation, community service, probation and the possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your car.

But the one penalty many people are really concerned about is whether they will have to spend time in jail if ultimately convicted of DUI. The answer: Yes, it is possible.

Spotlight on impaired driving in Colorado enforcement campaign

Colorado is at the vanguard of American states that have liberalized marijuana laws. The allowance given state residents to use pot for recreational and medicinal purposes means that consumers can drive under the influence, correct?

Any such personal assessment is likely to get its holder in legal hot water at some point, especially if that individual assumes that impairment is not a concern for Colorado law enforcers.

Many offenses are erased from juvenile records in Colorado

Nearly everyone knows that having a criminal record can create a wide variety of future challenges. Not only must these individuals live with the stigma of their past convictions, but their records can make it more difficult to find a job, obtain a loan or even sign a lease for a place to live.

What many people do not know, however, is that many offenses committed by juveniles are automatically expunged from their record. After all, why should they have to suffer for the rest of their lives simply because they made mistakes when they were young?

Should criminal history be queried on college applications?

We noted in a recent blog post a particularly disturbing reality for some young people in Colorado and elsewhere connected with the rite of college admission. Our September 24 entry zeroed in on the moment when a hopeful applicant confronts “an application question soliciting details regarding a past arrest or conviction.”

That can equate to a figurative screeching of the brakes for some adolescents. In a worst-case scenario, a “yes” entry ticked off on an application box can flatly eliminate all hope of being admitted to a favored school.

Mental health expert: U.S. justice system is badly misguided

“More punishment for more people.”

That outcome has sadly been the recipe in criminal law cases across America since the country’s inception, says one behavioral expert and justice system commentator who strongly urges reform.

Does driving high on marijuana carry a harsher penalty than DUI?

Colorado may have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21, but that doesn’t mean people can get behind the wheel after smoking weed. In fact, the penalties are driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) can be quite severe — just like the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

But, are the penalties for one harsher than the other? The answer: No, DUIDs and DUIs generally carry the same punishment, regardless of the substance, or combination of substances, involved.

What are the charges for growing marijuana outside in Colorado?

Last week, we told you about how many Coloradans are confused about the laws governing the growing of personal marijuana. After all, many people assume that since the recreational use of marijuana is now legal under Colorado law, they should be able to grow it in their backyard, right?

Not so fast. As we mentioned last week, Colorado law expressly says that it is “unlawful for a person to knowingly […] grow […] a marijuana plant” unless certain safeguards are taken, including the requirement that the plants be grown in a locked and enclosed space — meaning it cannot be grown outside where anyone can access it.

Juvenile criminal history and the college application process

Not every would-be Colorado college student looks forward to the application process. Sometimes that botched ACT or SAT score can look a bit troublesome. Maybe some of those opted-for high school classes weren’t particularly challenging. Some students filling out university forms feel that they should have hit on those extracurriculars a bit more when they had the chance to do so.

Those concerns shouldn’t be trivialized; to applicants, they spell worrisome and sometimes problematic concerns. There is pressure to gain college entrance these days, and young people feel it.

Colorado justice group calls for prison system/policy fixes

The uppercase depiction of longstanding American criminal law policies imbues them with a sense of fervor and unquestioned harshness. The War on Crime. Its attendant War on Drugs.

Those notably tagged battles have seemingly been a near-crusade in states across the country, including Colorado, for decades now. Their central tenet stresses a tough-on-crime approach spotlighted by a regulatory preference for long prison sentences as default outcomes, in lieu of often available and sensible alternatives.

Surprise! Growing marijuana outside is still illegal in Colorado.

Colorado may have legalized the recreational use of marijuana under state law, but that doesn't mean there aren't still some legal restrictions in place -- particularly when it comes to where people can grow marijuana.

Indeed, many people have been arrested because of their mistaken belief that they can simply grow marijuana outside in their yards just because its recreational use is now legal under state law.