Many times I find myself talking to a client who finds themselves charged with a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) charge. Often times, these clients or potential clients have no idea how to start their defense. Two things are incredibly important to securing a satisfactory result in a DUI/DWAI case. First and foremost, competent representation from an attorney experienced in DUI/DWAI matters will help immensely. Secondly, any competent attorney will most likely recommend proactive mitigation. Mitigation is a powerful tool in any defense of criminal charges. Mitigation is the process by which the defense shows the Judge and/or District Attorney’s office that a particular defendant in a case deserves leniency. In DUI/DWAI cases, this mitigation is easily obtained by doing some pretty straight forward tasks.
When convicted of any DUI/DWAI or equivalent charge in Colorado, the Court is going to order a defendant to take a Level I or Level II alcohol treatment course. Did you know that you can get enrolled in these classes prior to ever stepping foot in a courtroom? All that is required is time, money, and a referral list from the County’s probation department. Once you find a provider near your home or work, you just enroll and begin taking these classes. They will be required later and you will get credit for the work you’ve done prior to sentencing. Secondly, the Court will also order community service hours on any conviction in a DUI/DWAI case. Again, you can begin this prior. Many companies that work with courts to do community service hours will not allow you to start prior to probation being ordered due to insurance issues. But, churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. will always be willing to take on help and courts will in most cases accept these hours. Finally something that many attorneys and their clients would overlook is Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA). If your case involves alcohol, AA is appropriate, if it involves drugs, NA is appropriate. Attending weekly meetings and keeping a journal of your experience goes a long way to showing the Judge and/or District Attorney’s office that you are serious about treatment.
If you have the time, money and energy to complete these proactive mitigation tasks, you are far less likely to see as negative a reaction once you get to court to handle your DUI/DWAI case.
While we hope you benefit from the information we posted above, it is important to note that we always suggest you contact an attorney to advise you and walk you through the legal process so that you can achieve the best possible result.