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choosing the right dui attorney

Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer

Being charged with a DUI is an event that can change your life. In fact, even if you are not convicted for DUI, the mere presence of the arrest alone on your record could have serious consequences for your future. This is why if you are facing DUI charges, you need a DUI lawyer in Colorado on your side. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to represent yourself when facing criminal charges; this could have major repercussions.

As you start the process of searching for a DUI lawyer in Colorado, there are many things to consider. Here are some top factors that you should be paying attention to in your search for the right DUI lawyer in CO for your case:

Consider Experience

The first thing that you should think about when searching for a DUI lawyer in Colorado is their experience. A lawyer who has handled countless cases over the years and has decades of experience will offer many benefits that a newer attorney might not. Not only will the attorney know how to beat the prosecution’s case and protect your best interests, but they will also likely have a relationship with many of the key players in your case, including the judge, the prosecution, and the arresting officer.

Think About Distance

While you or your attorney can travel and communicate electronically, it’s smart to have an attorney who’s near you or, at the very least, who lives in the same area where charges are being brought against you. Again, local knowledge and relationships can be a boon to your case. More than this, though, you’ll likely want to meet with your attorney many times in person throughout the process. If you are located near each other, this will be more convenient.

Weigh the Attorney’s Case Outcomes

Building on the importance of experience, consider that you don’t just want to work with an attorney who is experienced, but an attorney who has a positive track record of winning cases like yours, securing jury verdicts of innocent, negotiating favorable plea bargains, and having charges against their clients dismissed. Ask your attorney to share information with you about past clients’ cases, or even refer you to previous clients for more information and a testimonial.

Learn About Legal Fees

Note that all defense attorneys who are not public defenders will charge clients a fee for their legal services. While this is standard, this is something that you should take into consideration when considering who to hire. The most important thing that you can do is to ask the attorney to provide you with transparent information about their fee arrangement, as well as how much they expect their services to cost overall, and how that cost may change if your case goes to trial. Hiring one of the most reputable DUI defense lawyers in Colorado may well be worth the cost, but this is a decision you should make after acquiring all of the information.

Factor in Compatibility

Finally, you should factor in the compatibility of personalities when making a hiring decision. You want to hire someone who is smart, skilled, and effective; you also want to hire someone whom you truly believe will put your best interests first and with whom you are comfortable spending a lot of time. If personalities don’t mesh, you may have a more difficult time being honest and open with your lawyer, things that are key in any case, but especially in criminal defense.

Learn More Before Making a Decision

It’s a good idea to do your homework on DUI lawyers in Colorado before hiring one. In addition to using search engines like Google to look up attorneys and attorney reviews, you can also look up a lawyer through the Colorado Supreme Court – Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. This can provide you with more information about an attorney’s background, registration and bar number (which can be used to look up any disciplinary actions that have been assessed against the lawyer), and their date of bar admission. Further, it’s smart to call an attorney or schedule a consultation to learn more about whether or not they can help you.

Our DUI Lawyers in Colorado Can Help

At the law office of Anderson & Carnahan Attorneys at Law, we know how scary it is to be charged for DUI offense in our state. If you are facing charges and aren’t sure what steps you should take next, we can help. Please reach out to a DUI lawyer from our law firm for more information, as well as aggressive defense services that you can count on. You can reach us online, in person, or by phone at (719) 454-8059.

drinking and driving with child in the car, endangering child

Driving Under the Influence with a Child in the Car: What Are the Penalties?

Driving after consuming alcohol or using another impairing substance can be a serious offense. Indeed, even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is not at or above the legal limit of .08 percent, if you are impaired to the extent that your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is affected, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

A DUI charge is, in itself, very serious. However, certain actions can make a DUI offense–and the related penalties–even more severe. One of those offenses is committing a DUI with a child in the car. If you have been charged with driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle, here’s what you need to know about the charge and related penalties.

Defining the Crime of Driving Under the Influence with a Child in the Car

Not only is DUI a crime in Colorado, but doing so with a child in the car constitutes child abuse, per Colorado Revised Statute Section 18-6-401, which reads that a person commits abuse of a child when they:

  • Cause an injury to a child’s life or health; or
  • Permit a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury to the child’s health.

This means that if you are stopped for DUI with a child in your vehicle, not only will you face DUI charges, but you could very well be charged with child abuse as well. As a note, a child is defined as a minor under the age of 16.

Potential Penalties for Driving Under the Influence with a Child in the Car

First, a review of the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, in Colorado:

  • A first-offense conviction could result in jail time of between five days and one year, a fine of between $600 and $1,000, a license revocation period of up to nine months, and the installation of an interlock ignition device for up to eight months.
  • A second- or third-offense conviction for a DUI offense is even more serious. A second- or third- offense could result in jail time of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,500, an indefinite license revocation period, and the installation of an interlock ignition device of up to five years.

In addition to DUI penalties, you’ll also have to deal with penalties for child abuse should you be convicted of that charge.

If the child is not injured as a result of the DUI (i.e., the DUI offense does not result in a car accident and bodily injury to the child), then the offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and an incarceration period of up to one year.

If the child is injured a result of the DUI, the crime is considered a felony offense. If acting with criminal negligence, the crime is a Class 4 felony; when acting knowingly and recklessly, the offense is a Class 3 felony. This could mean up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

The most serious offense is one in which driving under the influence results in the death of a child. Death caused by criminal negligence is a Class 3 felony; death caused as a result of reckless conduct is a Class 2 felony. A Class 2 felony is penalized by prison time of up to 24 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged for DUI with a minor in the car, you could be looking at jail time, large fines, and a mark against you on your criminal record, which could limit your opportunities moving forward. What’s more, you could also face the loss of custody of or visitation time with your child. When so much is on the line, the wisest thing that you can do is to retain the counsel of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer with experience representing clients in cases like these.

At the offices of Anderson & Carnahan Attorneys at Law, we are passionate about providing skilled, aggressive defense for our clients. If you are facing DUI or child abuse charges, don’t hesitate to call our law office for an initial free consultation and information about your defense options. Reach us today at 719-473-9099, visit our Colorado Springs office in person, or send us a confidential message using the intake form on our website.

choosing the right dui lawyer in colorado springs

Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer in Colorado Springs

Sometimes we make poor choices or are even victims of a stroke of terrible luck. According to MADD, 28.7 million people admitted that they’ve driven under the influence in 2017, which is more than the population of Texas.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Colorado, this isn’t something you can sweep under the rug or take lightly. A DUI conviction can have lasting consequences. Not only will you end up with a criminal record and face some harsh penalties, but this could also impact your ability to get a job, find a place to live, go to school, and even retain custody of your children.

Why You Should Hire a DUI Attorney

Hiring an experienced DUI attorney comes with a variety of benefits. You’ll get qualified legal counsel on what to do and not to do, which includes what to say and what not to say as your case progresses. Your lawyer will also possess behind-the-scenes knowledge of the court system, know how to navigate complex legal situations, and have an understanding of criminal defense tactics and potential plea bargains.

If you decide to represent yourself, some of the complicated legal processes and procedures could be so confusing that you end up harming your case instead of helping it. Similarly, choosing a public defender doesn’t put you in the best position. These are trained attorneys, but they are also overworked and not always able to devote the time necessary to provide meaningful help on your case.

There are over 1.3 million active lawyers in the U.S. and over 21,000 attorneys in Colorado alone. Knowing this, how do you pick the right one? Fortunately, many DUI attorneys are willing to meet for a consultation to introduce themselves and discuss your case. This is your opportunity to conduct your own screening. Here are some of the areas to focus on as you look for the best DUI lawyer.

Experience and Background

When you meet with any DUI attorney, they are going to want to know about your situation, but it’s essential that you learn as much as possible about them as well. There are many types of lawyers, and you want one that has some experience handling your particular type of charges. A few questions that you can ask include:

  • How long have you been practicing criminal law?
  • How long have you been representing clients in DUI cases?
  • How often do you appear in the courthouse where my case will be heard?
  • How often do you negotiate plea deals versus take cases like this to trial?

Assessment of Your Case

Listen closely to the questions that the lawyer asks about your situation. During this assessment process, you can get an idea of their possible case strategy and your potential legal options. Find out what the attorney recommends based on the information you’ve provided. Ask about other factors that could impact the outcome of your case.

Case Management

Attorneys have different case management practices, and you want to hire one that suits your needs. Ask the attorneys you meet with if they will be the one working on your case or if it will be someone else. Find out how they will stay in contact with you and how long you should expect to wait for a response to questions.

Legal Fees

DUI cases aren’t cheap, but it would be more expensive to ignore these charges. Ask the attorney how they bill for their services so that you understand the arrangement. Also, find out about payment terms and forms of payment accepted.

References

If you find a firm that rises to the top of your list, get confirmation of their excellence through references. You can check online sources for ratings and reviews as well as ask the attorney for some references.

Speak with a Qualified Colorado Springs DUI Attorney

If you’ve been charged with DUI in the Colorado Springs area, there is a lot at stake. A skilled criminal defense attorney is your best chance at achieving a favorable outcome. At Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, we invite you to meet with us to discuss your situation.

We have provided experienced and aggressive legal representation to clients for over 50 years. Whether you hire our firm or not, we urge you to work with someone who knows Colorado DUI laws and the most effective defense strategies to mitigate the situation as much as possible.

Beware of any attorney that uses the word “guarantee.” Check credible sources when hiring an attorney. We offer every client a free case evaluation so that you can decide for yourself whether or not we are the right firm for you. Contact us today at (719) 473-9099 to schedule your appointment.

Pulled Over for DUI & Have a Gun in the Car

With more police shootings than ever before, the idea of having a gun on your person when confronted by a police officer certainly justifies feelings of unease. Indeed, police officers today are often very sensitive–and for good reason–to the word ‘gun,’ and those who brandish a gun in front of a police officer may very well be risking their lives. Which is why if you are driving in Colorado and have a gun in your vehicle and are pulled over by a Colorado police officer, knowing how to navigate the situation in a way that is both safe and legal is critical.

Here is a look at the laws regarding having a gun in the car in Colorado, the duty to inform an officer of possession if pulled over, when a police officer can search your car, prohibited possession of a weapon, and what to do if you are arrested for a DUI (or other offense) and have a gun in the vehicle:

Carrying a Firearm in the Car in Colorado – Is it Legal?

The first thing you should know about carrying a gun in your vehicle in Colorado is that assuming you have a license to possess a firearm, having the firearm within your vehicle is perfectly legal. Section 18-12-105 of Colorado Criminal Code states that it is not an offense for a person to carry a firearm on or about his person if the person is within a private automobile and is a person who carries a weapon for lawful protection of themselves while traveling.

Of course, if you are not licensed to have a firearm in your possession, then this is an entirely different scenario and situation which may result in criminal penalties.

Do I Have to Tell the Officer I Have a Gun?

In Colorado, there is no duty to inform an officer that you have a firearm within your vehicle if you are pulled over. However, while you are not legally required to tell the officer that you have a gun upon being pulled over, doing so may be advised, especially if the gun is on your person and you are asked to step out of the vehicle and/or you are in illegal possession of the firearm.

Rather than saying, “I have a gun,” which could be threatening to the officer and dangerous for you, you should inform the officer that you maintain a firearm license and currently have a firearm within the vehicle or on your person.

Can a Police Officer Search My Vehicle?

A police officer cannot lawfully search your vehicle in Colorado unless they have probable cause to do so or you give them permission. If either criterion is satisfied, you should certainly inform the officer of the firearm in your vehicle, as they will discover it on their own otherwise.

Illegal Possession of a Firearm and DUI

While it is perfectly legal to have a gun with your vehicle in Colorado if you are sober, if you are under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or substance, you are in violation of Colorado’s legal firearm possession laws (CRS 18-12-106). This means that if you are pulled over for a DUI and you are impaired, you have not only breached the state’s drinking and driving laws, but also firearm possession laws.

Informing an Officer of Firearm if Pulled Over for DUI

If you are pulled over for a DUI and you have a firearm in your vehicle, you should comply with an officer’s requests to the extent that you are required to do so (e.g., provide your name, get out of the vehicle if the officer asks you to, and generally remain cooperative). You are not required to submit to blood or breath alcohol testing, although your refusal to do so will immediately result in administrative penalties, including a one-year license suspension. You should inform the officer that you have a firearm, as if you are intoxicated, you are in illegal possession of the gun.

Hire a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges for driving under the influence and illegal possession of a firearm, your first step following an arrest should be to hire a skilled Colorado criminal defense attorney. At the law office of Anderson & Carnahan Attorneys at Law, our lawyers have experience handling cases like yours and will work hard to defend you against charges and protect your best interests. Please call us today for a consultation at 719-473-9099, visit our Colorado Springs office location in person, or send us a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.

what to expect after a dui in Colorado

What to Expect After a DUI Arrest

It’s never good to drive after you’ve been drinking, but the fact is that alcohol can lead people to make poor decisions. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that as many as 300,000 people drive drunk in the U.S. each day. In 2015 alone, there were more than 28,000 DUI arrests in Colorado. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in this state, you are likely terrified about what the future holds and upset about your circumstances. Here is what you can expect after a DUI arrest in Colorado.

Were You Arrested or Given a Citation?

There are three common scenarios with a DUI stop. First, you may not have been under the influence and would have been let go. Second, the police decide that they have enough evidence for an arrest and book you into jail, often having your car impounded in the process. Third, you may be given a citation for DUI but allowed to either go to a detox facility or go home with a sober person that arrives on the scene to pick you up. With the second two scenarios, the next step will be similar since you have been officially charged with a DUI.

Did You Refuse to Take a Breath Test?

One other thing to consider before any initial court dates is what happened during the arrest stage with your blood alcohol test. While you don’t have to agree to a field sobriety test in Colorado, this is an implied consent state, meaning you do have to agree to a chemical test if you are arrested for DUI.

If you refused to take that test or took the test and failed, you have just seven days to request an “Expressed Consent” hearing with the Colorado DMV to determine whether your license should be suspended. This is something that your DUI attorney can explain further.

Attending an Arraignment

After a DUI arrest in Colorado, your arraignment will be your first required court date.  During this hearing, the court reads the charges against you as well as the potential penalties for each charge. At this time, you will be asked to enter a plea to the charges. If you are posting a bond to be released from jail, the court will let you know the conditions of your release. If you fail to meet these conditions, there will be a bench warrant issued for your arrest.

Additional Court Appearances

Your arraignment was just the first of several mandatory court dates in the DUI process. Provided you are contesting the charges, your attorney will represent you at pre-trial conferences and motion hearings. If your case goes to trial, you will have to be present as your case is presented before a jury of your peers.

Most DUI cases don’t go to trial. A case that doesn’t end up with a dismissal will need to go to sentencing. This is the stage where punishment is assigned for your DUI, and it is vital that you have an experienced DUI lawyer in your corner that can argue your case and put forth the best defense on your behalf.

Penalties for First-Time Colorado DUI

Colorado has taken an increasingly tough stance on drinking and driving, so being convicted on one of these charges is something you want to avoid. A first-time offender could face stiff penalties that include fines up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, probation, an alcohol evaluation and therapy, and increased auto insurance rates.

Speak with an Experienced Colorado DUI Attorney

One thing you should never do is try to handle a DUI case on your own. There is simply too much at stake. Even a first-time DUI offender could end up with a conviction that will follow them for a lifetime. As soon as possible after your arrest, you should speak with an experienced Colorado DUI attorney who will protect your rights and freedom.

At Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, we have been fierce legal advocates for people accused of DUI offenses for more than three decades. Our goal is to keep our clients on the road and out of jail. Contact our Colorado Springs office now at (719) 473-9099 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.

DUI and life sentences

Quasi-life Sentences Becoming More Common for Repeat DUI Offenders

You’re a little buzzed but you decide to get behind the wheel anyway. What’s the worst that can happen right? When most people have this mindset their worst-case scenario involves getting pulled over and charged with a DUI but doesn’t involve possible injury or death. Unfortunately, serious consequences like injury and death go up significantly after every drink you have, and we don’t have to look far to see the real life consequences for DUI.

That’s the real outcome for a 40-year old Iowa man, who could now spend the rest of his life in prison due to the consequences of driving under the influence.

Nicholas Windsor Anderson of Des Moines, Iowa was recently convicted by an Iowa jury of four counts of vehicular manslaughter, one count of vehicular assault, and one count of reckless driving. The counts come piggybacked with a driving-under the influence charge.

In October of 2014, Anderson was driving himself and 5 other passengers down an Iowa road at a high rate of speed until Anderson lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle went off the road and through a ditch before smashing into a tree and three utility boxes. The violent crash killed four of the passengers in the vehicle and injured a fifth.

The exact sentence was statement-making 592 months plus 364 days and was issued by King County Superior Court Judge Cheryl Carey.

The quasi-life sentence comes as more states continue to crack down on driving under the influence. Colorado recently put into practice an automatic felony sentence for anyone convicted of their fourth or more DUI, and Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would see mandatory breathalyzer-ignition devices installed on the vehicles of the first-time offenders.

In another bold statement, the state of Utah recently lowered its DUI blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold from the nationwide standard of .08 to .05.

The good news across the country is that DUI rates have been steadily declining 1982 though there were still over 10,000 alcohol related traffic fatalities in 2015. If the decline is the result of harsher penalties, safer vehicles, or better judgment is a difficult statistic to determine.

michael chiarello dui

Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello Arrested on Suspicion of DUI in Napa County

If there’s one silver lining to driving under the influence – it’s that everybody is treated the same. If you are found operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be charged, you will be prosecuted, and you will face the penalties associated with DUI in your state or jurisdiction. Unfortunately, TV Chef Michael Chiarello found out recently that his celebrity chef status and ability to cook won’t help when it comes to his charge.

Chiarello was pulled over in the early morning hours by California State Highway Police while driving his Porsche through the Napa County and Valley area. Chiarello told the officers that he was traveling from Yountville where his restaurant Bottega Ristorante is located. During their interaction police became suspicious of Chiarello’s behavior and eventually determined that Chiarello was under the influence of one or more substances. Chiarello was arrested and charged with suspicion of DUI and possession of a controlled substance and was released later that day according to California Highway Patrol Spokesman Officer Marc Renspurger.

A Chiarello spokesperson released a statement in which Chiarello states that though the situation is embarrassing and he’s apologized to several people, he still intends to fight the misdemeanor charges issued to him.

The DUI arrest couldn’t come at a worse time for Chiarello, who is facing other legal issues. He recently settled a lawsuit with former employees Katherine Page and Asja Sever who claimed they suffered sexual harassment and were “forced to endure a hostile, sexually-charged work environment,” at Chiarello’s San Francisco-based Coqueta Restaurant. The lawsuit stated that management turned a blind eye to the hostile work environment.

At the same time Page and Sever filed another lawsuit against Chiarello and the restaurant ownership group Gruppo Chiarello on a failure to pay wages. That court battle is currently ongoing, as are Chiarello’s drug and DUI charges.

Chiarello is a Napa-area based restaurateur and chef. Chiarello has hosted his cooking shows on PBS, The Food Network, and the Cooking Channel. He also regularly appears on CBS’s “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Today,” and Martha Stewart Living Radio

choosing the right dui lawyer in colorado springs

Colorado Stepping Up DUI Enforcement

There’s no question that Colorado residents like to have a good time. With all of the mountainous scenery, breweries, and pro-sports around, there are plenty of excuses to go out and let loose. Many people like to enjoy a few alcoholic drinks to help them have a good time, which is perfectly fine, as long as you know your limits and doesn’t put yourself or others in dangers. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in Colorado, which is why the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT) and the Colorado State Patrol are cracking down on drunken driving over the holiday season.

The step-up in DUI enforcement is a result of Colorado’s record. This time in 2015 269 people were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving with 31 arrested in Denver and 27 in Aurora. Between September 16 and October 24 of this year, officers in Colorado Springs have already made 154 arrests with many of them coming in a Labor Day crackdown.

The campaign to crack down is known as “The Heat is on Campaign,” and will be a joint effort between CDoT and the Colorado State Patrol. The campaign will consist of more State Patrol officers looking for intoxicated drivers along with signage on major interstates courtesy of CDoT. Director of CDoT’s Officer of Transportation Safety said in a statement, “The consequences of a DUI goes beyond the financial repercussions. Drivers can lose their license, face time in jail, and be summoned to community service; not to mention the possibility of killing yourself or someone else in a drunk driving crash. It is not worth the risk.”

It’s perfectly fine to let loose this holiday season, as long as you are safe about it. If you plan on tying off a few, put a plan in place to get home or somewhere safe before you start drinking. Look up bus routes or the number for a cab service, so you never have to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. With everyone making the right decisions we can see the drunk driving arrests go down in Colorado, something that’s good for everyone in the state.