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DUI and Second DUI in Colorado
/ 22 September, 2020

Colorado State law is very strict against drunk drivers. This could be the reason you should hire a skilled DUI attorney if you require the DUI defense in Colorado. Drivers arrested with a blood alcohol content level equal to or greater than 0.08 percent face various penalties. Here is what you need to know about DUI and second DUI convictions in Colorado.

Penalties (first time DUI)

The penalties for a DUI depend on the number of DUI convictions you have and your BAC. Note that a DUI is a misdemeanor offense. If you are convicted for a first-time DUI, here are the penalties you will face.

  • Five days to one year in jail
  • Monetary fine of up to $1,000
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Revocation of your driver’s license for up to nine months
  • Up to 96 hours of community service

A driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher can face a drunk driving per se charge. Even with a lower BAC, a drunk driver can face charges for DWAI (driving while impaired) based on the observations of the law enforcement officials. The penalties for a first-time DWAI conviction are lower than for a first-time DUI. They include;

  • Up to $5,000 (fines)
  • Two days to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 48 hours of community service
  • Eight points against your driving license

Each subsequent DUI conviction will harsh penalties. For instance, a second DUI will entail harsher penalties than those of your first-time conviction.

High BAC and DUI

If you have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, the law classifies you as a persistent drunk driver. This is true even if this is your first DUI offense, you will face increased penalties meant for DUI convicts with a high BAC. For example, you will be required to take level II alcohol education classes. In some cases, you may be required to install a mandatory IID (Ignition Interlock Device) for two years to get your driving license reinstated.

Are penalties for alcohol DUI similar to drug DUI?

In Colorado, the penalties for a DUI conviction are the same if the accused was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Drugs include prescription drugs and illegals drugs such as methamphetamines and heroin. Just because marijuana (recreational) is legal in Colorado doesn’t mean having a valid medical marijuana card can be a defense to DUI charges.

There’s a presumption that a vehicle driver under the influence of marijuana is only impaired if chemical test results reveal five nanograms or more of delta 9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) per millimeter. However, a law enforcement officer can arrest you for driving while impaired, no matter the specific level of THC in your blood.

Second DUI in Colorado

The penalties for a DUI conviction (second time) include;

  • Alcohol education classes
  • Ten days to a year in jail
  • Up to $1,500 fine
  • Revocation of the accused’s driving license for a year
  • Up to four years’ probation
  • Up to 120 hours of community service

Keep in mind that jail time for a second DUI conviction is mandatory. After one’s first DUI conviction, jail time may be waived as part of the suspended sentence. This option isn’t available after a second DUI conviction. That means you will spend at least ten days in the county jail.

If you are facing DUI charges, consult with a DUI attorney. Various laws that apply to these cases are complex, and you need an expert who can fight for your rights and represent you during the necessary court processes.

What’s a Felony in Colorado?
/ 15 September, 2020

If you are facing felony charges, you may feel nervous, confused, and unsure of what you should do next. What’s a felony under Colorado state law? What consequences will you face? Should you hire an attorney?

A felony is a serious crime category in Colorado State, above petty offenses or misdemeanors. Being charged and convicted on a felony has far-reaching, public consequences. However, it doesn’t mean that your life is over. Having an experienced felony attorney can mean the difference between spending years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit and securing your freedom.

Types of felonies

Felony charges fall under six categories, with legal penalties ranging from a year in prison to life imprisonment. These classifications are not set on stone. Different aggravating factors, the involvement of other entities, and multiple convictions might change the classification of the specific crime you are charged with.

For instance, if you didn’t register as a sex offender once, you will likely be charged with a class 6 felony. If you fail to register twice, you are likely to face class 5 felony. Another example is when one is charged with assault. First-degree assault is a class 3 felony while fourth, third, or second falls under class 4 felony.

Class 6 felony 

These crimes are considered serious felonies. The penalty for these crimes is 12 to 18 months in prison and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Examples of these crimes include;

  • Animal cruelty
  • Promoting a pyramid scheme
  • Failure to register (first time) as a sex offender
  • Possession of weapons if you had been convicted of a felony previously
  • Practicing a profession without the required license
  • Impersonating a peace officer
  • Possession of schedule I or II drugs (four grams or less)

Class 5 Felony 

In Colorado, class 5 felony involves slightly more serious crimes compared to class 6 felony crimes. The penalty for these crimes is 12 to 36 months in prison. The offender may also face fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Common examples of these crimes include;

  • False imprisonment
  • Forgery
  • Property theft
  • Sale of five or fewer pounds of marijuana
  • A second offense involving animal cruelty
  • Embezzlement of public resources
  • Refusal to pay child support or spousal support

Class 4 felony 

Crimes classified as class 4 felony are punishable by 2 years to 6 years’ imprisonment. The offender may also face $2,000 to $500,000. Common examples of these crimes include.

  • Manslaughter
  • Identity theft
  • Sexual assault
  • The unlawful purchase of a firearm
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Perjury (firs degree)

Class 3 felony 

A conviction of any crime classified as a class 3 felony can result in a 4-12-year sentence in state prison and $3,000 to $750,000 fine. Examples of these crimes include;

  • Arson (first degree)
  • Pimping
  • Assault (first degree)
  • Burglary (first degree)
  • Money laundering

Class 2 felonies

These crimes are punishable by 8-24 years’ imprisonment. The accused may also face a fine ranging from $5,000 to $1,000,000. Common examples of class 2 felonies include;

  • Human trafficking
  • Murder (second degree)
  • Racketeering activities

Class 1 felony 

Any crime in this category is considered very serious and is punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment. Examples of class 1 felonies include treason and murder (first degree).

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Like all other states, Colorado State divides crimes into misdemeanors and felonies. The latter is considered a serious crime. If you are facing such charges, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights.


What Should I Do After Getting a Traffic Ticket in Colorado?
/ 11 September, 2020

Getting a traffic ticket in Colorado is not unusual. After all, no driver is perfect on the road, and there are various kinds of traffic violations that may lead to a ticket in Colorado. Some of these include speeding, driving under the influence (DUI), and simple parking offenses. While getting a traffic ticket is less serious than most criminal offenses, it can cause you problems in terms of time, money, and insurance rates and may even lead to your license suspension. But there’s no reason to feel upset. Knowing what to do after getting a ticket in Colorado can help you mitigate the adverse effects of a traffic violation.

Here are your options after getting a traffic ticket in Colorado.

Pay Your Traffic Ticket

If you are like most drivers, you may not be willing to spend your crucial time and effort challenging a traffic ticket. That means you’ll just agree to pay a fine. In most cases, fines for tickets will vary based on the specific traffic violation and your case’s specific circumstances. For instance:

  • Speeding ticket fines can range from $30 to $1,000
  • Distracted driving and cell phone use attracts a fine of $50 to $1,000
  • Driving without a license carries a fine of $21 to $1,000
  • Stop sign and stop light tickets in Colorado carries $75 to $110
  • Failure to present evidence of insurance is punishable by a fine of $250 to $1,000

Besides fines, you may have to pay surcharges and get points on your driving record. It is important to bear in mind that you have up to 20 days to remit your payment to the Division of Motor Vehicles if you opt to pay your ticket. This can be done either in person, by mail, phone, or online, based on where you were cited. Paying the fine early enough will help you avoid additional fines and potential problems.

Fight the Traffic Ticket

If you feel that your ticket for an improper lane change, speeding, or any other violation was not justified or maybe you want to avoid the negative impact of a ticket, disputing the traffic ticket in court may be the right thing to do. If that’s what you intend to do, the first step is to notify the court and submit your plea either in person or via mail. After that, you’ll have to prepare for your hearing by gathering evidence, contacting witnesses if you have any, and even rehearsing what you intend to say in court. The good thing is that you can hire an experienced Colorado traffic ticket attorney to do that on your behalf.

If you are found guilty of the specific traffic violation you are being accused of, points may be added to your driving record. On the other hand, no points will be added if you are not found guilty. Regardless of your trial’s outcome, you must check your driving record. Sometimes points may erroneously be added to your driving record without your knowledge, resulting in increased insurance rates or suspension of your driver’s license.

Seek Mitigation

The last option that you have after getting a traffic ticket in Colorado is mitigation. This is a situation where you admit the specific traffic violation you are being accused of committing and explain the circumstances that forced you to commit the offense. In most cases, a judge will be lenient on you if he thinks that your explanation is justified and may impose lesser penalties, including:

  • An alternative penalty such as a traffic school or defensive driving course
  • A reduced ticket fine
  • Extended time to pay the fine

While mitigation usually applies in cases where you’ve not had a traffic ticket in many years, it does not usually lead to a reduced penalty. In some cases, you may have points added to your driving record and even pay full fines, especially if a judge has cause to believe that your explanations or arguments are invalid. The good thing is that there’s nothing at stake when you opt for mitigation. However, you need to bear in mind that you cannot appeal the court’s decision after mitigation. Why? Because you had initially admitted that you committed the traffic violation.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Traffic Ticket Attorney

Getting a traffic ticket in Colorado can be frustrating, to the say the least. Not only do you have fines to deal with, but you risk paying higher insurance rates and even having your driver’s license revoked. But there’s no reason to feel confused. After all, getting a traffic ticket does not deprive you of the right to fight the charges. Talk to an experienced Denver traffic ticket attorney to learn how we can help. Our attorney, Steven J. Pisani, has a decade of experience in defending the rights of residents in Denver and all of Colorado. Please fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (303) 529-2242 to schedule a free initial consultation.


How Are Juveniles Different from Adults in The Criminal Justice System?
/ 10 September, 2020

In most states, including Colorado, juveniles often receive different treatment under the law, especially when they commit criminal acts. They are considered minors with little or no understanding of the law, and the criminal justice system hopes that they will soon or later ‘grow out’ of offending and embrace law-abiding lifestyles. That’s perhaps the reason why penalties imposed on minors often put more focus on rehabilitation and not punishment. In this article, we will explore several other ways in which juveniles are treated differently under the law. Before we dive in too deep, let’s first understand who is considered a juvenile under Colorado law.

Who is a Juvenile Under Colorado Law?

Under Colorado law, a juvenile is any person who is below eighteen years of age. However, it is important to note that the juvenile justice systems and juvenile courts have jurisdiction over children aged ten years and above if they violate:

  • Any state or federal law (except parks and recreation, game and fish, and non-felony state traffic laws or regulations);
  • Certain laws concerning marijuana and ethyl alcohol;
  • Specific laws regarding furnishing cigarettes or tobacco products to minors;
  • County or municipal ordinances, the punishment of which may include at least ten days in jail (except traffic ordinances); and
  • Any court or restraining order made with regard to the provisions of the juveniles’ code contained in

Differences Between Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice Systems

When it comes to juvenile and adult treatment under the law, there are several differences in how criminal justice systems handle them. Here are various ways in which juvenile and adult crime systems differ:

Delinquent Acts V. Crimes: unlike adults, juveniles are not categorized as “criminals,” or considered to have committed “crimes,” but rather, “delinquent acts.”

Disposition v. Sentence: A convicted juvenile receives a “disposition,” as the outcome of their hearing, whereas an adult receives a sentence as punishment.

Rehabilitation v. Punishment: the juvenile court system focuses on rehabilitating the young offender before they become an adult. The penalty imposed for juvenile offenders puts more emphasis on education, therapy, and treatment rather than punishment.

Conviction v. Adjudication: An adult offender who is tried and found guilty is convicted of that crime while a juvenile is “adjudicated delinquent.”

Complaint v. Petition: A petition is filed in a juvenile offender case, but a complaint is filed in an adult criminal case.

Open v. Closed Hearings: juveniles’ proceedings are often closed, unlike those of adults. In most cases, the only people allowed in a courtroom during a juvenile hearing include the child, family lawyers, and probation officers. The main aim of closed hearings is to make it easy to rehabilitate minors by not exposing their activities to the public record.

Jurisdiction of trial: a juvenile’s hearing is often moved to their country of residence while adults are typically tried in the country where they commit a crime.

Rules of Procedure: In juvenile court, criminal procedure rules may be more relaxed while the rules of procedure are strictly observed in juvenile court.

Trial by Jury: Unlike adults, juveniles do not have a right to trial by jury. A juvenile case will be heard by a judge who determines whether or not the minor is guilty of a delinquent act.

Expungement: when it comes to removing a charge or conviction from a criminal record, expungement rules are more lenient to juveniles than adults.

Are There Similarities Between Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice System?

Although juveniles receive different treatment in the criminal justice system, most of the rights remain the same in both court systems. These include the right to:

  • Have the prosecutors prove your charges beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Know the charges against you
  • Not to incriminate yourself
  • Confront and cross-examine those witnessing against you
  • Hire an attorney

Can a Juvenile Be Tried as an Adult in Colorado?

The simple answer is yes. Nevertheless, the child must be at least 12 years of age and is facing either class 1 or class 2 felony charges. Under Colorado law, the chances of a juvenile being tried as an adult often increase as:

  • The child has a past history of delinquency,
  • When the offense is more severe,
  • The person’s age increases, and
  • The district attorney’s decision to transfer the case from juvenile court to district court

Contact Experienced Juvenile Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani

If your child is facing juvenile charges for any crime in Colorado, it’s completely natural for you to feel anxious about what next. But there’s no need to worry. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani have extensive experience in handling juvenile cases. Our Colorado attorney, Steven J. Pisani, takes serious felony cases in both the juvenile and district courts. Regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding your child’s case, he will help you build a compelling defense to challenge whatever evidence the prosecution has against your loved one. Give us a call today to schedule a confidential consultation and learn how we can help.

Can I Get A DUI in Colorado If I’m Not Driving a Car?
/ 09 September, 2020

Much like in most other states, it is illegal to drive while under the influence (DUI) in Colorado. What that means is, the law prohibits drivers from being in “actual physical control of” or “operating” a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. What’s perhaps surprising is the fact that you can get arrested and DUI charges brought against you even when you were not driving a car in Colorado.

Understanding different situations when you can get a DUI in Colorado will go a long way in helping you protect your rights and ensure that your DUI charges do not put your independence, career, and reputation on the line. Here are several scenarios when you can get a DUI even when you are not driving.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) – § 33-13-108.1

Believe it or not, charges may be brought against you for driving a boat while allegedly impaired. Under Colorado Revised Statutes § 33-13-108.1, it is illegal for any person to be in actual physical control of or operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or both. In fact, BUI charges are not only limited to boats. One can face charges even for operating jet skits and other watercraft while allegedly impaired.

BUI charges for first-time offenders carry a jail sentence of 5 days to one year, up to two years of probation, a maximum of 96 hours of community service, and a fine of between $200 to $1,000. The offender must also be restricted from operating any vessel for three months. In case you are a second-time or subsequent offender, penalties often tend to be more stiffer.

Riding a Bicycle While Allegedly Impaired

Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation in Colorado and most other parts of the country, as it is considered healthy and eco-friendly. However, bikers in Denver and all of Colorado need to be watchful of DUI laws while biking as breaking any may lead to DUI charges. That means you can get pulled over and arrested for biking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Colorado, those facing charges for riding a bicycle while allegedly impaired risk the same penalties just like other motorists facing DUI charges. While this sounds a bit odd, the law intends to reduce the number of road accidents by preventing people from remaining on the roadway when their judgment, perception, and reaction times are impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Sitting in The Drivers’ Seat Driving the Car While Allegedly Impaired

It is not uncommon to face DUI charges for remaining in the driver’s seat even without driving the car. As long the law enforcement officer has a valid reason to believe that you were planning to drive or have just stopped the car (i.e., the vehicle is still one or having the keys in the ignition), DUI charges may be brought against you.

There have also been cases where drunk passengers in a vehicle with a drunk driver were charged with DUI in other states. The unfortunate bit is that such DUI charges may still count against you as a prior DUI case in Colorado.

Other Odd Sceneries When One Can Get a DUI

These are not the only odd instances where Colorado individuals were arrested and DUI charges brought against them. There have been reported cases where people faced DUI charges for riding or operating go-karts, segways, lawnmowers, or even riding horses when allegedly drunk.

Possible DUI Defense

There’s no denying that being arrested for DUI under any circumstances can be a devastating experience. However, DUI charges can have far more serious consequences on your personal and professional life. Not only do you risk paying hefty fines but you may lose important licenses and even spend days or months in jail. The good news is that the prosecution must prove every specific DUI charge element to warrant your conviction. Even better, facing DUI charges does not deprive you of the right to defend yourself or hire an attorney to represent you. The right DUI lawyer will help you challenge the prosecutor’s evidence by:

  • Demonstrating the unreliability or inaccuracy of the BAC test results
  • Pointing out faults the field sobriety test results
  • Challenging probable cause for the traffic stop
  • Identifying any other ways law enforcement officer may have violated your rights or failed to follow proper procedure

Get in Touch with an Experienced DUI Attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani

Whether you are already facing charges or have just been arrested, the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani can help you fight your DUI charges. Our DUI attorney is committed to helping Denver individuals and will dedicate all his legal resources to help you obtain the best possible outcome. When you reach out to us, we will evaluate your case, establishes shortcomings in the prosecution’s evidence, and develop the most effective defense strategy to defend you. Give us a call today or fill out the contact form so we can get started on your case.

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