The process for a Douglas County DUI case is complicated. Under Colorado DUI law, you must be advised in court at a first appearance and potentially face sobriety monitoring before any court proceedings have started. Upon your release, you received a future court date to appear in the near future at the Douglas County Justice Center in Castle Rock.
At the first court hearing, you will be advised by a county court judge about the maximum possible sentence for a DUI in Colorado. In addition, you may be placed on pretrial supervision if you have a prior conviction or there is aggravation in the case, such as an accident or high blood alcohol content. Pretrial supervision in Douglas County includes monitored sobriety and appointments with a pretrial supervision case manager. Being on pretrial supervision is a lot like being on probation, but before you plead guilty or are convicted at trial.
The next hearing is called a pretrial conference. This court hearing will occur in about 30 days from the initial hearing. Before the pretrial conference, your DUI attorney will have a chance to obtain the police reports, witness statements, and blood or breath test results. The pretrial conference takes about an hour, possibly more with the wait times in Douglas County. At this hearing your DUI attorney will meet with the deputy district attorney handling the case to discuss potential resolutions. After this meeting, you can enter a not guilty plea and set the case for trial, enter a guilty plea to a negotiated disposition, or request more time for further negotiations.
The following step in a Douglas County case is a motions hearing. At this court hearing, your defense lawyer may argue that you were contacted illegally by the police officer, that you were arrested without probable cause, that you made admissions without a proper Miranda advisement of your rights, and other legal issues. The motions hearing is, in part, for a judge to determine what evidence is admissible at a later trial
The trial comes after a motions hearing, and about six months after your first court appearance. If your case proceeds to trial, a jury or judge will determine whether you are guilty or not guilty of DUI or DWAI, as well as the other crimes listed in your summons or complaint.
Depending on the verdict of a trial, or a negotiated settlement before trial, there may be a sentencing hearing. This is when the Douglas County judge hears mitigation from you and your DUI lawyer as well as comments from the prosecutor and any victims to the incident. After the judge hears from both sides, he or she will announce the sentence. If there is jail involved, you may be remanded into the custody of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department at that time. Alternatively, the judge could grant a stay of execution, which means you may turn yourself into the detention facility at a later date.
A DUI case in Colorado is serious, as are all cases like this in Colorado. If you have been charged with drunk driving in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Castle Pines, or anywhere in Douglas County, you need the assistance of a qualified Douglas County DUI attorney to assist you.