Drunk driving in Colorado can result in serious legal consequences, particularly when there are accidents or injuries involved. Toward the end of summer, the Denver Post reported that a 47-year-old man was in jail after crashing his motor vehicle into a man who was walking. Michael Taylor was driving toward a parking lot outside of a residence when he backed over a person who he allegedly knew. The pedestrian was reportedly rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, though was listed as in stable condition. Law enforcement stated they believed that both the Taylor and the injured victim had been drinking, and Taylor was arrested and held on a $30,000 bond.
What penalties may Taylor face?
While the penalties for DUI may be strict, Colorado law imposes significantly more severe charges and sentences on DUI offenders who cause accidents and injuries. If a person was believed to be driving while under the influence of alcohol and injured another person, he or she may be charged with vehicular assault. If a death occurred because of a DUI accident, the resulting charge may be vehicular homicide.
DUI-related vehicular assault is charged as a Class 4 felony and a conviction carries potentially harsh consequences, including two to six years in state prison. Additionally, the Department of Revenue will revoke the offender’s driving privileges and the court may impose substantial fines.
Potential Defenses in a Colorado Drunk Driving Case
Whenever there is an injury or accident involved, the legal consequences of a DUI are significantly enhanced. Consequently, it is extremely important to defend allegations of intoxication even if the other aspects of the case are uncontested. As is the case with other criminal matters in Colorado, the prosecution must establish every element of the crime of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. Consequently, there are often many opportunities for a skilled defense attorney to refute part of the state’s case. While every DUI case is different and has its own particular facts, there are certain legal defenses that commonly arise in DUI litigation. Some of these defenses include the following:
- Challenging the validity of the initial stop;
- Introducing evidence of alternative explanations for signs of intoxication;
- Introducing evidence that calls into question the accuracy of a Breathalyzer evidence being used against you;
- Challenging the validity of any chemical testing that occurred; and
- Impeaching the credibility and witnesses the state calls against you.
The exact defense or defenses that can be used in your case will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your defense. Even in cases that do not go to trial, the assistance of an attorney can often help secure a much better plea arrangement than you would be able to get if you represented yourself, and in some cases may even result in the case being completely dropped.
Contact a Denver DUI Defense Lawyer for Assistance
Jay Tiftickjian and the DUI defense lawyers at the Tiftickjian Law Firm in Denver know how to build effective and aggressive defense strategies to fight DUI-related vehicular assault charges. If you are facing DUI or vehicular assault charges, you should never risk facing wrongful conviction and extended prison sentences by not having a highly skilled attorney handling your case. Contact our office today at (303) DUI-5280 to discuss your case today.