Constitutional Rights are a big part of a DUI defense strategy. There are two main constitutional rights to consider for a DUI criminal case. A third important DUI defense strategy deals with dismissing the criminal case due to an absence of driving. Colorado has a detailed definition of what it means to drive a vehicle for purposes of a DUI. Summaries of these three defenses are listed below:
In Colorado, the Court and District Attorney need to bring a criminal case to trial within six months of the date a defendant enters a not guilty plea in the case. If this right is not waived and six months pass before trial, the case can be dismissed.
To stop a vehicle the police must have probable cause. Probable Cause means sufficient facts and circumstances were known to the police officer at the time of the stop to cause a person of reasonable caution to believe that a crime had been or was being committed. The police officer does not need to believe that a DUI had been committed but only some less serious traffic offense like speeding or weaving. There is a great deal of case law regarding the definition of probable cause. This issue is typically a good issue to base a motion to suppress evidence and if it is granted, the case is most likely to be dismissed. Fellows & Quenzer LLC has had great success for clients with this type of defense.
Officers can stop a vehicle for a valid investigatory stop without probable cause under limited circumstances. An investigatory stop is unusual in a DUI case. This is an issue to address with a competent DUI attorney. Roadblocks and Sobriety Checkpoints are also unique issues to address with a competent DUI attorney.
In Colorado a person is "driving" a vehicle for purpose of the DUI statute when he or she is in "actual physical control" of the vehicle. There is a great deal of case law regarding what is Actual Physical Control and what actions are not Actual Physical Control. Factors include, but are not limited to (1) where the vehicle was found by the police, (2) where in the vehicle the person was found, (3) whether or not the keys were in the ignition, (4) whether or not the vehicle was running.
To discuss your case, please
Call 303-376-6366 in the Denver area
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