Contact Us
    Contact Us

    Please use the contact form to send us an email - and receive a response within 12 hours.

    Emergency? Call 720-220-2277 (24/7)







Map To Our Office
Read Out Blog
Case Evaluation
Charged With A Crime?

Sentencing In A Colorado DUI - DWAI - DUID Case - “Re-packaging” The Client Ideas and Arguments Sentencing In A Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID Case – “Re-packaging” The Client Ideas and Arguments

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sentencing In A Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID Case – “Repackaging” Ideas and Arguments – A recent case in a neighboring state directly addressed what criminal defense lawyers must do to properly represent a person at sentencing. Truly excellent representation in any sentencing hearing – particularly a DUI case here in Colorado – requires much more.

A Colorado criminal defense lawyer should:

  • Know ALL of the sentencing alternatives available to the Judge and have the experience nad longevity to persuasively argue for the least restrictive alternative for the client.
  • Make certain the Judge knows and understands ALL of the sentencing alternatives from which he or she can select.
  • Make certain the Client fully understands ALL of the consequences of the various sentencing possibilities under the plea agreement or following a trial.
  • Make certain that the actual sentence imposed is based on not only complete – but accurate – information from the case, the client, and the criminal defense lawyer’s own investigation of tthe case.

Most Colorado DUI Cases Result In Some Type of Sentencing Hearing

Over ninety (90) percent of all criminal cases result in a conviction either by plea agreement or as a result of a trial.

Because of this – even the United States Supreme Court has recognized the importance of truly exceptional negotiating skills during the resolution of a criminal matter.

The process of obtaining a great result for a client for a Colorado criminal defense lawyer means that the lawyer begins the process months before the final date for sentencing.

Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID Sentencing Hearings

DUI’s continue to be among the least popular crimes that are heard in criminal court especially if there has been some sort of injury or impact as a result of a collision. The Colorado DUI/DWAI/DUID criminal defense lawyer must not only master the sentencing laws in these cases – he or she must marshal all of the positive resources available to place their client in the best possible light. This is what I call putting together a “mitigation packet” with the help of the Client.

The Colorado DUI Sentencing “Mitigation Packet”

As a former Senior Deputy District Attorney for Arapahoe and Douglas Counties – I am keenly aware of how a D.A. protects him or herself in the “office.” What prosecutors fear most is being second guessed by their immediate supervisors by agreeing to an overly lenient plea agreement where that Defendant later commits a new and very serious crime. This rarely happens but it can be a career ender for any prosecutor.

The way you obtain a great result in any Colorado DUI criminal case is to “paper” the case with positive alcohol and or drug evaluations, character letters, awards, apology letters and the like. At the sentencing hearing – a lawyer should present limited and effective testimonials about the Client to include long term observations of the accused that are positive and changes in his or her personality since “coming to grips” with the circumstances that led to the case before the court.

During the plea bargaining process – copies of all positive information should be handed to the DA in the form of a mitigation packet.

Persuading The DA – Prosecutor To Make The Best Plea Bargain Offer – Not An Easy Task At Times

Some – (actually many) – Colorado criminal defense lawyers simply “take” what the DA is offering (usually in a little room outside of the courtroom and outside of the hearing of their Client). There is little discussion and little advocacy on behalf of the Client.

Other Colorado criminal defense lawyers actually ADVOCATE for their clients. They argue the mitigation in their case, they document their defense in every way possible, the propose alternatives to the standard forms of punishment and other punitive sanctions offered by the prosecution. In short they control the plea bargaining process.

In the DUI case – the lawyer should be the first to propose terms of probation such as inpatient alcohol or drug treatment as opposed to a lengthy jail sentence; the use of ankle monitors, alcohol detection devices instead of intrusive daily breathalizer or urine screens; out-patient residential treatment programs; interlock devices on the Defendant’s automobile; “relevant” public service hours, community lectures if available to others similarly situated; and the like – the possibilities are endless.

Any and all mitigation factors should be presented to both the DA and the Judge. A thorough investigation of the “mitigating factors” in a Colorado DUI sentencing should include a close examination of other factors such as:

  • Are there any contributing medical issues that are relevant to this DUI case?
  • Are there any contributing mental health or trauma issues that played a role in the case?
  • Are there any crises occurring in the life of the Defendant or his or her family?) divorce, death of parent or child, military family separation, etc);

The Use of Well Written and Directed Character Letters

Prosecutors and Judges are presented with one form of information from the very start of the case… slanted police reports which have been written with one goal in mind – paint the accused in the worst possible light.

The idea of the “character letter” is to give the DA and the sentencing Judge a much clearer picture of the person accused of the crime. As a former DA – I would “cold read” the file sometimes only minutes before the pre-trial conference. If the Defendant is unrepresented and unable to articulate the mitigating factors in the case I was left with little more than those reports to make the offer.

The critical role of the criminal defense lawyer is to use tools such as character letters to add humanity to the person who is the target of the criminal investigation. Character letters do this by giving the DA – and the sentencing Judge the kind of independent information they will receive from no other source. Next to courtroom testimony – there is no better way to impress upon the prosecutor and the Judge the true nature of the person of the accused.

Family and friends are the support system that will enable the Client to make it through probation successfully.

Immediately Making The Victim “Whole” – The Role of Paying Restitution “Up Front”

If possible – should there have been an accident – especially one with injuries – the Defendant should compel the insurance company to pay the victim’s claim. If there is no insurance – the Defendant should find the money to pay the victim the restitution that is owed and make the victim whole as soon as is possible. If possible and appropriate – a letter of apology should accompany whatever payment can be mustered.

Nothing has a greater negative impact on a DA or sentencing Judge than an angry victim who attends sentencing and describes the negative impacts the Defendant’s actions have had on their lives.

The Role Of The Colorado DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer – Getting The Best Result Possible

If this is your first DUI – the experience of being targeted so intensely for a once in a lifetime lapse in judgment may shock you. First-time offenders are tasked with many difficult conditions of probation in Colorado and there is little room for explanations or compassion.

The numbers of DUI’s in Colorado are staggering and it is left to your lawyer to distinguish your case from all of the others.

In cases of multiple prior DUI convictions – so called “repeat offenders”- the task of explaining how this could have happened a second, third or fourth time is made even more difficult. But it is not a reason to permit the prosecutor to paint the accused in the worst possible light. While you can rely on the fact that the DA will seek the most punitive sentence he or she can obtain, an experienced criminal defense lawyer’s role in these cases is the most critical.

The lack of compassion that is the result of handling hundreds if not thousands of these cases year after year must be combated by mitigation and extenuating information provided to the DA and the sentencing judge. District Attorney’s will thump the desk and argue that this is being done for the “protection of society” to “punish and deter” repeat offenders and to vindicate the rights of the innocent victim..

It is the role of the Colorado criminal defense lawyer to “absorb” those concepts – not to dispute them (as they are indisputable) – but rather to “fire back” with the kind of mitigating information that distinguishes their client from the hundreds of other cases heard every week across the state.

Sentencing In A Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID Case – “Re-packaging” The Client Ideas and Arguments

If you found any information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the “share” button below so that others may also find it.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277. Attorney H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case.

A Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. If you are seeking counsel there maybe other more specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics. For that, please contact the author.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article – , please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.


Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg regularly appears and provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the courts of:

Adams County (Adams County criminal defense lawyer), Arapahoe County (Arapahoe County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Boulder (Boulder County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Broomfield (Broomfield County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Denver (Denver criminal defense lawyer), Douglas County (Douglas County criminal defense lawyer), El Paso County – Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer), Gilpin County (Gilpin County criminal defense lawyer), Jefferson County (Jefferson County criminal defense lawyer), Larimer County, and Weld County ( Larimer and Weld County criminal defense lawyer,….

and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article – A Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID Case – “Re-packaging” The Client Ideas and Arguments. 

Summary
Sentencing In A Colorado DUI - DWAI - DUID Case - -
Article Name
Sentencing In A Colorado DUI - DWAI - DUID Case - -
Description
A recent case in a neighboring state directly addressed what criminal defense lawyers must do to properly represent a person at sentencing. Truly excellent representation in any sentencing hearing - particularly a DUI case here in Colorado - requires much more.
Author

Other Articles of Interest:

If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
Colorado Criminal Law Blog:  www.Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com
Main:  303.627.7777
Cell:  720.220.2277
24/7 Pager:  303.543.4433
FAX (Toll Free):  1.877.533.6276
Always investigate a lawyer's qualifications and experience before making a
decision to retain that lawyer or, for that matter, any professional ...in any field.