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Consequences of Repeat DUI Offenses

October 26, 2011 by  
Filed under DUI

The penalties for a first time DUI conviction are very steep.  They can include a fine of $600 to $1000 dollars, a nine-month license suspension, 12 points added to your license, 48 to 96 hours of community service, and 5 days to one year in jail.

However, with each subsequent conviction the penalties increase significantly.  Under Colorado DUI law, a 2nd DUI conviction may result in:

  • A possible 12 month license suspension
  • 12 points added to your license
  • 10 days to one year in jail
  • $600 to $1500 in fines
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service

For a 3rd offense, the license suspension period increases to 24 months and includes increased fines, community service hours, and jail time.

A 3rd DUI conviction within 7 years can qualify you as a habitual traffic offender.  A habitual offender could have their license revoked for a mandatory period of 5 years. The fines can reach up to $5000 and mandatory jail sentences start at 90 days.

Habitual violator laws also allow for your car may be impounded and seized. You will be required to carry SR-22 proof of insurance form.  These forms must generally be kept for two years and are often accompanied by much more expensive rates than regular insurance.

If you have been charged with repeat DUI offenses, it is imperative that you find an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive Denver DUI Attorney to represent you in court. The stakes are too high to trust your case to a lawyer without these skills.

Please contact the Law Offices of Nicolas M. Geman to schedule your initial consultation today.

 

How Does a DUI affect my Driver’s License?

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under DUI

A DUI charge can have serious consequences on your driving privileges even before trial.

Regaining Your Driving Privileges

Following a DUI citation in Colorado, drivers face two cases: an administrative hearing with the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a criminal case.

After a DUI arrest, you have seven days to request a hearing with the DMV. This hearing is your opportunity to save your driver’s license, and if you do not request a hearing within the seven-day period, your license could be suspended automatically.

This hearing should not be confused with your criminal case. The DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding with different rules and rights. It is important to have an experienced DUI lawyer to protect your rights during this hearing.  An attorney will not be appointed for you, you must hire your own DUI defense attorney for the DMV hearing.

License Suspension and Revocation

A first DUI offense can result in a suspended license for up to one year. A second DUI offense  comes with a one-year suspension and a third DUI offense can include a two-year suspension.

Your license may also be suspended or revoked if you refuse to take breath or blood-alcohol content (BAC) test. Although Colorado drivers are not required to perform roadside sobriety tests, Colorado is a DUI express consent state, which means that you can face penalties if you do not consent to a chemical test when pulled over for suspicion of DUI or driving while ability impaired (DWAI).

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need the help of an experienced drunk driving attorney.  Please contact attorney Nicolas M. Geman today to protect your Colorado driver’s license.

Drug Possession and Distribution Charges

October 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Drug Charges

Drug possession and distribution laws are both complex and strict.  Many individual factors like the type of drug and alleged intent to sell or distribute can determine the severity of charge and possible penalties. Colorado drug possession lawyer Nicolas M. Geman has extensive experience helping people charged with drug crimes.

Misdemeanor Drug Charges

Any person who uses any controlled substance, except as dispensed legally, commits a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

Illegal use of a controlled substance could result is a Class 2 Misdemeanor charge.  You may face anywhere from three to 12 months in jail plus a fine of $250 to $1,000, depending on the drug and other particulars.

If you’re charged with possession of a Schedule III, IV or V controlled substance, you may face a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which could entail six to 18 months in prison and a $500 to $5,000 fine.

Felony Drug Charges

You can face felony charges if you’re found in possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug.

Simple possession of more than 4 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, or more than 2 grams of methamphetamine, could result in Class 4 felony charges. Punishment can include two to six years in prison and $2,000 to $500,000 in fines.

Jail time and fines for drug possession and drug distribution charges vary based on a number of circumstances, including the drug schedule class .Distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or possession with the intent to sell the controlled substance can also greatly increase jail time. Penalties become even more severe if you have a prior drug conviction.

If you’re facing controlled substance charges, you need the experienced and aggressive Colorado criminal defense attorney Nicolas M. Geman on your side. Please contact him today for your free case evaluation.

Federal Drug Classes

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Drug Classes

Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, psychoactive drugs have been divided into several “schedules” in order to classify the seriousness of their use, possession, manufacture and distribution. They are organized based on their potential for abuse, risk of addiction, and medical acceptance.

If you’re charged with the manufacture, sale, possession or use of a controlled substance, hiring an experienced, tenacious criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you can make. Denver criminal defense lawyer Nicolas M. Geman understands complex drug laws, including Colorado medical marijuana laws, and will fight to protect your rights.

Schedule I Drugs

Schedule I drugs are the most tightly regulated. These are drugs with high abuse potential and no accepted medical applications.  They are considered unsafe to use even under medical supervision.

This schedule includes drugs like heroin, acid, ecstasy, and marijuana. There is currently a debate over whether marijuana should be reclassified, as an increasing number of states, including Colorado, have passed laws allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Schedule II Drugs

Schedule II drugs have equal potential for abuse as Schedule I, but some also possess accepted medical uses.

Most schedule II drugs, like morphine and cocaine, have a high risk for contributing to serious physical and psychological dependence.

Schedule III Drugs

Schedule III drugs have a lower abuse potential than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. They can lead to moderate dependence and some also have accepted medical uses.

Anabolic steroids and ketamine are two examples of Schedule III drugs.

Schedule IV Drugs

Schedule IV drugs have even lower abuse and dependence risks than the previous schedulesand are approved for medical use. Many sedatives and barbiturates fit into this category.

This classification of drugs is no longer used in Colorado.

Schedule V Drugs

Schedule V drugs have the least abuse and dependence potential as well as accepted medical indications. Cough syrup is a good example of a Schedule V drug.

Some drugs in various forms fall into multiple categories, and some have specific sentencing requirements attached to corresponding charges.

If you’re facing controlled substance charges and want to learn about your legal options, please contact experienced Denver criminal defense attorney Nicolas M. Geman.

DUI vs. DWAI

October 13, 2011 by  
Filed under DUI

Individuals are charged with DWAI  when they have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.05 but less than 0.08 and have been “driving while ability impaired.” At this level of intoxication, coordination and judgment are impaired enough to pose a risk to others.

A DWAI conviction results in an addition of 8 points to your driver’s license, a fine of $200 to $500 dollars, 2 to 180 days in jail, and 24 to 48 hours of community service. Penalties increase for repeated offenses.

A charge of DUI, or “driving under the influence,” is given to individuals who have a BAC of 0.08 or greater.

Those convicted of DUI will have their license suspended for 9 months, 12 points added to their license, and have to pay a $600 to $1000 dollar fine. In addition they could spend between 5 days to one year in jail, complete 48 to 96 hours of community service, and attend alcohol education classes for 3 to 9 months. The consequences become more severe for second and third offenses.

Though a DUI has more severe penalties, both a DWAI and a DUI are serious criminal offenses and can blemish your permanent record. Both of these charges can lead to suspended driving privileges and limit your freedom.

If you have been charged with a DUI of DWAI, you need an experienced Denver DUI attorney who knows your rights and can help you navigate the system and achieve the best possible outcome.

To schedule an initial consultation, please contact the Law Offices of Nicolas M. Geman today.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Colorado

October 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Medical Marijuana

The state of Colorado legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, however use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law and many Colorado municipalities have restrictions ongrowing and selling medical marijuana.

These contrasts make Colorado medical marijuana laws and litigation a complex subject. Denver drug lawyer Nicolas M. Geman understands Colorado’s evolving medical marijuana laws and represents medical marijuana patients, caregivers and dispensaries who are unjustly accused of criminal activity.

The basic elements of Colorado medical marijuana law are clear, even if they do conflict with federal law. The current federal government policy is not to target medical marijuana patients, caregivers and dispensaries who conform to state laws.  However, federal drug laws regarding marijuana remain intact and federal policies change often.. The criminal defense firm of Nicolas M. Geman has extensive experience representing   clients in federal court case and navigating the areas where state and federal marijuana laws overlap.

Here are some essential facts regarding Colorado medical marijuana law:

  • Only state-licensed caregivers and dispensaries, and registered patients who have a Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry Identification Card may possess medical marijuana
  • Only registered patients and state-licensed caregivers and dispensaries may grow medical marijuana
  • Registered patients and caregivers may not possess more than 2 ounces of marijuana or more than six marijuana plants, unless your doctor recommends a higher amount,of which no more than three may be mature
  • You must have your state-issued medical marijuana license and a state-issued ID  any time you purchase or possess medical marijuana

Colorado also has several regulations restricting where you can use medical marijuana. You may not use medical marijuana:

  • In public or in plain view of the public
  • In a way that endangers the health or well-being of others
  • While you are operating a motor vehicle

Because of the complicated federal, state and local laws in play with medical marijuana in Colorado, it’s best to consult with experienced Denver drug lawyer Nicolas M. Geman if you’re facing marijuana-related criminal charges.

If you’ve been charged with crimes relating to the illegal use, cultivation or distribution of medical marijuana, please contact Denver medical marijuana defense attorney Nicolas M. Geman.

Federal Prosecution for Medical Marijuana

October 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Medical Marijuana

From the Associated Press: “Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown” on medical marijuana dispensaries. The Department of Justice has begun threatening state-licensed dispensaries, warning them to shut down or face federal prosecution.

From our friends at Talkleft:

“In 2004, Barack Obama said the drug war was “an utter failure” and we need to rethink it.

In New Hampshire in 2007, he said he would not have the Justice Department prosecute medical marijuana.

Obama during the presidential campaign: He won’t use Justice Department resources to circumvent state laws. He wants them to focus on violent crime and terrorism.”

There’s more…

This sounds like California is just a test case and Obama could likely target the Colorado Medical Marijuana community next.