Posted On: April 22, 2009

New Colorado First DUI Revocation Rules in Colorado. What’s the Scoop?

By Allen C. Gasper
Senior Partner
The Gasper Law Group

Effective January 1, 2009, the revocation period on first offender DUI cases has changed in the State of Colorado. While the period of revocation of license for blood alcohol content in excess of .08 has increased from a three-month period to a nine-month suspension, the reinstatement process appears to have eased considerably. The following information outlines the revocation and reinstatement rules currently in effect.

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REVOCATION: The first episode of driving with a B.A.C. of .08 or greater results in a nine-month revocation.

• The revocation remains in effect until you complete the reinstatement process.

• ALL excess B.A.C. reinstatements are processed by mail. You should begin the reinstatement process approximately one (1) month prior to the month you expect to reinstate.

• If you were 21 or older at the time of the violation and have no other unsatisfied license restraints, you may reinstate after only 1 month of revocation – provided you install an Ignition Interlock Device (Interlock) in every vehicle you own or may drive.

• If your B.A.C. was below 0.17, you reinstate early, drive only an Interlock vehicle and do not have any B.A.C. when you drive, you may be eligible for an unrestricted license after four (4) continuous months of successful driving.

REINSTATEMENT: (9-month revocation): You must

1. provide an SR22 from your insurance company and maintain it for 9-months following reinstatement (3-years if you were involved in an accident);

2. complete an Alcohol Certification, Form DR 2598

3. complete an Application for Reinstatement, DR 2870, and

4. mail the SR22, the Alcohol Certification and the Application along with your personal check or money order for $ 95.00 to the address provided on the Application.

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Posted On: April 3, 2009

“And the Truth Shall Set You Free” - Criminal Defense and Polygraphs

By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group

Question: “If I take a polygraph, is it admissible in Court?”

Short Answer: “No”

Long Answer: “It depends on the definition of ‘it’…….Really, I’m serious”

To correctly answer your question, I’ll make a few clarifications up front. First, we’re only discussing Colorado here, not other states, or the federal system. Secondly, unless noted, we’re discussing its use in criminal cases, not civil or divorce cases. Thirdly, this is not a dissertation on whether an employer, or the military, can require you to take one as a condition of getting or keeping a particular job or security clearance.

In a pending criminal case, or an open investigation, you cannot be required to take a polygraph. It is strictly voluntary. Most importantly, it is critical to distinguish the results of the exam (i.e. did the person pass or fail) from what was actually said to the operator during the exam. So here goes.

Polygraphs have been around in one form or another for a long time. Essentially, the test measures various physiological responses to certain key questions. Generally, this would include blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration rate, and skin conductivity, all of which can show slight deviations from “normal” if a person is under stress from lying directly to the operator. In theory, these indicators are distinguishable from the obvious overall stress the subject is already under as a result of being hooked up to the instrument in the first place.

The entire process will take at least a couple of hours. You’ll first give a narrative of your side of the story and then be given instructions on how to respond. You’ll be given certain control questions (“Have you ever told a lie?”--the correct answer is ‘yes’ to that one, unless you’re perfect) to compare your responses to the two or three ultimate, key questions you’ll be asked and tested on. It’s likely to be videotaped. While the instrumentation and techniques have changed with the times, ultimately there will be a conclusion by the operator that the person was deceptive to one or more of the key questions, or was truthful. Sometimes, the results come back as inconclusive, which means even the operator does not have an opinion.

The courts have concluded that the process is not sufficiently reliable to admit the results in a criminal court proceeding. If you took one and failed, the District Attorney cannot refer to that fact in any fashion in your trial. Nor can he mention that you refused to take one, or even use the word “polygraph” at all. This cuts both ways, however. If you took one and passed, you cannot tell the jury either (unless for some reason the DA and judge agree to let you--good luck with that). Nor can you tell the jury that you were perfectly willing to take one, but the DA and police would not even let you.

So why ever bother? It can still be an invaluable investigative tool for all concerned. In a close case, the DA might be willing to let you take one anyway, and factor in the results when deciding whether to proceed with a prosecution. To have it carry any weight with the DA (who has all the power in this situation), you’ll need to either go with a police operator, or one the DA will trust. If you pass, you might get a dismissal instead of the uncertainty of a trial, and if you fail, the results don’t come in anyway. Right? That’s where it gets tricky.

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Posted On: April 3, 2009

“Trouble in Paradise” - Criminal Defense On The Road

By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

Question: “I got into some trouble while in Colorado. As much as I enjoy the scenery and skiing here, I just want to go home to Texas (or Kansas, or wherever). When can I?”

Answer: “When Colorado and Texas say you can. Not before.”

Once you indicate a desire to move out of state, you are subject to the terms of the Federal Interstate Compact. In a nutshell, states are required to follow a uniform process when transferring a person’s probation to another state. If you have a felony probation (resulting from a conviction) the process is more formalized, and you cannot leave until you have been cleared to do so.

If you were a bona fide resident of Texas, and just got into trouble while here temporarily (say, on vacation, or a temporary business assignment), you will need to go to the local probation department in Colorado where you were sentenced, and ask for Reporting Instructions back in your home county in Texas. Generally, this process goes quickly- perhaps a few days-and you then are provided, in writing, specific instructions on which probation office in Texas to report to, whom you are to see, and when to show up. When you get these instructions, you are then free to go home, but you must still follow all conditions of your Colorado probation while in Texas. Not so bad, was it?

Let’s now say you got into trouble here as a Colorado resident, got probation, but now want to start a new life and relocate to Texas to serve your probation. Don’t pack your bags just yet. Even if your Colorado judge says it’s OK, that’s just one hurdle. You must put in a Transfer Request, once again to your local probation officer, specifying how and why you should be allowed to relocate to Texas (the state you wish to relocate to is known as the receiving state).

You’ll need a sponsor in Texas of some sort, who will vouch for your ability to find housing, maintain employment, and meet the terms of your probation. For example, if you have lost your driving privileges, you’ll need to show that you can get to work somehow, and legally. If you are required to take drug treatment, those services must exist where you plan to live, and you’ll have to be able to pay what is required.

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