Colorado Springs DUI With Property Damage Attorneys
Penalties for DUI are severe in Colorado, and even more so when it leads to an accident that causes property damage. When a driver crashes a vehicle into another person’s car, fence or other property while alcohol-impaired, he or she may face felony charges of DUI with property damage. The offense may be charged as Class 3 or Class 4 felony, punishable by a prison sentence and heavy fines.
Property damage in connection with DUI can occur in many different ways, for example:
- Colliding with another vehicle
- Crashing into someone’s home
- Knocking down a fence on someone else’s property
- Hitting a sign belonging to a business
Colorado law defines criminal mischief at C.R.S. Section 18-4-501. To quote the statute, “A person commits criminal mischief when he or she knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons. . .” DUI with property damage could fall under this category if it appears that the accused knowingly damaged the property of another. When property damage that results from driving under the influence is not intentional, it can still be charged as a felony that includes both the DUI and the property damage.
You can be charged with a felony offense for DUI with property damage if you had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .17% or higher, or if you are classified as a habitual offender. A person with repeated convictions of DUI or other traffic violations can be considered a habitual offender. Even if property damage is minor, the prosecution may file felony DUI charges for a habitual offender.
The burden of proof is on the prosecution in a criminal case. To convict you of the charges, the prosecutor must prove that:
- You drove or were in control of the vehicle.
- As a result of driving the vehicle, you damaged personal property.
- While driving the vehicle, you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs that impaired your normal faculties, or your blood or breath alcohol level was .08% or higher.
If you are charged with criminal mischief in connection with a DUI, penalties may depend on the value of the property damaged. You could face a prison term of two to 14 years and up to $750,000 in fines. Penalties may also include mandatory community service, probation, parole, and restitution to the owner of the damaged property.
Our Colorado Springs DUI attorney can examine the prosecution’s case against you to determine what legal defenses to raise. Possible defenses against the charges may involve the following factors:
- Whether you were actually driving the vehicle at the time of the accident
- How evidence was obtained at the crash scene
- If the arresting officer read you your Miranda rights
- If chemical tests were performed to determine your BAC and whether the tests were faulty
- If you were injured in the accident, and whether that affected your ability to perform field sobriety tests
- Whether field sobriety tests were inaccurate for other reasons
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we provide dedicated criminal defense against DUI charges. Timothy Bussey is the only attorney in the state of Colorado with the ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designation. He is certified to maintain and operate the Intoxilyzer 5000 and as an NHTSA field sobriety test instructor. If you are facing charges of DUI with property damage, contact us at (719) 475-2555 to schedule a free initial consultation.