The Law Office of Andrew L. Bertrand, PC provides defense representation to clients in Fort Collins and throughout northern Colorado. We understand that people facing criminal charges and their loved ones are often confused and frightened following an arrest. Please consult the following frequently asked questions for some basic information about what to expect in the days to come, and contact our offices to discuss your options and best course of action.
Am I going to lose my driver's license if I've been charged with DUI?
If you are charged with DUI based on a blood alcohol content (BAC) test of at least 0.08, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will start a suspension process against your license. Nine months is the shortest length of the potential suspension period, and it may increase to up to two years depending on any prior DUI convictions. When you receive a notice of suspension, you are entitled to a DMV hearing, during which you may challenge the suspension. We have helped clients obtain a probationary license or interlock license in lieu of an absolute suspension with no driving privileges.
How long will my driver's license be suspended?
The length of suspension depends on prior DUI convictions. For first-time offenders, the length of suspension is nine months. For a second DUI, the suspension period increases to one year and for a third DUI, your driver's license may be suspended for two years. If you are convicted of a third DUI offense within seven years, you will face a license revocation as a habitual traffic offender for a period of up to 10 years, with a mandatory revocation of five years.
What do I need to do to get my driver's license back?
A driver's license suspension or revocation is separate from any court case, which means you must follow DMV reinstatement procedures to regain your driving privileges. If your license has been suspended, a valid license may be reissued upon reinstatement. If your license has been revoked, you must retest, both written and drive, after reinstatement of your driving privileges to be issued a new license. Our office can help you determine how and when you may regain your driver's license after a DUI-related suspension or revocation.
Is a DUI a felony?
In most cases, DUI is charged as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. However, if another person is seriously injured or killed as the result of a drunk driving accident, you may be charged with felony vehicular assault or homicide.
How am I expected to pay for court costs, pay for and attend alcohol education (AE) classes, pay for probation, and keep my job without a driver's license?
Unfortunately, the state is unsympathetic to your cause. Our job is to prepare you in advance for what is ahead and try to avoid as many of these penalties and additional consequences as possible.
If I am sentenced to jail time, can I get electronic home detention (an ankle monitor) instead?
While certain sentences are mandatory in Colorado, in many circumstances, there are alternative sentencing options, such as home detention, ignition interlocks, and rehabilitation programs. In the event of a conviction, we can help you qualify for alternatives to incarceration, which allow many people to minimize the impact of criminal charges on their personal and professional lives.
If I am convicted of a crime, will I lose my right to bear arms?
Conviction of certain offenses, including felonies and misdemeanor domestic violence crimes, may result in the loss of your right to bear arms. We support Colorado citizens' Second Amendment rights, and will help you keep or reinstate your gun privileges whenever possible.
Can I leave the state while my case is pending or after it is completed?
While your case is pending, you will typically not be allowed to leave the state without permission of the court. Once your case has concluded, however, you can generally leave the state unless special circumstances or restrictions apply. We can help you ensure compliance with all court requirements, so that an oversight does not complicate your case.
How much experience do you have?
Firm principal Andrew Bertrand has been a criminal defense attorney for 12 years. Prior to becoming a lawyer and focusing in the area of criminal defense, Mr. Bertrand served as a district court prosecutor and as a probation officer with drug and DUI task forces in New York and Colorado. This unique experience informs our practice, as we can anticipate how the prosecution will handle a particular matter and use this insight to mount the best defense for our client.
Do you offer payment plans?
A criminal prosecution is hopefully a one-time event in your life that requires the absolute best defense you can afford. Unfortunately, many people do not readily have the funds required to obtain experienced legal representation. For this reason, many clients need to finance their legal fees. Possible sources of funds for legal fees include family members, friends, and credit cards. For the convenience of our clients, we accept all major credit cards.
How much is it going to cost to have your office represent me?
One of the first questions most clients have when facing criminal charges is how much their defense will cost. Of course, the answer depends on the circumstances of your case and the quality of the defense team. Usually, we will be able to quote you a fee after our free initial consultation to discuss your situation.