H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.

Articles Posted in DUI Law and Issues

Published on:

Colorado Vehicle Homicide.jpgThe Charge of Vehicular Homicide – Manslaughter

The most devastating charge facing an individual who has made the unfortunate decision to drink and drive – is the charge of vehicular homicide. Colorado courts punish this crime much more harshly than several decades ago when I first starting prosecuting these cases. Back then – in the 1980’s and 1990’s – probation – possibly some jail and alcohol treatment of course was the “standard sentence.”

Today the sentence is much more harsh. It may be a sentence to probation with jail – usually the maximum of 2 years with work release authorized. Or more typically – in the more aggravated cases – it is a sentence to prison.

Published on:

by Colorado DUI – DWAI Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

On December 20, 2012 – the Colorado Supreme Court reaffirmed a rule of law – specific to Colorado and a few other states – that permits the police to charge a citizen with a DUI for sleeping in a parked car in a private parking lot.

Here are the facts of Tate v. People:

Published on:

The statewide “campaigns” known as sobriety DUI checkpoints to catch alleged drunk drivers is on again this Labor Day 2012. The idea is to “crack down on drinking and driving” but the question is always asked if these stops – not based on bad driving or any other illegal activity – are constitutional.. are they legal?

Unfortunately -yes they are. I have written extensively on Colorado DUI Sobriety Checkpoints and these roadblocks – if conducted properly – will not be struck down…. which begs the question.. If you have been arrested and charged – was YOUR Colorado Sobriety Checkpoint conducted pursuant to the guidelines set out by Colorado law? Always ask a Colorado criminal defense lawyer who practices in this area.

Since Memorial day this year the police have made 2,000 DUI arrests in Colorado utilizing the “sobriety checkpoint.” That is an average of 72 DUI arrests per day in the state.

Published on:

As an ex Career DA and now as a Colorado criminal defense lawyer, I have been aware for almost 30 years of a loophole in the criminal law of Colorado that actually created an incentive for drunk drivers to flee the scene of car accidents.

That loophole has now been closed.

With the passage of House Bill 1084 – signed by the Governor on June 6, 2012 – the new law increases the possible penalties for leaving the scene of a serious bodily injury crash from a class 5 felony to a class 4 making it equivalent to possible penalties for drunk driving.

End the Incentive to Flee

The old Colorado law gave drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders, an incentive to not stop at the scene of a crash and call for help of injured people. It benefited drunk drivers with a lesser range of penalties for fleeing the scene and trying to hide out until they are sober. The consequence of this loophole at times might mean the life or death of someone needing immediate medical attention at the scene of a crash.

H. Michael’s Take:

Defending The Hit and Run Case In Colorado

Read more….
Continue reading

Published on:

Recently in Mesa County Colorado on the Western slope of Colorado, the District Attorney’s office was forced to dismiss eight criminal cases in light of credibility questions surrounding a former Colorado State Trooper.

Because of the impact of the lead officer’s testimony in a DUI caae, the District Attorney’s officer is reviewing hundreds more cases that are expected to be dropped in the coming weeks.

The tropper – Donald Moseman, stepped down from the State Troopers Office in December after a departmental investigation.

Published on:

Under the heading — FYI ….. A New Law in Colorado passed in 2011 – compels – that is – forces a judge – IN THE ABSENCE OF A CONVICTION – as a matter of the judge’s pretrial authority – to order – as a condition of release on bond – that the individual accused of a second or seubsequent Colorado Alcohol or Drug related driving offense such as DWAI, DUI or DUID, to obstain from the use of alcohol or illegal drugs and to undergo alcohol and drug monitoring.

The law does provide for an “escape hatch” that would permit such an accused to object to the court’s order – and requires the judge to conduct a hearing to make a determination as to whether the person aggrieved by the law – be excepted from the requirements of the new DUI law.

Here is the (the law) statute:

Published on:

A Recent Denver Post article points out an anomaly in the law

” End incentive for fleeing scene of a bad accident”

The scenario is this. Intoxicated driver gets into an accident. Realizes that if he or she stays at the scene and calls the police as the law requires – they will be charged with DUI.

Published on:

Drivers in New Jersey who don’t speak English must be informed of the

consequences of refusing to take an alcohol breath test in a language they understand, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

For the first time, as a result of the good work of the New jersey Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers the state’s position that the all important advisement regarding the requirement that a person be advised of their obligation to take a blood or breath test (known here in Colorado as the Express Consent Law) not necessarily be understood – “just that it be read,” was overturned as unreasonable by the Court. The decision gives immunity to any drunken driver who speaks a language that the officer is unable to identify or translate.

Published on:

Ft Collins (Larimer County) to Launch DUi Court

First case is docketed for July 2, 2010

The 8th Judicial District (Larimer and Jackson counties) recently announced the launch of a problem-solving DUI court . This new, specialized court, to ” bring solutions” to the challenges of repeat DUI offenders. The DUI court will hear cases of offenders with a history of repeat DUI related behaviors and offenses.