If you have at least one prior drinking and driving offense, are a Denver resident, and face DUI charges in Denver, your case may be referred to Denver County Sobriety Court. Prior to accepting any referral to Sobriety Court, you may want to consult with a Denver DUI Defense Attorney to assess whether this truly is the best option for the resolution of your pending criminal case.
Sobriety Court is a treatment-oriented court in Denver County, created with the goal of reducing repeat DUI offenders in Denver. The program is optional, meaning that one’s participation in the program is voluntary. Should you accept your referral to the program, your participation will consist of three phases and last nineteen to twenty four months.
During your participation in Sobriety Court, strict abstinence from alcohol and substance use is required. Also, sobriety monitoring is strictly enforced, as is any treatment ordered by the probation department.
During Pre-Phase 1, you are incarcerated in the Denver County Jail, where you will participate in the R.I.S.E. program, which is a substance abuse treatment program. You will also complete a Victim Impact Panel at that time.
Phase 1 itself lasts three to four months. During this time, you must submit to drug and alcohol testing five to seven days a week, attend all treatment sessions, appear in court for review hearings, participate in a support group, and also meet with your probation officer whenever that is scheduled.
To move to Phase II, you must maintain 90 days of sobriety, and complete all jail time.
At any of your periodic review hearings, the Judge can consider any allegations of non-compliance and impose sanctions against you – which may include as little as a reprimand, or as much as a jail sentence of up to 30 days. The Judge can also regress you back to a previous phase or delay your progression to the next phase.
During Phase II, you begin to work on your community service and set up a payment plan for all court ordered fees and costs. To advance to Phase III, you must maintain sobriety for 120 days, complete at least half of your DUI therapy and community service, and maintain compliance with your payment plan.
During Phase III, one must pay at least half of their court costs, finish treatment, and complete their community service, along with submitting to the Court a post-graduation sobriety plan.
Once you have graduated from Sobriety Court, you will be placed on unsupervised probation for the remainder of your probationary term.
Sobriety Court involves a lot more work than typical DUI probation. However, this is often in exchange for a much shorter jail sentence.
If you have any questions about whether Sobriety Court is right for you, contact a Denver DUI defense lawyer Kimberly Diego now at (720) 257-5346 for a FREE 45 minute consultation today.