Getting handcuffed and taken to jail on suspicion of DUI can be a frightening experience, especially for individuals with no prior experience with law enforcement and the justice system. Though you may know from common sense that you should contact your attorney as soon as possible, you may hesitate to do so for several reasons. One of the main reasons that people do not call their lawyer is that they believe they only get one phone call and they want to call a spouse, friend, or family member to let them know where they are and possibly bail them out.
The belief that you only have the right to make one phone call from jail may arise from television or movies. Additionally, in many states, the law only provides the right to a single call, so you have to choose carefully. In other states, the law does not explicitly provide the right to make any calls if law enforcement choose to disallow it. Colorado law, however, does give the right to make a phone call after an arrest and furthermore does not specifically limit your number of phone calls to one.
Statute 16-3-402 in Colorado
The applicable statute in our state is titled “Right to communicate with attorney and family.” This is the first indication that you have the right to multiple calls, since otherwise the law would refer to communications with an attorney or family. The law goes on to state that anyone who has been placed under arrest has the legal right to make a “reasonable number of telephone calls” in order to speak with both a family member and a lawyer of their choosing. The law does not limit the calls to one or even a specific number that police may deem “reasonable.”
You are allowed to make these calls at the “earliest possible time” once you have been transported to the jail. Additionally, if officers later move you to another jail or facility, you then have the right to make an additional reasonable number of calls to notify your attorney and family members of your new location. The only specific limitation on calls set out by law is that you are not allowed to call anyone with whom contact is prohibited by a protective order or who was a victim of the suspected crime.
Though you may be wary to request your phone calls or to make more than one, you should always know that you have the right under the law to do so. Law enforcement officers should all be fully aware of your phone call rights and should not try to prohibit you from contacting your attorney and family and should not delay this communication in any unreasonable way. If you do not have the number for any attorney, you always have the option to call family members first for help finding contact information.
The sooner you get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney at the Tiftickjian Law Firm, the sooner we can start working on your case and protecting your rights. Call today at 303-DUI-5280 for help.