Denver Officer Resigns After DUI Sentencing

Denver Police Officer Resigns Following DUI Sentence

Jesse Espinoza, a patrol officer with Denver Police Department, was sentenced earlier this month for the DUI he committed on January 6 of this year.  Espinoza was sentenced to 10 days jail and 60 days of in home detention.  Espinoza received a stay of execution on the jail sentence, giving him until November 18 to turn himself in to begin his jail sentence.

In early January, Espinoza was driving near I-25 and 15th Street when he side swiped another car, which hit a concrete barrier and rolled onto its roof.  Three people were injured as a result of the accident.  Espinoza was off duty at the time.

DUI Sentencing

There are multiple phases in a DUI case.  Following a DUI arrest, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.  Upon hiring an attorney, your lawyer will file an entry of appearance to let the prosecutor and judge know that you are represented.  Your lawyer will also file a request for discovery.  Discovery consists of all the evidence available to the prosecutor, such as the police reports, 911 calls, and test results.  Your attorney will have an opportunity to review that information, discuss the case with you, analyze the case and discuss possible plea bargains with the prosecutor.  Your attorney will advise you as to whether you should accept an offer or go to trial.

Each of these steps is important.  One step that some people may forget about is the sentencing phase.  Some people charged with a DUI may believe that there is ample evidence against them or may simply feel that they want to take responsibility for their mistake.  For these people, the first stages mentioned above may seem unimportant, but this does not mean those people should try to navigate the legal system alone.  The sentencing phase, which occurs after a conviction, whether that conviction enters as a result of a plea bargain or a verdict at trial, is a significant phase of a DUI case.  There are many options available to a judge when it comes to sentencing.  For example, in home detention or work release may be an option.  These options are often referred to as sentencing alternatives.  Judges have some discretion, depending on the circumstances, as to the length of probation, the amount of education and therapy required, the number of community service hours and the amount of the fines to be imposed.  The best DUI attorneys have the experience to make compelling arguments at sentencing to give you the  best opportunity to receive a  reasonable sentence.

Source:  Denver Post, October 29, 2013, Kieran Nicholson