DUI stands for “driving under the influence”. In Utah, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she has a blood or breath alcohol concentration (“BAC”), of .08 grams or more at the time of operating or being in actual physical control of a vehicle. This means that you can be charged with a DUI even while you are just sitting in your car with the ignition turned on!
A DUI conviction can result in extremely serious consequences. A first time DUI conviction in Utah is often considered a Class B Misdemeanor. While not as serious as a felony conviction, a first-time DUI conviction often results in at least 48 hours of jail time and a minimum fine of $700. Additionally, a DUI typically results in automatic loss of your Utah driver’s license and driving privileges for 120 days.
A Felony DUI is punishable by years of a suspended license or years in prison.
A Felony DUI may happen under the following scenarios:
– Within 10 years you receive a third offense DUI conviction
– An alcohol-related motor vehicle accident involving injury to another
– An alcohol-related involuntary manslaughter or automobile homicide
– Operating a motor vehicle under the influence with underage passengers present
In Utah, DUI cases are typically handled in two different stages:
1. as a criminal case in a Utah criminal court, and
2. as an administrative case through the Driver License Division (DLD)
The DLD determines the status of your Utah driver’s license and a Utah criminal court will determine any criminal consequences such as fines, jail, or probation.
In the administrative stage, you may request for the DLD to hold a Utah Driver’s License Hearing to prevent automatically losing your license.
– At the hearing, the police officer who conducted the DUI arrest will be required to show that he/she “reasonably believed” that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating the vehicle.
In the criminal case stage, a Utah criminal court will typically require you to attend a court arraignment before a judge where you may enter a plea of either:
– no contest, or
– not guilty
If you plead guilty or no contest, you will be sentenced for the DUI.
If you plead not guilty, the court will then typically conduct a pre-trial process in which a prosecutor will likely try to resolve the case to avoid trial. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the prosecutor, your case will go to trial.
Let the attorneys at Utah.law help guide you through the DUI process. Ultimately, the decision whether to enter into a plea agreement or take your DUI case to trial will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of the case. Our experienced attorneys will give legal advice tailored for your specific needs and situation!
– In DUI cases, law enforcement typically rely on breath, urine, or blood tests as evidence that a driver was under the influence. ANY of these tests can be flawed. The experienced DUI attorneys at Utah.law know how to challenge these tests and the imperfect science behind them!
– While a first time DUI requires 48 hours in prison, Utah law allows a judge discretion to substitute jail time with community service. This is more likely with the help of competent legal representation from the attorneys at Utah.law.
– Even if you lose your license, you can still appeal the decision and the attorneys at Utah.law will aggressively fight on your behalf!
Let the attorneys at Utah.law, P.C. fight for your driving rights and your future! Our attorneys can help you develop a DUI defense strategy by challenging the following:
– Integrity of the toxicity test
– Probable cause for arrest
– Reasonable suspicion to stop car
– False Positives
– Sufficient Evidence for Conviction