Category Archives: Criminal Law

Should I Go To Trial For DUI?

Should I Go To Trial For DUI

Percentage wise, very few cases actually go to trial because it would be a matter of having a good enough legal or factual issue to actually take the case to trial, along with actually having the funds to do that. Probably, somewhere around 1 or 2% of cases actually make their way to trial, whereas the vast majority of cases end up in a plea agreement with another small percentage ending in the dismissal of the case in full. Sometimes, there really would not be any risk involved in taking the case to trial but it would just be a matter of the financial aspect where it would often not necessarily be worth it for someone to pay thousands of dollars extra to take the case all the way to trial if there wasn’t a good likelihood they would win. The public defender would probably end up going to trial more often than a private attorney simply because there would be no additional funds required when taking the case to trial with a public defender.

Unfortunately, a lot of attorneys are simply interested in their own pay day so they recommend their clients to go to trial and they tell them what they want to hear just so they would keep paying them and so they could get more money. One of the biggest determining factors is whether or not the person was asleep in their vehicle while they were parked on the side of the road or parked in a parking lot. One of the defenses against DUI charges is the Shelter Rule defense and this would apply if someone was in a parking lot and they were asleep. This rule basically says that as a society, we want to encourage people who are too drunk to be driving to pull over to the side of the road or pull into a parking lot and sleep off the affects of alcohol or find another way home. Unfortunately, officers are still looking for that type of scenario and they are arresting people and charging them with DUIs. Sometimes the cases that really should be dismissed are the ones that end up being more likely to go to trial because as an attorney I simply cannot recommend for my client to take a plea agreement to something they did not do. It would always be up to the client whether or not they wanted to take a plea agreement even if I had advised them it would be in their best interest to go to trial.

Realistically, the client could decide whatever reason they wanted to go to trial. The client would not have to explain their reasoning for why they wanted to go to trial, because it would be their constitutional right to go to trial. I would only be able to advise them with respect to my thoughts about them going to trial and what their options would be so they could make a fully informed decision on how they wanted to proceed. It would be perfectly fine if they wanted to go to trial and it would be perfectly fine if they wanted to take a plea agreement. DUI trials are expensive. You have at least one or two days in court and you have a lot of preparation time to get ready for a trial. Sometimes, you have the cost of an expert witness, if you need it. So it can be in the thousands of dollars for the cost of the trial. If you really want to do it and do it right. But like you mentioned, you have to weigh that with the risk of having a conviction. If you have some pretty good defenses and good explanations and you have a strong case, then it is worth it to spend the money to go to trial because the long term ramifications of a DUI conviction; the jail time, the possible loss of the license, can far outweigh the cost of the trial. There are statistics out there and analysis of the costs of a DUI and a DUI conviction. When you are talking rental cars and increased insurance, lost job opportunities, The cost can range anywhere up to $200,000, the possible long term ramifications of a DUI conviction. So if you can spend $5,000 to $10,000 on a trial for a DUI and get an acquittal, if you have some strong defenses, then it is well worth proceeding this way.

One of the most important things that clients must know is the trial process, one is, they are giving control of the outcome of the case to someone else. If they are going to trial, they are letting a judge or juries determine the outcome of the case versus they are making the decision on a plea deal. And I think the second most important thing that I try to explain to them is the jury itself. They are given instructions to follow the law and weigh the evidence and to not make a decision until they have heard all of the evidence and there are a lot of things that go on in that jury room. But ultimately, you just never know and it is tough for members of juries, because in a small group like that, you have someone who is going to emerge as a leader. Sometimes that leader will tend to sway the others, a kind of pack mentality.

Whereas if you have a jury of eight or more people, you might have two pack leaders. You might have a pack leader for not guilty and you might have a pack leader for guilty. It would be tougher to get the whole jury to go guilty if you have a pack leader that is arguing for not guilty. Whereas if there are just four people and you have a pack leader of guilty, then the odds are greater, that there could be more guilty verdicts. It is just tougher. I am saying that with the four member jury, I believe the jury trials are tougher just because there are fewer people that have to make a decision, and in the smaller groups, people might be easier to sway one way or the other. I guess the vital thing would be is even though the jury was instructed to follow the law and not make a decision until they have heard everything, sometimes that they might not do that. They might have a certain feeling or a certain bias about maybe the way you look or if you did not testify, they might hold that against you and so it can be a big risk. So they need to know those things. Sometimes there should not be, but sometimes there is a distinction. When you are talking about representing, the attorney is there for them, the attorney might be dealing the very minimum, making sure just a brief overlook of the facts and moving on and looking for the best possible plea deal, or there is zealously advocating for your client where you do not leave any stone unturned so to speak. Even where you are not just taking a cursory look at the police report, you are going further, you are investigating the officer and you are looking at the blood test results. You are pulling information from the lab and the lab analyst and going over their training and qualifications; or the breath test machine.

You are not just relying on the test result; you are pulling the maintenance certificates and the calibration records and seeing if there have been any problems with the machine. There is a difference there. Most DUI attorneys, they understand and they understand that to get a good outcome, they have to zealously advocate, they have to go and dig deeper into the case than just being there to represent someone. In almost every case, unless there are technical issues, we prefer a jury instead of just appearing in front of a judge. The reason being, the odds are better going in front of twelve of your peers versus going in front of a judge in order to obtain a not guilty verdict. In regards to how many cases go to trial, it depends on what attorney we are referring to. Typically about two percent of cases end up going to a jury trial. For some attorneys, it can go either way; it just depends on the cases. There might be times where ten percent or more of these cases will go to trial. But typically, the case that is going to trial is going to be the one where this is the wishes of the client. The client always has the right to go to a jury trial, and a typical trial case would be one where the chances of winning far out way the other.

Generally, most criminal defense attorneys are good lawyers who fight their DUI cases. There are some out there that never go to a jury trial. All they do is pleading their clients guilty, every time. Some of the criteria when considering a trial in defending a DUI case is what is the strength of the case the risk and the potential penalties. In many cases when a deal is offered, they will lose a trial. The penalties are not going to be that much different. In that case, you can afford it. If you have the time, go to trial, it is recommended. But there are a number of counties and cases where if you do go to trial, you are looking at a penalty that is much worse than if you do not. You want to make sure in those cases that you have a chance to win and that you can handle the consequences if you are found guilty. In a DUI case, for a first offense without any extra allegations, the maximum penalty is six months in jail, which means the worst that you would do if convicted is three months in jail. In most cases, the judge is not going to offer that light of a sentence. Most attorneys should be able to look at the possible penalties involved and then balance that with your chances of winning. We then start looking at all the different offenses involved, and we focus on a handful of defenses that we think will get the jury trial to come to a not guilty verdict. Worst case scenario is a hung jury and hopefully the DA will not refile and then case is over.

Different types of defenses that we look at are the elements of the offense. For example, drunk driving, you have to be driving, so we want to look at whether or not the officer saw you driving, whether the DA’s office can prove you were driving and was there a witness who saw you drive and called it in. The other issues are where you impaired when you were driving, or were you at or over a 0.08% blood alcohol level when you were driving. We would look at the field sobriety tests and other aspects of the case, the investigation that the officer did, video and audio reports of the actual driving, conversations, and then there are the chemical test results; which are the breath or blood testing and what procedures were utilized to administer them. Was there any margins in errors with the testing, issues with the machines or can they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were out or over a 0.08% BAC level and was the machine acting properly, working properly and were there issues with the blood test, was there some type of contamination and were there mycobacterium that could cause a false positive on a blood test. There are many different defenses, but in most cases, there is only one or a handful that might work. There are some attorneys who will avoid going to trial and almost always plead their clients guilty. These are also usually the same lawyers that quote shockingly low legal fees. Any individual who is charged with a DUI and consults with a potential lawyer should ask that attorney how many DUI bench or jury trials have they done in the last few years they have been practicing law.

It is surprising to most people how many DUI lawyers literally do not take cases in to trial. For me, taking a case to trial is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of my job, because it is the culmination of all my studying, training, and experience. Not every DUI should go to trial, but I investigate, research, and prepare every case as if we are going to trial. The reason we take a case to trial is because, based on my review of the facts and law, I think I can produce a not guilty verdict in the case. The second reason is if we run out of options and our backs are against the wall, which is a pretty rare occurrence, but it does happen from time to time. If I evaluate a case and notice the facts and laws are on our side, I will recommend going to trial to my client and in the long run it is usually favorable. The decision to go to trial is sometimes difficult because the evidence is not as cut and dry or black and white as you would think. The evidence is frequently on the fence. A case could be dismissed if it was determined that there was no probable cause to make that traffic stop. A case can be dismissed if there was no probable cause to arrest them for a DUI. DUI cases can take years to go to trial. When a case does go to trial, the typical time is somewhere between six months and a year and a half. That is pretty standard because it takes a long time. Often motions happen before the trial. If you are released from jail and you are not in custody, you have a Constitutional right to a jury trial within 45 days of your arraignment. That is your first court date.

DUI Defense Attorneys Free Consultation

When you need legal help to defend against DUI Charges in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Utah Injury Lawyer

Family Law In UT

Bankruptcy And Foreclosure

Disposing Property After Divorce

Divorce Can Make Good People Bad

Post Foreclosure Liability For Code Violations

Search And Seizure Issues And The Fourth Amendment

Search And Seizure Issues And The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In addition, it sets requirements for issuing warrants: warrants must be issued by a judge or magistrate, justified by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Fourth Amendment case law deals with three main issues: what government activities are “searches” and “seizures”, what constitutes probable cause to conduct searches and seizures, and how violations of Fourth Amendment rights should be addressed. Early court decisions limited the amendment’s scope to physical intrusion of property or persons, the Supreme Court held that its protections extend to intrusions on the privacy of individuals as well as to physical locations. A warrant is needed for most search and seizure activities, but the Court has carved out a series of exceptions for consent searches, motor vehicle searches, evidence in plain view, exigent circumstances, border searches, and other situations.

The Fourth Amendment was adopted in response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, a type of general search warrant issued by the British government, and a major source of tension in pre-Revolutionary America. The Fourth Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1789 by James Madison, along with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights, in response to Anti-Federalist objections to the new Constitution. Congress submitted the amendment to the states on September 28, 1789. By December 15, 1791, the necessary three-fourths of the states had ratified it. On March 1, 1792, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson announced that it was officially part of the Constitution. Because the Bill of Rights did not initially apply to state or local governments, and federal criminal investigations were less common in the first century of the nation’s history, there is little significant case law for the Fourth Amendment before the 20th century. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions.

All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by the laws. Fourth Amendment case law deals with three central issues: what government activities constitute “search” and “seizure”; what constitutes probable cause for these actions; how violations of Fourth Amendment rights should be addressed. The Fourth Amendment typically requires “a neutral and detached authority interposed between the police and the public”, and it is offended by “general warrants” and laws that allows searches to be conducted “indiscriminately and without regard to their connection with crime under investigation”, for the “basic purpose of the Fourth Amendment, which is enforceable against the States through the Fourteenth, through its prohibition of ‘unreasonable’ searches and seizures is to safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials.”

The Fourth Amendment has been held to mean that a search or an arrest generally requires a judicially sanctioned warrant, because the basic rule under the Fourth Amendment is that arrests and “searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable”. In order for such a warrant to be considered reasonable, it must be supported by probable cause and be limited in scope according to specific information supplied by a person (usually a law enforcement officer) who has sworn by it and is therefore accountable to the issuing court. The Supreme Court further held in Chandler v. Miller (1997): “To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. But particularized exceptions to the main rule are sometimes warranted based on ‘special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement’. When such ‘special needs’ are alleged, courts must undertake a context-specific inquiry, examining closely the competing private and public interests advanced by the parties.” The amendment applies to governmental searches and seizures, but not those done by private citizens or organizations who are not acting on behalf of a government.

Search

One threshold question in the Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is whether a “search” has occurred. Initial Fourth Amendment case law hinged on a citizen’s property rights that is, when the government physically intrudes on “persons, houses, papers, or effects” for the purpose of obtaining information, a “search” within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment has occurred. Early 20th-century Court decisions, held that Fourth Amendment rights applied in cases of physical intrusion, but not to other forms of police surveillance (e.g., wiretaps). A “search” occurs for purposes of the Fourth Amendment when the government violates a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy”. Katz’s reasonable expectation of privacy thus provided the basis to rule that the government’s intrusion, though electronic rather than physical, was a search covered by the Fourth Amendment, and thus necessitated a warrant. The Court said that it was not recognizing any general right to privacy in the Fourth Amendment, and that this wiretap could have been authorized if proper procedures had been followed. This decision in Katz was later developed into the now commonly used two-prong test, adopted in Smith v. Maryland (1979), for determining whether a search has occurred for purposes of the Fourth Amendment:

• a person “has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy”; and

• society is prepared to recognize that this expectation is (objectively) reasonable.

The Supreme Court has held that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to information that is voluntarily shared with third parties. In Utah, the Court held individuals have no “legitimate expectation of privacy” regarding the telephone numbers they dial because they knowingly give that information to telephone companies when they dial a number. In certain situations, law enforcement may perform a search when they have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, even if it falls short of probable cause necessary for an arrest.

Seizure

The Fourth Amendment proscribes unreasonable seizure of any person, person’s home (including its curtilage) or personal property without a warrant. A seizure of property occurs when there is “some meaningful interference with an individual’s possessory interests in that property”, such as when police officers take personal property away from an owner to use as evidence, or when they participate in an eviction. The amendment also protects against unreasonable seizure of persons, including a brief detention. A seizure does not occur just because the government questions an individual in a public place. The exclusionary rule would not bar voluntary answers to such questions from being offered into evidence in a subsequent criminal prosecution. The person is not being seized if his freedom of movement is not restrained. The government may not detain an individual even momentarily without reasonable, objective grounds, with few exceptions. His refusal to listen or answer does not by itself furnish such grounds. When a person is arrested and taken into police custody, he has been seized (i.e., a reasonable person who is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car would not think they were free to leave). A person subjected to a routine traffic stop on the other hand, has been seized, but is not “arrested” because traffic stops are a relatively brief encounter and are more analogous to a Terry stop than to a formal arrest. If a person is not under suspicion of illegal behavior, a law enforcement official is not allowed to place an individual under arrest simply because this person does not wish to state his identity, provided specific state regulations do not specify this to be the case. A search incidental to an arrest that is not permissible under state law does not violate the Fourth Amendment, so long as the arresting officer has probable cause.

Warrant

Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement must receive written permission from a court of law, or otherwise qualified magistrate, to lawfully search and seize evidence while investigating criminal activity. A court grants permission by issuing a writ known as a warrant. A search or seizure is generally unreasonable and unconstitutional if conducted without a valid warrant and the police must obtain a warrant whenever practicable. Searches and seizures without a warrant are not considered unreasonable if one of the specifically established and well-delineated exceptions to the warrant requirement applies. These exceptions apply “only in those exceptional circumstances in which special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable cause requirement impracticable”. In these situations where the warrant requirement doesn’t apply a search or seizure nonetheless must be justified by some individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. However, the Supreme Court carved out an exception to the requirement of individualized suspicion. It ruled that, “In limited circumstances, where the privacy interests implicated by the search are minimal and where an important governmental interest furthered by the intrusion would be placed in jeopardy by a requirement of individualized suspicion” a search [or seizure] would still be reasonable.

Probable Cause

The standards of probable cause differ for an arrest and a search. The government has probable cause to make an arrest when “the facts and circumstances within their knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information” would lead a prudent person to believe that the arrested person had committed or was committing a crime. Probable cause to arrest must exist before the arrest is made. Evidence obtained after the arrest may not apply retroactively to justify the arrest. When police conduct a search, the amendment requires that the warrant establish probable cause to believe that the search will uncover criminal activity or contraband. They must have legally sufficient reasons to believe a search is necessary. Exceptions to the warrant requirement

Consent

If a party gives consent to a search, a warrant is not required. There are exceptions and complications to the rule, including the scope of the consent given, whether the consent is voluntarily given, and whether an individual has the right to consent to a search of another’s property.

Exigent Circumstances

Law enforcement officers may also conduct warrantless searches in several types of exigent circumstances where obtaining a warrant is dangerous or impractical. The Court also allowed a search of arrested persons in to preserve evidence that might otherwise be destroyed and to ensure suspects were disarmed. A subset of exigent circumstances is the debated community caretaking exception. The Supreme Court has held that individuals in automobiles have a reduced expectation of privacy, because vehicles generally do not serve as residences or repositories of personal effects, and vehicles “can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought.”[120] Vehicles may not be randomly stopped and searched; there must be probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Items in plain view may be seized; areas that could potentially hide weapons may also be searched. With probable cause to believe evidence is present, police officers may search any area in the vehicle. However, they may not extend the search to the vehicle’s passengers without probable cause to search those passengers or consent from the passengers. A common law rule permits searches incident to an arrest without a warrant. This rule has been applied in American law, and has a lengthy common law history. The justification for such a search is to prevent the arrested individual from destroying evidence or using a weapon against the arresting officer by disarming the suspect. The Supreme Court ruled that “both justifications for the search-incident-to-arrest exception are absent and the rule does not apply”, when “there is no possibility” that the suspect could gain access to a weapon or destroy evidence. Border search exception despite the foregoing citation the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures nonetheless apply to the contents of all communications, whatever the means, because, “a person’s private communications are akin to personal papers.” Fourth Amendment reasonableness is the point at which the Utah government’s interest advanced by a particular search or seizure outweighs the loss of individual privacy or freedom of movement that attends the government’s action.

The Exclusionary Rule

One way courts enforce the Fourth Amendment is through the use of the exclusionary rule. The rule provides that evidence obtained through a violation of the Fourth Amendment is generally not admissible by the prosecution during the defendant’s criminal trial. The exclusionary rule and its effectiveness have often been controversial, particularly since its 1961 application to state proceedings. Critics charge that the rule hampers police investigation and can result in freeing guilty parties convicted on reliable evidence; other critics state that the rule has not been successful in deterring illegal police searches. Proponents argue that the number of criminal convictions overturned under the rule has been minimal and that no other effective mechanism exists to enforce the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has also held the exclusionary rule to not apply in the following circumstances:
• evidence illegally seized by a “private actor” (i.e., not a governmental employee)
• tax hearings
• evidence collected by Utah Customs agents
• deportation hearings
• evidence seized by probation or parole officers
• probation or parole revocation hearings

When is a Warrant Not Required?

While there is a judicial preference for warrants (in terms of separation of powers, warrants act as a check on the power of the executive branch by the judicial branch), the Supreme Court has never required all searches to be supported by a valid warrant. In fact, a number of exceptions to the warrant requirement have been developed. Among the most important in use today are:

• searches incident to a lawful arrest (allowing the police to search a lawfully arrested person and the area immediately surrounding that person for weapons or hidden evidence that might be destroyed)
• consent searches (allowing the police to search without probable cause with an individual’s voluntary permission)
• plain view searches (allowing the police to seize an object related to criminal activity when it is in the “plain view” of the officer)
• stop and frisk (allowing the police to pat down-frisk-an individual for weapons when the police believe the person is acting suspiciously and likely to be armed)
• hot pursuit (allowing the police to make a warrantless entry into a building when freshly pursuing a fleeing felony suspect)
• automobile searches (allowing the police to search a car when they have probable cause without first obtaining a warrant because of the inherent mobility of a car)
• inventory searches (allowing the police or corrections officials to conduct a warrantless inventory search to make a list of the arrestee’s belongings in order to protect the officials against later claims of theft of property)
• border and airport searches (allowing police and customs officials to make warrantless searches, including limited searches without any probable cause)
• exigent circumstances (allowing the police to search without a warrant when confronted with an emergency such as evidence about to be destroyed)

These exceptions are judicially created categories designed to accommodate the legitimate needs of law enforcement as balanced against the individual’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Searches falling into these categories are deemed reasonable, even though warrantless. However, the increase in violent crime and the parallel response of law enforcement in the last quarter of this century has made it very difficult to fit search and seizure cases into a neat analytic model. That would mean requiring a valid warrant unless the search clearly fits into one of the recognized exceptions.

Search And Seizure Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help defending against criminal charges in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Gun Control Act Of 1968

Dismissal After Passing Chapter 7 Means Test

Salt Lake City Family Lawyer

Financial Planning For Beginners

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Utah

How Do I Look Up My USDOT Number?

Self Defense In Utah

Self Defense In Utah

Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence. This definition is simple enough on its face, but it raises many questions when applied to actual situations.

For instance, what is a sufficient level of force or violence when defending oneself? What goes beyond that level? What if the intended victim provoked the attack? Do victims have to retreat from the violence if possible? What happens when victims reasonably perceive a threat even if the threat doesn’t actually exist? What about when the victim’s apprehension is subjectively genuine, but objectively unreasonable? Force can only be used to stop an imminent use of unlawful force. A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person or a third person against another person’s imminent use of unlawful force. Deadly force is only justified to stop death, seriously bodily injury, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. A person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the person or a third person as a result of another person’s imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

No Duty to Retreat (Stand Your Ground)

A person does not have a duty to retreat from the force or threatened force in a place where that person has lawfully entered or remained.

Is the Threat Imminent?

As a general rule, self-defense only justifies the use of force when it is used in response to an immediate threat. The threat can be verbal, as long as it puts the intended victim in an immediate fear of physical harm. Offensive words without an accompanying threat of immediate physical harm, however, do not justify the use of force in self-defense. Moreover, the use of force in self-defense generally loses justification once the threat has ended. For example, if an aggressor assaults a victim but then ends the assault and indicates that there is no longer any threat of violence, then the threat of danger has ended. Any use of force by the victim against the assailant at that point would be considered retaliatory and not self-defense.

Was the Fear of Harm Reasonable?

Sometimes self-defense is justified even if the perceived aggressor didn’t actually mean the perceived victim any harm. What matters in these situations is whether a “reasonable person” in the same situation would have perceived an immediate threat of physical harm. The concept of the “reasonable person” is a legal conceit that is subject to differing interpretations in practice, but it is the legal system’s best tool to determine whether a person’s perception of imminent danger justified the use of protective force. To illustrate, picture two strangers walking past each other in a city park. Unbeknownst to one, there is a bee buzzing around his head. The other person sees this and, trying to be friendly, reaches quickly towards the other to try and swat the bee away. The person with the bee by his head sees a stranger’s hand dart towards his face and violently hits the other person’s hand away. While this would normally amount to an assault, a court could easily find that the sudden movement of a stranger’s hand towards a person’s face would cause a reasonable man to conclude that he was in danger of immediate physical harm, which would render the use of force a justifiable exercise of the right of self-defense. All this in spite of the fact that the perceived assailant meant no harm; in fact, he was actually trying to help!

Imperfect Self-defense

Sometimes a person may have a genuine fear of imminent physical harm that is objectively unreasonable. If the person uses force to defend themselves from the perceived threat, the situation is known as “imperfect self-defense.” Imperfect self-defense does not excuse a person from the crime of using violence, but it can lessen the charges and penalties involved. Not every state recognizes imperfect self-defense, however. For example, a person is waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. When the friend arrives, he walks toward the other person with his hand held out for a handshake. The person who had been waiting genuinely fears that his friend means to attack him, even though this fear is totally unreasonable. In order to avoid the perceived threat, the person punches his friend in the face. While the person’s claim of self-defense will not get him out of any criminal charges because of the unreasonable nature of his perception, it could reduce the severity of the charges or the eventual punishment.

“Reasonableness” as a Factor in Utah Self Defense Criminal Cases According to Utah criminal law, you may be justified in either threatening or actually using force against another to the extent that you reasonably believe that such force is necessary to defend against the use of unlawful force by another person. This requirement of reasonableness in the use of force means that the level of force you may use can depend on the specific circumstances of your case. The specific threat you are facing can be a major factor in determining whether your use of force will be considered reasonable. A person facing an assailant who is threatening the use of a gun would likely be entitled to use more and different kinds of force than would be a person who faced an assailant who was unarmed. Similar legal principles apply both to cases of self-defense as well as using force to defend a third person.

Restrictions on the Use of Force in Self Defense in Utah

While Utah’s self-defense laws are fairly broad, there are restrictions on a person’s ability to use self-defense or defense of another as a defense in a criminal case. You may not use force in defending yourself if you are “attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony.” You may not use force to defend yourself if you initially and intentionally provoked the other person use of force with the intent to use that force as an excuse to “inflict bodily harm upon the assailant.” You also may not use force in defending yourself if you were the initial aggressor or were engaged in mutual “combat by agreement,” unless you have withdrawn from the fight and effectively communicated that fact to the other person.

Use of Deadly Force as a Defense in Utah Criminal Cases

Utah law allows you to use deadly force (“force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily inure”) only under circumstances where you reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to yourself or another, or to “prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

Use of Force in Defense of Home or Other Property in Utah

A person may also be entitled to use force in defending their home or other property. But the criminal law relating to the use of force in defense of a home or force in defense of property are different. Utah criminal law places significant restrictions on both the level of force that can be used and under what circumstances that force can be used.

Utah’s Self-Defense Statute

Utah’s self-defense law is found in the Utah Criminal Code at section 76-2-402. Under this code, a person can use force when he or she reasonably believes it’s necessary to prevent harm. The danger presented must be imminent in nature and serious enough to cause injury or death. Force is also justified to prevent a forcible felony. This class of felonies includes violent crimes such as carjacking, battery or kidnapping.

Utah’s Castle Doctrine

The castle doctrine is a common law doctrine stating that persons have no duty to retreat in their home, or “castle”, and may use reasonable force, including deadly force, to defend their property, person, or another. Outside of the abode, however, a person has a duty to retreat, if possible, before using deadly force. Under this doctrine, one may use force to prevent unlawful entries into a residence. Deadly force can be used if the other party acts in a violent manner. In such a case, there is a presumption that the defendant (homeowner) acted reasonably in using force to defend his or her home. At common law, self-defense claims are not valid if the defendant could have safely retreated from danger (duty to retreat). The castle doctrine is an exception to this. It gives immunity from liability to individuals who acted in self-defense in the home even if they could have safely retreated from the threat and failed to do so. The duty to retreat is a legal requirement in some jurisdictions that a threatened person cannot stand one’s ground and apply lethal force in self-defense, but must retreat to a place of safety instead. Deadly force or lethal force is force with the intent of serious bodily injury or death to another person. In most jurisdictions it is only accepted under conditions of extreme necessity and last resort.

Self-Defense Laws in Utah

• A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person or a third person against another person’s imminent use of unlawful force.

• A person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the person or a third person as a result of another person’s imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

•  A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in Subsection if the person: initially provokes the use of force against the person with the intent to use force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony;  or was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement, unless the person withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his intent to do so and, notwithstanding, the other person continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.

• For purposes of Subsection (2)(a)(iii) the following do not, by themselves, constitute “combat by agreement”: voluntarily entering into or remaining in an ongoing relationship; or entering or remaining in a place where one has a legal right to be.

• A person does not have a duty to retreat from the force or threatened force described in Subsection in a place where that person has lawfully entered or remained (expect if you fall into the exception).

•  For purposes of this section, a forcible felony includes aggravated assault, mayhem, aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and aggravated sexual assault as defined in Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person, and arson, robbery, and burglary as defined in Title 76, Chapter 6, Offenses Against Property.

•  Any other felony offense which involves the use of force or violence against a person so as to create a substantial danger of death or serious bodily injury also constitutes a forcible felony.

• Burglary of a vehicle, defined in Section 76-6-204 , does not constitute a forcible felony except when the vehicle is occupied at the time unlawful entry is made or attempted.

• In determining imminence or reasonableness under Subsection (1), the trier of fact may consider, but is not limited to, any of the following factors:
(a) the nature of the danger;
(b) the immediacy of the danger;
(c) the probability that the unlawful force would result in death or serious bodily injury;
(d) the other’s prior violent acts or violent propensities;  and
(e) any patterns of abuse or violence in the parties’ relationship.

Can you use Self-Defense in Utah?

Many high-profile self-defense cases have graced the headlines over the past few years. Self-defense laws have become been a central issue in the national discussion about gun rights. The states are split when it comes to how self-defense is regulated. Some states limit use of the doctrine, while others give citizens the full right to protect themselves. If you have considered using self-defense in an emergency situation, make sure you are familiar with the laws of your state. Utahans should fully understand their state’s take on this issue in the case that they have to act in their own defense.

Self Defense Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help with self defense in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Changes In Utah Foreclosure Law

Divorce Utah County

Lessons Learned From 50 Cents Bankruptcy

Child Support Enforcement In Utah

How Adultery And Infidelity Relates To Divorce In Utah

What To Do In A Car Accident

How Long Do They Keep You In Jail For A DUI in Utah?

How Long Do They Keep You In Jail For A DUI

Most people are aware that a DUI offense can have various negative consequences including Driver’s license suspension (though it may be possible to continue driving with an ignition interlock device (IID) installed), Fines and Mandatory alcohol program. However, the possibility of serving jail time is likely the scariest consequence of a DUI conviction or DUI probation violation. It is not always clear when a DUI can land you in jail.

How long you go to jail for drunk driving in Utah depends on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether you have previous drunk driving convictions. The penalties for a DUI conviction in Utah range from no jail time to as many as five years in prison. But even if you escape jail, you could face a number of other penalties for drunk driving in Utah. These penalties could include license suspension, probation, fines, and mandatory alcohol treatment. You will also face many DUI costs of which you were likely unaware.

DUI Penalties in Utah

In Utah, the courts take drunk driving seriously. Even for a first offense, you could face probation, fines, traffic safety school, and alcohol treatment. The penalties get progressively worse if you receive subsequent convictions or if your BAC rises above certain thresholds. The DUI penalties in Utah based on the number of previous convictions you have are as follows:

No Prior DUI Convictions

If you have no prior DUI convictions and your BAC was at or above 0.08% but below 0.1%, you could face:
• Up to six months’ probation
• A maximum fine of $300
• Mandatory traffic safety school
• Possible alcohol treatment

If you have no prior DUI convictions and your BAC was 0.1% or above but below 0.16%, you could face:
• A one-year driver’s license suspension
• Up to six months in prison
• A maximum fine of $5,000
• Mandatory traffic safety school
• Possible alcohol treatment

If you have no prior DUI convictions and your BAC was 0.16% or above, you could face:
• One-year driver’s license suspension
• Up to six months in prison
• A maximum fine of $5,000
• Mandatory traffic safety school
• Possible alcohol treatment

One Prior DUI Conviction

If you have one prior DUI conviction and your BAC was at or above 0.08% but below 0.1%, you could face:
• Up to 12 months driver’s license suspension
• Up to six months in prison
• A maximum fine of $2,500
• Mandatory traffic safety school
• Possible alcohol treatment
• One-year ignition interlock

If you have one prior DUI conviction and your BAC was at or above 0.1% but below 0.16%, you could face:

• Up to 12 months driver’s license suspension
• Up to six months in prison
• A maximum fine of $5,000
• Mandatory traffic safety school
• Possible alcohol treatment
• One-year ignition interlock

If you have one prior DUI conviction and your BAC was 0.16% or above, you could face:

• Up to an 18-month driver’s license suspension
• Up to five years in prison
• A maximum fine of $10,000
• Mandatory traffic safety school
• Alcohol treatment
• One-year ignition interlock

Two or More Prior DUI Convictions

If you have two or more prior DUI convictions and your BAC was at or above 0.08% but below 0.1%, you could face:
• Up to a 12-month driver’s license suspension
• Up to two years in prison
• A maximum fine of $5,000
• Alcohol treatment
• One-year ignition interlock
If you have two or more prior DUI convictions and your BAC was at or above 0.1% but below 0.16%, you could face:

• Up to an 18-month driver’s license suspension
• Up to five years in prison
• A maximum fine of $10,000
• Alcohol treatment
• One-year ignition interlock

If you have two or more prior DUI convictions and your BAC was at or above 0.16%, you could face:

• Up to an 18-month driver’s license suspension
• Up to five years in prison
• A maximum fine of $10,000
• Alcohol treatment
• One-year ignition interlock

First, Lawyer can review the circumstances of your case and determine if it is possible to create reasonable doubt as to your guilt. Perhaps the arresting officer did not follow proper protocol. Maybe the breathalyzer used to capture your BAC was not properly calibrated. There are dozens of potential ways to call your guilt into question. If it looks as if the prosecution has unassailable proof of your guilt, a lawyer can negotiate with the state to knock your DUI charge down to a lesser charge. Everyone who gets a DUI immediately goes to the “this is the end of the world” extreme, but in reality, DUI’s are charged against all different types of people, and there are definitely folks who you know who have gone through this but have not made their battle publicly known. So the primary thing to know is that you’re not the first person that has gone through this and that people have made it through these circumstances before without it ruining their lives.

Getting one DUI charge doesn’t make you an alcoholic, a bad person, or a low-life. On today’s roadways, police officers generally do not show mercy to anyone who has had even one drink, some marijuana earlier in the day, or, on certain occasions, those drivers who are just taking their medications as prescribed. In short, getting a DUI is a lot easier than you think. If and when it happens, you just have to be ready. For a first-time DUI, an officer does not have to book you into jail and often times, if you are respectful to the officer, he will bring you home after he has processed the DUI so that you can at least sleep in your own bed. Your car will always be impounded when you’re arrested on suspicion of DUI, so getting that back should probably be your first priority, as the bill can rack up quickly if it sits there too long. If you are booked into jail on your first DUI, it is smart to try to bail out as quickly as possible. Bail on a first DUI generally will be $1,000, and you can, therefore, get a bail bond for about $100, or you can post the full amount, which means that it will all be returned to you at the conclusion of the case. One tip here is that if you are eventually convicted of a DUI (under a 0.15 BAC), you will have a mandatory minimum of 24 consecutive hours in jail. Therefore, if you’ve been in jail for let’s say 20 hours and then bail out, you will not be given credit for that.

It may be wise to sit there for 4 more hours to get the full 24 hours in, which may mean you don’t have to go back to jail later on. Once you are out of jail and you’ve retrieved your car, the best thing you can do is call a DUI attorney. It’s actually wise to call a DUI attorney before you’ve decided whether to take the breath test at the station as well, but here we’re focusing on what to do after you’ve been arrested. Most times when you leave jail or after you’ve been dropped off by the officer, you do not have a court date in your hand yet. You will receive a summons in the mail in the weeks or months following the arrest, which will tell you what your first court date is and what court it will be held in. Again, sometimes this summons comes during the week of the incident and sometimes you have to wait and wait for it to arrive. This depends on several factors, one of which is whether you did a breath test or a blood draw. Blood draw cases have to be sent to be tested and then the results are returned to the prosecutor’s office. This means that your summons in a blood draw case will generally take longer. Just because the summons might take a while to get to you, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to just sit back and do nothing after the arrest, as there is also the Department of Licensing side to a DUI case.

When you get arrested for a DUI you will generally be given a form showing you how to request a Department of Licensing (DOL) Administrative Hearing. This hearing must be requested within 20 days of arrest, regardless of what is happening with your criminal case, so there is a reason to get moving on talking to a DUI attorney once arrested. If you do not request a hearing within this 20-day time period, and your breath test was over the legal limit, your license will be suspended automatically starting 60 days after the incident date. While you don’t technically need an attorney for the DOL hearing, to not have one is to basically throw away the money for the hearing ($375.00) as these are complex hearings where legal issues need to be understood and argued. An attorney can talk to you about what happened while it is fresh in your memory and can even help you submit the DOL hearing request. Essentially, the defense for your DUI can start long before the criminal charge is filed.

In addition to the benefits of having things fresh in your mind and having an attorney there to help you with the DOL hearing from the beginning, there are another few benefits to getting an attorney on board right away. There may be investigative items that need to be looked into which will disappear with time. An attorney might want to have you get started with a drug and alcohol evaluation right away. An attorney may want to start preparing pretrial motions for your case so that they can put the prosecutor on notice of issues right off the bat. These are just a few of the reasons to consult an attorney right away, but the main reason this makes sense is that you’re usually going to be paying an attorney a flat fee for representation, so why not get your money’s worth and have him or her help you throughout? It should be the same cost either way so let your attorney work for you from the get-go. A DUI charge is a daunting task, but having a trusted attorney on your side throughout makes you realize that this won’t be the end of your life as you know it.

An arraignment is the act of bringing a defendant to court and formally reading the charges against him or her. It is at this point that you enter your plea: guilty or not guilty. However, that’s not the only jail time you will serve if you are convicted. All DUI crimes in Utah come with jail time. How long you are in jail depends upon the severity of the crime with which you were charged. Upon being arrested on a DUI charge, you will be brought to the police or Sheriff’s station for processing. If you are injured in a crash related to a DUI, you will be brought to the hospital first, and then processed upon your release.

Once you arrive at the station, you will likely be ordered to take a chemical test to measure the amount of suspected alcohol or drugs in your system. After that, you’ll be read your rights and questioned. You can have a lawyer present for this, if you so choose. From there, your driver’s license will likely be taken away, and you will be given a temporary license in its place. You will be informed that your license is to be suspended, however you have ten days to fight the suspension. You may want to consider retaining a lawyer to help you fight this. Living without a license is incredibly stressful, especially when trying to get to work and back. And the last thing you need is to be charged with driving without a license. While you may be held in a jail cell during this process, this is local prison, not a prison for hardened criminals. If this is your first DUI-related conviction, or if your last DUI-related conviction was more than 10 years ago, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 48 hours in jail, up to but not exceeding six months. Time served will be in a local prison, rather than a state prison and you can usually serve your time in the same city of your arrest. A DUI defense lawyer may be able to work out a negotiation in your favor. For instance, he or she may be able to convince the court to supplement your 48-hour jail sentence with a five-day work release instead.

If, however, this is your second or third offense, the punishments may be more severe:
• Second DUI Offense – Up to a year in a local jail
• Third DUI Offense – Mandatory six months to a year in a local jail
• Fourth (or More) DUI Offense – Up to 3 years in state prison
If you have four or more offenses, it no longer matters if they were within the last ten years. You can be sentenced to up to three years in jail, even if it has been ten years since your last conviction.

DUI Attorney Free Consultation

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Utah, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Can You Just Write A Will And Get It Notarized?

Managing Employees In Your Business

Utah Registered Agent Services

What Information Should You Exchange After A Car Accident?

Multi State Custody Issues

ATV Accident Lawyer Provo Utah

Do I Have To Notify My Insurance Company Of A DUI?

Do I Have To Notify My Insurance Company Of A DUI

Someone could get an impaired driving charge but there could be no accident, when you’re pulled over on a roadside stop, there’s no accident, and the insurance company may not necessarily be notified. In order for your insurance company to find out about your non-accident related DUI charges, the company needs to order a report of your driving record from the Utah DMV, which is typically something that it’ll do when it’s time to renew your policy. And even then, it’s not always guaranteed that this will happen every single year especially if you have an otherwise clean record.

Specifically where you’ve had someone who’s been a client of the same insurance company for a number of years and hasn’t had any accidents or claims, and hasn’t done anything to draw attention to them, the insurance company may not be ordering a report on that driver. if you get into an accident and need to make a claim, that’s an entirely different situation. Claims adjuster will ask about the accident, and seek out details and you can’t lie. At the moment, the Utah police force posts the first and last names of drivers that have been charged with impaired driving, along with their age, location, and crime. Unless there’s a driver’s license number associated with it, there’s nothing the insurance company can do with it.

Unless the police start releasing more information, or they make a concerted effort to work directly with auto insurers, it’s not likely that your insurance company would be able to connect you with the name displayed on the police website. The impaired conviction remains on your Utah driving record for at least three years, and the license suspension that accompanies the conviction remains on your record for up to six years. The Utah car insurance application requires drivers to disclose any license suspensions within the last six years, which will require you to notify the insurer of the impaired driving conviction. To return to paying normal car insurance rates, you’re going to have to wait up to six years after the impaired conviction.

As soon as your auto insurance company learns that you’ve been convicted of driving while intoxicated, they’ll apply a major surcharge to your policy. While this may occur on the first renewal date after your conviction, it’s possible that they’ll levy the charge retroactively to cover the period during which you hid your conviction. Alternatively, your state may require you to notify your provider immediately after your conviction. In most jurisdictions, you need to obtain an SR-22 form from your insurance company in order to retain your driving privileges once your DUI-related license suspension period ends. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to request an SR-22 from your insurer without alerting them of your recent conviction. Once your DUI is a matter of record, you’ll endure years of artificially high premium payments. You won’t be able to do much about this: Whereas safe drivers can switch insurance companies freely to take advantage of promotions, deals and novel policy features, high-risk drivers who wish to switch insurance companies must contend with fees and red tape.

Once you have a DUI on your record, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a better deal with another provider. In most states, your DUI will remain visible to your insurance company for five years. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere. In Utah, your DUI conviction will remain active on your driving record for an entire decade. You can mitigate the financial impact of your DUI in several ways. First, figure out exactly when your DUI conviction will drop off of your driving record. Unless you take out a new insurance policy each month, it’s unlikely that this will occur immediately before your policy is up for renewal. To avoid paying hundreds of dollars more than you should, call your insurance company a few days before the five-year anniversary of your conviction and ask your agent to recalculate the cost of your DUI-free policy.

If you sell your car after your conviction, cancel your current policy and obtain operator-only insurance. This type of coverage permits you to drive without permanently tying you to an actual vehicle. Alternatively, you can purchase low-cost proof of insurance from an online provider. While it may not provide much protection in an accident, this type of coverage is legal and may save you hundreds of dollars per year. The costs associated with a DUI or DWI conviction continue long after your court case has finalized. In fact, one of the most significant expenses comes in the form of higher car insurance premiums. Although it’s almost impossible to avoid a hike in your insurance rates after a DUI, there are steps you can take to keep your premiums affordable.

Strategies To Save On Auto Insurance After A DUI

• Take A Defensive Driving Course: Depending on your state, driving record, and your specific charges, you may be ordered by the court to take a defensive driving course. Even if you are not required to do so, it might be a good idea if your insurance company offers discounts for taking such a course. If your current insurer does not offer this discount, try to find a car insurance company that does and perhaps one that is more lenient to drivers who have a recent drunk-driving conviction.

• Bundle Your Insurance: If you have other types of insurance with a company besides your car insurance provider, it may be in your best interest to merge. Many insurers offer multiline discounts to policyholders who have multiple types of insurance with them.

• Increase Your Deductible: Your deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay after an accident before your insurance company pays out. Deductibles can range from $0 to $1,000 and beyond. Lower deductibles typically translate into higher insurance premiums and vice versa. As such, if your insurance rates increased after being convicted of DUI, you may be able to lower them by opting for a higher deductible. A higher deductible might increase your financial liability, but it’s far better than driving without insurance after a DUI.

• Lower Your Coverage: It goes without saying that the types of coverage you carry and their limits will have a major impact on your insurance rates. If you want to get your premiums reduced after a DUI, consider opting for less coverage.

• Install Safety Features In Your Car: If your car doesn’t already have features like an alarm, antitheft devices, antilock brakes, and automated seat belts, it may be time to look into getting them installed or buying a new car that comes with them. These features lower the risk of filing a claim and reduce the value of the average claim in the event of an accident, so insuring a vehicle with the latest safety features typically costs less.

• Be Careful With Your Driving Moving Forward: Your insurance rates are ultimately determined by the likelihood that you will file a claim. That likelihood statistically increases after a DUI conviction, which is why your premiums increase. If you want to get your rates reduced, you will need to prove to your insurance company that you aren’t a high-risk driver. The easiest way to do this is to avoid accidents and traffic infractions for several consecutive years.

• Opt For Paperless Billing: If you haven’t gone paperless, find out if your insurance company would offer you a discount for doing so. Paperless billing tends to be cheaper for insurance carriers, so many of them offer financial incentive to drivers who make the switch. If you’ve taken these steps but you’re still unhappy with your insurance rates, consider switching to a different provider. Each insurance company takes a different approach to calculating premiums, so you might be able to find a carrier who is more lenient on drivers with a DUI conviction.
As if a DUI arrest isn’t enough trouble, many Utah DUI defendants also have to worry about the effect DUIs will have on their car insurance rates. Here’s the good news: according to Utah law, your auto insurance company can’t cancel a policy or raise premiums midterm. Even if you are convicted of a DUI, your auto insurance provider must wait until the end of your policy’s term to cancel or raise rates. Unfortunately, once your auto insurance policy does end, a drunk driving conviction almost always leads to higher car insurance rates. On top of that, your car insurance is just one of the ripple effects of a DUI arrest, which is exactly why so many people decide to find an experienced DUI attorney.

Unless the DMV has ordered you to obtain an SR 22, a Utah Insurance Proof Certificate, you do not have to report your DUI to your insurance company. Although it might not feel like it right now, you are still innocent until proven guilty. A DUI arrest does not equal a DUI conviction. However, in certain cases, the Utah DMV will require you to provide proof of insurance with an SR 22 form. If your driver’s license was suspended because of a DUI-related offense, you will be required to contact your car insurance company for an SR 22 before it is reinstated. This certificate proves that you meet the state’s minimum auto insurance coverage requirements. Your insurance company will probably charge you a $15 or $20 fee, and then forward the SR 22 to the DMV. While this form satisfies the state’s insurance requirements, it also serves as a red flag for insurance companies.

In all likelihood, merely asking for an SR 22 will immediately get you flagged as a high-risk driver for at least 10 years to come. As described above, your car insurance company can’t immediately raise your rates or drop your policy, but they can and usually will once your policy term ends. If you hire a criminal defense attorney after a DUI arrest, you may hear about the “15/30/5” rule. This refers to the minimum auto insurance coverage you are required to have under Utah insurance law. So what is the 15/30/5 rule?

• Your auto insurance liability coverage must pay at least $15,000 for an individual you injure or kill on the road
• Total payments of $30,000 for accidents with multiple injuries or deaths
• $5,000 for any property damage you cause
it is illegal to drive without car insurance, and the last thing you need right now is to get in more legal trouble. If your auto insurance company refuses to renew your policy, you have to obtain new insurance coverage as soon as possible or stop driving altogether. In fact, it is illegal to even own a car in Utah if you do not have car insurance. Many people do not lose their insurance after a DUI conviction; however, if you had previously taken advantage of good driver discounts, you can expect a significant rate increase. If your car insurance company cancels your good driver policy, make sure to ask if they would be willing to provide another policy instead. Some car companies don’t insure high-risk drivers at all, which can make it hard to find car insurance coverage with a DUI on your record. If you are having trouble finding a new insurance policy, don’t get discouraged. You can find insurance companies that have policies for everyone, including convicted drunk drivers.

In the early 1990s, before ignition interlock devices were used in all 50 states, researchers found that between 50 – 70% of drunk drivers continued to drive on their suspended license. Sadly, many DUI defendants are repeat offenders. Law enforcement agencies believe the average DUI offender drives drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest. Because of this, most DUI laws in Utah were designed with chronic drunk drivers in mind. While this has led to declining drunk driving rates around the country, it has also led to the stigmatization of countless upstanding citizens, who have had their lives turned upside down because a single mistake that ended in a drunk driving arrest. Car insurance companies don’t always find out about an individual’s DUI record. These offenses only stay on your record for 10 years, and you would be surprised how often the infamous Utah bureaucracy renders a DUI offense invisible through things like computer errors. Sometimes cases do slip through the cracks, and the DMV and court system is full of cracks. While you wouldn’t be the first person to have a DUI vanish from your record through a lucky accident, this isn’t something you can count on. Computer records make this increasingly unlikely. If you’re worried about how a DUI arrest will affect your car insurance premiums, employment prospects, criminal record, or any other aspect of your life, you deserve a criminal defense attorney who is willing to fight for you.

DUI Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help to defend against a DUI in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Foreclosure Lawyer Midvale Utah

Utah Annulment

Premarital Agreements

Salt Lake Attorney

Do You Qualify For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

ATV Accident Lawyer Ogden Utah

How Do You Deal With A DUI Emotionally?

How Do You Deal With A DUI Emotionally

When you get a DUI conviction, you will encounter a surge of conflicting emotions, and it might take significant time for them to subside. It is important to remember that this flood of feelings will pass, you will make it out on top of your case, and in time, life will resume as normal.
There are many steps you’ll need to take to legally get through your arrest and charge, and even more steps you can take to manage the emotional burden of the accusation.

• Hire the best DUI attorney you can find. Working with a qualified, experienced DUI attorney will significantly alter your experience through your DUI arrest and case experience. If you can trust your lawyer to make the necessary moves for the best outcome of your case, and he or she can be completely transparent in your communication, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders. Understanding the steps on a need-to-know basis will veer your mind from worry and getting hung up on unlikely hypothetical scenarios.

• Inform yourself. Ask questions; be completely educated on your DUI conviction and the process ahead. You are using your money for your selected attorney; invest in a lawyer with the knowledge and experience to keep you in the know. At the beginning of the process, look to our information on My DUI Solutions so you can be prepared for what is ahead.

• Don’t get overwhelmed, proceed one step at a time. Right away, many necessary steps present themselves. Stay calm, focus on one solution at a time as you navigate your DUI and legal process. Your attorney will help you with each task at hand; focus on the element before you and don’t look too far ahead.

• Take the emotion out of the equation. This experience won’t last forever and you will get through it! Focus on that and don’t let a DUI redefine who you are. If you start to feel waves of guilt or anger, remember that this was a mistake and you are taking all necessary steps to make the situation better.

• Start taking steps toward your brighter future. By making changes and advances in your life that construct a hopeful journey ahead, you can face any surprises in your case with dignity. You know you are improving your life and yourself, don’t let unforeseen obstacles weigh you down.
The stress of the situation can weigh heavily on some people. You might be having trouble sleeping, you’re worried about what could happen to your job, and you’re embarrassed about what your friends and family might be thinking. To make matters worse, while you’re dealing with all of this stress, you’re also facing important deadlines and are being forced to make some of the most important decisions in your case, decisions which can have a long-lasting impact on your case, your career, and your future. If you accidentally make a critical mistake by missing a deadline or failing to preserve important evidence, you can ruin your chances of getting your license back or even sabotage your entire case.

Here are some stages of surviving your DUI arrest, and the tips you need for surviving the emotional aftershock of your DUI arrest.

• SHOCK and DENIAL: Most clients’ initial reaction to their DUI arrest is a feeling of numbness and disbelief. It’s common to try and deny the reality of the situation at some level, and to try to hide yourself from the reality of what’s happening. Getting arrested and being branded a criminal by the prosecutors and the police can be a very emotional experience. Going into shock and trying to hide is your body’s way of providing emotional protection to keep you from getting completely overwhelmed. This feeling of shock and denial can last for as little as a few days, or as long as a few weeks after your DUI arrest. It’s important to realize that your brain is trying to shut down a little bit, and to seek help as soon as possible, because if you hide too long, you’ll miss important deadlines that can affect the outcome of your DUI case.

• PAIN and GUILT: Once the shock of the DUI arrest begins to wear off, it will be replace with a feeling of suffering and emotional pain. You’ll play the “What if?” game, putting yourself into a torture chamber and thinking about all of the negative things that can arise from a DUI conviction. For many people, this feeling is almost unbearable. But remember: You will get through this. You will survive. Nobody ever died from a DUI arrest. You will probably start feeling guilty about things you did, and feeling regret and remorse about things that you didn’t do or should have done. Unfortunately, some people are going to pile on and try to make you feel worse.

• ANGER and BARGAINING: Once the guilt begins to wear off, the next thing you’ll feel is anger. Feelings of anger can be triggered suddenly and without warning. You might read the police reports and feel that the police officer is lying about your DUI arrest. You might feel anger at yourself for getting behind the wheel. You may be angry at others for letting you drive. Obviously, a DUI arrest can be expensive, and this can add extra stress at home. It’s even more difficult at home if you’re the primary driver and now you’re stuck with a suspended driver’s license. You may want to lash out and blame others, especially close loved ones, just because they’re nearby. You must control your temptation to lash out, because if you don’t, you can cause permanent damage to your relationships, driving away the people who love you and care about, destroying your family life, or even getting you fired. It’s normal and healthy to release your anger and pent-up frustration, but you’ve got to do it in a constructive way (if possible) that doesn’t destroy your relationships. You may yell out loud, or privately rage and ask, “Why me?!?” You may try to bargain in vain for a way out of your despair, saying things like “I’ll never drink again” or making promises if it will “just go away.” Again, this is normal. If you’re prepared to deal with the inevitable anger and bargaining that will arise, you will be able to keep yourself under control so it doesn’t ruin your relationships.

• DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, and LONELINESS: Just when your friends are starting to think that you should be moving on and moving past the stress of the situation, you’ll encounter a period of sadness and self-reflection that can possibly overtake you. This is normal. Don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it, no matter how well-meaning they are. Believe it or not, encouragement from others isn’t very helpful to you during this stage of grieving. In this stage, you may finally realize the true magnitude of the consequences of a DUI arrest, and it can be depressing. You may isolate yourself on purpose, play the “what if?” game again, reflecting on the things that you did (or didn’t) do, and also focusing on your past and other mistakes that you’ve made. You may feel empty, or feel a sense of despair. Yes, DUI arrests are serious, but you can’t let it ruin your life. It’s helpful to have someone to talk to, hopefully someone who listens and understands what you are going through. A close friend, professional therapist, or an experienced DUI attorney is all be good people to talk to. Having an experienced DUI attorney on your side will also help you feel like you’re taking back control over your life.

• THE UPWARD TURN: In this stage, your life will feel calmer and more organized, and your depression will begin to lift. Unfortunately, you may be required to go to court right around this time, which can trigger those negative feelings all over again. Luckily, if you have an experienced DUI attorney by your side, you may be able to avoid going back to court, so those negative emotions don’t get re-triggered and restart the entire process.

• RECONSTRUCTION and WORKING THROUGH: You’re going to start to become even more functional. Your mind will return to processing events normally, and you’ll begin seeking realistic solutions to the problems created by your DUI arrest. You’ll start working on practical solutions to the aftershock of the DUI arrest, and will start tackling the financial problems of reconstructing your life. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer can help you get to this stage much quicker than normal, because the DUI lawyer can show you techniques and strategies for getting your license back, minimizing the potential punishments, and help you create a final picture of how the case can be handled so that you minimize (or even eliminate!) the consequences of your DUI arrest.

• ACCEPTANCE & HOPE: Here, you will accept and deal with the reality of your DUI arrest. That certainly doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy instant happiness, but it also doesn’t mean that you’ll feel like you’re giving up, either. Given everything that you’ve been through, you may feel like you can’t to the life that you enjoyed before you got arrested, but you will find a way forward. You will also enjoy hope. That hope often comes from finding an experienced professional who has the ability, the reputation, the knowledge, and the experience to help you minimize or eliminate the consequences of your DUI arrest.

In 2017, the state government approved a bill that made 4th-time DUI offenses felonies. Therefore, anyone who is caught drunk driving more than three times in less than 10 years will be charged as felons. Anyone who is caught drunk driving more than five times, no matter the timeline, will also be charged as felons. The penalty attached to this crime is 13-17 months in state prison. It should go without saying, however, that DUIs are a sign of a bigger problem. Anyone who drunk drives that frequently is likely to have alcohol use disorder. If you’ve already racked up a couple of convictions, you would benefit from seeking some treatment for alcoholism. Surviving life after a DUI is difficult. But it’s entirely possible. If you or a loved one has been faced with this sad reality, don’t panic. You’re not a bad person just because you broke DUI laws. As we pointed out above, millions of people are arrested for drunk driving every year. Sure, it’s irresponsible. Yes, it’s dangerous. But, as long as everyone walked away alright, there’s still hope.

All drunk driving cases involve very similar circumstances, such as dealing with the emotional stress that comes with worrying about your case and what is going to happen as your case moves along through the system. Stress is also a result of worrying about what will be the outcome of the case, including what punishments might be imposed. Every drunk driving case involves a certain number of common factors. The first of these is the trauma and emotional stress of a drunk driving stop and arrest, and oftentimes it is hard to get this memory out of your mind. This trauma often results in problems with dietary habits, sleeplessness and weight loss. It is important for you to understand that these problems are not unique to you and that to a large extent; the vast majority of people that commit this offense are not what are commonly thought of as criminals. Making sure that you feel comfortable with the attorney that you select to handle your case is also very important, because much of your stress will be lessened just by having the confidence in your attorney and his or her ability to obtain a positive result. Oftentimes, the problems and the stress that arise from these cases can become worse because of all the waiting. You should understand, however, that waiting is something that your attorney may not be able to avoid. The legal system involves many different kinds of cases and many different people. For example, there are the Judges and the Judges’ scheduling clerks, the Prosecuting Attorneys, the witnesses, and the police officers. Everyone’s calendar must be accommodated when scheduling important matters like trials. Also, simply because of the backlog that many of the Judges and Courts face, these matters can take several weeks to schedule. Judges also usually have nearly 100% control of scheduling. Consequently, while attorneys can do certain things to try to move things along more quickly, your attorney might decide that delay is not advantageous for you.

It may also occur from time to time that your attorney will ask for an adjournment, and this is usually because your attorney is trying to do something or obtain something that will be advantageous to your defense. During these delays, you may be wondering what is happening with your case, and sometimes the answer is – not much at all. For example, it may be that the case is simply waiting its turn in the system, or it may be that your attorney is waiting to receive information about your case. This information is called discovery and obtaining discovery can sometimes take several weeks or even months. These cases are usually handled on a first-in-first-out system, and therefore the arrest that occurred prior to yours will be scheduled first. Depending on the circumstances and the court in which your case is filed, the delay can be anywhere between 2-3 months but sometimes lasts well over a year. Don’t assume that because you are not receiving constant calls and letters from your attorney that nothing is happening with your case. Often, things are happening behind the scenes, such as plea negotiations, and it may also be true that your attorney is simply waiting to obtain the discovery on your case.

One thing that is certain is that your case will always be proceeding in one direction, which is toward a conclusion. Your attorney may not call you each step of the way, so do not assume that nothing is happening because you have not heard from your attorney. Oftentimes, hearings are being scheduled and discovery is being obtained and reviewed, et cetera. Your attendance will always be required every time your case is scheduled for any kind of court date, so we will, of course, notify you of actual hearing dates. Problems with stress are often a result of not knowing what to expect, which is simply a fear of the unknown. Sometimes not knowing what is coming can be the biggest stress inducer. It may be helpful to understand the different steps that your case may go through so that you can better anticipate what will be coming in the weeks and months ahead.

Utah DUI Attorney Free Consultation

When You Need Legal Help Defending Against A DUI In Utah, Please Call Ascent Law LLC For your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Foreclosure Lawyer Draper Utah

What Are The Rules For Alimony?

DUI Lawyer In Draper Utah

Talking To Children About Divorce

Lawsuits About Real Estate Contracts

ATV Accident Lawyer South Jordan Utah

What Happens When You Go To Court For A DUI In Utah?

What Happens When You Go To Court For A DUI

When you appear for Court the first time that is called your initial appearance or Arraignment. You will likely be in a courtroom full of other people who have been arrested as well and are doing the same thing you are. Take some time to watch what the judge is saying to the other people when they talk – as you will probably get the same questions.

The procedure at an Arraignment is this:

• The judge calls your name, and you will walk to a podium right in front of the judge.
• The judge verifies that you are the person they called and that your name and address are correct in their file.
• The judge will read you the charges against you as well as the maximum possible sentence you could receive from those charges.
• The judge will ask if you have an attorney at that time or if you need some time to obtain one.
• The judge will then ask you for your plea – Guilty or Not Guilty to the charges.
• The judge will go over your bail conditions. Your monetary bail amount will likely stay the same, but the judge could add or remove any conditions of bail.

The above list of items is covered by the judge at the arraignment. Different judges may add a few other minor issues, but overall that is what you can expect.

Here’s the tip that will significantly increase your chances of getting a reduced plea. Always, always plead ‘Not Guilty’ to your charges. If you plead Guilty at the Arraignment – that is it. You will be sentence by the judge right there. You will not have any opportunity to weigh the evidence against you or put on a defense to the charges. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to withdraw that guilty plea at a later time. If you plead guilty at Arraignment, you may be sent to jail right there, as a first time DUI charge carries a mandatory minimum 24 hour jail sentence. Depending on your criminal and substance abuse history, you could receive more jail time than the minimum 24 hours. Pleading ‘Not Guilty’ gives you time to discuss your case with an attorney. A good attorney will help you weigh the evidence to see if you can fight the charge or receive a plea agreement to a lesser charge. You can always decide to plead guilty later, but pleading Not Guilty at the Arraignment is the only way to buy yourself some time. If you plead Not Guilty, you will be released to go home after court. Your actual court time in front of the judge will range from 2-10 minutes. Having an attorney by your side will help ensure your protection. An attorney can make sure that the only thing you have to say at your Arraignment is, “Not guilty.”

DUI Court Procedure

Given the large number of DUI cases most court systems handle, many have a dedicated section of the criminal court system with separate court procedures for dispensing with DUI cases quickly and easily. This means that your DUI case will likely finish up more quickly, but it could also make it more difficult to know what to expect.

Court After a DUI Arrest

After your DUI arrest you’re probably worried about going to court. Being worried about going to court for your DUI case is normal. However, you have nothing to worry about with the right DUI attorney. In a misdemeanor DUI case the next stage is typically referred to as a “status conference”. A status conference is a chance for your DUI attorney to meet with the prosecutor and the judge. This is when they discuss your case. If there are any outstanding discovery issues these are typically discussed at this point. However, if discovery (meaning all of the evidence) is finished, then the prosecutor, the DUI attorney, and the judge will discuss a potential resolution of your case. This is what many people referred to as “working out a plea deal”. Many misdemeanor DUI cases are resolved a status conference. This is important to know because some lawyers in Tulsa will charge a very high fee, but claim that the fee includes a trial. This makes sense only if your case goes to trial. However, these attorneys are typically charging you for something they won’t give you. If an attorney quotes you a price that includes a “trial”, ask them to list their last five trials. Chances are they haven’t been to trial in a long time, but charge all their clients for the trial.

Preliminary Hearing

The next stage in a felony DUI case is the preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a hearing where the prosecutor must prove that probable cause exists in your case. If they can’t do this, your case is over. If they do, your case is set for trial. Only the prosecutor is required to call witnesses and present evidence at the preliminary hearing. Like a misdemeanor DUI, a preliminary hearing is also a chance for the DUI attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge to discuss a possible resolution of the case without going to trial.

Allen Hearing

An Allen hearing is a formal discovery hearing. Both sides inquire and disclose whether or not they have completely turned over all evidence to each other as required in discovery. Not all cases require Allen hearings. In our client’s cases we request all evidence through the prosecutor by discovery, as well as Open Records Act requests and by issuing subpoenas. This may seem repetitive, but it’s the best way to make sure that we have all of the evidence in your case. It also helps us make sure the prosecutor isn’t trying to hide something.

Suppression Hearing

A suppression hearing is when the defense files a motion asking the judge to throw out evidence obtained by the police. There are a number of reasons why evidence is suppressed. The most common reasons are that the evidence was illegally obtained in violation of the Constitution.

Trial

The final stage of the initial criminal case is a trial. A trial can have a judge or a jury determines the outcome. You are entitled to a jury trial; however, sometimes both sides will agree to have a judge conduct the trial. A jury trial in a DUI case can be extremely complicated. Typically, there are law enforcement witnesses, civilian witnesses, and scientific evidence witnesses. The science in the DUI case can be extremely complicated and requires a thorough understanding in order to present and defend the case clearly to a jury. A confused jury is dangerous. As a result, you need a DUI attorney who can explain the complicated law and scientific evidence of the DUI to a jury. In the end the most important thing to have when you go to court is an experienced DUI attorney who knows how to get the best possible outcome for you in your case. Without a good lawyer, your case will not be thoroughly analyzed and have the right issues brought up in court to help you get your life back on track as soon as possible.

If you are arrested for drunken driving in any county in Utah. There are several things that are going to happen that will cost you money. If you are convicted of driving under the influence and you want to get your driving privileges back, things are going to get very expensive.

Court appearances, fines, and fees are just the beginning for convicted drunk drivers. There is also the expense of going to DUI School, getting evaluated for a drinking problem, getting treatment if you have a problem, paying higher insurance premiums and having an interlock device installed on your vehicle, in many states. The following sections outline in detail some of the things that will happen if you get a DUI. None of them are fun, and most are expensive.

Arrested and Booked

If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the first thing that will happen is you will be placed into a police vehicle and taken to the nearest police station or jail. There your photograph (mug shot) will be taken and you will be fingerprinted. In some states, you can be released immediately if someone comes to the jail and pays your bail and drives you home. Several states now have laws requiring you to be held for a period of time until you sober up.

Lose Your Driver’s License

In all states, even for a first-time conviction, your sentence will include the loss of driving privileges for a period of time. Even in states that offer a hardship license that allows you to drive to work or school during the time your license is revoked or suspended, your driving privileges are drastically curtailed. In some states, if you refused to take the field sobriety test or submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, your driver’s license is suspended immediately, even before you go to court.

Pay a Fine

If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, part of your sentence will definitely include paying a fine. All states have laws setting minimum and maximum fines for drunk driving, but those penalties can be enhanced by other circumstances. For example, if the property was damaged, someone was injured or a child was endangered as a result of your driving while drunk, the fines can be increased. In most states, you will also have to pay the court costs associated with your case.

Go to Jail

In a growing number of states, jail terms have become mandatory even for first-time drunk driving offenders. Typically, first-offender jail terms are only one or two days that can be served on a weekend, but it is still jail time. For repeat offenders, jail is mandatory in most states and the terms are longer than a couple of days. And again, if there are aggravating circumstances connected with your DUI case, the penalties can be increased.

Complete the Terms of Probation

Even if you are not sentenced to any jail time for your DUI conviction, you will probably be given a probation sentence, the terms of which are determined by the sentencing judge. If you fail to meet the terms of probation, you can be sent to jail, even if you are a high-profile Hollywood celebrity. Regardless of the terms, the probation sentence itself is another expense you will have to pay. Typically, this is a monthly fee you must pay for the cost of administering and supervising your probated sentence.

Go to Driving School

In almost all jurisdictions, if you want your driving privileges returned after a drunk driving conviction, you will have to complete an alcohol and drug education program, usually referred to as drunk driving school. These classes include hours of drunk driving prevention education and an assessment of your drinking habits. And there is a fee for attending these classes, another expense you must pay to get your driver’s license back.

Undergo Alcohol Evaluation

As part of the court-ordered alcohol education and assessment program mentioned above, a trained counselor will also evaluate your pattern of alcohol consumption to determine if you have an alcohol abuse disorder. Typically, the evaluator will ask you a series of questions about how alcohol affects your life. If the evaluation finds that your drinking rises to the level of alcohol abuse or dependence, you may also have to undergo a court-approved alcohol treatment program before you can get your driving privileges back.

Pay Higher Auto Insurance

In most states, if you get a drunk driving conviction, you will have to get a special insurance policy, known as SR-22 insurance, before you can drive a vehicle. The cost of SR-22 insurance, in states where it is required, can double or even triple your premiums. Usually, you will be required to carry this most expensive auto insurance for a period of three years.

Utah DUI Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a DUI Charge in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 For Your Free Consultation. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

ATV Accident Lawyer Farmington Utah

Duties Of A Utah Probate Personal Representative

Beaver County Utah

Insolvency

Divorce For Dads

Foreclosure Lawyer West Jordan Utah

Can You Get A DUI Without Being Pulled Over?

Can You Get A DUI Without Being Pulled Over

Yes. Yes You Can.

This is a step-by-step guide as to what you should do if you get pulled over for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or a DWI (Driving While Impaired). This is not a substitute for using common sense and avoiding behavior that might put you in jeopardy of being stopped for a DUI or a DWI. It is also not a substitute for getting assistance from a qualified, competent attorney. When in doubt, contact your lawyer.

• Find a safe place to pull over: Remember, as soon as the police officer decides to pull you over for a DUI or a DWI, he starts making observations that he will put in the police report. To initiate the stop, he has already noted something that he thinks shows you are driving drunk or impaired. You cannot do anything about those observations at this point, but the police report can have a significant impact on the outcome of both your criminal trial and any hearings related to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. One of the first things the officer will most likely note is how you pull over. If you drive erratically, slow down too abruptly, or pull over in an unsafe location, the officer notes it in the report and it is just one more tick in the drunk or impaired column.
• Don’t make any sudden or suspicious movements: Officers are trained to be cautious and to protect themselves, first and foremost. They always approach the car from behind so they have a clear view, and so the driver would have to turn completely around in order to shoot or attack them. So, do not make any sudden movements, do not twist around to watch the officer approach, do not jump out of the car or try to crouch down in embarrassment. In fact, your best bet is to keep your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock until the officer approaches your window and asks to see your identification.

• Be polite: The obvious reason to treat the officer respectfully is that you are far less likely to be arrested if he believes you are sincerely respectful. If you are rude, insincere, or hostile, the officer is much more likely to take offense, arrest you, and do everything possible to get you convicted, including writing a very incriminating police report. If the officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, you must comply of face the very real possibility of being charged with resisting arrest. Be very helpful and friendly; as though you have nothing better to do than comply with the officer’s requests because, frankly, at that moment you do not. Of course, avoid coming off as insincerely helpful or friendly, as that can be just as off-putting as direct sarcasm.
• Do not answer any potentially incriminating questions, but do not lie: The anxiety of getting pulled over is something police officers are trained to use against you. In this kind of situation, people are far more likely to incriminate themselves, particularly if they are not telling the truth. You DO have to give your name, license, registration, and insurance information to the police officer, but if the officer asks you if you have been drinking, or how much and you are concerned that you might incriminate yourself simply say, “I’m sorry, officer, but I’ve been advised not to answer any questions.” You will almost definitely be put under a lot of pressure at that point, you may be arrested, and you may automatically lose your license, but all of those things can be much less serious than spending time in jail because you incriminated yourself. If you have had only one or two drinks, you should use your discretion about saying so. With few exceptions, one or two drinks will not put you over the legal limit, but that varies from person to person and drink to drink, so when in doubt, say nothing. Lying is never a good idea. If you answer a question, answer it truthfully. If you lie, and the officer knows it, the fact that you lied can, and most likely will be used against you in court.

• Refuse a field sobriety test: You are under no legal obligation to perform a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are one of the most effective tools at the officer’s disposal for collecting evidence against you, not because they are reliable indicators of intoxication, but because it gives the officer subjective observations upon which to base his decision that you are intoxicated. Again, refusing a field sobriety test may result in a suspension of your driver’s license, but would you rather have a scientific examination say you were not drunk or impaired (and therefore not going to jail for DUI or DWI) or would you rather have a jury hear an hour of testimony from a uniformed police officer about how stinking drunk he subjectively thought you were based on a very unscientific field sobriety test?
• Refuse a hand-held breathalyzer: Roadside breathalyzers are notoriously unreliable, and there are countless ways to skew their results. Refusing to blow will almost always result in an automatic suspension of your license, but again, that is much less serious than going to jail. So, refuse to blow while on the road. On the other hand, you may be required to submit to a number of other tests including blood draws or a more sophisticated breathalyzer at the police station. If you have been taken into custody and are being required to submit to these tests at the police station, do not refuse or you may be resisting arrest.

• Take a chemical test at the police station: You are obligated by law to take a chemical test at the police station. In most states, you can choose between a blood test or breath test. Many DUI lawyers advise people to take the breath tests because they are more unreliable, so their validity can be more effectively attacked in court.
• Once you have been released, write down everything you can remember about your arrest: The more notes you take about your arrest, the easier it will be for your attorney to fight the charges against you. Fresh memories are often more accurate, so do this as soon as you can. If possible, include the following details in your notes:
I. what you were doing and where you were before you drove
II. how much you had to drink and what you were drinking
III. how long after you were drinking before you were stopped
IV. how the officer behaved and any instructions he gave you
V. what you said to the officer and how you responded to his instructions
VI. where you were pulled over
VII. when and if you were read your Miranda rights
VIII. when and if you took the chemical test and how long it had been since your drank
• Contact an attorney: You both need and deserve an experienced DUI or DWI defense attorney who will fight for your rights. The single most important thing you can do for yourself is to find a qualified attorney who knows the applicable laws and can help guide you through the legal process.
You can be charged with DUI in Utah without driving a car after drinking. This is possible because the intent of Utah drunk driving laws is to protect the public from the injuries and property damage drunk drivers can do. Utah DUI laws make driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances a criminal offense. Your physical control of a vehicle after you have had too much to drink can get you convicted of drunk driving in Utah and expose you to harsh penalties. Most of the time, a driver arrested for DUI in Utah is stopped after police observed the driver weaving across lanes or committing another infraction.

When a police officer smells alcohol, hears slurred speech or observes other signs of intoxication, the officer will ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test and, in most cases, makes an arrest. DUI laws also allow the arrest of someone who seems to have had too much to drink and has physical control of a vehicle, regardless of whether the individual was observed driving. Utah law allows the arrest of someone who has driven or attempts to drive, or who indicates they have driven or will drive while allegedly drunk or on intoxicating drugs. In a defining case, an individual whose blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was later determined to be more than the legal limit was found asleep in the driver’s seat of a car with its engine running. The car was on private property, but with easy access to a public highway. When the individual was awakened by a police officer, the defendant attempted to restart the car and drive off. Though police did not wait for him to drive the car, the defendant was found to have been in physical control of the vehicle and guilty of DUI. Another scenario where a DUI arrest might result is a pedestrian observed to be talking loudly and having trouble walking, then clumsily unlocking and climbing into a car. A police officer would have probable cause to stop and charge the individual with DUI based on their physical control of a car. Further, Utah courts weighing an individual’s innocence or guilt were required to consider:
• Where and in what position the defendant was found in the vehicle
• Whether the vehicle’s engine was running
• Whether the defendant was awake or asleep
• Whether the vehicle’s lights were on if the defendant was apprehended at night
• Location of the vehicle’s keys
• Whether the defendant was trying to move or had moved the vehicle
• Whether the defendant’s vehicle was located on public or private property, and
• Whether the defendant must have driven to the location where apprehended.
A person shall be deemed not to be in actual physical control of a vehicle if:
• The person is asleep inside the vehicle
• The person is not in the driver’s seat of the vehicle
• The engine of the vehicle is not running
• The vehicle is lawfully parked, and
• Under the facts presented, it is evident that the person could not have driven the vehicle to the location while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or a prohibited substance.
But even if, after drinking, you are sleeping in the back seat of your legally parked and not running car, you can be arrested for DUI. You could be arrested if you admit or imply that you drove after drinking, or if police are responding to complaints about you or a car like yours. For example, if your car is parked badly and/or there are skid marks indicating you stopped abruptly when you parked, police may have probable cause to suspect you drove to that spot while under the influence. If you are parked far enough from any drinking establishment to make the walk to your parked car unreasonable, police could suspect you drove there. The penalties for a DUI (driving under the influence) (also called “DWI” (driving while intoxicated)) offense can be serious. If you’ve been arrested for DUI and want to fight the charge, you should understand all of the available defenses. With a viable defense, you might be able to persuade the prosecution to drop or reduce the charges, prevent the suspension of your driver’s license, or win an acquittal at trial.
In a DUI case, the prosecution must prove the person being charged (the “defendant”):
• drove a vehicle, and
• was “under the influence”—meaning the person was either impaired or had a prohibited amount of drugs or alcohol in his or her body.
Most DUI defenses target one these two components because the prosecution must prove both to get a conviction. The defenses available to a DUI defendant depend to some extent on state law. In some states, you can’t be convicted of a DUI unless you were actually driving a vehicle. So, if you were asleep in a parked vehicle in one these states when police arrived, you probably have a good defense. But most states don’t require proof of actual driving for a DUI conviction. All the prosecution needs to prove is that you were “operating” or “in actual physical control” of a vehicle while intoxicated. In other words, you can be found guilty even if you weren’t caught behind the wheel with the car in motion. When police don’t use proper arrest procedures, it can sometimes provide you with a good defense to a DUI charge. Defenses related to arrest procedures typically involve arguing that because police didn’t follow the law when stopping or arresting you certain evidence should be thrown out. Generally, police need probable cause to stop your vehicle, and if they’re going to arrest you for a DUI, they need probable cause for that too. For the traffic stop, police have probable cause if there’s reason to believe the driver or someone else in the vehicle has broken the law. (DUI checkpoints and roadblocks are, however, an exception to the probable cause rule.) Basically, any traffic violation will suffice. But if police pull you over without a legitimate reason, a court is likely to say all the evidence subsequently obtained is inadmissible in court. A valid traffic stop doesn’t necessarily make a DUI arrest proper—the officer must also have reason to believe the motorist was in violation of the state’s DUI laws. Probable cause for a DUI arrest usually comes from the officer’s observations and sometimes breath-test results. Both forms of evidence can be tricky to challenge. An officer might say you performed poorly on field sobriety tests (FSTs), smelled of alcohol, and had slurred speech. For most judges, that would be enough for probable cause. And in most situations, breathalyzer results showing your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over the limit are going to make challenging probable cause an uphill battle. Occasionally, Miranda warnings come into play in DUI cases. Police are generally required to give Miranda warnings prior to questioning a suspect who’s in police custody. So, if a DUI suspect who’s in police custody and hasn’t been given Miranda warnings makes an incriminating statement in response to police questioning, the statement probably can’t be used in court against the suspect.
All states have two types of DUI charge: one based on actual impairment (an “impairment” DUI) and another based on the amount of drugs or alcohol in the driver’s system (a “per se” DUI). For proving impairment DUI, the officer’s observations can be an important part of the prosecution’s case. An officer’s observations of impairment might include:
• poor FST performance
• the odor of alcohol
• bad driving
• bizarre behavior
• slurred speech, and
• bloodshot eyes.
To beat a DUI charge, the defense might need to challenge the significance of an officer’s observations. It just depends on the circumstances, but it can be difficult to convince jurors that the officer’s conclusions about the driver’s intoxication were wrong. One way to challenge an officer’s observations is to bring in witnesses who were present when you were arrested and saw things differently than the officer. Unfortunately, in many cases, there aren’t any witnesses. Or, if your witness was a passenger in your car, the prosecution might argue that your witness is biased.

Utah DUI Defense Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a DUI charge in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Did Divorce Get Renewed?

Annulment Or Divorce?

Lawyer In Utah

Arbitration Agreement Lawyer

Can A DUI Charge Be Reduced?

How To Avoid Problems With Employment References

Can A DUI Charge Be Reduced?

Can A DUI Charge Be Reduced

A first DUI in Utah is one of the most frequently occurring criminal offenses. Your first DUI is a serious criminal offense that can potentially carry life altering penalties and consequences if convicted. You may have to serve jail time, pay expensive fines and fees and also lose your driver’s license. An DUI charge in Utah is also known as operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An DUI can be defined as anyone who operates a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08 %. If you are facing your first DUI charge, during the time of the stop you were likely required to participate in a blood, breath, or urine test which is used to determine your BAC. Your BAC indicates how impaired you are and will also be used to determine the severity of penalties that you will face if convicted. If your BAC is below 0.05, then you were below the legal limit and you should not be facing your first DUI. If your BAC is between 0.08 and 0.17, then it is considered low. If your BAC is 0.17 or above, then it is considered high. A high BAC will undoubtedly face more severe consequences than someone with a low BAC.

If you are facing your first DUI charge in Utah, it is critical that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Regardless of what happened in your case, it is understandable that you are probably scared and overwhelmed by the DUI charge that you are currently facing. A First DUI conviction in Utah can result in harsh penalties including the loss of important freedoms and privileges. The penalties that you may face are dependent on the severity of the facts and circumstances of your particular case such as whether there were any injuries, property damage, and how high your BAC was at the time of the offense. If you are facing your first DUI conviction in Utah, you will most likely be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. This charge entails serving a minimum of 3 days and up to a maximum of 6 months in jail and paying a minimum fine of $375 and up to a maximum of $1,075. Instead of serving a jail sentence, you may be required by the court to attend a driving intervention program. The court also has the authority and discretion in determining whether you will have to install an ignition interlock device or use restricted license plates on your vehicle. You will also face a driver’s license suspension that could last from a minimum of six months to a maximum of 3 years. Your driving privileges will also not be available for the first 15 days after receiving your first DUI charge. You may be eligible for limited driving privileges depending on work, school, or court mandated treatments.

Other Consequences Of First DUI In Utah

First DUI offenses in Utah involve harsh consequences in addition to jail time and expensive fines and fees. Your first DUI conviction in Utah will unfortunately have a negative impact on all other areas of your life. An DUI conviction will permanently be on your driving record. You may also face increased vehicle insurance rates, difficulty keeping or finding a job, furthering your education, difficulty financially, maintaining professional licensures and keeping custody of your children.

Administrative License Suspension (ALS) in Utah

An administrative license suspension is a civil penalty although it is imposed at an DUI stop. If you are stopped for drunk driving and refuse to participate in a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine requested by law enforcement or you tested over Utah’s legal limit, then the officer is permitted to take your driver’s license on the spot and your driving privileges will immediately be suspended from that point forward. This is referred to as an administrative license suspension. An administrative license suspension can be appealed in Utah.

It must be appealed at the first court appearance, which is held within 5 days of being arrested or being issued the citation. Issues that are brought up on an appeal include whether the arrest was reasonable, whether the officer requested that the individual take a chemical test, whether the individual was informed of the penalties for refusal or failing a chemical test, and whether the individual refused or failed the chemical test. It is also important to note that the court can still suspend your license if it determines that your driving is a risk or threat to public safety. If you are facing an administrative license suspension, you can obtain limited driving privileges by filing a petition for up to 30 days after your initial appearance in court for the DUI charge. Limited driving privileges typically are for work, medical or educational reasons.

Reducing Your DUI Charges is Possible

Depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case, it may be possible to have the DUI charges reduced, or even dismissed. Perhaps there are mitigating circumstances involved such as only sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition or the breathalyzer malfunctioned. Sometimes a first DUI can be reduced to a reckless operation charge. This depends on a variety of different factors, including but not limited to the following:

• If there was a breath test performed, how high or low the result of your BAC was;

• If there was an accident, injuries or poor driving;

• If you were cooperative and police with the law enforcement officer who stopped you;

• The judge’s attitude or stance on DUI charges;

• The prosecutor’s attitude or stance on DUI charges.

It is also important to be aware that even if the facts are in your favor, your charges may not be able to be reduced. This is why selecting the right experienced and knowledgeable attorney is so important.

Minimize the Penalties for a First DUI Offense

Getting arrested and charged with driving under the influence can be scary, especially if this is your DUI first offense. You already know that the penalties for DUI are harsh, as the advertising campaigns put on billboards, radio, and TV have told people for years about how DUI is a serious offense. Fortunately, if you are a first time offender, there are some options that you may be able to take that will help you lessening the penalties you are facing in your DUI case. Knowing what these options are the first step to getting your life back on track after an DUI arrest.

Handling a DUI First Offense

The first step you may want to take is to try to get the charge reduced or thrown out entirely.

• You can claim that the officer who stopped you did not have probable cause, meaning he stopped you for a vehicle violation or other non DUI related offense, and then started fishing for a DUI charge once he began to speak with you. You may also claim a number of different defenses such as improper administration of sobriety testing, or lack of certification or calibration of testing equipment.

• Fortunately, the court system realizes that accidents happen and that people make mistakes. There are programs such as ARD or Accelerated Rehabilitation programs that will allow you to take classes about the dangers of drunk driving, attend a driving school, and undergo probation, after which time you will be able to have your record of the DUI removed or expunged. In addition, programs such as these for first time offenders can help you look good to the courts if you request them, because they show that you are intending to make things right and learn from your mistakes.
A third option for getting first time DUI charges reduced or dropped is to appeal to the court, with your attorney’s help, and prove that you are a good person who has not committed other crimes or had numerous other traffic violations. By showing the court that this was essentially a onetime fluke occurrence, you may be able to have the charges plea bargained down to a lesser offense, or you may be able to get reduced fines or probation instead of incarceration. An DUI is a misdemeanor offense. As such, the first court date you will attend is generally called an arraignment.

At your arraignment, you must enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you have chosen to hire an attorney and fight the charges filed against you, a not guilty plea will be entered. Your first court appearance is also when you can request occupational driving privileges during your administrative license suspension, or in the alternative, get a stay of your administrative license suspension so that you can being driving again.
After your arraignment, most courts will schedule a Pre-Trial Hearing/Conference. Usually, the pre-trial is a meeting between the prosecutor and your defense attorney to discuss the case, the discovery, and possible resolutions to the case. There may be one or more pre-trials, depending on how quickly information is provided and exchanged between the parties. If the case is not resolved at a pre-trial hearing, it may be set for a Suppression Hearing to determine what evidence may be used against you at trial. The Suppression Hearing is a very important step as it sometimes allows your attorney to attack various aspects of the State’s case prior to trial. The elimination of harmful evidence is the primary purpose and goal of Motions. A Suppression Hearing is generally heard by the judge assigned to your case. Present at a typical Suppression Hearing will be the judge, the prosecutor, the State’s witness (the arresting officer) you, your attorney and witnesses the defense may wish to present. If your case is not resolved at the time of the Motion Hearing, the case will be scheduled for Trial. This may be a Jury or a Court Trial, heard only by the judge.

A plea agreement is a process whereby a criminal defendant and a prosecutor reach a mutually satisfactory disposition, subject to the judge’s approval. Plea agreements usually result in either an amendment to a lesser charge or dismissal of some charges in exchange for a guilty plea to other charges. Although a prosecutor has no legal obligation to engage in plea bargaining, your defense attorney must engage in plea bargaining if you so choose. You have the absolute right to either accept or reject a plea offer. A judge must approve a plea offer, and is still in charge of sentencing. Your attorney should advise you as to your options and potential outcomes of your choice. This advice should be based not only on your probability of success at trial, but also on other considerations such as sentencing factors, financial considerations and time considerations. Generally speaking, there are two types of reductions common in DUI cases: Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Physical Control of a Motor Vehicle under the Influence. It is important to understand the difference between these offenses before you decide whether or not to accept such a plea agreement.
A Reckless Operation is a misdemeanor traffic offense that carries four (4) points against your Utah Driver’s License. Reckless Operation covers a whole host of traffic mishaps, from driving more than 20 miles over the speed limit to striking an inanimate object. What Reckless Operation is not associated with, is drugs or alcohol. There are no mandatory penalties associated with a Reckless Operation conviction. However, should your license be suspended by the court for a Reckless Operation conviction, the reinstatement fee which must be paid to the BMV at the conclusion of your suspension is $40.00. Physical Control/Under the Influence is also a misdemeanor traffic offense, but because it is considered a non-moving offense, it carries zero (0) BMV points.

“Physical control” is defined as being in the driver’s position of the front seat of a vehicle and having possession of the vehicle’s ignition key while under the influence alcohol or drugs, but not actually operating the vehicle. An example would be someone who leaves a party and decides to sleep it off in their car rather than actually driving anywhere. So, the offense is associated with the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. There is no mandatory suspension associated with a Physical Control conviction. However, should the court decide to suspend your license as the result of a Physical Control conviction, the reinstatement fee is the same as that of an DUI suspension. There are benefits and draw-backs to entering a guilty plea to either one of these charges, but both carry far fewer penalties and stigma than having an DUI conviction on your record. Being charged with a DUI offense often means a loss of driving privileges and criminal consequences, such as jail time. It will also remain permanently on your record, which could have serious implications for future employment. Under the right circumstances, it’s possible to plead a DUI charge down to a lesser offense, commonly known as a wet reckless charge.

Almost every driver charged with a DUI wants their case reduced to a wet reckless driving but it does not often happen. To get the desired results, you need to handle your case the right way. An alcohol-related reckless driving charge, also known as a “wet reckless” charge, carries less severe consequences than a standard DUI. In certain circumstances, your lawyer might be able to secure a plea bargain agreeing to a wet reckless charge, but it will depend on the circumstances of your arrest.

Set your expectations right away, first-time general impairment charges are likely the only kinds of DUI charges that have a chance of being pleaded down to a lesser charge. Nevertheless, every case is unique and you should consult with your attorney about the possibility of a wet reckless plea. A wet reckless has far less consequences than does a DUI. Thus it should be an option worth considering. The factors influencing whether the prosecutor is likely to accept a plea to reduced charges include:

• How close your BAC is to 0.08% at the time of your arrest
• Whether your DUI involved an auto accident
• Whether you have prior DUI convictions
• Whether you have a criminal history or numerous prior traffic offenses
• Whether you’re facing additional charges, such as drug or open container violations, evading the police, fleeing the scene, or resisting arrest.

If you succeed in pleading to a lesser wet reckless charge, you’ll still face penalties. These can include:
• A minimum fine of $200
• Possible (though unlikely) jail time of up to 90 days
• Four points on your driving record
• Possible six-month license suspension for a first offense
• Alcohol education or treatment

First you have to understand what it is the prosecutor, i.e. the district attorney, wants. They are in the business of punishing people for their transgressions. They will not simple bestow upon you the gift of a wet reckless unless there are truly compelling reasons to do so, such as a evidentiary problem with the case. They won’t bend over backwards for you. Thus, you’ll have to fight your case, or at least posture yourself such that it appears as though you will fight. Beware; however, just because you’re willing to fight doesn’t mean the prosecutor isn’t. In your attempt to better your position you may put yourself on a course to trial, where the consequences of being found guilty will be harsher than any initial plea deal you would have received. Second, you absolutely must get a DUI lawyer. A prosecutor is not worried about you by yourself. You need someone advocating and fighting for you. A public defender or a court appointed attorney is not going to get you the same results, nor would they try to, an DUI lawyer of your own choosing would. To get a generous wet reckless plea you need a dedicated DUI lawyer working for you.

DUI Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help defending against a DUI Charge in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

What Is A Hardship Loan Modification?

Salt Lake City Criminal Attorney

Family Attorney Salt Lake City

Lawyers In Provo

Can You Withdraw Money From a Deceased Person’s Account?

Did Divorce Get Renewed?

Do You Always Lose Your License After A DUI?

DUI is the abbreviation used for the term Driving Under Influence. It is sometimes also called DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). It is the act of driving the motorized vehicle during or after the consumption of alcohol or drug or both.

DUI is a criminal offense in many countries and the person can be charged high fines or imprisonment for this crime. A driver has to lose his license for a specific time period or permanently depending on the severe-ness of the crime.

A DUI offense is considered as serious as any other criminal offenses in the United States. Those who get DUI have to face many consequences that a DUI can pose. The consequences can be both short term and long term affecting your work life as well as your personal life. This article explains how DUI affects your life detailing both the aspects of your life.

DUI Work And Life

A DUI can affect your work life to a great extent. You will lose your existing job as well as find difficult to get a new job. You may inevitably need to disclose your DUI to your current boss since you are required to attend court-ordered alcohol education classes and community services around your working hours. This leads to loss of job and as a result loss of income no matter how proficient you are at work. You may also find difficult to get a new job despite being highly qualified for the position since every employer requires a criminal background check.

Also, due to license suspension after DUI arrest, you may find difficult to drive to work. And if you are in a job that requires you to drive, you may lose your job.

DUI Affects Your Personal Life

Another main area of DUI can affect greatly is your personal life. It could affect your family, financial situation, transportation, car insurance, and rental transactions. Below we will see how DUI affects each area of your personal life.

Getting a DUI not only affects you but your family as well. Most states publicize DUI arrests. This can cause embarrassment for both you and your family in front of your friends, coworkers and neighbors.

DUI can be very expensive and it varies from state to state. DUI could cost you roughly $10000. This includes fines, legal fees, car insurance, license reinstatement fee, bail, alcohol evaluation, and other miscellaneous fees. Besides this, you would also incur a loss of income due to loss of job. Hence one may suffer financially after getting a DUI.

After getting arrested for DUI, your driver’s license is immediately suspended. As a result, you may need to opt for public transportation or depend on your friends or family members for rides. It can be frustrating for you and a burden for them.

A DUI conviction will skyrocket your car insurance rates. It also affects your life insurance premiums.

Like employment, you will find difficult to get a rental house since landlords require a background check. You would also be denied for renting vehicles.

Expunge your DUI record “completely” with the help of DUI Process Manual. It offers little-known strategies to clear your DUI record completely and pass employment background checks in a step-by-step approach. Especially, this strategy is helpful if your state (US) does not allow formal expungement.

Getting caught driving drunk is serious business in most states. Some states are more lenient while others are very harsh. – Like Utah for example. Once you are convicted of a DUI in Utah, it’s there for 75 years. You can’t seal the record and you can’t have it expunged. This can impact your life in multiple ways, and for the worst. Also, the legal implications of a DUI charge can be a nightmare.
Below are some of the possible penalties you may face for a DUI. Also below are the ramifications of a DUI conviction as it relates to your personal life.

DUI License Suspension

License suspension will vary from state to state and depend on past offenses. – But just for a first offense, if you get convicted of DUI in Utah, you will have your license suspended for 6 months. If you get convicted of drunk driving in Alabama for the first time, you will lose your license for 90 days. – And get this, just your first DUI offense in Utah, you can expect a license suspension of 1 year.

A drunk driving conviction is bad all the way around and paying hefty fines is just another part of the many penalties. You can pay as little as $100 for your first DUI offense in states like Virginia, but in states like Utah, you can pay $500 to $1000 for your first offense with these numbers increasing after each offense. Add in the potential loss of employment, attorney’s fees and court costs and your bank account are going to take a beating.

DUI Car Impoundment

Even if you do get to keep your job, how are you going to get there without a car and without a vehicle? Having your car impounded will be another inconvenience for you and your family. It will also mean having to spend even more money to get to work. That is unless you have a friend that likes you enough to carry you back and forth every single day.

DUI Community Service

This DUI penalty will give you the opportunity to impress friends and family. No, not really, your community service may actually involve you picking up trash on the highway. Not glamorous, not fun, but undoubtedly humbling and a great opportunity for a person to think about their DUI.

DUI School

You will also probably get another chance to go to school, but not to party down at some cool college. You will have to go to DUI School.
Interlocking Device Installment
In order to earn this penalty, you were either really drunk at the time of your arrest or you have multiple offenses. An interlocking device is placed on your car’s ignition and will not allow you to crank the car unless you are sober.

DUI Probation

Yes. It’s true. Getting a DUI may land you on probation. You will have to meet with your new friend, a probation officer, regularly. – And be sure not to miss an appointment.

DUI Jail Time

Nobody wants to end up in jail, but depending on the circumstances of your DUI, you could do jail time. This is definitely one of the worst DUI penalties in my opinion.

Not only will you pay fines, lose your license, go to DUI school, etc., but a DUI will impact your life in many other ways as well. You will carry around the DUI stigma. You may lose your job. Your car insurance will definitely go up. Your credit may be hurt and depending on the circumstances of your case, you may lose your right to own a firearm.
The person is considered drunk when his BAC count is above 0.08. The penalties for DUI charge can vary from state to state. The period of suspension of the license of the driver can vary depending on the percentage of the BAC count, the state in which you live and the severe-ness of the crime. The BAC limit of 0.08 is the same for all countries.

How Long Will I Lose My License?

The charges for the DUI can be as follows:
• Imprisonment: Maximum of 6 months
• License suspension for 12 months if BAC count is within the range of 0.08 to 0.15
• License suspension for 18 months if BAC count is within the range of 0.15 to 0.19
• License suspension for 24 months if BAC count is greater than 0.20
• Fine can be charged ranging from $500 to $1500
The length of the suspension of the license can vary depending on the charges. It can be increased from the above mention period in some cases. In some states, license suspension is obligatory if the driver refuses for the breath analyzer test.

If you possess the commercial driver’s license, you may face additional suspensions for the charge of drunk driving. All countries have made it mandatory to suspend the license of the driver found guilty under DUI charge. Typically, the suspension period can vary from 30 days to one year if you are charged the first time for DUI.

The Rules Revocation of License under DUI Charge:
• First DUI conviction results in license cancellation for 1 year
• Second DUI conviction results in license cancellation for 5 years
• Third DUI conviction results in license cancellation for 10 years
• Fourth DUI conviction results in license cancellation for lifetime
Your license can also be revoked for the first DUI conviction in some countries. It can also be canceled if you refuse for the chemical test after your arrest. Repeated convictions can lead to the revocation for long term or lifetime. It is also possible to reduce the period of your license suspension or complete dismissal of your revocation, but the sudden action is needed to check these options. You can consult with your lawyer for these options. Your lawyer should request a DMV hearing within 10 days of completion of your hearing. Failing to do this can leave you without any further options.

It is not that you will lose your license if you are charged for DUI. There are various ways where you can defend against these charges. You can consult with your attorney for the substitute ways.

You probably know, that if you have been charged with a DUI, you are the midst of some serious business, with serious consequences. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous criminal act. Driving under the influence is a severe crime in every state. For this reason, you don’t want to try to defend yourself. Also, for this reason, you definitely should not throw in the towel and just plead guilty to get it over with.
A DUI lawyer can be of huge help and benefit to you. DUI lawyers know much about how the court system operates and are also up to date on new laws and regulations. This will benefit you much more than if you were to try to defend yourself and clear up your record on your own. And, no matter how guilty you may feel about what has happened, it may definitely benefit you more than if you simply pleaded guilty. Certainly, hiring a good DUI lawyer is absolutely your best decision and ought to be your first move.
The law is a large and complicated beast with many, many heads. Not every lawyer has the same training, education, and experience to handle all types of cases.

A given lawyer will have more knowledge and experience in one area than in another, so your choice of which type of lawyer to hire is very important. Using a DUI attorney or DUI Lawyer who focuses on drunk driving defense could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.

Also consider that there are many specialized DUI lawyers out there, and it makes a difference which one you ultimately choose to work with. Just as in any field, simply put, some DUI lawyers are much better and more experienced at what they do than others. DUI lawyers and their fees vary depending on the skill and experience of the attorney as well as the complexity of your DUI case. For example, many attorneys claim to be DUI defense lawyers, but they simply handle guilty pleas! Because of the seriousness of the crime and the lasting consequences that are often the result of a DUI, it is probably worth every penny and every minute to meet and work with a DUI lawyer who can do the most for you by virtue of their experience and track record.

Frankly, you need a lawyer who focuses on DUI with expertise tackling cases the same as yours – with positive results. You want to understand how many DUI trials has the lawyer handled in the last year. (You got to understand this figure to make sure that your lawyer has the power to defend you just in case your DUI suit goes to trial.) The more cases of DUI the lawyer has handled, the more competent he or she is probably going to be in DUI defense. Even more so, the more expertise the lawyer has with cases very similar to yours, the more he or she is probably going to be ready to give you with the most effective advantage, increasing your probabilities of success, with or without a trial.

The penalties in drunk driving cases are very difficult. You can potentially lose your driving privileges and in extreme cases might face jail time or maybe jail. On the opposite hand, bear in mind DUI cases conjointly get dismissed, DUI charges get reduced, DUI punishments get reduced, and people are found clean-handed on a consistent basis by DUI lawyers who investigate and who have the required knowledge and skill. (This, however, is not always the case. If the DUI causes injury or property damage and in cases where the DUI is not a first offense- the DUI charge can become and be treated as a felony. But remember, many cases of DUI/DWI also get dismissed on simple technicalities with the help of experienced DWI lawyers.

The DUI lawyer’s help is also very important during pre-trial conferences (the negotiations before an actual trial is set). They will research and use any technical defects they find to build a strong defense, in preparation for either settlement or trial. The last step in the court process is an actual criminal trial. Finally, if a trial has been set, the DUI lawyer will participate in the juror selection and naturally, stand for and defend you during the actual trial. Of course, a great many cases are resolved before they go all the way to trial.

Yes, if the DUI case you’re facing is complicated and there is a strong possibility that your case will actually go to trial, then your attorney’s quote (cost estimate) can go up to as high as $10,000 or even more. But, don’t give up just because your situation will have a cost. The alternative also comes at a cost.

Remember that if you do go to trial, the prosecution must do more than prove you “may be guilty” – they must prove that your guilt is the only reasonable conclusion based on hard evidence. So if you’re facing a DUI charge, don’t just throw up your hands and say, “Oh well, I might as well plead guilty. Remember, if you don’t seek professional DUI lawyers to protect your rights, you may face jail time.

DUI Attorney Free Consultation

When you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Utah, please call Ascent Law for your Free Consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

How Does A Loan Modification Work?

Why Should I Get A Legal Separation In Utah?

Utah’s New DUI Law

Utah Divorce Decree

Slip And Fall Lawyer Utah

How Much Does It Cost For Estate Planning?