I have been arrested for a DUI should I hire a DUI Defense Attorney? Do I really need an attorney if this is my first arrest? Even if this is your first arrest for driving under the influence the first thing you should do is find a skilled attorney to defend you. The consequences faced as a result of this type of arrest can be very serious. The chances of facing minimum consequences or your case even being dismissed increase with help from a DUI defense attorney.
Penalties for drunk driving arrests and convictions are becoming more and more severe for the offender and these penalties vary from state to state across the United States. Consequences or penalties faced include an increase in auto insurance rates, the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, alcohol education classes, current and future employment problems. Also faced is the shame and embarrassment associated with this type of arrest for the offender and their families.
With a few exceptions, all states follow the same basic guidelines and rules when dealing with DUI offenders. Blood alcohol content levels vary from state to state, in most cases the blood alcohol content must not exceed .08 percent. Listed are just a few of the important reasons to find and hire a DUI Defense Attorney who specializes in this type of case and knows the ins and outs of your state’s laws in order to give you the best defense. The laws geared toward drunk drivers are aimed at criminalizing offenders.
No matter what the situation, being pulled over by the police will bring with it a sense of anxiety that can lead you to say or do things without your best interest in mind. For serious offenses, such as a suspected DUI, an individual will most likely be so concerned about the current situation that they may act irrationally and ultimately end up in a much worse position when being questioned by either law enforcement at the time of arrest or the prosecution later in the process.
Just like in any other area in life, having a strong comprehension of what is involved in a particular process, along with the laws that govern it, will most likely give you a more informed outlook of how you should react to adversity. This should allow you to have more composure and confidence during this stressful situation. A Utah DUI can come with extreme consequences, but with a calm and informed demeanor, you may find yourself in a more favorable position.
DUI under Utah Law
The state of Utah has specific laws concerning a first-time offense for Driving under the Influence. According to Utah State Law, a person can be found guilty of a DUI is he or she is in actual physical control of a car and is under the influence of alcohol, chemical or controlled substances which impair normal cognitive faculties. The legal limit for BAC in Utah is .05 percent.
During the initial stop, the police officer must follow protocol and approach the situation in the proper manner. If the police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, he or she will order you out of the vehicle for further investigation. Field sobriety tests may be administered at this point, although you always have the right to refuse these. They are oftentimes difficult for even the soberest drivers. The officer may also give a Breathalyzer test on-site. A breath, blood, or urine test may also be given once taken to the police processing station.
Although refusal to take these tests will automatically lead to an arrest, it may also keep potentially incriminating evidence from being collected, possibly giving you a better chance at fighting the eventual charges. No matter if you take part in the tests or not, if the officer believes that a DUI occurred, they will make the arrest, read your Miranda rights and place you in police custody.
Also, at this point, your license will be suspended temporarily. You will have 10 days from the time of the arrest to request an administrative hearing with the Utah Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV). Failure to meet this requirement will potentially lead to a one-year license suspension.
The criminal process includes an initial appearance in front of a judge (usually within 24 hours of arrest), an arraignment, a pretrial hearing, motions, and evidentiary hearings, and possibly a trial. This is the time to retain legal counsel to help defend against the charges you face. A qualified defense attorney can make sure the process is undertaken correctly and that you are doing everything necessary to help reduce, acquit, or possibly dismiss any pending charges.
Furthermore, a first conviction comes with a mandatory 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required. If probation is part of the sentence, the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed one year.
Knowing what to expect after an arrest for an alleged DUI in Utah gives you the opportunity to approach the situation in a way that keeps you from inadvertently hurting your options.
When you are arrested for a DUI there are certainly a lot of things to worry about, especially if it was your first offense. Nowadays, DUI offenses are on the rise and many people and politicians are asking for more strict action to be taken on those who are arrested for this offense. You might be wondering what to do when you are arrested and how you can get this problem over with. Below are some things that you should know about DUI Charges:
1. How should I plead? Contrary to what you think or believe, being arrested for a DUI offense is very serious business. The best thing you can do for yourself is to plead not guilty to the charges. If you are convicted, you could face jail time, paying hefty fines, losing your license and license plates, you might also have to forfeit your vehicle. The worst part is, you would have to buy a different kind of insurance. This insurance is for those convicted of DUIs and will cost more than double what you are currently paying. You must also remember not to talk to any police officers, insurance investigators, friends or family members with regards to the charges as anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.
2. Do I need a DUI Lawyer? Of course, you do! Since this is a serious offense, without serious consequences, you should hire a lawyer to represent you. Even if this is your offense, do not take the risk thinking you can represent yourself. A lawyer who specializes in DUI cases will have more experience and will able to achieve more than you can, so yes, it is essential for you to get a lawyer before going to court. If you have to go to court without a lawyer, ask the judge for a continuance and this would be granted to you. Use this time to quickly search for a lawyer. You might only get one continuance, so use it wisely. If you have to go to court without a lawyer, do not speak to any about the circumstances surrounding your case. Do not make any statements about your arrest and do not speak to the prosecutor in an attempt to negotiate the case for yourself. Remember, anything you say can be used against you so it is best for you to keep quiet until you get a lawyer. Getting a lawyer will help you as the lawyer will know what laws to use and what conditions about your case that could get the charges against you dismissed.
3. How much will a lawyer cost? Well, how much is your freedom worth to you? Spending money on your lawyer would be money well spent if it means that you do not have to go to jail. There is no specific amount as each case is different from the next.
Since you got yourself into this mess, you will need to get yourself out. This entire process can be very stressful at times, but if you really want to get the charges dropped then you have no choice and you have to keep moving forward. Just remember, next time, do not drive under the influence.
With thousands of travelers visiting Utah for vacations and even more residents, Utah laws contain harsh penalties for anyone caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on roads and highways throughout the state. In the event that a blood, urine, or breath analysis reveals that a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is over.08, the individual will be arrested on a DUI charge, sometimes known as DWI. The majority of offenders charged with DUI are facing their first offense, but the consequences for even a singular DUI charge are very serious.
Any drunk driving arrest will immediately suspend the driving privileges of the alleged offender. This suspension is an administrative process through the DMV and is separate from the criminal proceedings. The outcome of the criminal trial could lead to an extension of this suspension, but offenders can request a hearing to have their driving ability re-instated while awaiting their court date.
Offenders also face the real potential for time in prison. Even a first DUI conviction could result in up to 6 months of jail time, although a BAC of.016 could increase this sentence to 9 months. A probation sentence may be assigned in lieu of or in conjunction with a prison sentence. If no jail time is assigned, the offender typically will face 12 months of probation, with a possibility of early dismissal or probation after 6 months if certain conditions are met. An attorney can be key in negotiating the terms of prison or probation for defendants, as these arrangements vary between cases.
Community service is also a mandatory factor in sentencing DUI charges. For a first drunk driving conviction, the offender must serve at least 50 hours of community service, or the hours can be bought out for $10 each. Buying out hours typically may only be applied to half of the sentenced hours in Utah courts, however.
In many situations, the offender’s vehicle will be immobilized or impounded for at least 10 days. This amount cannot be served concurrently with jail time, meaning that if you serve a sentence and are then released, you will then be unable to drive your vehicle for 10 days.
A mandatory term of license suspension also applies to DUI charges. For the first offense in Utah, this suspension may last from 6 to 12 months. Some individuals may be eligible for a hardship license, which allows driving abilities for those in certain situations after completing DUI School and an alcohol treatment program.
With so many potential penalties on the line, it is easy to see that even a first DUI offense can greatly disrupt any person’s life. These consequences become even more severe for subsequent offenses, but Utah law is meant to deter both citizens and visitors from driving under the influence of alcohol even once. No matter how inconvenient it may seem to avoid driving after a drinking situation, it is worth it to avoid the risk of harming others and the potential threats to your future.
Utah DUI Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need a Criminal Lawyer for a DUI case in Utah, call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 for your Free Consultation. We are accepting new clients. We can help you with Driving Under the Influence cases; fraud cases; drug crimes and much more. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506