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.


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

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What Happens When You Go To Court For A DUI?

What Happens When You Go To Court For A DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is one of the most severe types of vehicle violations resulting due to the number of accident related fatalities which occur from operation a moving vehicle under impaired conditions. So what happens when you get pulled over while you have been driving under the influence?

Police DUI Field Test

If you are pulled over by a police officer and they have reason to suspect that you may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a preliminary field test is conducted to determine if an individual is capable of operating their moving vehicle. Initially a law enforcement agent will conduct a “field sobriety test” which consists of testing coordination and possible impairment effects on the driver. This will typically require tests of balance, such as “walking the line”, standing on one foot or walking and turning. Secondly the driver’s comprehension ability is tested through simple tests of following directions. These can range from repeating one’s alphabet using a range the officer selects to ensure simple repetition cannot prevail. Finally the vision ability of the driver may be tested to determine if they are capable enough to respond to changes in light effectively and avoid distraction from vision blurriness.
After the initial field sobriety test has been conducted it the officer will in most cases require the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test. This consists of having a person breathe deeply into a device which calculates a person’s blood alcohol content or BAC. If a person is over 0.05% they will be arrested for a DUI.

Can I still get arrested if I’m under 0.05%?

Yes. The 0.05% is a threshold limit meaning that any breathalyzer over this amount results in an immediate arrest. Despite this, if an individual fails the preliminary field test and passes the breathalyzer they can still be arrested for driving impaired. Since alcohol can affect people of different body types and tolerances differently it is still possible to be legally impaired below the legal limit. In addition, any motorists under the age of 21 are unable to have any percentage of BAC while operating a motor vehicle.

What is the legal limit?

The legal blood alcohol content limit in most states is %0.08 which had been severely reduced since the 1980’s during a push for stricter drinking and driving laws. Prior to the 80s the limit was between 0.10% and 0.15% however due to the number of fatalities this had to be regulated more heavily. For commercial drivers the limit is much lower at 0.04% in most states. In Utah it is 0.05%.

Can I refuse a breathalyzer?

Yes it is always possible to refuse submission of a breathalyzer test, however this is generally not a very good idea. Refusing this test is considered failure to comply with a law enforcement agent which will result in the driver’s detention pending a further investigation. The motorist will be taken to the police station and booked followed by a blood test to determine what their blood alcohol content is. Although refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test is possible this should be avoided at all costs because it tends to still end in an arrest and a judge will have less sympathy for a defendant that fails to comply with law enforcement agents.

Can you post bail for a DUI?

Yes, DUI arrests are typically allowed to post bail after their booking however they will usually have to spend the night in sobriety holding. When posting a bail bond for DUI arrests it can be done directly to the courts for the full amount of the bail set which will typically be refunded after the trial’s conclusion, or it can be processed through a bondsman which would result in a lower expense paid by the defendant however no refund will be provided with the lower bond amount.

Nowadays, there is a lot of news about celebrities being busted for a DUI case. For this, they turn to the expertise of a Utah DUI Attorney to help them get out of the case. But what really happens when you get caught driving under the influence? How can a Utah DUI Lawyer help you get out of the case especially if it was only your first offense?

DUI or driving under the influence has been one of the serious offenses that a lot of top celebrities face. Since they can get arrested for this offense, you can be sure that it can also happen to you! This is why you have to avoid drunk driving as you can endanger the lives of other people as much as putting your own safety to risk. When you are caught, that is another story.

Throughout the United States, the penalties and requirements for those caught drunk driving vary among each state. But due to the endless efforts of various advocacy groups, all 50 states have been able to pass a law that is intended to penalize those caught for drunk driving as well as give them a corresponding consequence for their actions.

The first thing that happens when you are caught drunk driving, you will be facing court. The saying ‘you are innocent until proven guilty’ is being observed and that is why you are entitled to court proceedings. When you have been convicted of a DUI offense, it may be due to the tests that were performed on you. These tests include the breath test and a blood test which shows a.08 blood alcohol content level. Even if you did not look like you were drunk or even slurred with your words, the fact that these tests proved you failed the test means you have been driving under the influence. For this, you will be found guilty and convicted.

After being convicted for the offense, you will be fined and tasked to pay court costs. In addition, your driver’s license will be revoked for a certain time period. These costs, fines and duration of suspension will vary according to the state where the offense has been committed. There are also some states that have been able to pass a law that require jail time, even if you are a first DUI offender. On the other hand, there are some states that will put you on probation and require you to do community service.

This is where the DUI Attorney comes in. He will take your case and present it to the court so you can avoid jail. Despite the fact that you have been convicted of the DUI offense, your DUI Attorney will do his best to lower your felony so you can be able to avoid going to jail. This is especially helpful if you are a busy person and could not afford to spend a day in prison. Even with your driver’s license suspended, a DUI Attorney will do his best to help you out of the offense you have put yourself in.

By now, everyone is already aware of the importance of a good Utah DUI Attorney. This is because a Utah DUI Lawyer will be able to help you with your case once you are caught driving under the influence. When this happens to you, it is important that you choose a good professional as the success of your case will depend on his expertise. Although he might not be able to free you of the conviction, he might be able to lower your penalty. But before seeking legal help, the first thing that happens is the arrest. During which, there are a series of tests that will be conducted on you. It is important that you know how this arrest will happen so that you are able to determine if you have been mistreated by the police officers.

Before you are arrested, there are a series of processes which police officers will do to you. The first is that they will pull you over while you are driving your car. When you have been stopped, it is important that you know what to do.

• Present your documents such as your Registration, Insurance and License cards. You have to do this without fumbling as this is one of the characteristics that police officers notice in drunk drivers.

• When you are asked questions, make sure that you do not answer them in a smart ass manner. If possible, you can answer that you have been advised by your legal counsel to refrain from answering such questions.

• Once they ask you to take the field sobriety test, it is your right to choose whether or not you want to take it. This is because the result of this test lies on the arresting officer’s opinion on whether you have passed it or not. Although you will go to jail for not taking the test, you are minimizing the amount of evidence the cops have against you.

• Another test that you should not take is the Preliminary Alcohol Screener or the Breathalyzer. This is because this handheld equipment cannot be thoroughly depended on. You do not need to take this test if you are over 21 years old because it can be used against your case.

• Instead of the breath test, take the blood test. This is because the Blood Alcohol Content level is more reliable than the breath test. As a result, you will be able to beat the charges presented to you on trial or at the DMV.

• If you have some companions with you in the car, you can have them as your witnesses. Tell your friends to observe your behavior as well as to remember the words said by the officer. This is so you can rebut his statements in court.

• When you are allowed to make a phone call in the police station, you can call a friend and tell him what has happened to you. However, you have to be careful that you are not slurring or having difficulty with your words as this will let the police officers know that you are sober. If you have been allowed another phone call, you can leave a voicemail message on your own phone which you can play back at a DMV hearing.

As always, it is best that you get the help of a legal professional to help present your case to court. He will help you with your arrest and do his best to lower the sanction.

DUI Lawyer in Utah Free Consultation

When you need legal help for a DUI case in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 for your Free Consultation. We can help defend you against Drunk Driving charges. 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

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