DUI Defense

If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Utah, you should consider immediately retaining a defense lawyer to evaluate your case and inform you of your rights.

Being charged with a DUI is a very serious matter. The penalties associated with a DUI conviction can include jail time, fines, outpatient and in-patient treatment programs, and a lengthy driver’s license suspension. Also, in addition to the penalties that the court may impose, a guilty DUI conviction will result in you paying thousands of dollars more in high-risk insurance premiums than you are currently paying.

In order to protect your legal rights when facing a DUI charge, hiring an attorney may allow you to not only avoid jail time but also prevent a lengthy driver’s license suspension. Even if you were over the legal limit of .08 BAC at the time of the arrest, an attorney may be able to challenge the constitutionality of the stop and get all of the legal charges against you dropped.

In addition to challenging the actual stop, our legal team will not only contest the admissibility of the evidence offered against you but also contest the mechanisms and procedures that the police used in collecting that evidence.

In order to protect your driving privileges, hiring an attorney within ten days of your arrest is crucial. In Utah, in order to keep your driving privileges, you must schedule an administrative hearing within ten days of your arrest with the Driver’s License Division (DLD). Failure to schedule hearing with the DLD within ten days will result in your license being suspended for a minimum of 120 days.

At Saunders Law, we are dedicated to helping those people accused of a DUI avoid a conviction and to keep their driver’s license.

If you need to quickly contact a lawyer, don’t hesitate to call our law firm to directly speak with a lawyer. Otherwise, feel free to fill out our Attorney Contact Form and schedule a consultation with a Park City based DUI defense attorney.

 

Utah DUI Statistics:

In 2010, Utah law enforcement officers made 15,285 DUI arrests. However, within Summit County, law enforcement officers made 369 DUI arrests, only 2.4% of the total DUI arrests in Utah. Out of those arrests, the Park City Police Department made 121 of those DUI arrests.

Out of the fifteen thousand DUI arrests in Utah last year, less than 20% of those arrested were found not guilty or had the charges against them dismissed.

With Utah’s high DUI conviction rates, immediately hiring a DUI Defense Lawyer after an arrest should be one of your top priorities if you want to count yourself among those 20% that were found not guilty or had the charges against them dismissed.

 

Driver’s License Suspension

One of the main reasons to call an attorney at Saunders Law is that under Utah law, if you are found guilty of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked for up to three years. Here are the following statutory guidelines (these guidelines assume that there are no aggravating factors such as: BAC over .16; injuring a person; having a passenger under 16 years old in the vehicle; if you are over 21, having a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle; or, Auto Homicide):

Misdemeanor DUI, Under 21

»The law concerning Alcohol and Minors in Utah changed in July of 2011, below is the new law:

First Offense: If you are between 19 to 21 years old, your license will be SUSPENDED until you are 21 or for ONE year, whichever is longer.

The court can reduce the suspension to six months if: you have no new violations; you complied with the terms of your probation; you  get a sworn statement from your parents that  there is no substance abuse; you complete screening, assessment, and treatment.

Second Offense: If you are under 19, your license will be SUSPENDED until you are 21.

The court can reduce the suspension to TWO years if: you have no new violations; you complied with the terms of your probation; you  get a sworn statement from your parents that  there is no substance abuse; you complete screening, assessment, and treatment.

 

Misdemeanor DUI:

First Offense: Your license can be SUSPENDED for a 120 days.

Second Offense: Your license can be REVOKED for 2 years.

 

Felony DUI

Your license can be REVOKED for 2 years

 

 

Refusal of Chemical Test:  In Utah, you are assumed to have given implied consent to all chemical tests by virtue of being granted a driver’s license. Therefore, a refusal of a chemical test (breathalyzer, intoxilyzer, blood test, etc.) results in an automatic revocation of your driver’s license for a period greater than that of a DUI conviction.

First Offense: Your license will be REVOKED for 18 months

Second Offense: Your license will be REVOKED for 36 months

 

Jail Time

Another main reason to call an attorney at Saunders Law is to avoid serving time in jail.

In Utah, DUI offenses are classified either as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the type of offense and whether it is a repeat offense. Misdemeanor cases are handled in Justice Courts, which are sponsored by municipalities and counties. Felony cases and cases not referred to the Justice Courts are handled in state District Courts.

Here are the following statutory guidelines for DUI sentencing in Utah (Again, these guidelines assume that there are no aggravating factors such as: BAC over .16; injuring a person; having a passenger under 16 years old in the vehicle; if you are over 21, having a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle; or, Auto Homicide):

 

Misdemeanor DUI:

First Offense:IMPRISONMENT: The Judge must order ONE of the following Sentences: 1) A jail sentence of not less than 48 consecutive hours (2 days) and not more that 180 days; OR 2) Require compensatory-service work for not less than 48 hours; OR 3)Require home confinement through electronic monitoring.

Second Offense (within 10 years):IMPRISONMENT: The Judge must order ONE of the following Sentences: 1) A jail sentence of not less than 240 consecutive hours (10 days) and not more that 180 days; OR 2) Require compensatory-service work for not less than 240 hours; OR 3) Require home confinement through electronic monitoring.

Felony DUI:

IMPRISONMENT: If you are convicted of a 3rd Degree Felony DUI,The Judge must order ONE of the following Sentences: 1) A prison term of up to 5 years; OR 2)A jail sentence of 1,500 hours (62.5 days) and MAY require an additional period of electronic home confinement.