Salt Lake City DUI Attorney

Representing Those Charged With a DUI in Utahwoman charged with DUI in Utah

The criminal defense lawyers at Nelson, Taylor & Associates represent people who have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Salt Lake City and neighboring communities in Utah, Salt Lake, Weber, Davis, Summit, and Tooele counties. The consequences of a DUI arrest or conviction can be severe and affect many areas of your life. In many ways, an arrest or conviction for DUI is worse than an arrest or conviction for other crimes. Our Salt Lake City DUI attorney can advise you on your options and provide the best strategy and defense for your given situation.

Utah DUI & Penalty Law

In Utah, you can be found guilty of driving under the influence if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .05% or higher. You can also be guilty of DUI with less alcohol in your bloodstream, if there is other evidence that your driving was impaired, such as weaving in an out of lanes or failing to stop for red lights or stop signs.

The penalties for a DUI conviction include a $700 fine, with additional surcharges, and sentencing to a work service program, home confinement, or spending time in jail. A court can also order you into a treatment program, place you on supervised probation, require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and even suspend your driver’s license for up to 2 years.

Penalties can range in severity depending on factors like a second offense, your BAC testing at .16% or more, carrying a minor passenger in the car, or causing an accident which results in bodily injury to another. A third DUI offense can be charged as a felony, with a lengthy prison sentence and other serious consequences. Fortunately, you may have many defenses available, including challenges to the legitimacy of the stop or the accuracy of the testing equipment or methods used. At Nelson, Taylor & Associates, our Salt Lake City DUI Attorney can thoroughly investigate the facts surrounding your arrest and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your situation.

Is a DUI a Felony in Utah?

A DUI in Utah is considered a felony only if the driver has two prior DUI offenses. The third offense, which is now a felony, must be made within a 10-year window. Another way of getting your DUI to be labeled as a felony would be if you were involved in an accident which caused serious bodily injury to the other driver. This would bump up the penalty from a class B misdemeanor to a third degree penalty. The last way a DUI can become a felony is if the driver already had a previous felony DUI. Many times, people forget they had these charges.

The penalties associated with DUI felony charges include:

  • The suspension of your license for an additional 90 days up to 2 years
  • Fines up to $1,500 along with court fees and surcharges
  • A mandatory substance abuse treatment program
  • Supervised probation, but only if jail time was not required
  • A prison sentence of up to 5 years which may include home confinement
  • The ordering of an ignition interlock device which measures your BAC before the car will start

Can My License Get Suspended From a DUI?

In addition to any criminal charges brought against you, a DUI arrest may also result in a suspension of your driver’s license by the Utah Department of Public Safety Driver License Division. DLD will suspend your license for 120 days on a first offense or for two years for a subsequent offense. You will also be listed as an alcohol restricted driver for two years, meaning that you cannot drive with any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. An ignition interlock device will be placed on your car for the first 18 months.

You do have the right to a hearing before the suspension is imposed, and we can represent you at the hearing. You must act quickly, however, by requesting a hearing within ten days after your arrest. Otherwise, your right to a hearing may be waived.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Utah?

If you have been convicted of a first offense DUI then it is considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor DUI's are not eligible to expunge off your record until ten years from the day of conviction.

How Can a DUI Attorney Help Me?

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) attorney specializes in defending individuals charged with DUI or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offenses. Here's how a DUI attorney can assist you:

  • Legal Advice and Guidance: Provide you with legal advice specific to your DUI case, explaining the charges against you, the potential consequences, and your rights.
  • Understanding DUI Laws: Explain the DUI laws in your jurisdiction, including the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit and the penalties associated with DUI convictions.
  • Reviewing the Arrest Process: Scrutinize the details of your arrest, including the traffic stop, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests (such as breathalyzer or blood tests) to identify potential procedural errors or violations of your rights.
  • Building a Defense Strategy: Develop a defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case. This may involve challenging the accuracy of test results, questioning the legality of the traffic stop, or presenting alternative explanations for observed behavior.
  • Legal Motions: File legal motions to suppress evidence that was obtained unlawfully or challenge the admissibility of certain evidence, potentially weakening the prosecution's case.
  • Negotiating with the Prosecutor: Engage in negotiations with the prosecutor to explore the possibility of a plea deal, which may involve reduced charges or penalties.
  • Representing You in Court: Represent you in court if your case goes to trial. This includes presenting your defense, cross-examining witnesses, and making legal arguments on your behalf.
  • Sentencing Mitigation: Advocate for the most favorable sentencing terms if you are convicted, potentially reducing fines, license suspensions, or other penalties.
  • License Suspension Hearings: Assist you in navigating administrative processes related to license suspension, including representing you at DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) hearings.
  • Monitoring and Advising on Probation: If applicable, guide you through probation requirements, ensuring compliance and minimizing any potential violations that could lead to additional consequences.

Hiring a DUI attorney is crucial because DUI cases can have serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. An experienced attorney can help navigate the complexities of DUI law, build a strong defense, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case. It's important to consult with a DUI attorney as soon as possible after being charged to ensure the preservation of evidence and protection of your rights.

How a Salt Lake City DUI Lawyer Can Help You

In addition to criminal and administrative penalties, a DUI arrest and conviction carries all the stigma and negative consequences of any other criminal arrest or conviction. Be sure and obtain effective representation from experienced attorneys who care about your situation and will help you obtain the best result in both criminal and administrative proceeding. If you are arrested in Salt Lake City or surrounding areas for driving under the influence, contact Nelson, Taylor & Associates for immediate assistance.

Related Reading:

Call (801) 901-7046 or contact our Salt Lake City DUI attorneys online to learn more about how we can help you.

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