Understanding what to expect with your DUI charge
The process in DUI cases is also more complicated than most other cases. Utah DUI cases follow two different paths: the criminal case through a criminal court, and the administrative case through the Driver License Division (DLD). The administrative case will determine the status of your Utah driver license, and the criminal case will determine any fines, jail, probation, and will also have an effect on your license.
On the administrative path, for a first time arrest, the Driver License Division will automatically suspend your license for 120 days, unless you request a Driver License DUI Hearing. You will also be flagged as an “Alcohol Restricted Driver,” which means if you drive with any alcohol in your system, your license will be revoked for one year.
If you request a Driver License DUI Hearing within 10 days of your arrest/citation, the DLD will hold a hearing where the police officer must show that he “reasonably believed” that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle. Even if the police officer’s conclusions were wrong, as long as the hearing officer concludes that the police officer “reasonably believed” you were driving under the influence, your license will be suspended for 120 days. The only way to reduce that is to appeal the decision or to fight the charge in court.
On the criminal case path, a first time DUI conviction is considered a Class B Misdemeanor. You will be required to go to a court arraignment and enter a guilty plea, no contest plea, or not guilty plea. (It is important to know that people who plead guilty or no contest at the first arraignment usually receive a higher fine, more jail time, and a longer license suspension and probation than people who hire an attorney and fight the case.)
If you plead guilty or no contest, you will be sentenced. If you plead not guilty, you will go through a pre-trial process where you will attempt to resolve the case with the prosecutor before trial. If you cannot reach a resolution with the prosecutor, your case will go to trial, where you will be found guilty or not guilty.
Contact a skilled DUI defense attorney
Intermountain Legal can get involved immediately to maximize your chances of success. By taking immediate action, an attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that you make the right decisions. A DUI defense attorney will know how to challenge key evidence, which can lead to the reduction or complete dismissal of your criminal charges.
To contact the DUI attorneys at Intermountain Legal, call 801-990-4200 or click here to fill out our email form.