If you have been charged with intoxication in Utah, you need the help of an experienced intoxication criminal defense lawyer. Intoxication is a uniquely tricky crime in Utah because it depends almost entirely on the opinion of the arresting police officer. Unlike DUI, it is not in any way tied to blood alcohol content. Instead, the police officer must make a snap decision of whether the allegedly drunk person is behaving in such a way that they fit the legal definition of “intoxication.” In some cases police officers haven even used a charge of intoxication as just a convenience to defuse a volatile situation. Because of the subjective nature of the evidence, a conviction for intoxication may come down to nothing more than your word against the officer’s. Our Utah intoxication attorneys have the knowledge and the experience to make sure that your rights are not violated and that your interests are protected. We know the Utah intoxication law and the Utah criminal justice system inside and out. We know how to find the holes in the prosecution’s case and how to get the best possible results for you.
Utah Intoxication Law
Many people in Utah refer to the crime of “Intoxication” as “Public Intoxication.” This misnomer creates the impression that in order to be arrested for intoxication you must be drunk in public. This is not the case. In order to found guilty of intoxication in public, a person must be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substances such as an illegal drug or prescription drug to the extent that they may be a danger to themselves or others. However, you can also be arrested for intoxication in a private place such as your own home if the police determine that you are drunk enough that you are unreasonably disturbing other people.
A charge of intoxication in Utah (76-9-701) can be very subjective because it is up to the police officers who respond to the situation to determine whether the intoxicated person “may” be a danger to themself or others. The Utah law does not contain any solid definition of at what level of alcohol consumption a person becomes a danger. Likewise, Utah law does not clearly state when a person is so drunk that they unreasonably disturb other people. For these reasons it is extremely important to have the help of an experienced Utah intoxication attorney to force the prosecution to present real, solid evidence that the requirements of the intoxication law were met in your case. Because it depends on a police officer’s opinion, an intoxication case is rarely air tight and a Utah intoxication attorney may be able point out the deficiencies in the evidence and, if the evidence is unclear, may possibly even be able to get the charges against you dropped.
Utah Intoxication Consequences
When a person is initially arrested for Intoxication in Utah they can be taken to jail if the police believe that the person needs to be imprisoned for their own safety or the safety of others. It is also possible that the intoxicated person could be taken to a detoxification center. Intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor in Utah, which carries a possible sentence of 90 days in jail and a fine of $750.
Consequences for minors who are found guilty of Intoxication in Utah are different and in some cases can be more severe. Depending on how many times the minor has been found guilty of intoxication they may have to take alcohol education classes and may have to undergo a screening by the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Additionally, when a minor is found guilty of intoxication in Utah the court is required to suspend the minor’s driver’s license for up to two years. This penalty applies even if the circumstances of the arrest had nothing to do with a motor vehicle. The suspension period can be reduced if the minor is between 18 and 21 years old and agrees to take alcohol education classes. If the minor is not yet old enough to have a driver’s license then the suspension goes into effect on the day the minor becomes old enough to apply for a driver’s license and the minor is ineligible to apply for a driver’s license or a learner’s permit until the suspension period expires.
Contact a Utah Intoxication Lawyer
Even though intoxication is not commonly considered a serious crime, it can have a long-lasting and disruptive impact on your future. Statistics have shown time and time again that people who hire one of our Utah intoxication attorney gets a better result with fewer long term consequences in intoxication cases. When you call Intermountain Legal you will speak directly to a criminal defense lawyer with years of experience defending intoxication case in Utah. Your initial consultation is always free. In your free consultation we will help you understand the Utah intoxication law as it applies to the circumstances of your case and advise you how best to proceed. We will even tell you if hiring an intoxication criminal defense attorney is not the best course of action in your case. Our intoxication criminal defense attorneys can help you deal with intoxication charges in the best possible way so that you can put them behind you and move on with your life. Call 801-990-4200 for a free consultation or click here to contact an attorney by email.