DUI in UTAH carries hefty penalties such as mandatory jail time, suspension of your driver’s license and expensive fines. If this is your third DUI arrest within the past ten years, you will be serving time in jail. Unlike a first or second DUI, the judge does not have the discretion to sentence you to a work service program or home confinement in lieu of jail. For a third DUI offense, Utah law requires you to spend at least 1,500 hours (or approximately two months) in jail. Of course, the judge can sentence you to additional time depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case.
The penalties for DUI range from 48 hours in jail for a first offense to five years in prison for a felony DUI conviction, and the fines can reach nearly $10,000. Additionally, you can be required to enroll in substance abuse treatment, have an interlock ignition device (IID) installed on your car and submit a DNA sample to the state.
DUI Felony In Utah
In Utah, most DUIs are classified as misdemeanors. However, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case, it can be considered a felony. A felony is typically prosecuted more vigorously than a misdemeanor. Additionally, a felony carries more jail time, higher fines and enhanced penalties than a misdemeanor.
In general, misdemeanor crimes are not considered to be as serious as felony crimes. To that end, misdemeanor DUIs are not prosecuted as vigorously as felony DUIs, and misdemeanor sentences are not nearly as harsh as felony sentences. It is less likely that a judge will impose the maximum sentence in a misdemeanor case. However, it is more likely that you will get sentenced to time over and above the mandatory minimum in a felony case.
Although most DUIs are classified as misdemeanors under Utah law, certain facts and circumstances can elevate a DUI to a felony crime. For example, if you are arrested for a third DUI within ten years, you will be charged with a felony. Additionally, if you inflict serious bodily injury on another person as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will charged with a felony.
Punishment For Felony DUI
Unlike a misdemeanor DUI, if you’re facing a felony DUI the judge has the discretion to sentence you to serve time in the state prison system as opposed to the local jail. The potential jail time for a felony DUI ranges from 1,500 hours (approximately two months) in the local jail to as much as five years in the prison system. Additionally, the fines for a felony DUI are much higher than they are for a misdemeanor DUI. The possible fine for a felony DUI ranges from a minimum of $2,775 to a maximum of $9,250. You can also be required to undergo intensive treatment for substance abuse and enroll in a supervised probation program. Unlike with a misdemeanor DUI, you will be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) on your car as well as submit a sample of your DNA to the state.
Fighting A DUI
A DUI arrest does not have to lead to a DUI conviction. Having a DUI conviction on your permanent criminal record can limit your employment opportunities for the rest of your life. Hiring a qualified attorney will enable you to fight your charges which could result in reduced charges or in some instances a dismissal or even acquittal of the charges.
DUI Cost Utah
No one ever plans to get charged with drunk-driving, and the financial consequences can be frightening. The prospect of court costs as well as fines and penalties may make it tempting to scrimp on the cost of an attorney to defend your case. However, when considering the costs of legal representation, you need to keep the big picture in mind. Facing a drunk-driving charge is a serious legal matter that comes with the potential for negative implications that can affect you for many years to come.
As with all things in life, you get what you pay for when hiring a defense attorney to fight your driving under the influence (DUI) charges. Unfortunately, selecting the wrong attorney or deciding to just enter a guilty plea for drunk driving will result in a number of financial, emotional, personal and professional consequences that can come back to haunt you long into the future. At this time, it’s important to invest in a qualified Salt Lake City attorney who is focused on DUI defense and prepared to aggressively fight your charges.
If you’ve been charged with drunk-driving, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney to defend your case. You might be tempted to minimize costs and select an attorney based solely upon who is able to offer you the lowest rate. Now is not the time to cut corners! Although you will pay more for a well-qualified attorney, you will likely reap the reward of a personalized defense as well as the potential for a more favorable outcome.
We strive to offer you a personalized legal defense at a competitive rate. After reviewing your case, we will be able to offer you a customized strategy at a flat-fee rate. Our rates reflect our experience, and our flat-fee rate allows you to budget the cost of your legal defense.
Our attorney fees are reasonable and in line with our training, credentials and experience. We don’t believe in encouraging our clients to plead guilty to drunk driving, and will explore all of the options available to keep a DUI off of your record. In addition, we offer flat fees for our services, which means you know how much your representation will cost upfront, instead of being surprised by your bill down the road.
Flexible Payment Options
If you’re facing serious criminal charges such as drunk-driving, legal costs should not prevent you from hiring a qualified attorney to protect your rights. We understand that most people don’t have an emergency fund set aside for the legal costs that come with being unexpectedly charged with drunk-driving. If the cost of hiring an attorney is an issue, please ask us about our various payment options. We can work with you to establish a payment plan that will provide you the immediate benefit of legal counsel with the costs being paid over time.
DUIs can happen unexpectedly—that’s why our firm offers payment plans to individuals who are unable to pay for the cost of representation at one time. We have a number of payment plan options to choose from, so please ask us for more information if you’re concerned about legal costs. We believe every person has the right to qualified counsel, and will do everything we can to help at this stressful time.
DUI Case Wins Utah
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need an experienced attorney by your side to help navigate the court system and reduce the legal ramifications that accompany a drunk-driving charge. At Covey & Young, we have an extensive history of success in DUI cases. Here’s a list of just a few of the favorable results that we’ve achieved for our clients.
- Client charged with DUI after failing breathalyzer test. Our investigation uncovered that prior to the breathalyzer test, the client had passed a number of field sobriety tests. Because we were able to show that the field sobriety tests indicated no impairment, the charges were dismissed.
- Client crashes car and is charged with DUI after testing positive for Ambien. This was a second offense DUI. We were able to negotiate a reduction of the charges to reckless driving with no additional DUI charges appearing on the client’s record. The client had to pay a small fine.
- Client charged with DUI after testing positive for marijuana. We were able to show a violation of the client’s constitutional rights, and the charges were dismissed.
- Client with a blood alcohol content of 0.79 charged with DUI/Impaired Driving. Initially, this client’s license was suspended for two years. On appeal, we were able to get the client’s license reinstated. Additionally, we negotiated a reduction of charges to reckless driving. The client had to pay a small fine, but no alcohol-related charges appeared on the client’s record.
- Alcohol-restricted client charged with DUI. Client was charged with violating Utah’s Alcohol Restricted Driver statute after failing a breathalyzer test. We negotiated a plea in abeyance, and the client had to pay a small fine. The charges were later dismissed after the client successfully completed the terms of the negotiated plea agreement.