Many people shrug off traffic tickets without realizing the serious consequences that can result. Traffic violations range in severity from minor infractions to criminal offenses, and in some cases, the penalties involve costly fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and even incarceration in jail or prison. If you or a family member was pulled over, arrested, or received a speeding ticket or other traffic citation in Utah, you need an experienced Salt Lake defense attorney who can protect your rights while fighting to lessen the consequences you face.
If you or a loved one has received a traffic ticket, missed a traffic court date, had their license revoked or suspended, been charged with DUI, or needs legal help with any other matter involving a crime or infraction, our Salt Lake City defense law firm is ready to provide assistance. To talk about your traffic citation or alleged crime in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact Salt Lake City traffic violation attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 895-3143 today.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Traffic Violations in Utah?
Utah traffic violations are often combined with additional charges, which can be even more serious. The nature of the violation should be explained on your ticket or traffic citation, which should also supply a time and date you are expected to appear in traffic court.
If you intend to dispute the ticket rather than pay the fine, you will be required to enter a “not guilty” plea, at which point a trial will be scheduled if you cannot come to an agreement with the prosecutor. With a knowledgeable Utah traffic lawyer representing you at trial, you will have a better likelihood of successfully disputing the citation. Therefore, it is in your best interests to hire a traffic ticket lawyer in Salt Lake City if you have received a citation.
If the violation is very serious, such as hit and run or DUI, representation by a defense attorney is especially crucial. Serious traffic violations such as these are treated as criminal offenses, which means you can be imprisoned for months or even years, depending on the details of the case, if you are convicted.
At the law offices of Overson & Sheen, we pride ourselves on providing aggressive legal representation to drivers and passengers throughout the state of Utah. In many instances, we are able to fight traffic tickets successfully, or even have our clients’ criminal cases dismissed. Types of traffic crimes and traffic infractions we handle in Utah include, but are not limited to:
- Auto Theft
- Driving a Stolen Vehicle
- Driving with a Suspended License
- Driving without a License
- Driving without Insurance
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence, Drunk Driving, Intoxicated Driving)
- Expired Registration
- Failure to Signal
- Following Too Closely (Tailgating)
- Headlight and Tail Light Violations
- Hit and Run (Leaving the Scene of an Accident)
- Open Container Violations
- Points on Your License
- Reckless Driving
- Running a Red Light
- Running a Stop Sign
- Speeding Tickets
- Vehicular Homicide (Automobile Homicide)
Consequences of Traffic Citations and DUI
The consequences of a traffic ticket can range considerably. At the lower end of the spectrum, the driver might be facing consequences such as fines, temporary license suspension, and/or points added to their driving record. If the violation is of a serious nature, such as driving while intoxicated, or causing another person’s death or injury, the offense may be classified as a misdemeanor or even felony and prosecuted accordingly.
To provide just one example, under Utah Code § 76-5-207.5 a driver can be criminally charged if he or she hits and kills somebody while distracted by a cell phone. This crime, which is a form of homicide, can be prosecuted as a third degree felony or even second degree felony, placing it just one level below the criminal class that contains rape and murder. DUI, a very common charge, is generally prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, or third degree felony, depending on factors like whether it is the driver’s first DUI offense or a repeat offense.
Depending on whether a traffic matter is classified as a crime (felony or misdemeanor) or an infraction, the resulting penalties may include the following:
- Utah Traffic Infractions – Fine of up to $750, no jail time
- Utah Traffic Crimes
- Class C Misdemeanor – Fine of up to $750, up to 90 days in jail
- Class B Misdemeanor – Fine of up to $1,000, up to 6 months in jail
- Class A Misdemeanor – Fine of up to $2,500, up to 1 year in jail
- Third Degree Felony – Fine of up to $5,000, up to 5 years in prison
- Second Degree Felony – Fine of up to $10,000, up to 15 years in prison
Drivers should keep in mind that this list does not represent all possible consequences of a traffic violation. For example, a driver convicted of DUI in Utah might be required to have an ignition interlock device, which works similar to a breathalyzer, set up in his or her car.
Salt Lake City Traffic Ticket Attorney Handling Crimes and Infractions
Traffic violations can produce real and devastating consequences. If you recently received a ticket from the Utah Highway Patrol, the county sheriff’s office, or the police, it is in your best interests to contact a Salt Lake City speeding ticket lawyer as soon as possible.
With more than 16 years of experience handling thousands of criminal cases and traffic matters, traffic crimes attorney Darwin Overson represents clients statewide, including Bountiful, Draper, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Millcreek, Murray, Orem, Provo, Sandy, South Jordan, Taylorsville, West Jordan, West Valley City, and more. For a free legal consultation with Darwin about your speeding ticket or a related matter, call the law offices of Overson & Sheen at (801) 895-3143 today.