Charged with a DUI in Utah? Your Next Step Could Determine Whether your License is Suspended
Being charged with a DUI can be an anxiety inducing situation for an individual in any state. However in Utah the charge of DUI can be especially harsh because automatic license suspension can be imposed for even a first DUI offense. The steps you take immediately following your DUI arrest are essential. If you have been charged with a DUI in Utah, don’t delay: Contact an experienced Salt Lake City DUI defense attorney today.
Prompt Action by an Experienced Attorney can be an Essential First Step
For a chance to keep your license you MUST, within 10 days of your arrest, file documents with the Drivers License Division of the Utah Department of Public Safety requesting a hearing. If you or your attorney fails to do so, you are almost certain to face a suspension of a minimum of 120 days. Likewise if you decide to handle the process alone and mail or fax your request to the wrong office, your license is likely to be suspended. If you miscalculate the days by failing to include holidays or weekends, your license also will be suspended. Furthermore if you file in court but not in the separate license suspension hearing, you will also lose your license. While an appeal for failure to provide notice is possible, the Drivers License Division is typically reluctant to grant them.
Your potential license suspension is determined based on your age, previous DUI convictions and the actions you take during the arrest and processing. While a first time Park City Utah DUI Defense Lawyer can result in a suspension of 120 days, a subsequent DUI can prohibit you from operating a motor vehicle for two years. Refusal of a chemical test can carry a suspension of up to 36 months. For individuals under the age of 21 who are charged with a DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical test, suspensions are a minimum of 120 days. However in certain circumstances they can last for whichever duration is longer: 2 years or until the driver reaches the age of 21.
Obtain reports and other Evidence
Like the rookie criminal defense attorney in My Cousin Vinny, many people who attempt to represent themselves in a DUI matter are not aware that they are entitled to the evidence the prosecution will present. This can include police reports, blood test results, the Intoxilyzer 8000 print-out card, urine test results and more. Requesting this information promptly and reviewing it thoroughly can potentially reveal human error or technical malfunctions. However these reports and test results can be extremely intimidating to one who is not experienced in reading and interpreting them.
Present Your Case before the Drivers License Division
At your hearing before a hearing officer, it is essential that you avoid collateral issues and distractions and focus on what you consider to be the most serious errors. An effective cross-examination that does not permit the office to skate by with general statements can be essential to uncovering irregularities. The officer should be made to describe the individual steps he took in detail in that particular instance. Further determining whether the officer received the specialized training or instruction necessary to operate the unit or perform field sobriety tests can be effective. However because the DUI hearing standard is low and only requires only a preponderance of the evidence, an experienced attorney can present irregularities in a fashion amenable to the forum thus improving your chances of a successful appeal.
What if I am Unsuccessful in Halting my Suspension?
If your challenge to the license suspension in the Drivers License Division was unsuccessful, the Division will send a letter within a few weeks stating when your suspension will begin. If you still disagree with the determination you may submit a written request for further appeal. If your appeal is rejected you may then file in federal court and present your appeal to a judge.
Prompt Action and Experience are Essential in Protecting a Utah License
As discussed above, appealing your DUI license suspension promptly is absolutely essential to halting or preventing your license suspension. Because the time for action is limited and many technical requirements are involved, working with an experience attorney can reduce the likelihood of a mistake that forecloses your ability to protect your license. Further, the DUI hearing is only the beginning of your legal concerns, and an experienced attorney can also handle the proceedings in the Utah courts.
If you have been charged with a DUI , contact Darwin L. Overson, an experienced DUI attorney at Overson Law, LLC For your first-time or subsequent DUI consultation, contact us immediately by calling (801) 758-2287 or contact us today. In emergency situations we can schedule meetings at holding centers or at the jail.