Draper, UT DUI Defense Lawyer

Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer

Driving under the influence (DUI) is criminalized in every state. This is because driving under the influence is extremely dangerous and leads to many driving deaths every year. Because of the danger of driving under the influence, the crime can sometimes be prosecuted very zealously. Such zealous advocacy can lead to life-long consequences upon conviction, which may be felonies. This means hefty fines, prison sentences that can reach a year, and the restriction of rights like the ability to own firearms.

Fortunately, our lawyers are here to help. We are experienced attorneys who have dedicated our practice to representing defendants in criminal court. We will fight as hard as possible to get you the best possible outcome for your case.

For a free, confidential analysis of your case, call our DUI defense lawyers at Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 for a free case review.

Driving Under the Influence in Draper, UT

Driving under the influence is criminalized under Utah Code § 41-6a-502. In Utah, the legal limit for driving under the influence is a blood-alcohol content of 0.05%. Most states use a limit of 0.08%, so Utah’s limit is less than what some people from outside the state may expect.

While driving under the influence is often most associated with alcohol use and abuse, it also applies to driving while under the influence of drugs. This is also criminalized by the Utah statute.

Why is Driving Under the Influence Taken So Seriously by Law Enforcement?

For a long time, drunk driving was an accepted practice. It was not unusual for people to drive themselves home after a night of drinking or for guests leaving a party to take “one for the road” so they could drink on their way back to their abode. While drunk driving was still illegal, laws criminalizing it were relaxed and seldom enforced. Regrettably, many people lost their lives because of drunk drivers.

It took a lot of hard work by lots of activist groups to pressure lawmakers and law enforcement personnel to treat driving under the influence with the seriousness that such a dangerous activity deserves.

Perhaps as a way to make up for lost time, drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs are both taken incredibly seriously at present, and you will not be let off the hook.

Potential Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Draper, UT

There are serious penalties if you are convicted of driving under the influence in Utah. The type of penalty you get depends on a lot of factors that are unique to your case. Below, we will detail some of the possible penalties for driving under the influence.

DUIs as Misdemeanors

A first or second DUI conviction is a class B misdemeanor, which carries with it a prison term of no more than six months under Utah Code § 76-3-204.

First DUI offenses have a minimum jail term of two days per Utah Code § 41-6-505(1)(a). However, that jail term can be changed out for a $700 fine at a judge’s discretion. Second DUI offenses have a minimum jail term of ten days under Utah Code § 41-6-505(7)(a). Again, that term can be substituted with an $800 fine.

DUIs and Felonies

Once someone is convicted of a third DUI, the crime rises to the level of a felony. Under Utah Code § 41-6a-502(c), third-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence can be punished with up to five years in prison. Unlike driving under the influence convictions for misdemeanors, there is no option to substitute the prison sentence with a fine.

DUI Penalties for Minors

Like in all states, persons under the age of 21 are not legally allowed to drink alcohol. Utah has strict penalties for people convicted of driving under the influence who are minors or under the legal drinking age. If you are under 21 and convicted of a DUI, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to a year. This suspension increases to two years for a second offense.

There are also rules for convictions of driving under the influence when minors are present in the vehicle. An ordinary DUI is upgraded to a class A misdemeanor if a minor passenger is in the vehicle.

Nonlegal Penalties and Consequences

There also may be certain consequences of a DUI conviction that are not immediately obvious at sentencing, especially if a DUI conviction rises to the level of a felony. Felons will have the crime on their record for a very long time, and it is nearly impossible to get expunged from your record. This can make it harder to get jobs or live in certain areas. Additionally, friends and family may view you differently if they know you are a felon. Finally, felons cannot own firearms, so if that is important to you, it is worth fighting a DUI conviction to the very end.

A non-felony DUI also has serious extralegal consequences. It will show up on a background check just like a felony DUI, and it may impede certain career options that require driving.

Defending against a DUI Charge in Draper, UT.

One of the most effective ways to defend against a DUI charge is to suppress evidence the prosecution wants to bring into the case. Our DUI defense lawyers will need to look into the evidence and see if there is a reason it should not be let into the case. For example, if the officer obtained it illegally, we can use that to ask the judge not to let the evidence in the case.

Call Our Draper, UT DUI Defense Lawyers Now

Do not hesitate to call our DUI defense lawyers from Overson Law at the number (801) 758-2287.