How Long Does the State of Utah Have to File DUI Charges?

The process of getting arrested for a DUI usually happens extremely quickly. Police can perform blood work on people who are suspected of drinking and driving so that they have evidence, and they can then begin the process of arresting the person and filing charges. The State of Utah does have a statute of limitations on the amount of time that the government has to file DUI charges. However, they usually charge people with DUIs immediately after they arrest them. Continue reading to learn more about the statute of limitations on DUIs in Utah and how Salt Lake City DUI defense attorney Darwin Overson can help those who are facing these charges.

The Process of Filing DUI Charges in Utah

While Utah does have a statute of limitations in place for filing DUI charges after an arrest, it is highly unlikely that the police will let much time pass before charging you. That said, there are a few specific circumstances under which police will wait to file charges against you. If your DUI coincides with a different, more serious offense, such as a hit and run or vehicular homicide, the police may arrest you at a later date and then charge you with a DUI along with the other charges.

Usually, police will charge you with a DUI at the same time that they arrest you. This often happens right after they pull you over while driving drunk. Police need to act quickly, because they need to get evidence to use against you. Police can administer a breathalyzer test to prove that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit. However, breathalyzer test results do not always hold up in court, which is law enforcement may also have you submit to a blood test at the time of your arrest. However, to be able to perform a blood test on you, they need to have a search warrant, which they can’t get until you’re arrested.

The Utah DUI Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for DUIs in Utah depends on whether it is a first, second, third, or subsequent offense. A first or second DUI offense is a misdemeanor, which means that the statute of limitations is 2 years. A third or subsequent DUI offense is a felony, which means that the statute of limitations is 4 years.

There are a few exceptions that can be made to these statutes, however. If you leave the state, the countdown on the statute of limitations will be paused. Also, if you were arrested for drunk driving on the spot, law enforcement will not be subject to these statutes of limitations because they will charge you right away.

Expunging a DUI from Your Record in Utah

In Utah, it is possible to expunge a DUI conviction from your record if you apply for expungement. You can only do so, however, if you meet certain criteria. You can apply for expungement in Utah if:

  • You have paid all of the fines and interest from your DUI conviction
  • You have paid all restitution ordered by the court or other government bodies
  • 10 years have passed since the completion of your punishment

It’s important to note that the expungement of a DUI means that you do not have to report it on job applications. Per State v. Jones, an applicant for a job may respond to an inquiry about a DUI as if they had never been convicted in the first place, as long as that conviction was expunged. Anyone who would like to apply for an expungement of a DUI from their record should get in touch with a Utah DUI attorney to ensure that their application is completed quickly and thoroughly.

Penalties for DUIs in Utah

The penalties for DUIs in Utah differ based on whether it is a first, second, third, or subsequent offense. Penalties are listed under Utah Code § 41-6a-503, while the DUI offense itself is described in Utah Code § 41-6a-502. Note that judges in Utah must follow mandatory sentencing guidelines for DUI offenses.

First Offense DUI

A first DUI offense is either a Class A misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor, depending on the ages of the passengers in the car at the time of the arrest and whether the DUI caused any injuries. For a first DUI offense, judges will order 48 hours in jail, fines and fees of up to $1,370, driver’s license suspension lasting 120 days, and a screening that can result in mandatory education or treatment. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a judge may also order supervised probation, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and up to two additional years of license suspension.

Second and Third DUI Offenses

For a second DUI arrest, a judge will order 10 days in jail, fines and fees of up to $1,560, a license suspension of two years, and supervised probation; a judge may also order the installation of an ignition interlock device and additional years of license suspension. A third DUI offense will result in up to five years in prison, fines and fees of up to $2,890, a license suspension of two years, and supervised probation; they may also order the use of an ignition interlock device, up to two extra years of license suspension, and even house arrest.

Salt Lake City DUI Lawyer Offering Free Consultations

Speak with an attorney immediately if you have been arrested and charged with a DUI. Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson of Overson & Bugden, is available to help people throughout the Salt Lake City area with their DUI charges by working with police, negotiating with judges, and challenging evidence used against you. Call (801) 758-2287 today to set up an appointment for a free consultation.