Ogden DUI Defense Attorney
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is incredibly dangerous. Drunk drivers not only place themselves at risk, but they place others at risk as well. Drivers charged with a DUI face penalties that increase depending on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and their driving history. A driver with a higher BAC and history of DUIs will face very harsh consequences and lose their license for a long time.
Being charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is not only a serious criminal charge, but it is also very embarrassing. People charged with DUIs often do not want their friends, family, and neighbors to find out that they were drinking and driving. The penalties for a DUI can vary from steep fines to losing your license. DUIs remain on your driving record and can cause you a lot of headaches in the future.
Facing a DUI is stressful and humiliating, but you do not have to go through it alone. Our Ogden DUI defense attorneys can guide you through the criminal justice process and help you work past your DUI. Contact Overson Law, PLLC to speak with our legal team about your DUI. Call (801) 758-2287 to schedule a free and confidential legal consultation.
How You Get a DUI in Ogden
Utah is not like most other states because Utah has a lower threshold for charging drivers with DUIs. In most other jurisdictions, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more may be charged for driving under the influence. However, in Utah, the limit is only .05%. This means it takes less alcohol for you to be charged with a DUI in Utah.
To be charged with a DUI, you must have the requisite BAC and be operating or be in physical control of a vehicle. What it means to operate a vehicle is obvious; it means driving. However, “physical control” of a vehicle might be a bit confusing. According to Utah law, whether someone is in physical control of a vehicle will be determined based on the totality of their circumstances. This means the police officer stopping you has the discretion to analyze the entire situation and decide whether the driver had physical control over the vehicle. Factors that might be considered include, but are not limited to:
- If the driver was in the driver’s seat
- If the engine was running
- Where the vehicle is parked
- Whether the driver is asleep or awake
If a police officer determines that you were, in fact, in physical control of the vehicle with a BAC of .05% or more, you will be arrested for a DUI. Our Ogden DUI defense attorneys can help you understand your charges and defend your rights.
Penalties for DUIs in Ogden
The penalties for a DUI will be different depending on the unique circumstances of your case. A driver with prior DUIs or a higher BAC will face stiffer penalties than a first-time offender with a BAC closer to .05%.
A driver convicted of either their first or second DUI may be found guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Such a conviction would result in a prison term of no more than 6 months. However, the charges will be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor if the driver…
- caused bodily harm as a result of their intoxicated driving,
- had a passenger younger than 16,
- had a passenger under 18 while the driver was 21 or older,
- drove on the wrong side of the road, or
- drove on the freeway.
If your DUI charges are upgraded to a class A misdemeanor, you may face a prison term of not more than 346 days. Contact our Ogden DUI defense lawyer for help fighting your charges.
Under more serious circumstances, a driver can be charged with a third-degree felony DUI. If convicted, the driver will face a prison term of no more than 5 years. To be charged with a third-degree felony DUI, a driver…
- must have caused serious bodily harm due to their intoxicated driving,
- has two or more previous DUIs, both within 10 years of the current conviction, or
- is charged with the DUI any time after a conviction for automobile homicide, a prior felony DUI.
Injuries sustained by others as a result of your DUI are treated especially seriously. Each victim who has been injured will constitute a separate offense. This means if you injure three people as a result of drunk driving, you will face three separate charges. The penalties for these charges quickly add up to a long time in prison. Our Ogden DUI defense attorneys will work to reduce your DUI charges and protect your rights in court.
Penalties for Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Ogden DUI Cases
When a driver is stopped for a DUI, the police officer conducting the stop will request that the driver submits to a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer device can detect alcohol on a person’s breath and calculate an accurate BAC level. Utah uses the implied consent rule to require all drivers to submit to chemical testing. This rule states that any driver operating their vehicle on Utah’s roads has consented to chemical testing for a DUI stop. However, if you refuse, the police officer will not force you to submit to testing. Instead, they will warn you of the additional penalties for refusing.
Refusal to submit to testing may result in additional criminal charges. A defendant could lose their driver’s license and face a 5- or 10-year driving probation during which they are forbidden from driving with any alcohol in their system whatsoever. They may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Please reach out to our Ogden DUI defense attorneys for guidance if you refused to submit to testing.
When Are Ignition Interlock Devices Required for DUIs in Ogden?
An ignition interlock device is like a breathalyzer that is installed in your vehicle. It is fixed to your vehicle and cannot be removed. Tampering with your ignition interlock device is illegal. In order to start your vehicle, you will have to blow into the device. If the device detects any alcohol, the car will not start.
Any driver convicted of a DUI and sentenced to probation may be required by the court to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Not only must the driver install the device in their vehicle, but they are prohibited from operating any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device. This means they cannot simply borrow a friend’s car to avoid using the interlock device. Our Ogden DUI defense lawyers can help you fight your DUI and get back to your normal life.
Restoring Your Suspended Driver’s License After a DUI in Ogden
The suspension of your driver’s license after a DUI is actually a civil penalty, not a criminal one. As such, it may be challenged in a civil hearing separate from your DUI criminal charges. Because these two hearings are separate, getting your license restored will not affect the outcome of your criminal hearing. However, if you are cleared of any wrongdoing in your criminal DUI trial, your license is automatically restored.
You have a very narrow period of time to request a hearing to restore your driver’s license; you have only 10 days from the date you are arrested for the DUI. If you let this time pass, your license suspension will automatically kick in. If you are facing DUI charges, contact an attorney immediately to help you request this hearing get your license restored as soon as possible.
An administrative law judge reviews your case at your hearing and determines whether suspending your license is the right thing to do. This is a formal civil hearing and will be difficult to handle on your own. Our Ogden DUI defense lawyers are prepared to represent you at this hearing and fight to get your license restored.
Being Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint in Ogden
Checkpoints are common tactics employed by law enforcement to apprehend drunk drivers on the road. Checkpoints are different than ordinary police stops because the police do not drive up and pull you over. Instead, all drivers that pass through the checkpoint must stop and be confronted and questioned by the authorities.
For a checkpoint to be valid and hold up in court, the police must follow specific rules and regulations. First, the police must provide the public with advanced notice of the checkpoint. This is often done by placing a notice in local media outlets, like newspapers or local news broadcasts.
Second, there must be a real need for the checkpoint backed up by evidence. The authorities cannot set up a checkpoint just because they feel like it or for some other arbitrary reason. A need for a checkpoint would be a noticeable increase in drunk driving at specific times in specific locations. For example, if there is an uptick in drunk driving along a particular highway on Saturday nights, the police have a valid reason to set up a checkpoint there.
Third, the police must follow a pre-planned pattern for stopping cars. While the police could stop every single car that comes through the checkpoint, that would back up traffic and take up too much time and effort. Instead, they tend to stop every third or fourth car regardless of who is driving. This prevents the police from stopping people for unlawful reasons, like their race or ethnicity.
Fourth, interactions with law enforcement at checkpoints must be brief. The police typically ask basic, cursory questions regarding your license and registration or where you are driving to and from. If they do not detect any signs of intoxication, they must let you go.
If you were arrested for a DUI at a checkpoint, call our Ogden DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We can challenge your DUI and try to get your license back.
Challenging Your DUI Charges in Ogden
There are multiple ways in which you can challenge your DUI charges. The most effective challenge to your DUI will depend on the events surrounding your interaction with the police and subsequent arrest. Our Ogden DUI defense lawyers can help you determine the best possible defense strategy.
After you are arrested for a DUI, the police will probably ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test. As mentioned, this test is legally required and cannot be refused without facing additional penalties. However, we can challenge the validity of your DUI if we can show the breathalyzer testing device was not properly calibrated or was malfunctioning. Without an accurate BAC measurement, the prosecutor’s case becomes much weaker.
We can also challenge the validity of your encounter with the police. If you are stopped for an unlawful reason, like your race or ethnicity, your subsequent arrest may not be upheld in court. Also, if you do not believe your arrest was based on sufficient probable cause, we can challenge the arrest and your DUI.
The best way to defend yourself in court will vary depending on the details of your case. For a free, private legal consultation in which we can discuss defending your case, call our Ogden DUI defense lawyers.
How an Ogden DUI Affects Drivers from Other States
DUIs can cause a lot of problems for drivers, particularly making it difficult for them to continue driving. License suspensions are common, even for first-time DUI offenders. If you were charged with a DUI in Utah but live in a different state, your situation is a bit more complicated. However, you will very likely face similar penalties in your home state as you would if you were a Utah resident.
Most states are members of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. The Compact serves as an agreement between the states to uphold and enforce DUIs and other driving-related penalties issued by other states. While Utah cannot legally suspend a driver’s license issued by a different state, your home state will honor the penalties imposed by Utah and suspend your license.
It is imperative that you hire a local Utah attorney to handle your DUI case. Even if you have a lawyer back home, they may not be licensed to practice law in Utah. A local Utah attorney will be able to defend you against your Ogden DUI charges. Call our Ogden DUI defense attorneys today to get help.
Contact Our Ogden DUI Defense Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you face any kind of DUI charges, whether this is your first offense or you have a history of DUIs, contact our Ogden DUI defense lawyers for help. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2328 and ask about scheduling a free legal consultation.