If you are on your third driving under the influence offense in Utah, you should be aware that the penalties for this offense will continue to increase. Depending on the last time you were convicted of DUI, you may be faced with a felony offense instead of a misdemeanor. If you or a family member was arrested for a third DUI offense, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City DUI defense lawyer immediately. Criminal lawyer Darwin Overson has over 16 years of criminal law experience that he will use to aggressively represent you. Overson Law has served clients in Salt Lake City and across the State of Utah. Overson Law is here to explain what happens after third DUI offense in Utah.
When Can You Be Arrested for Driving Under the Influence?
In Utah, it is illegal to drive a car while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. It is also illegal to possess “actual physical control” over a vehicle while you are intoxicated. This means that you cannot have the potential to operate a vehicle if you are intoxicated. For example, if you are seated in the driver’s seat of the car with the keys in your possession but the car turned off, you have the ability to control the car and drive away, thus you may be arrested for DUI.
Utah recently lowered the legal limit for alcohol consumption when you are operating a vehicle. As of December 30, 2018, Utah has lowered its blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit to .05 grams or more. If you drive with this level of alcohol in your body, you can be arrested for DUI. Law enforcement can determine your BAC by administering a chemical test. Utah also has an implied consent law for chemical sobriety tests, which means if you are driving on Utah roads, you have consented to chemical testing. Refusal to take a chemical test can result in having your license suspended.
You can also be arrested for DUI if law enforcement believes that drugs or alcohol have sufficiently impaired your ability to drive a car safely, regardless of your BAC level. If you need to learn more about DUI offenses in Utah, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer.
The Penalties for a Third DUI Offense in Salt Lake City
As mentioned, if you committed your third DUI offense, you will likely not be charged with a misdemeanor. If your third DUI offense was within 10 years of your last two DUI convictions, you could be convicted of a third degree felony. There are three levels of felonies in Utah (not including capital felonies): first degree felonies, second degree felonies, and third degree felonies. Third degree felonies are the least severe type of felony, but it still carries a severe penalty.
To be charged with a third degree felony for a third DUI offense, the most recent offense must have been within 10 years of the prior two offenses. This means that if you were convicted of DUI twice, and your third charge came over 10 years later, you would likely not face the increased penalties that accompany three DUI convictions.
The penalties for being convicted of a third degree felony are up to five years in prison and $5,000 in criminal fines. Also, a third DUI will require that you serve a mandatory jail sentence of 62 days with no possibility to perform community service to avoid this penalty.
There are mitigating factors that may affect the terms of a sentence and make the penalties less severe. For example, if the offender was completely cooperative with law enforcement, this may be used to negotiate for a less severe sentence. Other mitigating factors include having a good opportunity for rehabilitation or having a developmental disorder.
It is important to note that an offender may be charged with additional crimes if they directly or indirectly caused another person bodily harm while driving under the influence.
A felony DUI conviction can make it difficult to have a successful career or a normal personal life. Many positions may require a driver’s license, and after a third conviction for DUI your license will be suspended for a significant amount of time.
Contact an Experienced Salt Lake City Criminal Attorney to Handle Your DUI Case
If you or a family member was arrested for driving under the influence, you should contact an experienced Layton criminal defense attorney. At Overson Law, we are dedicated to providing you with legal representation that is tailored to your unique needs. Darwin Overson understands the stress and uncertainty of dealing with a criminal case, and he is here to fight for you. Darwin has handled a variety of complex cases in his career, and he is ready to put that experience to work for you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Overson Law at (801) 758-2287.