DUI Defense Lawyer for Brigham Young University Students

Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer

DUI, or driving under the influence, is a serious crime in Utah. College students are frequently charged with DUI and related offenses, which creates an extremely dangerous situation for the student. If you are arrested for DUI at Brigham Young University, not only do you face disciplinary hearings and potential suspension or expulsion from BYU – you can also be criminally prosecuted. A criminal conviction can lead to fines, jail time, probation, and other penalties, including a misdemeanor or felony record that can follow you out of the state.

If you or your child was charged with DUI at Brigham Young University, it is in your best interests to retain the services of a highly experienced criminal defense attorney. Darwin Overson, founder of Overson & Bugden, has more than 16 years of experience handling felony and misdemeanor DUI charges. He represents freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in all types of college DUI cases, including DUI with marijuana, DUI with prescription drugs, and underage DUI (DUI under 21). If you need help dealing with an intoxicated driving charge at BYU, contact us online for a free legal consultation, or call Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 today.

Is Driving Under the Influence Considered a Felony in Utah?

Utah divides criminal offenses into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. In turn, each of these categories is split into three groups. For misdemeanors, these groups are:

  1. Class C Misdemeanor
  2. Class B Misdemeanor
  3. Class A Misdemeanor

For felonies, these groups are:

  1. Third Degree Felony
  2. Second Degree Felony
  3. First Degree Felony

The Utah DUI statute that explains offense grading is Utah Code § 41-6a-503. This law defines when DUI is a misdemeanor, when DUI is a felony, and what the state must prove to obtain a conviction.

When is DUI a Misdemeanor?

Under Utah Code § 41-6a-503(1)(a), a first-offense DUI is a Class B misdemeanor – unless certain facts or elements were present. For example, DUI is a Class A misdemeanor if the DUI results in physical injury, involves a passenger under age 16, or involves a passenger under age 18 (if the driver was 21 or older).

When is DUI a Felony?

There are some situations where DUI is a felony. For example, intoxicated driving is a felony if it is the driver’s third offense within a 10-year period, or if somebody is seriously injured as a result of the DUI. The statute distinguishes between “bodily injury” in Class A misdemeanor cases and “serious bodily injury” in third degree felony cases.

What Are the Penalties for DUI in Utah?

Designations like “Class B misdemeanor” or “third degree felony” are important for a defendant, because they reflect the severity of an offense – and in turn, the types of penalties that can be imposed by the court. Other than the way an offense is graded, factors that impact punishment for a DUI include:

  • The defendant’s age. Cases involving BYU students under age 18 are adjudicated in juvenile court, whereas defendants age 18 or older are tried in adult courts. Juvenile courts are civil in nature and tend to impose more lenient penalties than criminal courts.
  • The defendant’s criminal history. As DUI offenses accumulate, the penalties become more severe.
  • The defendant’s BAC. Having a higher blood alcohol content can lead to harsher penalties.

Based on these and other factors, the consequences of a DUI conviction can vary. For example, penalties for a first-offense DUI may include 48 hours in jail, fines exceeding $1,300, a period of supervised probation, a minimum 120-day license suspension period, and ignition interlock, which involves installing a breathalyzer device in the student’s personal vehicle.

How Does BYU Deal with Criminal Charges Against Students?

When a college student is accused of DUI, he or she not only risks being criminally prosecuted by the state, but also, subjected to disciplinary hearings within the University system. BYU has a strict alcohol policy and rigorously enforces its code of student conduct. If a student is found guilty of drunk driving at disciplinary hearings, he or she risks being suspended, dropped from athletic teams, or expelled from BYU altogether. College students with DUI charges also risk losing scholarship and loan eligibility. A record of DUI can also make it difficult to get hired for jobs, accepted into internship programs, or accepted into study abroad programs.

Brigham Young University DUI Defense Attorney in Provo

A DUI arrest is a serious issue for any defendant – but for college students, whose academic futures hang in the balance, the stakes can be especially high.

If your son or daughter was arrested for DUI at BYU, be proactive and get hold of the situation by contacting an attorney for help right away. For a free legal consultation with a Salt Lake City DUI lawyer for BYU students in Provo, contact Overson Law online, or call our law offices at (801) 758-2287 today.