You’ve Been Charged with DUI—Now What?
Many of us have made the decision to drink and drive. Although no one should drive after having even one drink in Utah, an experienced Salt Lake City DUI lawyer from the Conyers & Nix team will not judge you—instead, we’re here to defend you.
According to a recent survey, 43 percent of all adults surveyed admit to driving after drinking alcohol. Another 37 percent said they felt like they could safely drive home because their destination was close. A total of 25 percent said they didn’t feel intoxicated when they got behind the wheel, so they saw no reason not to drive. Keep in mind these are the adults who admitted to drinking and driving.
We believe that one poor decision made on one day of your life should not define who you are. A DUI conviction can bring significant financial consequences, jail time, and collateral consequences such as losing your job or difficulty finding employment. Having a strong Salt Lake City DUI lawyer from Conyers & Nix by your side is crucial if you are charged with DUI.
Why Should You Choose a Salt Lake City DUI Lawyer from Conyers & Nix?
Salt Lake City DUI lawyers Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix have lots of experience helping people like you who are facing DUI charges. Kate and Jesse worked at Utah’s most prominent public defender’s office, representing thousands of clients charged with DUI. We have significantly more experience than most lawyers in fighting criminal charges. We dealt with huge caseloads, spent many hours in courtrooms, and had plenty of facetime with judges and prosecutors. We learned how to fight for our clients in the courtroom and before we even go to court. We are never afraid of going to trial because we have more trial experience than most attorneys. When your case goes to trial, we meticulously prepare because we love to win for our clients.
Prosecutors are more likely to offer our clients the best plea deal because they know we are willing to fight until we negotiate a fair resolution. We never accept a first offer from the prosecutor because there is always room for negotiation. When the prosecutor says “no,” we hear “not right now.” We never give up on our clients and will continue the fight until the prosecutor agrees to our terms or we go to trial. We are transparent with our clients and discuss worst-case scenarios while working for best-case scenarios. When you hire Conyers & Nix to defend your DUI charges, you choose a law firm that believes in you and your future and will do everything to achieve the best possible outcome for your charges.
Overview of Utah DUI Laws (1st, 2nd, 3rd penalties)
In Utah, the BAC limit is 0.05 percent, not 0.08 percent like most everywhere else in the United States. For those under the age of 21, the law is “not-a-drop,” meaning it is illegal for an underage driver to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. You can also be charged with DUI when you are not actually driving. Say you’ve had too much to drink, and you pull over on the side of the road to “sleep it off.” If you sleep in the front seat with the key in the ignition or within your reach, you could be charged with DUI. Prosecutors will argue that you were in “actual physical control” of the vehicle because you had an “apparent ability” to drive. The penalties for DUI convictions in Utah include the following:
- First offense—A maximum of 180 days in jail with a mandatory two days in jail or 48 hours of community service. The fines for a first-offense DUI can be as high as $1,310, and your license could be suspended between 120 days and 18 months. You could be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for at least 18 months.
- Second offense—A maximum of 180 days in jail with mandatory ten days in jail or five days in jail plus 30 days of electronic ankle monitoring. Your fines could be as large as $1,560, and your license could be revoked for a period of two years. If your second DUI offense is within ten years of your first, you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for a minimum of two years.
- Third offense—A maximum of five years in prison with a mandatory 62.5 days in jail if prison is not ordered. Your fines could be as large as $2,850, and your driver’s license could be revoked for two years. You will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a minimum of two years.
What Happens When You are Charged with DUI?
Following your arrest, you may be booked into jail overnight, but you will likely be sent home the next day. You will be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for a first-time DUI. If your DUI caused an accident or injury, your DUI charge will be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. If your DUI is your third DUI, you will be charged with a third-degree felony DUI and be required to serve 62.5 days in jail. When you go to court, you’ll enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). Those who plead guilty or no contest at the first court date are likely to receive a higher fine, more jail time, and a longer driver’s license suspension than those who hire an attorney and plead not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced at the mercy of the judge. If you plead not guilty, you will go through the pre-trial process, where your attorney will work to resolve your case with the prosecutor before trial. If no resolution is reached, your case will go to trial.
How Likely Is Jail Time for a First DUI?
Whether you will go to jail after being charged with a first-time DUI in Utah depends on many factors. The judge will consider your BAC level, criminal history, specific facts of the case, and your actions after your arrest. Ultimately, whether you will spend time in jail following first-time DUI charges in Utah depends on how willing your Salt Lake City DUI lawyer is to fight for your freedom and future.
Will a DUI Stay on Your Record?
A DUI conviction stays on your record for ten years beginning from the date your case is closed. Most Utah misdemeanor charges can be expunged after a period of 3-5 years after completion of your probation or jail sentence. A misdemeanor DUI charge cannot be expunged until 10 years after completion of your probation or jail sentence.
How a Salt Lake City DUI Lawyer Can Help
Hire an experienced, highly skilled Salt Lake City DUI lawyer from Conyers & Nix. Contact Kate or Jesse today for exemplary representation. We will seek the best possible outcome in your case.