Being charged with a DUI or DUI-related offense in Park City, Utah can leave you reeling and unsure of what you need to do next in order to protect yourself and your future. Were your rights violated during your arrest? Do you believe the Breathalyzer test was inaccurate or that there were inconsistencies in your field sobriety test? Do you believe you were not impaired at all? Perhaps the police officer had no reason to pull you over in the first place, so the stop itself was unlawful. For all these reasons and more, you need an experienced Park City DUI lawyer to act as your legal advocate throughout the process.
This is not something you should attempt to handle on your own. There are simply too many unknowns and too many potentially bad outcomes that can benefit significantly from a highly skilled Park City DUI lawyer from Conyers & Nix. We understand that you are feeling overwhelmed. We will immediately investigate your DUI charge, secure all evidence from the prosecutor, and begin building a solid case on your behalf. There are many instances in which a strong DUI lawyer with extensive experience can have your charges reduced, your sentence reduced, or even have your charges dismissed entirely.
Far too many people are embarrassed about their DUI charges, believing they can simply plead guilty and have the whole thing over and done. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Once you plead guilty to the charges, there is no going back. At that point, you are at the mercy of the court and whatever punishments it imposes. The offense will be on your criminal record, making it difficult for you to secure employment and likely causing you to lose your driver’s license for a significant period of time.
Hoping your charges will go away because you weren’t really impaired is not a valid strategy, and neither is pleading guilty. Contacting a strong Park City DUI lawyer from Conyers and Nix is the single best step you can take to safeguard your ability to drive, your employment, and your future. Don’t leave your future to chance—let attorneys Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix help you through this difficult chapter in your life.
Overview of DUI-Related Offenses That a Park City DUI Lawyer From Conyers & Nix Can Help With
There are several DUI-related offenses that can benefit significantly from the assistance of the legal team from Conyers & Nix. We can assist with the following offenses:
- DUI is a serious offense in Utah. First, it is important that you know that the legal BAC in Utah is lower than the 0.08 percent in other states. In Utah, the legal BAC is 0.05 percent. Most people are unaware that if you are simply sitting in your car, within reach of the car controls and ignition key, you could be charged with DUI—even if you are sound asleep! A first-time DUI in Utah could result in a mandatory two days in jail or 48 hours of community service, the potential of up to six months in jail, a license suspension of four months, fines of more than $1,300, and the mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for a year if your BAC was 0.16 percent or higher.
- Impaired driving is a reduction from the charge of DUI that you may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to plead to. The prosecutor must agree that you can plead guilty to impaired driving and you must complete all the court-ordered probation requirements. Another way you can plead to the lesser charge of impaired driving is when the prosecutor agrees and the court believes the plea is in the interest of justice. Prosecutors will often agree to an impaired driving plea on a first-offense DUI with a lower BAC. There are definite advantages to an impaired driving plea, the most important being that the Utah DLD will not suspend your driver’s license if they have not already done so. If your license has already been suspended, the Driver License Division will reinstate your license before the 120-day suspension is up, but no sooner than 90 days following your arrest. Neither mandatory jail time or fines are associated with an impaired driving plea.
- Interlock violations occur when you have been ordered by the court to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle and you are caught driving without the device. Your driver’s license record will have been updated to reflect the restriction, and you will be issued a citation for failing to have the IID installed. You could potentially have your driving privileges revoked for a period of one year from the date of your interlock violation conviction.
- Reckless driving charges often accompany DUI charges and you could face more severe penalties. The statute says that an individual is guilty of reckless driving when they operate a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Significantly exceeding the speed limit (105 mph or more) or committing three or more traffic violations in a series of acts that occur within a single continuous driving period fall under reckless driving, which is a Class B misdemeanor, subject to up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Open container charges occur when you possess or consume an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle (if the beverage is open or has a broken seal or the beverage container is partially empty). The restriction applies to all those inside the vehicle, including the driver and any passengers. There is an exception for passengers in limousines or chartered buses; passengers in taxis and public buses may possess an open container but may not consume the contents. Those in a motorhome or camper and passengers on a boat are also exempt from the open container laws in Utah. If you are convicted of an open container offense, you are facing a Class C misdemeanor offense that can result in a fine of up to $750 and a maximum jail sentence of 90 days.
- Minor in possession can be charged against any individual under the age of 21 who has a measurable amount of alcohol in their body. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, along with a 90 percent surcharge.
- Vehicular homicide (automobile homicide) occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner, and causes the death of another individual, while having sufficient alcohol in their body to register a 0.08 BAC at the time of the test or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, rendering them incapable of driving safely. The offense is charged as a third-degree felony (or a second-degree felony if the defendant had a prior DUI-related conviction or was criminally negligent). Following a conviction for vehicular homicide, the offender will receive a lifetime alcohol-restricted status on their driver’s license.
- Public intoxication charges may be brought when an individual is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and such influence occurs on public property and can potentially endanger others or themselves or on private property when the offender has unreasonably disturbed others. Public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor with potential penalties of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a DUI a Felony Offense?
While DUI is generally a misdemeanor offense, a Utah DUI can be charged as a third-degree felony when you have two or more prior DUI-related convictions within the last ten years, or you had an accident that resulted in bodily injury to another individual. If this is your third DUI-related offense within the past ten years, you will have a mandatory jail sentence of not less than 62.5 days, although the court could order electronic home confinement in some circumstances. You will also pay a minimum fine of $1,500 plus surcharges, be required to undergo screening, assessment, and intensive or inpatient treatment with aftercare for no less than 240 hours, and must be under supervised probation if you are not sentenced to prison.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?
In Utah, DUI convictions stay on your record for ten years after the close of probation. Under certain circumstances—and if you meet all pertinent criteria—you may be able to have a DUI conviction removed from your record by applying for an expungement. You may only seek the expungement of a DUI after you have paid all fines and fees from your conviction, have paid any restitution ordered by the court, probation, parole, or any other governmental entity, and it has been ten years since your punishment for the DUI offense was completed. Since first DUI offenses are usually misdemeanor offenses, they are not eligible for expungement until ten years after conviction or ten years from the completion of incarceration, parole, or probation.
What Should You Do if You Are Out-of-Town and Are Arrested for a Park City DUI?
If you are visiting Utah from outside the state, your DUI charges become much more complex. You may have to travel back to Park City or Salt Lake City for court dates or a trial. You could also be placed in a local jail following your arrest. All these things can wreak havoc with your job and your life, and the situation can benefit greatly by speaking to a Park City DUI lawyer from Conyers & Nix as soon as possible. Your legal team from Conyers & Nix will thoroughly investigate your charges, secure any evidence from the prosecution, determine whether a plea deal is appropriate, or prepare for trial.
In some cases, your attorney may be able to have your charges reduced, your sentence reduced, or your charges dropped altogether. If your case goes to trial, we will fight for you, advocating for your rights and your future at every turn. While it’s easy to panic when you’ve been arrested for DUI and don’t live in the area, try to remain calm, then take the most important step you will take following your arrest—call Conyers and Nix.
How a Conyers & Nix Park City DUI Lawyer Can Help
Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix will fight for you—for your rights, for your future, and for your family. We understand that good people make mistakes, and we are ready to help you minimize this mistake to the greatest extent possible. We have extensive experience in DUI cases and know where to look and what to look for as far as mistakes made by the police. Our goal is to ensure your charges have the least adverse impact possible on your life, and we will use every resource at our disposal to do that. Don’t wait—contact Conyers & Nix today.