Being charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, can change people’s lives permanently. These alleged crimes have numerous consequences that depend on the nature of the accusation and the way the accused defend themselves. While some of the more familiar forms of fallout, such as being incarcerated or sent before a judge, can occur soon after drivers are charged, others play out over years. For instance, losing your license or being sentenced to jail may make it impossible to maintain employment, pay bills or take care of your loved ones.
The first step in surviving charges is seeking legal representation. The outcome of trials and the potential severity of accompanying sentences depend on how your case is argued in court. To learn more about your best options, contact Schmidt Law Firm now, or read on for additional insights.
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In Utah, you can be charged for multiple crimes in relation to drunk driving. At a minimum, you’ll likely face criminal allegations for DUI and operating a motor vehicle while you were over the legal BAC limit of 0.08 percent.
You could also be indicted for charges related to the circumstances of your alleged DUI incident. For instance, if you got into a wreck, police might tack on a reckless driving charge. Charges like traffic violations can also contribute to increased points on your license and push you closer to future suspensions.
The nature of the charges against you plays a role in determining what actions you should take next. If you’re actually detained, the police will take your license away and give you a citation. From that point, you’ll have 30 days to request a court hearing or risk automatic license suspension based on whether you’ve been detained for DUI before, how old you are and the results of any BAC tests you take. While you can refuse a chemical BAC test, this automatically makes you liable for administrative penalties.
‘Youth’ drivers as ‘Youthful’ is usually a state-of-mind while ‘Youth’ is a state of being. If you have any measurable alcohol in your blood, you can lose your license for 24 months or until you reach the age of 21. Courts generally lean towards whichever period is longest, and underage offenders must complete substance-abuse programs to get their licenses back after the suspension period.
In addition to having to spend time imprisoned, convicted DUI motorists commonly have to perform community service hours and go through substance abuse counseling. They also have to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles for 18 to 36 months and pay for these devices out of their own pockets. In some cases, people lose the right to drive after drinking even if they’re under the BAC limit.
Convicted drivers also assume numerous financial burdens, including court fees, impound charges and punitive fines. Even reinstating your driver’s license is associated with a fee that depends on the nature of your suspension.
DUI convictions aren’t a sure thing, and at Schmidt Law, we rely on nearly 20 years of expertise in diverse legal fields to protect your rights.
For instance, the authorities might have failed to administer your BAC test correctly or submit sufficient evidence proving you drove drunk. You may suffer from a health condition or take medication that contributed to the police thinking you were intoxicated. These details seem minor, but competent lawyers use them to defend you effectively in court and minimize the cost of DUI charges.
Even if you’re convicted, your circumstances may convince a judge to be lenient in your sentencing. It all depends on how you portray yourself in court. Learn how to navigate the Utah legal system and Utah DUI laws by contacting Schmidt Law by calling 801-990-6390 or online by clicking here.