You may be wondering why we’ve listed DUI separately, the reason is that DUI allegations can be a misdemeanor or a felony, but DUI also has a civil component that many people are not aware of. When arrested for a DUI offense the driver’s license division of Utah or the DLD is notified and there are possible driving consequences for the arrestee. Your license could be suspended or even revoked. More importantly you only have a short period of time to request a hearing in front of the DLD before they will act. Specifically, you have 10 days to request a hearing to tell your side of the story and when you’re dealing with the normal pressures of life and with the consequences of a DUI arrest, 10 days seems like 10 minutes.
If you are arrested or suspected of a DUI you have essentially given up your right to not perform field sobriety tests without DLD consequences. Now remember, every DUI arrest has two main components, the criminal consequences and the civil or DLD consequences. Often times what’s best for the criminal case is what will hurt you the worst in the DLD context and vice versa. For example, if you refuse to perform the sobriety tests requested by the officer there will be less or no evidence against you in the criminal context, but a refusal to a lawful request to perform sobriety tests is an automatic 18-month suspension of your driver’s license. The only way to challenge the suspension is to prove that the officer did not have cause to ask you to perform the sobriety tests. Now, if you perform the sobriety tests and the results indicate that you were driving while over the limit, it will be more difficult to prevail in the criminal context but the DLD may not suspend your license depending on how the criminal case is resolved. It’s important to hire an attorney that will enforce the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment and make the state meet their burden of proof.
The most common mistake after a DUI arrest is not recognizing the seriousness of the situation. DUI convictions can remain on your driving record for as short as five years but can remain for a lifetime. Having a DUI on your record can affect your ability to get a job, can affect your credit, and your ability to drive. It is extremely important to not ignore this significant incident in your life. The second mistake we see is not immediately hiring a lawyer who deals specifically with DUI cases. DUI cases are a specialized area of law and it requires someone with a vast experience in the specific rules and regulations in the state of Utah. Never admit defeat if you have been arrested for a DUI. Defending a DUI is complex, and despite what you perceive your situation is, do not assume your case cannot be won. Always consult with a lawyer before you make any decisions. Often time’s people believe their case is not winnable if they had a high breath test reading, but there are always arguments and defenses available in every situation. For example, the police officer needs a basis for the arrest, the traffic stop has to be valid, and the rules and regulations of the intoxilyzer had to be followed. The power dynamic between people and its government is why you need an advocate to defend you and assert your rights. Being accused of a crime will probably make you feel like the whole world is against you; during that time you need an ally and an advocate that won’t let a moment in time define who you are for the rest of your life and we will always advocate for our clients and not let them stand alone.
Give us a call today at 801-849-9300 and let’s discuss your situation.