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Driving under the Influence (DUI)
If you are facing a DUI charge you need to look for a respected DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT. He will advise you that you must defend yourself first before the Driver License Division and second in a criminal court. An experienced DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT will explain the following:
Hearing before the Driver License Division
When a police officer issues you a DUI citation he takes away your driver’s license and tells you the citation that he just issued you is a temporary license. The officer should further explain that you have a right to a hearing before an administrative judge at the Driver License Division but only if you request it in writing within 10 calendar days. Failure to request the hearing within 10 calendar days will result in the automatic suspension of your license for a minimum of 120 days. Your citation is valid as a license for thirty days and your hearing before the Driver License Division must occur within that time limit.
As a skilled DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT it has always troubled me that the importance of this hearing and how to prepare for it is not more fully explained to the accused driver. Unfortunately the statute governing these hearings only requires that basic notice of the hearing be given to the accused driver. The accused certainly deserves more than basic notice. He should also be aware that the officer who arrested him must also submit a report, called a DUI Report, to the Driver License Division within the same 10 calendar day period. That report is the blue print for prosecution of the accused person. Anyone charged with a DUI should not just request a hearing but also a copy of the DUI Report if they want to have a clue as to what will transpire in the hearing they request. Of course, unless the accused is an expert in DUI law and evidence it would make more sense to retain the services of a DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT to help them understand the Report and how they might best defend their driving privilege.
Many times everything that has transpired: from the initial stop, through field sobriety tests and arrest, is now videotaped. After consulting with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT you may determine that surrendering your right to remain silent is not in your best interest. In any event, the time to prepare for this hearing is always less than 30 days. It’s true you have 10, but it’s wise not to waste any time; particularly when you can call our firm and receive a free consultation as to how best to proceed.
I’ve been Charged with DUI. What Happens Now?
Being charged with DUI can be an overwhelming experience. A lot is at stake in your future. Depending on the severity of your charges you could be facing large fines and a long prison sentence. Your job and family may be at risk. Your driving privileges may be revoked for a short time or forever.
Your case is not unusual to Rasmussen & Miner Attorneys at Law. While it may be your first DUI charge or first encounter with the criminal system, the DUI lawyer Salt Lake City, UT trusts does this every day.
We can help you navigate this difficult time and take your concerns off your shoulders.
- What’s the first thing I should do after my release? It’s so important to immediately write down everything you remember from the day/night of your arrest. Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Where had you been before your arrest?
- What had you been eating and drinking?
- How much alcohol did you have?
- What time was it when you got in your car?
- When and where were you stopped by police?
- What did the officer say to you? What did you respond?
Small details in DUI cases can be the difference in winning or losing. All details should be written down right away, regardless of how insignificant you believe they are. Your DUI lawyer from Salt Lake City will sort through your story and be able to identify the most relevant pieces to your case.
Time is of the essence, however, to record the details. The longer you wait after your arrest, the hazier your memory will become. Write it all down while it’s still clear in your mind.
- Do I have access to the police report? You absolutely do, and should most definitely get a copy. It is well within your rights to request a copy of the report. The arresting officer’s report will contain the majority of evidence against you, including results of any field sobriety or chemical tests performed. Take the time to review this police report closely, and compare it to your notes of that night. Look for any inconsistencies between the two and bring them to the attention of your DUI lawyer in Salt Lake City.
- Will I lose my license? You will probably lose your license for at least for a short time. Several factors will affect this, including your prior record and the severity of the charges against you. If you caused someone an injury or caused property damage the charges against you are likely more severe.
Some states require automatic administrative license suspension following a DUI charge. This is something you can often appeal, but you must do so within a short window of time following your arrest.
Our DUI lawyer in our Salt Lake City office are familiar with these protocols and can assist you every step of the way.
- Should I just plead guilty? A lot of people choose to plead guilty, but they may do so without realizing their case could have been defended.
If you plead guilty you are opening yourself up to the possibility of large fines, jail time, license suspension, court fees, higher car insurance rates, negative impact on your job, and expensive DUI training classes.
In many cases the cost of a DUI defense is outweighed by the long-term costs of a conviction. The team at Rasmussen & Miner Attorneys at Law is ready to review your case for free and evaluate all of your options. Call the DUI lawyer Salt Lake City, UT trusts to get started.
Hearing before the Criminal Court
Your hearing before the Driver License Division only concerns your license. The criminal court has the power to take: your license, liberty and money. Don’t make the mistake of believing that all DUI’s receive the same treatment. Criminal courts, their judges and prosecutors are generally employed by individual cities. Each one of these cities has different standards for how DUI’s are handled. A seasoned DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT will know how best to present your case in any, of the numerous, city courts that may have jurisdiction over your case.
Shorten your Driver License Suspension
Did you lose your license at the hearing before the Driver License Division? This is another reason to consult with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT. Many times it is possible, given your driving history and blood alcohol level, to have your driver license suspension time cut in half. Call me today! There is a very good chance that I can use my experience as a DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT to cut your suspension in half as well.