What Should I Expect With My DUI Case?
The DUI process in Utah follows two different paths: the court path, and the administrative path through the Driver License Division (DLD). The court deals with criminal charges and it is there that you may be convicted of an offense. The DLD deals with your driving privilege and the status of your driver license. These two paths can overlap. It is always best to consult an attorney about your specific case to understand how these two forums can affect you.
Driver License Division
When an officer arrests you for DUI they should give you notice of the DLDs intent to suspend your license. This is usually done by the officer marking a box on the bottom of your citation and handing it to you. The DLD will grant you a hearing only if you or your attorney requests one within ten days of receiving the citation. You have a right to have that hearing within 29 days of your arrest. If you or your attorney do not request a hearing then your license will be suspended beginning the 30th day after your arrest.\nAt the hearing the hearing officer will hear testimony from the police officer and your attorney will have an opportunity to cross examine the police officer. The hearing officer will then make a determination as to whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that you were violating one of the DUI laws. This hearing is important because it is the only way to avoid a license suspension. It is also a good opportunity to gather information from the police officer to use in your criminal case. The court process usually takes at least 6 weeks, but can take as long as a year if your case goes to trial (only about 5% of cases go to trial). During this time your attorney will analyze all of the evidence to determine whether you should fight the charge or negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Your first court hearing will be an arraignment. At the arraignment the court will inform you the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. It is almost always better to enter a not guilty plea. Then you will have an opportunity to have the charge reduced or negotiate other terms with the prosecutor.
Contact a Utah DUI Attorney if you have questions about your case you should contact an experienced DUI attorney by clicking here or by calling 801-200-3247.