DUI Attorney in Salt Lake City

Defending Clients Who Have Been Charged with a DUI in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Morgan, & Box Elder County, UTAH

Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be overwhelming. Getting placed in handcuffs and taken to jail is not a pleasant experience for anybody. If you or somebody you care about has been arrested and is facing DUI charges, seek assistance from Jardine Law Offices P.C. as soon as possible. Our Salt Lake City DUI attorneys have the resources and legal expertise necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your case and formulate a solid defense on your behalf. 

Have you been arrested for a DUI in Utah? Call Jardine Law Offices today at (801) 396-9993 or contact us online to schedule a FREE consultation with our Salt Lake City DUI lawyers.

What Can a DUI Lawyer Do For You?

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in handling cases related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Here are some of the things a DUI lawyer can do for you:

  • Legal advice: A DUI lawyer can provide expert legal advice regarding your situation. They can explain the relevant laws in your jurisdiction, the potential consequences you may face, and the best course of action to take.
  • Case assessment: A DUI lawyer will carefully review the details of your case, including the evidence against you, the circumstances of your arrest, and any procedural errors or constitutional violations that may have occurred. They will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case to develop an effective defense strategy.
  • Defense strategy: A DUI lawyer will devise a defense strategy tailored to your case based on their assessment. They may challenge the validity or accuracy of the field sobriety tests, breathalyzer, blood tests, or the legality of the traffic stop itself. They can also explore other potential defenses, such as improper police procedures or violations of your rights.
  • Plea negotiation: If a plea bargain is possible or beneficial in your case, a DUI lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. They will strive to secure a favorable plea deal that minimizes the potential penalties you may face.
  • Legal representation: A DUI lawyer will represent you in court proceedings, including arraignments, pretrial hearings, and the trial itself. They will present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf to obtain the best possible outcome.
  • DMV hearings: In DUI cases, there is often a separate administrative process through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine the status of your driving privileges. A DUI lawyer can represent you in these hearings and work to prevent or minimize license suspension or revocation.
  • Knowledge of local laws: DUI laws vary by jurisdiction, and a knowledgeable DUI lawyer will be well-versed in the specific laws and regulations applicable in your area. They will understand the local court procedures, judges, and prosecutors, which can be advantageous in building a strong defense.
  • Mitigation of penalties: If you are convicted of a DUI, a lawyer can advocate for reduced penalties or alternative sentencing options. They may argue for a lesser charge, probation instead of jail time, alcohol education programs, or community service.

Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a DUI in Utah?

It is essential to contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest for a DUI. Utah has some of the strictest and most punitive DUI penalties in the United States. Without legal help, the cost of a DUI can exceed $10,000. 

A lawyer can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and work to achieve the best possible outcome, given the circumstances of your case.

DUI Cases We Handle

Our DUI attorneys in Salt Lake City can help assist you if you are facing charges for the following:

Utah DUI Laws

If you or a loved one are facing a DUI, there are some important steps to take right away. First of all, you need to know that there are two different entities that can have a dramatic effect on your future. Those two entities are 1) the criminal justice system (the court) and 2) the Driver’s License Division, or DLD (the agency in charge of issuing your driver’s license). The Court has the power to punish you through fines, jail time, and other restrictions. The DLD is the agency that will decide if you can drive or not. Which of these punishments is worse? Going to jail or not being able to drive? For many people, the loss of a driver’s license is by far the more significant punishment.

How Long Do I Have to Request A DLD Hearing?

Imagine not being able to legally drive for 120 days. That is four months of not driving.

  • How do you get to work?
  • How do you drive to the next job site?
  • How do you go to the store for groceries?
  • How do you pick up your kids from school? 
  • How do you get to the doctor’s office?

The first step in a DUI case is to preserve the driver’s license. In Utah, you only have 10 days from the date of the citation to request an administrative hearing with the DLD. If you fail to do so, you will automatically lose your license for at least 120 days! The request for the hearing must be done in writing and must be received by the DLD within those 10 days!

This can be confusing because, on the citation that you receive, typically will state that you must appear in “not less than five, nor more than 14 days after the issuance of this citation. IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR, THE COURT MAY ISSUE A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST.”

Is The DLD The Same As The Court?

Most people don’t appreciate the difference between “the court” and the DLD. They believe that if they have contacted the court, they have done everything they need to. This is false. If you want to keep your license, you must make your request to the DLD within 10 days — end of story.

Protect your rights and either 1) affirmatively make your DLD request in writing or 2) hire an attorney to make that request for you. We make these requests regularly for our clients and know how and where to make them. Once you have taken steps to protect your license, the next step is to protect yourself from criminal liability.

You Have Not Less Than Five nor More than 14 Days to Request Your Court Hearing

Essentially, you have a nine-day window to contact the court or face a possible warrant for your arrest. The citation says that you must “appear,” but most courts simply want to schedule a hearing for you in that time period. This can be done by calling the appropriate court on the phone. The court’s location and phone number will appear in the upper left-hand corner of your citation. Again, once you hire an attorney, your attorney should take care of this by contacting the court on your behalf. This is a service that our Salt Lake City DUI attorneys provide to our clients.

Once You Have Requested Both Hearings, You Are Ready to Start Preparing Your Defense

Now that both aspects of the DUI have been addressed, you can begin to prepare your defenses for each of them. Interestingly, while the DLD and the courts operate under different rules and have different consequences, actions taken in either venue may affect the outcome in the other venue. That is precisely why it is important to have an experienced Salt Lake City DUI attorney to assist you in both the DLD hearing and the court hearing.

Keep in mind that at the DLD hearing, the arresting officer will be testifying under oath. We have noticed that police officers are often less prepared at the DLD hearing than they are in court. Consequently, it gives us an opportunity to elicit favorable testimony that can be used later in court.

The Reason for the Stop

The first question that needs to be answered is: “Why were you stopped?” Were you speeding? Did you fail to signal? Were you swerving? Did you run a red light? 

There are hundreds of valid reasons why a police officer could stop you, and there are also some invalid reasons to stop you. If the officer alleges you violated a traffic law, they have to be specific, and they have to be telling the truth.

All too often, we see officers that are literally parked outside of the bar waiting for cars to leave the parking lot. These officers will then look for any potential violation, and the moment they see one, they will turn on their overhead lights and pull you over. Sadly, we have seen cases where officers literally make up a reason to stop someone. For instance, they say you didn’t stop before entering the roadway or that your car crossed the fog line. Sometimes, they say there is an equipment violation. If an officer is alleging you did something wrong, and you know you didn’t, that’s when you need an attorney to help. We have gotten numerous DUI cases dismissed for these reasons. You can read about one of the more famous cases we handled by clicking here.

Exploring the circumstances surrounding the stop is often overlooked. Sometimes, the person feels that because they knew they were over the limit, it’s not worth the time or energy to follow the investigation step by step. We have found that being thorough from start to finish is a recipe for success. 

The legal standard for making a stop is that an officer must have “reasonable suspicion” that a crime or traffic infraction was committed in their presence. Basically, that means that the officer must have personally observed some sort of traffic infraction in order to legally stop you. If we can negate the reasonable suspicion, the case can be dismissed. 

Contact our DUI lawyers in Salt Lake City at Jardine Law Offices today!

The DUI Investigation Process

Once you have been stopped for a legal reason, the police officer will then begin their DUI investigation. Usually, a police officer will try to get close enough to smell your breath. The officer will then ask where you are going or if you have drank any alcohol. If the smell of alcohol is detected or if you admit to drinking any amount of alcohol, that will justify further investigation. Sometimes, an officer will see an open container or drugs in a car, which will also merit further investigation. The officer’s goal now is to develop “probable cause” to arrest you.

Field Sobriety Tests

If the officer has developed reasonable suspicion of DUI, you will be asked to get out of your car to complete field sobriety tests. You will be told that the purpose of these tests is to see if you are safe to drive. In reality, the tests are designed to prove you are intoxicated. The standard battery of tests, as developed by NHTSA, includes the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk and Turn Test, and the One Leg Stand Test. Each of these tests involves going through a series of movements with your body after having received very little instruction. Your performance on the tests will determine whether you will be arrested for DUI or not. While it is true that alcohol or drugs will affect your ability to perform these tests, the truth is that many people cannot pass the tests even when they are sober.

An experienced DUI attorney can re-evaluate your results from these tests, assuming there is good body cam footage. We often see that local law enforcement has little experience in administering the tests correctly. Failure to administer the tests correctly can result in the case being dismissed, but only if you point out to the judge where the mistakes were made. Again, this is where the value of an experienced attorney comes into play. An experienced attorney will know these tests better than the officer that administered them. They can expose the officer’s errors and bring them to the attention of the judge.

Language & Physical Attributes

While everything is happening, the police officer will be taking notes. They will be evaluating your appearance. Are your eyes bloodshot? Is your face flush? Do you slur your words? Do you take a long time to answer their questions? Do you answer those questions correctly? Do you remember what day it is? Everything that happens is part of the investigation.

Chemical Test

Eventually, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test. The officer will ask you to blow into a machine or perhaps submit to a blood or urine test. Your failure to submit to this test could cost you your driver’s license for 18 months or more due to Utah’s Implied Consent law. If you refuse the test, the officer will likely be able to get a warrant to draw your blood without your permission. Almost always, submitting to the test is your best choice. If the test shows that your BAC is 0.05% or higher, you will be arrested for DUI in the State of Utah.

Utah DUI Penalties 

The penalty system in Utah for DUIs depends on a number of factors, including: 

  • Driver’s age
  • History of DUIs
  • Whether there were children in the car
  • Whether there was an accident
  • Whether someone was injured or not

You can read about all the specifics of DUI penalties in Utah law by clicking here. But, generally speaking, this is what you are looking at:

  • First offense: Minimum two days in jail or 48 hours community service; maximum 180 days in jail; $1,380 minimum fine; evaluation and treatment classes; supervised probation at judge’s discretion; ignition interlock not usually required; Class B misdemeanor.
  • Second offense in 10 years: Minimum 10 days in jail or five days in jail plus 30 days home confinement; maximum 364 days in jail; $1,570 minimum fine; evaluation and treatment classes; supervised probation mandatory; ignition interlock generally mandatory; Class A misdemeanor.
  • Third offense in 10 years: Minimum zero to five years in prison or 62.5 days in jail; maximum five years in prison; $2,900 minimum fine; evaluation and treatment classes; supervised probation mandatory; ignition interlock generally mandatory; third-degree felony.

In addition to these consequences, with a DUI conviction, you also become an Alcohol Restricted Driver. That means you cannot operate a vehicle with any alcohol in your system whatsoever for a specified period of time, starting at two years. You will also experience a significant increase in your car insurance premiums.

Contact Our Salt Lake City DUI Lawyers Today

To have your specific case evaluated, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney. At Jardine Law Offices P.C., we will thoroughly review your situation and identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Peter Goodall and Joseph Jardine will then determine whether you are better off fighting the case or seeking a plea bargain. We will be beside you every step of the way. We are licensed to help in the entire State of Utah. 

Contact Jardine Law Offices today to get started on your defense with our DUI attorney in Salt Lake City.

Our Client Testimonials

  • I felt like a priority from the beginning and highly recommend their counsel.

    “Everyone was extremely helpful and I was able to talk to Joseph immediately after calling. He provided me with excellent advice and information for my case. I felt like a priority from the beginning and highly recommend their counsel.”

  • They are honestly the best attorneys ever.

    “I have been represented by Joseph and Peter 3 times already. They are honestly the best attorneys ever. They were really helpful and got me the best deals. They are really flexible and informative... 100% would recommend to anyone from small claims to criminal cases!”

  • Joseph and Peter are definitely who you want on your side.

    “My family and I are so grateful for the hard work and talent that all was offered in my behalf. Having a scary situation made light by trusting in this law firm was the best decision my family and I made. They were always so prepared and confident. They were always kind and took the time to help me understand what was going on every step of the way. Joseph and Peter are definitely who you want on your side. You can be confident in their intelligence and ability to fight for you.”

Work With Highly Skilled & Experienced Attorneys
  • Phone & Video Conference Services for Clients Who Prefer to Meet Remotely
  • We Offer Free Consultations - Se Habla Español
  • We Have An Aggressive and Comprehensive Approach For Each Case
  • Our Firm Has Been Serving Clients Since 2000
  • We Conduct Thorough & Complete Investigations

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