What do you do if you receive a DUI charge in Salt Lake City? Act swiftly and be informed. This guide cuts through the chaos to deliver the direct steps you need to take from the moment you’re charged. You’ll learn how to protect your rights, handle the initial proceedings, and strategize for the legal journey ahead. Without delay, let’s step through this critical process together, aiming to mitigate the charge’s impact on your life.

Key Takeaways

  • Taking immediate action upon a DUI arrest, such as cooperating with police while asserting one’s rights, is crucial as it significantly affects the outcome of the case.
  • The consequences of a DUI conviction are severe and far-reaching, including license suspension, fines, potential jail time, and long-term impacts like job loss and increased insurance rates.
  • Securing a specialized DUI attorney at Levitt Legal is vital, offering expertise to challenge evidence, negotiate plea bargains, and navigate local legal systems, potentially mitigating the severity of the charges and legal outcomes.
dui charge

Immediate Actions After a DUI Arrest

A DUI arrest can be a startling event, especially if it’s your first offense. The immediate actions you take after this arrest are vital in shaping the trajectory of your DUI case. It’s crucial not to panic and instead, focus on two primary aspects: cooperating with the police officers and invoking your right to remain silent. Both these actions have profound implications for your DUI charges.

Cooperating with Police Officers

Your interaction with police officers during a DUI stop can heavily influence the outcome of your case. It’s essential to remember that while being respectful and cooperative can work in your favor, it doesn’t mean you have to concede your rights. The law obliges you to provide basic identifying information such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Beyond that, you have the right to:

  • remain silent to avoid self-incrimination
  • refuse to answer any questions without your attorney present
  • decline any field sobriety tests or roadside breathalyzer tests
  • request to speak with your attorney before submitting any chemical tests

By understanding and asserting your rights, you can protect yourself during a DUI stop.

During a checkpoint, understanding your legal obligations is crucial. It’s important to know when you should provide information or comply with tests. An officer must have sufficient grounds to make a lawful demand for a breathalyzer test sample. If you believe that the officer lacks reasonable grounds, you may consult with your DUI attorney to explore potential defenses.

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

Invoking your right to remain silent is a crucial aspect of your arrest. This constitutional right, protected by the Fifth Amendment, can help prevent self-incrimination. After the arrest, you are not obliged to answer any questions that might incriminate you. This includes questions about where you were, whether you’ve been drinking, or how much you’ve drunk.

The Miranda Rights are warnings issued by police to individuals who have been detained and about to be questioned. Understanding these rights is crucial in handling a DUI offense. It’s important to remember that any information you willingly provide to a police officer after an arrest, including unsolicited information, can be used as evidence against you.

Assessing the Consequences of a DUI Conviction

A DUI conviction carries severe consequences. The immediate impact includes the loss of one’s driver’s license, substantial fines, and the possibility of jail time. It’s essential to understand the gravity of these consequences and take immediate steps to seek legal help.

The repercussions extend beyond immediate penalties. Long-term effects may involve job loss, particularly in careers requiring driving, increased reliance on others for travel, and higher car insurance rates. The classification of a DUI as a misdemeanor or felony in most states, and the corresponding levels of fines and penalties, depend on multiple factors including prior convictions and the circumstances of the offense.

In aggravated DUI circumstances, including DUI offenses and reckless driving that result in bodily harm or fatalities, the penalties can be even more severe, leading to extended prison sentences and restitution responsibilities to victims or their families.

Securing Legal Representation

Securing legal representation is a critical step following a DUI arrest. A DUI attorney plays a crucial role by providing expert legal counsel, defending clients’ rights, and uncovering any police errors that could impact the outcome of the case. Hiring a DUI attorney can lead to cost savings by avoiding a costly trial and a hearing, potentially reducing fines, as well as mitigating stress by managing the case.

Local and experienced DUI lawyer offers the advantage of:

  • familiarity with the intricacies of the local court system, enhancing the client’s defense strategy
  • in-depth knowledge of the legal system
  • expertise in handling complex legal challenges

These factors are central to understanding the laws and can influence a DUI lawyer’s ability to secure a lighter sentence or case dismissal.

Preparing for Your Court Appearance

Preparing for your DUI trial is a significant part of the process. Your DUI defense attorney’s role includes filing relevant motions, gathering necessary evidence, and communicating with the prosecution to ensure a fair trial. Meeting with your DUI defense lawyer before the trial is critical to discuss the specifics of your case and explore potential negotiation opportunities with the prosecution.

Evidence plays a crucial role in the outcome of your case. It must be legally admissible, which requires it to be relevant, correctly collected, and not in violation of rules such as hearsay or privilege. The jury’s decision in a DUI case is largely based on their interpretation of the evidence presented, making its proper curation and exhibition vital.

When appearing before the judge on your court date, it is essential to express sincere remorse, accept accountability for your actions, and refrain from making excuses or appearing confrontational. This can go a long way in influencing the judge’s perception of you and potentially ameliorating your sentence, especially if you have a criminal record.

DUI Defense Strategies

Every DUI case is unique, and therefore, requires a unique approach. There are several strategies to defend and fight DUI charges, such as analyzing arrest details, identifying potential defenses, and seeking legal help. These strategies often involve challenging the validity of sobriety tests and breathalyzer accuracy and identifying any police procedure violations.

Defense attorneys can file subpoenas and pre-trial motions to ensure access to all pertinent evidence, identifying any police procedure violations that could be crucial for the defense. Additionally, evidence collection for a DUI defense may include hands-on investigation such as obtaining additional surveillance footage or overlooked witnesses, providing critical information for the case.

Challenging Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are often a crucial piece of evidence in DUI cases. These tests can be challenged based on:

  • The standardized procedures are not being followed correctly
  • The inadequate training of administering officers
  • Environmental factors like poor lighting
  • The subject’s physical or medical conditions.

The accuracy of a police officer’s subjective assessment during field sobriety tests can be disputed by revealing false assumptions or bias, and by presenting alternative explanations for the signs of intoxication. In some cases, declining to perform a field sobriety test, preliminary breath test, or blood test before arrest can be a strategic move to avoid providing evidence that could justify an arrest.

Disputing Breathalyzer Results

Breathalyzer results are another significant piece of evidence in a DUI case. Breathalyzer results may be challenged if the device is not calibrated properly according to state regulations, potentially affecting the outcome of DUI charges. There is also a rising blood alcohol content defense, which is related to the blood alcohol level. It posits that a person’s BAC was legal while driving under the influence and only became illegal by the time the breathalyzer test was conducted.

Medical conditions such as diabetes or acid reflux have the potential to skew breathalyzer readings, offering a possible defense in combating DUI allegations. Other aspects such as age, the timing of the last drink, the amount of alcohol consumed, and details of the DUI tests used can call into question the accuracy of breathalyzer results.

Identifying Police Procedure Violations

Identifying police procedure violations can be a game-changer in your DUI defense. Procedural errors during the administration of breath or blood tests, such as improper calibration, can provide a basis for contesting the results. Some common procedural violations to look out for include:

  • Improper calibration of breathalyzer or blood testing equipment
  • Failure to properly administer the tests according to established protocols
  • Lack of proper training or certification of the officer administering the tests

In addition, if the arresting officer entered a suspect’s home without permission or warrant, or made an arrest without witnessing the driver, it could be challenged based on Fourth Amendment rights.

Also, confirming that the officer had probable cause for the DUI arrest is crucial, as an arrest without probable cause can result in charge dismissal. If the detention duration before a DUI investigation begins is deemed unreasonably long, it can be part of the defense.

Alternative Outcomes: Plea Bargaining and Diversion Programs

In some cases, proceeding with a trial may not be the best course of action. This is when plea bargains and diversion programs can come into play. A DUI plea bargain involves the defendant admitting guilt to a degree, or choosing to plead guilty, understanding the terms, and may vary the court process length compared to trials.

DUI attorneys provide strategic guidance on whether to take a plea bargain or proceed to trial, making decisions based on a thorough understanding of legal implications and case details. Plea bargains can result in lighter sentences or reduced charges, such as being charged with ‘wet reckless’ instead of DUI, thereby lessening penalties and circumventing trial uncertainties.

Handling License Suspension and Reinstatement

A DUI arrest often results in the immediate suspension of the driver’s license, making it crucial to act quickly to establish a defense. In certain jurisdictions, the offender must request a hearing within a specific period to prevent automatic suspension.

Refusing a chemical test, as required by implied consent laws, can lead to an extended license suspension, especially if the test results have shown a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit. If the reinstatement of the full driving privileges is denied, offenders may apply for a restricted license to maintain essential transportation to and from work.

man in handcuffs after DUI offense

Learning from the Experience: Preventing Future DUI Charges

While navigating through a DUI charge is challenging, it’s essential to use the experience as a lesson for the future. Preventing future DUI charges is about making responsible decisions. Choosing a non-drinking designated driver when planning to go out is one such decision.

Utilizing taxi or ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft ensures a safe way home without risking a DUI charge after drinking. It’s crucial never to get into a car with a driver who has been drinking and, if necessary, to take their keys to prevent them from driving intoxicated.


In conclusion, receiving a DUI charge in Salt Lake City can be a daunting experience, but it’s not the end of the world. The key is understanding your rights, knowing the legal process, and obtaining expert legal representation. It’s essential to learn from the experience and take measures to prevent future DUI charges. If you are facing charges, contact Levitt Legal today and see how we can help you overcome a DUI offense!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the DUI limit in Utah?

In Utah, the legal DUI limit is 0.05 grams, and individuals can still be charged with a BAC below this limit. Be cautious of your alcohol consumption while driving to ensure compliance with the law.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI in Utah?

Yes, it is imperative to have a competent and qualified criminal defense attorney by your side if you are facing a first-time DWI charge in Utah.

Is your license suspended immediately after a DUI in Utah?

No, your license is not immediately suspended after a DUI in Utah. However, there is a specific timeline in place where your license is automatically suspended following the arrest, depending on the offense.

How do you get over the guilt of a DUI?

To get over the guilt of a DUI, consider talking to a mental health professional for support and guidance through the process. Seeking help and self-reflection are important steps in moving forward.

What immediate actions should I take after a DUI arrest?

After a DUI arrest, it’s crucial to cooperate with the police officers and invoke your right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. It’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible.