DUI or Driving Under the Influence is a charge that is usually separated into what number of offense it is for you. For example, first, second, and third. A first DUI usually means it is your first DUI ever but it could also mean that its your first DUI in the last 10 years. This is because the enhanceability period for a DUI is 10 years. The main difference between different DUI charges is what you may be facing as a possible sentence if convicted.
The Utah legislature has set out a number of rules that judges are to follow when sentencing an individual for a first time DUI. Some of these rules are required, meaning a judge MUST do something. Others are just suggestions, meaning the judge MAY or SHOULD do something. The main things you’re looking at when dealing with a first time DUI is jail time, a fine, treatment, and driver’s license consequences. For a first time DUI you can sometimes get out of the jail time and just do community service instead. The fine will be at least $1,380, and the minimum treatment is a 16 hour course called Prime 4 Life. The actual outcome of your case, of course, will depend heavily on your specific facts.
For the driver’s license consequences the normal suspension is 120 days but if you refused to take a chemical test you could be looking at 18 months.
One of the only real plea deals a prosecutor can offer in a DUI case is to reduce the charge to an impaired driving. Impaired driving is a special offense that the legislature has created specifically for DUI plea deals. Impaired driving is not something you can be pulled over and cited for because it has no specific elements. It is simple a way to reduce your DUI and often get yourself out of the harsh sentencing requirements listed above. While an impaired driving charge often looks better on your record than a DUI, it is still enhancable. That means it still counts as your first DUI, so any subsequent DUI charges will be increased. Additionally, anyone who knows the law in Utah will know that an impaired driving means DUI.
Impaired driving reductions are usually only something you can achieve on a first DUI. Additionally, while there are no set sentencing requirements for Impaired Driving, often judges will follow the DUI guidelines fairly closely.
DUIs are serious cases and usually seriously complex. Rarely do people end up with a good result if they represent themselves or go with a public defender. So call today to find out how I can help you with your DUI case.