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Utah DUI Attorney Salt Lake - Utah Code 41-6a-503

What are the potential penalties for DUI conviction in Utah?

DUI Lawyer Salt Lake City, UtahDepending on the circumstances, DUI charges in Utah can typically be filed as class B misdemeanors, class A misdemeanors, or third-degree felonies. The potential penalties associated with a DUI charge can vary greatly depending on the level of the offense.

If you are facing prosecution for DUI in Utah, it is important to understand your rights as well as the potential penalties. It is also critical to have the assistance of an experienced defense attorney. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us now to arrange for a confidential consultation.

Utah Code 41-6a-503 - Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

Third-Degree Felony DUI

A Utah DUI charge can be filed as a third-degree felony if:

  • the defendant has two or more prior convictions within 10 years for DUI, Impaired Driving, Alcohol-Related or Drug-Related Reckless Driving, or Driving with a Measurable Controlled Substance or Metabolite;
  • the defendant negligently caused an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person (injury to the defendant alone does not provide grounds for a felony DUI enhancement);
  • the defendant has been previously convicted of automobile homicide under Utah Code 76-5-207; or
  • the defendant has been previously convicted of a felony DUI (even if the felony was subsequently reduced to a misdemeanor under Utah Code 76-3-402).
If serious injury forms the basis for the felony DUI enhancement, then a separate charge can be filed against a defendant for each individual who is injured as a result of the Defendant's negligent operation of a vehicle. This means, for example, that if three other people receive serious injuries in a DUI-related accident, the driver may face three separate felony DUI charges.

A third degree felony DUI is punishable by up to five years in prison and $9,500 (fine plus surcharge). In addition, a court may order the defendant to pay restitution for the costs of any damage or injuries caused as a result of the defendant's criminal conduct. Payment of restitution can be made a condition of probation (if probation is granted), or may be monitored by the Board of Pardons and Parole following the defendant's release from prison.

Class A Misdemeanor DUI

A DUI charge in Utah can be filed as a class A misdemeanor if:

  • the defendant operated the vehicle in a negligent manner and caused "bodily injury" (less serious than a "serious" injury) to another person (injury to the defendant alone will not support this enhancement);
  • the defendant was older than 21 years of age and had a passenger under the age of 18 in the vehicle at the time the DUI offense was committed; or
  • the defendant (regardless of the defendant's age) had a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
If injury serves as the basis for this enhancement, a separate class A misdemeanor can be filed for each person injured as a result of the defendant's conduct.

Penalties for a class A misdemeanor DUI can be up to one year in jail plus $4,750 (fine and surcharge). Restitution may also be ordered as a condition of probation (if probation is granted). If the full jail term is ordered, restitution may still be ordered but will normally be collected through the State Office of Debt Collection.

Class B Misdemeanor DUI

DUI charges in Utah begin at the level of a class B misdemeanor if no enhancements apply. If no circumstances exist to support an enhanced DUI, the charge should be filed as a class B misdemeanor.

The maximum penalty for a class B misdemeanor DUI is six months in jail and a fine (including surcharge) of up to $1,900. Restitution may also be ordered for any damages caused by the defendant's criminal conduct.

Collateral Consquences of a Utah DUI Conviction

In addition to potential jail time, prison time, and thousands of dollars in court fines, a DUI conviction in Utah can carry other collateral consequences. These can include a driver license suspension, ignition interlock device requirements, and increased insurance premiums.

A DUI conviction also requires an extended waiting period before it may be eligible for expungement. While an ordinary class B misdemeanor is eligible for expungement after a four-year waiting period, a class B misdemeanor DUI conviction requires a ten-year waiting period. A felony DUI conviction is not eligible for expungement, even after ten years, unless a reduction of the level of offense is granted under Utah Code 76-3-402.

Finding a Utah DUI Attorney in Salt Lake

Utah Criminal LawyerIf you have been arrested or received a citation for a DUI charge in Utah, having the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be vital to your case. In addition to the maximum penalties discussed in this page, certain minimum mandatory sentencing requirements apply to DUI convictions in Utah. Criminal lawyer Stephen Howard has successfully defended his clients' rights in many serious felony and misdemeanor prosecutions. He has a track record of achieving real results.

Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for a confidential consultation.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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