Receiving a citation for DUI in Utah actually begins two separate cases against you. One case is dealt with through the criminal court system. The other case is civil in nature, and can result in the suspension of your driver license for 120 days. Both cases are important, and both require that you take appropriate actions.
A Utah DUI citation initiates a civil case with the Utah Driver License Division. In order to protect your license, you must make a formal request for a hearing with the driver license division within 10 days of the date you receive your DUI citation. If you fail to request a hearing with the Driver License Division or fail to appear at the hearing when it is scheduled, your driver license will automatically be suspended for 120 days. Participation in your driver license hearing can also give your attorney an important opportunity to cross-examine the police officer involved in the case regarding your arrest, field sobriety tests, Fourth Amendment issues, and more. In some cases, the hearing at the Driver License Division can help lay the groundwork for a successful defense in the criminal case.
In addition to contacting the Driver License Division to request a hearing, it is also critical to contact the court to schedule a court appearance in the criminal case. Typically, when you receive a criminal citation in Utah, you are required to contact the court within 5 to 14 days of the date the citation is issued. If you fail to contact the court within this time period, an arrest warrant will likely be issued.