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Will I have to take classes or do treatment for a Utah DUI charge?

If you are convicted of a DUI in Utah, you can expect to be required to take classes and/or participate in substance abuse treatment.  Unless the judge imposes the maximum jail time and denies all requests for probation, treatment or classes should be expected.

Under Utah Code Ann. 41a-6-505, when sentencing someone even for a first DUI in Utah, a judge is required to have the person screened and/or assessed for substance abuse treatment.  As a condition of probation, the judge may require the defendant to participate in whatever treatment is recommended through the formal assessment.  If the court determines that treatment is not appropriate or necessary, the court is still required under the law to order the defendant to participate in an educational series.

If a person refuses the opportunity of probation and simply serves out the jail time for a DUI conviction, then the court loses jurisdiction over the matter and cannot force the person to participate in classes or counseling.  However, this is only true if none of the jail time is suspended.  The maximum potential jail time just for a first Utah DUI conviction is 180 days.  Most people consider doing classes or treatment to be a small price to pay for avoiding six months in jail.

Since treatment is virtually unavoidable if you are convicted of a DUI in Utah, it can often be to your benefit to begin the screening/assessment/treatment process even before you are ordered to do so by the court.  Some people may be reluctant to begin treatment before sentencing out of fear that their participation could somehow be used against them in trial.  This is not true.  If you decide to take your Utah DUI case to trial, a prosecutor should not be allowed use any evidence relating to your participation in treatment.  On the other hand, getting involved in treatment early can be a huge benefit to you either in negotiating a reasonable resolution to your case, or at a sentencing hearing if one becomes necessary.

If you are facing prosecution in Utah for DUI or other criminal charges, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with Stephen Howard.  See the difference an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer can make for your case.


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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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