Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Driving With Controlled Substance Metabolite - Utah DUI Lawyer

Utah law provides several different ways for a prosecutor to charge a DUI or related crimes. Even if you have not had any alcohol to drink, Utah prosecutors can file what is sometimes called a  DUI-metabolite charge if a blood or urine test shows the presence of any measurable controlled substance metabolite. Consequences of a conviction in Utah for driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite can include jail time, fines, losing your driver's license, and more. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Utah criminal attorney Stephen Howard.

Elements of a Utah DUI Metabolite Charge

Under Utah Code Ann. 41-6a-517, a person can be criminally charged if he or she operates or is in "actual physical control" of a vehicle and has any controlled substance or controlled substance metabolite in his or her body. Unlike a normal DUI charge, this Utah criminal offense does not require proof that the person was impaired or otherwise not able to safely operate the vehicle.

Affirmative Defenses to a Utah DUI Metabolite Charge

Utah law provides an affirmative defense to the charge of driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite if you "involuntarily ingested" the drugs. You also have an affirmative defense to the charge if you have a legitimate prescription for the drugs that are in your system. (Note, however, that you may still be convicted of DUI in Utah if your prescription medication impairs your ability to safely drive.)

Utah's DUI/Metabolite statute also provides a third affirmative defense, where a defendant can show that the controlled substance was "otherwise legally ingested." This affirmative defense can be critical for drivers who have smoked, consumed, or otherwise ingested marijuana in another state, but then find themselves facing criminal charges in Utah. A driver who has legally used marijuana in another state (e.g. with a medical marijuana card in California, or recreationally in Colorado) may still find themselves facing DUI/Metabolite charges in Utah. But if a jury accepts the defense that the marijuana was not used in Utah, but was instead legally smoked or ingested  in another state, the jury may still return a not-guilty verdict.

Fourth Amendment Defenses in a Utah DUI Metabolite Case

In addition to these factual defenses, you may also have a constitutional defense to a charge of driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite. Although the charge does not require proof of impaired or reckless driving, an officer may still be required to demonstrate that there was a "reasonable articulable suspicion" or "probable cause" to support the traffic stop and/or the request to provide a blood or urine sample for drug testing. If the officer did not have a constitutionally sufficient reason for the stop or the test, any evidence obtained in violation of Fourth Amendment may be suppressed.

Finding a Utah Criminal Attorney in Salt Lake City

If you are facing prosecution for DUI metabolite or other criminal charges, it is vital to have an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake criminal lawyer Stephen Howard.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

The right criminal defense lawyer can work with you to develop a defense strategy designed to achieve the best results. Hiring a Utah criminal attorney with real courtroom experience and an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved in defending against a criminal prosecution can help ensure the best...

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

Even a "minor" misdemeanor carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. The direct penalties and collateral consequences of a felony conviction are even more severe. Understanding these consequences is critical as you make decisions relating to your case. Even in a misdemeanor case, you should not....

Consequences »
Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah - Reasons to Hope

Clients sometimes ask what the "worst case scenario" is for their charges. We prefer to take a more positive approach. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. But you can take steps and make choices right now that will improve your chances of a positive outcome. Let us help you....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.