Top Ten Most Common Utah DUI Mistakes
1. Failing to request a DMV administration hearing within ten days.
2. Assuming that if the breath / blood result is greater than .080, the case is lost. Learn about the system you are in before you make a judgment about the evidence.
3. Playing ostrich/playing lawyer/pretending it will go away (especially if you have any other criminal history).
4. Failure to call a Utah DUI Attorney 877-384-8946 or become educated about the process for free. If your drain were plugged you'd call a plumber. If you are in legal trouble you call a criminal defense lawyer.
5. Hiring the first lawyer who promises to keep you out of jail (if this is your first DUI you only have a small chance of doing time). Anyone who sends you a form "scare" letter in the mail telling you that there may be a warrant out for your arrest is telling you he can not get business any other way.
6. Failure to become educated about the long term dangers of a DUI, and thinking that if you can "get this behind you" everything will be fine (the real danger of a DUI is what it sets you up for in the future).
7. Failure to write a very detailed narrative of what happened to aid your attorney in analyzing the case. You know what happened, we know the law; together we can see if proper procedure was actually followed, and in DUI prosecution, procedure is the holy grail.
8. Failure to evaluate the fourth Amendment implications of the stop (if the stop was illegal - had no underlying traffic infraction - the evidence can be suppressed and the case dismissed). About 35% of all stops have a fourth amendment component.
9. Failure to take the time legally given you and running in to plead guilty at arraignment because you want the court to think better of you for "taking responsibility" - about 3-5% of cases disappear or can not be filed due to evidence problems. The court doesn't "think" anything since they do not know the facts of any case until plea.
10. Believing that your case is special, and you deserve a deal because you've never done anything illegal before and are generally a good person - the ADA doesn't care. At all. Not even a little bit. And you may be ruining it for your lawyer by muddying the waters. Never speak to an ADA in the hope of obtaining leniency - there were 100,000 people before you and they all deserved a deal, and the ADA doesn't believe a word you say in any case. Prosecutors deal when they are threatened with losing a case or having evidence suppressed - since they know you are not a lawyer, they have no reason to fear your legal acumen.
FAILURE TO GET EDUCATED ABOUT HOW POOR UTAH DUI INTOXILYZERS ARE AND HOW FIELD TESTS ARE BIASED
You Should Not Have Had Anything To Drink; You Should Not Have Performed Field Sobriety Tests; Do Not Make The Third Mistake - Do Not Believe That Because You Blew a Certain Number - That the Number Is Accurate - Because It Is Not! In January of this year I had a client on his second DUI facing ten days in jail, with a .198 BrAC (Breath)(this was an actual physical control case and he had not been driving) and we discovered that the troopers intoxilyzer certification, that has to be updated each year or so, had lapsed. The case was terrible factually, but this single discovery resulted in the case being reduced to an Impaired Driving w/ no jail whatsoever. The single biggest reason you should not immediately plead guilty is because you can not analyze your case.
STAYING CALM, GETTING EDUCATED
Generally those getting their first DUI are freaked out by the process; one minute they were driving without any problems and the next they were in handcuffs. This sudden emotional impact as it were, leads to a variety of mistakes that tend to compound the problem. For example, almost everyone fails to ask the officer whether or not the field tests performed on the side of the road are compulsory or optional (they are optional), and as a result, they end up giving damning information (even if they do well) that is later used to convict them. No one passes the Field Sobriety Tests (SFST's) because they are designed to fail and they are subjectively graded - think about it, could you have passed them inside a gym, without knowing what or how they were grading you on?? Speaking with our office is FREE! Do not pass up an opportunity to have an experienced lawyer assess your case.
WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE
What should have happened is as follows: following the stop the police will ask for identification, registration, and proof of insurance. The reason for the stop should be furnished to the driver. The cop will then ask if the driver has been drinking to which the driver should answer: "I would like a ticket for whatever you stopped me for and then I want to be on my way; if you ask me any questions I shall assume you are investigating some other matter and stand on my right to remain silent. Thus, you can either give me a ticket or arrest me right now, but I am not doing any field tests or blowing into any portable breath tester. What people do not realize is that they must confront the officer and force their hand because the sooner they are arrested the weaker the case is for the State. Think about it, what evidence of inebriation does the officer have at the time he asks about alcohol - none or little; in Utah, odor of alcohol alone is not sufficient to support probable cause to arrest, so if the officer arrests, the evidence including the breath sample will be suppressed.
Results that speak for themselves.
- SLC - 49 yr old male, DUI - .178 BAC, Open Container, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION - No license suspension, no ignition interlock
- WDVR - 46 yr old male, DUI - .190 BAC, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION, No license suspension, no ignition interlock....
- RVTN DUI Case 07-9646787 CH/H - 35 yr old male, (APC-Trial) DUI - .197 BAC, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION - not guilty, No license suspension, no ignition interlock, Sentence: none.
- CH/H - 28 yr old male, speeding/DUI - .370 BAC, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION, No license suspension, no ignition interlock.....
- CLRFD - 23 yr old male, DUI - .80 BAC, Turn Signal; Result: NO DUI CONVICTION, No license suspension, no ignition interlock....
- Murray - 25 yr old male DUI .126 BAC, Speeding; Result: Impaired Driving, No Ignition Interlock, No Supervised Probation, Speeding dismissed.
- SLC - 26 yr old male, DUI - .153 BAC, Speed Exhibition; Result: NO DUI CONVICTION - No license suspension, no ignition interlock
- Logan DUI - 33 y/o m, Felony third DUI (mandatory 62.5 d jail), RESULTS: DUI CONV. W/ 402 Reduction to Class A mis.; SENTENCE: 180 d jail w/ work release, fine, 36 mo. sup. prob., AA, MADD VIP, L. II PfL.
- NP - 26 yr old male, DUI - .81 BAC, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION, No license suspension, no ignition interlock....
- Morgan DUI & Poss. C/S - 24 y/o m, Third poss c/s (poss felony), first DUI, metabolite; RESULT; PIA Poss c/s, NO DUI CONVICTION; Sentence: 48 h c/s, PfL, U/A's, Assess, 12 mo unsup prob.
- SLC - 23 yr old fm, Second DUI, .084 BAC, Set for trial; RESULT:NODUI CONVICTION; Sentence: Impaired Driving, no jail; loss of lic, ignition Interlock device, 48 hours c/s, MADD VIP.
- WASATCH COUNTY DUI - 45 y/o f, Third DUI / 10 yr; charged as a felony, .135 BAC, + ETOH rest. dr., IID rest. dr.' NO FELONY DUI CONVICTION; reduced to second dui by disqualifying prior as enhancement; Sentence: 30 days ankle monitor, Sup. prob., all but DUI dismissed; MADD, PfL, fine, 12 mo. lic. sus.
- SC - 39 yr old male, (Trial) DUI - .000 BAC, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION - No license suspension, no ignition interlock
- LGN DUI Case 088492033 LGN - 45 yr old male, Two DUI's One Week Apart: DUI - .197; DUI .212 BAC, Result: Single DUI CONVICTION - no jail; Sentence: 10 Week alcohol treatment program. 90 Day license suspension, ignition interlock, 12 mo. probation.
- SALT LAKE DUI - 57 y/o m, Second DUI (Mandatory 10 d jail), .176 BAC, open container; RESULTS: NO DUI CONVICTION, evidence suppressed on de novo appeal to district court; SENTENCE: None.
- GRNTSVLE DUI - 42 y/o fm, Second DUI, .248 BAC, RESULT: DUI CONVICTION; Sentence: No Jail, 48 h c/s, sup probation, MADD VIP, Interlock, Lic Sus.
- Summit County DUI - .125 BAC, stopped for speeding, No DUI Conviction, No DMV license suspension, no ignition interlock . . .
- Holladay / Cottonwood Heights: .320 UAC, DUI, Speeding. Results: Reckless Driving, non-alcohol related, No DMV Suspension, No Ignition Interlock . . .
- RVTN - 28 yr old male, TRIPLE DUI (Three DUI's In One Month) - #1 - Result: NO DUI CONVICTION, No license suspension, no ignition interlock
- Tooele DUI - 45 y/o m, DUI w/ accident, .187 BAC, Poor SFST's; RESULT: Impaired Driving; Sentence: 48 h c/s, no jail, 60 d lic sus, MADD, PfL, Assess, No Ignition Interlock, 12 mo unsup prob.
- BOUNTIFUL DUI - 27 y/o f, Second DUI .245, (Mandatory 10 days jail); Sentence: DUI Conviction, Work Release/Home Monitoring, IID, 12 Mo.Sup Prob, fine, MADD.
- HEBER DUI - 41 y/o m, Third DUI, Felony, single car accident, al. rest. dr, IID rest., 164 BAC, actual physical control case; RESULTS: NO FELONY DUI CONVICTION W/ 402 REDUCTION TO CLASS A; Sentence: 60 d jail w/ work release, 36 m., Sup. Prob., fine, MADD, PfL, IID, only 120 d. lic. susp.
- SLC - 24 yr old female, speeding/DUI - .110 BAC, Result: NO DUI CONVICTION, No license suspension, no ignition interlock.....
- WEST VALLEY DUI - 37 y/o m, Second DUI, .137 BAC, single MC accid. w/ inj. (mandatory 10 days jail); RESULTS: BAC evidence suppressed, plea bargain to no jail, #2 DUI, SENTENCE: 240 h c/s, 12 mo.sup. prob., PfL, MADD VIP, fine.
- Vernal DUI - 29 y/o m, actual physical control case, .082 BAC, second DUI, RESULT: NO DUI CONVICTION, Sentence: Reckless Driving, 48 h c/s, PfL, MADD, one yr prob, no infractions.