What to Expect if You Get a DUI in Utah
If you drive in Utah, even passing through, you need to know a few things before police ever stop you. In the last blog installment, I warned you that the “Implied Consent Law” only applies after you are arrested and requires that you take a chemical test. Then, the arresting officer chooses whether you complete the test by breath, blood, or both.
If you refuse to agree to the test, you could lose your driving privileges in Utah for a long time -- even if you are not licensed in Utah. Before you are arrested, you are NOT required to give consent to Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), which include an eye test, a walk and turn test, balancing on one leg, and the portable breath test to detect alcohol. You don’t have to do these tests, and you shouldn’t do them.
They are easier to fail than to pass, stone-cold sober, and doing SFSTs gives the police evidence they can use to justify your arrest and can be used to convict you later on. Warrants can be obtained 24/7 from judges on call, and a warrant will be issued to draw your blood if you refuse the chemical test after your arrest. They will get your blood, regardless, and your refusal will cost you your driver’s license for 18 months.
Hiring a DUI Attorney in Utah
The cost of a DUI is more than the attorney fees, and how much attorneys charge to represent people on a first or second misdemeanor DUI charge varies widely. When you Google that question, “How much does it cost for a DUI defense attorney?” you will see that some attorneys don’t charge much but are not known for doing very much for their clients. Some attorneys charge well over five figures in certain parts of the country, but my DUI fee is my introductory rate multiplied by the number of hours it should take to resolve a case without a trial. I set the total as my maximum fee because I keep track of the time spent on each case. If the total hours put into a DUI case puts a client’s fees under my original estimate, the client pays less.
Although legal representation is not required, hiring a DUI attorney in the state of UT is still the most reasonable approach when facing any alcohol- or drug-related driving violations.
Whether you are wrongfully accused of a crime or made a mistake that violated the law, our DUI attorney can help you understand your legal rights and study your options for fighting against your charges. However, if a conviction is unavoidable, a lawyer can negotiate lower charges or reduced sentencing to minimize the impact on your life.
If my time exceeds my estimate, I cap my fee at my top estimate, so the client never pays extra. A few cases resolve quickly and cost less. However, most cases take a little longer than the estimate when including all the client phone calls and emails. The way I see it, my clients benefit from some free labor on my part -- and I give it happily! Not all criminal defense attorneys are the same, not in the way they handle clients, nor in the fees they charge.
I keep track of everything I do on a client’s case, documenting everything. From how much of my professional time was spent drafting pleadings, reading discovery, responding to client calls and emails to time spent in court hearings. Clients receive 37 years of experience and dedicated service to their cases when they pay for my time. If you call around, you will always be able to find cheaper lawyers - but cheaper doesn’t mean better!
A Different Kind of St. George DUI Defense Lawyer
Ask them whether they keep track of everything they do. Ask if they always call back or reply to all emails within hours. Ask them if they get answers. Ask them if they know how to get a copy of all the reports in your case. Will they get the body cam video and the evidence needed to discuss a case before deciding?
You will find that the lower the fee, the lower the response time, the lower the quantity of time spent on the case, and the lower the quality of the results. When it comes to the “premium” attorneys who have more experience and charge higher rates, look at the reviews and see if their clients think they earned their fees. Most of the top attorneys are top attorneys because they are responsive to their clients’ needs, return calls and messages, are experienced, and do good work. And you pay a little more for premium service. Call today at (435) 740-8460 to schedule a consultation.