Experienced DUI Manslaughter Attorney in Utah
Aggressively Defending for the Accused in St. George
Being charged with a crime can be a terrifying and surreal experience, especially one as serious as a DUI offense. It’s crucial to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest, as they can help defend your rights and restore your freedom.
A DUI conviction can result in lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and other life-altering consequences. In the event that the offense is severe enough to warrant felony charges, the stakes can be significantly higher. Felonies like DUI manslaughter can result in enhanced penalties and harsher sentencing, including driver’s license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, and the loss of civil liberties.
If you’re facing DUI felony charges in St. George or the surrounding areas, it’s important to understand the severity of the situation and seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney who can help them navigate the complex criminal justice system. While it can be nerve-racking to prepare for criminal proceedings, there’s no need to lose hope. Attorney Edward D. Flint has over three decades of experience to provide you with the unrelenting advocacy you deserve.
Turn to a criminal defense attorney you can trust to protect your future. Call (435) 740-8460 to discuss your case with our St. George DUI defense lawyer.
What Is DUI Manslaughter?
In Utah, DUI manslaughter is committed when a person operates a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner causing death to another and has any measurable amount of a controlled substance in their body. In other words, if you kill another person while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this is considered DUI or intoxication manslaughter.
Utah’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit
Keep in mind that while Utah’s standard blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit was formerly 0.08%, the BAC limit in Utah was lowered to 0.05% in 2018. This means that some people may face DUI charges after a single drink.
In the event that the DUI offense entails bodily harm, this can lead to life-changing repercussions for the driver—even if they were coherent and clearheaded at the time of the accident.
Although the BAC was reduced in 2018, it’s worth noting that the criminal penalties were not, meaning that even one small, thoughtless error can lead to years in prison, making it all the more crucial for Utah residents to understand the severity of a DUI conviction.
What Warrants Felony DUI Charges?
In Utah, a DUI offense can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Certain extenuating factors can enhance the penalties of a DUI offense, such as the defendant’s criminal history and the nature of the accident.
For example, a defendant may be charged with a DUI felony if:
- They have two or more prior convictions in the last 10-year period;
- They have a prior felony DUI conviction; and/or
- The accident resulted in bodily injury or death.
Penalties for a DUI Manslaughter Conviction
Under Utah Code §76-5-207, DUI manslaughter can result in a second-degree felony. A conviction is punishable by:
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
It is important to note that even if alcohol or drugs are not involved in an accident resulting in death, Utah still groups this crime with other forms of manslaughter, meaning that offending drivers can face severe penalties for bodily injury or death regardless of whether they were under the influence at the time of the accident.
Enhanced Penalties for DUI Manslaughter
While DUI or intoxication manslaughter is considered an unintentional act of negligence, it isn’t automatically considered “aggravated” in Utah. An aggravated offense is a crime that carries enhanced penalties and harsher sentencing as a result of certain influencing factors.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, DUI manslaughter penalties can be enhanced. For instance, a defendant with a prior history of DUI or reckless driving charges may face a harsher sentence. The degree of bodily harm and the number of deaths resulting from the offense can also impact the penalties of a conviction.
Contact a Trusted DUI Defense Attorney Today
Facing criminal charges can be daunting. If you were charged with a DUI felony, such as intoxication manslaughter, it’s critical to seek help from an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible to defend your rights and protect your reputation.
Extenuating circumstances can mean the difference between a few years in prison and lifelong consequences, and a strong defense is a must to obtain a favorable outcome in court. Fortunately, our St. George criminal defense attorney has extensive experience representing clients throughout Southern Utah.
Attorney Edward D. Flint has a proven track record of success in a range of criminal defense matters, from DUI defense to sex crimes to domestic violence charges. Don’t risk throwing away your future by forgoing your right to aggressive legal representation.
Our team understands that good people can find themselves in bad situations. We can fight to restore your freedom. Call (435) 740-8460 to schedule a free consultation.
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