Month: July 2014

What Should I Do If I Received a DUI?

What Should I Do If I Received a DUI?

In Utah, a DUI charge results in two separate cases. First, an administrative case is processed by the UT Driver License Division (the “DLD”), which determines how the charges affect your Utah driver’s license.  If you do not request a hearing within 10 days from the DLD, they will suspend your license automatically.  Secondly, a criminal case is generated to determine whether or not the person charged will face fines, probation, or jail time. If you are facing DUI charges in the Salt Lake, Utah, Davis or Weber County areas, make sure to hire a criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights in both cases.

Look at the bottom of your DUI citation, and you’ll find a section of fine print that warns you that your UT driver’s license will be suspended automatically unless you request a hearing within 10 calendar days of the date of arrest. Most people aren’t sure what this means or how to do it.   At Stevens & Gailey, P.C. we will request this hearing for you for free, with no obligation. Don’t wait, or you may regret it. On a first offense, you could face a license suspension of 120 days or an 18 month revocation if you refused a breath test. If you don’t request your hearing in the first 10 calendar days, there is NO provision for getting your license back, even if they shouldn’t have taken it in the first place. Call us to make sure your DUI defense strategy is as effective as it can be. Drunk driving defenseOgden criminal defense attorney

What Should I Do If I Received a DUI?

Not every case is gifted with good defenses, so we have also developed ways to avoid the most serious consequences of a DUI charge by negotiating favorable plea bargains.

Plea Bargaining

Not every DUI case can be won on motions or at trial, and the Utah Legislature has seriously restricted the ability to plea bargain a DUI case and avoid consequences. As such, in order to get a good plea bargain in a DUI case, it is important to hire an experienced and aggressive attorney who focuses on DUI cases and can gather evidence, identify and raise any available defenses, and file motions in order to get a better plea bargain or get the case dismissed. Likewise, an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney can also be effective at negotiating a favorable plea bargain. The goal of any plea bargain is to avoid as many consequences as possible. By identifying and pointing out potential defenses or other deficiencies in the case, a skilled defense lawyer can use these points to persuade the prosecutor into agreeing to dismiss charges or significantly reduce the charges in order to avoid the most serious consequences, such as driver license suspension, jail, fines, conditions of probation, and a conviction for DUI. Our reputation for being skilled and aggressive DUI litigators who are not afraid to defend DUI cases by filing motions and taking cases to trial allows us to negotiate plea deals that other attorneys simply do not get.

Motions to Suppress

The first way to defend a DUI case is with Motions to Suppress. Motions to Suppress are legal arguments to the judge asking that certain pieces of evidence—and sometimes all of the evidence—be suppressed or excluded from court. Some examples of such motions are:

  • Lack of Reasonable Suspicion to Stop
  • Illegal or Excessive Detention
  • Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest
  • Motions to Suppress Breath or Blood Tests
  • Motions to Suppress Field Sobriety Test Evidence
  • Motion to Suppress Statements for Failure to Provide Miranda Warnings

Winning one or more of these motions can result in a full dismissal of the case, while others just eliminate evidence, which results in more lenient plea bargains or better cases to take to jury trial. All these arguments depend on the specific facts and evidence of your individual case; therefore, we investigate every case thoroughly, obtaining in-car and in-station videotapes, dispatch recordings, breath testing machine calibration and maintenance records, blood and urine test lab files, medical records, accident reports and reconstruction, the arresting officer’s training records, officer training materials as well as conducting on scene investigations witness interviews

What Should I Do If I Received a DUI?

Trial

The key to successful jury trials is investigation, preparation, and presentation. Clearly not every case goes to trial, but the attorneys at Stevens & Gailey, P.C. are not afraid to take even the most difficult cases to trial and will provide you with your best chance for a NOT GUILTY verdict.

Getting a Job with a Felony Conviction in Utah

Getting a Job with a Felony Conviction in Utah

Finding a job in today’s economy can be tough enough even without a criminal record.  As is all to common if an individual has been branded a “convicted felon,” finding employment can seem next to impossible.  If you are having difficulty finding work as a result of your criminal record, a criminal defense attorney can help.

Many employers are very concerned with the backgrounds of people they intend to hire.  For most jobs, due to the ease of online searches and information gathering you most likely will be subject to a criminal background check.  Even if the employer doesn’t run a formal background check, many employment applications ask about your criminal record.  Many even run google searches looking for mugshots.

If the decision comes down to two equally qualified candidates, one with a felony conviction and one without . . . it is fairly easy to predict who will get the job.

There are potential solutions to this problem that many people overlook.  With the help of a Utah criminal defense attorney, you may be able to clean up your record.

An expungement gives you the chance to wipe a conviction off your record.  Once your record is expunged, you can answer most job applications as though the conviction never happened.

Unfortunately, expungements have become harder to obtain as the Utah legislature has tightened the requirements for eligibility.  But even if you are not eligible for an expungement, there may still be a way to remove a felony conviction from your record.

More often overlooked is the option of having an old conviction reduced.  A Utah “402” reduction gives a person who has successfully completed probation the chance to have the level of their conviction reduced.  This can bring a felony conviction down to a misdemeanor level, and can allow you to honestly answer “no” when asked if you have been convicted of a felony.

In today’s job market, you need every advantage you can get.  Don’t let your criminal record hold you back if you are eligible to have it expunged or reduced.