If you’ve been charged with a third DUI in Utah, you know there are strict penalties you’ll have to face. On one hand, you are dealing with strict laws, on the other you could stand a good chance of being let off if you have the knowledge and appropriate legal help.
A third DUI offense in Utah is taken very seriously by legal authorities. If convicted in a DUI case for a third time, your driving license can be suspended for up to two years. You may also have to drive with an ignition interlock device for three years if you are found convicted of prior offenses within the lookback period of 10 years.
The penalties you pay as monetary fees or your jail sentence count as criminal penalties. These show up on your record and are not wiped off or nullified after a certain amount of time. These can include community service depending on the circumstances of the case and the success of the plea bargain. For a third DUI offense in Utah, the penalties include:
- A minimum monetary fine that will most likely exceed $1,700.
- Continuous imprisonment for a minimum sentence of 63 days or up to five years.
- Supervised probation for the duration decided by the court.
- Participation in an alcohol/drug assessment program.
- Participation in educational programs related to substance abuse.
Other criminal penalties can include community service for a fixed number of hours.
The Lookback Period
When considering a DUI case, the court takes into account past convictions over a period of time. This time period is of extreme significance and is referred to as the lookback period. For DUI offenses in Utah, the lookback period is 10 years. If found guilty for driving under the influence within the last 10 years, the punishment for a repeat DUI will be harsher.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor in Utah
In Utah, a third offense in a DUI case generally gets classified as a felony. Irrespective of supplementary charges and other damages to life and property involved, a third offense on its own merit becomes a felony.
A case of a DUI offense leaves you with three options regarding how you are going to approach your trial. You could plead guilty, not guilty, or could bargain for a softer sentence in your plea.
In any legal case, hiring a professional attorney to handle your plea is the safest option. Sound legal help can help you save a lot of trouble. Since DUI laws in Utah are a bit harsher and more complicated than in other states, professional help of the highest degree is of utmost importance.
For more information and insight, consult your Utah DUI lawyer today.