Category: Criminal Defense

Solutions are our Focus!

We Focus on Solutions!!

I had an experience lately. A client paid a large Salt Lake firm more than $20,000 on a case that was valued at less than $3000 if he won the whole case.  Can you imagine that?  I was stunned and wondered how this happened. Then, I think I figured it out.  His attorneys were focused on the process, following the rules, instead of finding solutions to his problem.  There are these things in the law that most people, including attorneys, are clueless about called the Rules of Civil Procedure.  Here is a link to the Utah Rules:

What are The Rules of Civil Procedure?

The Rules of Civil Procedure are the rules that say how to do things in court.  There are over 100 of them in Utah.  Crazy!  These rules set deadlines for many things.  They say that no matter what you must do this and you must do that.  Some of the most costly ones are the rules governing discovery.

What is discovery?

Discovery is the process where people in a lawsuit exchange required information about the case with everyone else in the case.  This is the process that cost my friend above so much money.  Did circumstances require that much discovery in his case?  The strict reading of the rules says that you have to do it.  But, was it in his best interest to do it?  I do not think so.

We approach cases looking for solutions

Here at our firm we approach cases with a greater focus on the solution to our client’s problem over focusing on doing all the discovery we can in every case.  Some cases will require it; there is no getting around it.  Often we are able to talk to the other attorney and decide what information is absolutely vital and focus on getting that information exchanged and then we dive into finding solutions.

How is this different?

This is a different way of approaching a case than a lot of firms. It is faster, less painful, and usually results in a faster, less expensive and better outcome for our client.  For my friend I reviewed the contract that gave rise to his problem and in a couple of yours found a solution that could save him an additional $30,000 on the contract that this firm had not seen in $20,000 plus in attorney fees.

Call us! We can help!

So, if you want to hire a firm that is going to pay attention to finding the solution, you need please give us a call.  We can help! We can find solutions!

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

There are so many self-help resources available to people online. Some of these online resources even claim to be by attorneys with attorney help and support.   Some are even owned and run by celebrity attorneys. They all claim to be able to save you money on your legal services. Which brings us to our question – Why should you hire an attorney? I believe there are several reasons.

Attorneys have been to law school and passed the Bar Exam

This is a big deal. Quite frankly, someone who believes they can practice law without having gone through the crucible of law school is simply fooling themselves. I know a lot of attorneys will tell you that they didn’t learn how to practice law in law school, and that’s correct, law school trains the mind to think in a legal way. It is grueling and competitive. To survive law school you need brains, focus, and a great work ethic.

The bar exam is a two-day test. It is the hardest test that I’ve ever taken. One day consists of multiple-choice questions the likes of which would make any cruel teacher or professor squeal with delight due to their complexity and nuance.  One day is a series of essay and practical questions to test the test takers writing and analytical abilities.

We’ve done it dozens if not hundreds of times.

It is extremely likely when you first encounter an attorney it is the first time you have had to deal with a particular legal issue or problem. Attorneys, on the other hand, have as attorneys done multiple cases of a very similar type. Personally I have done thousands of criminal cases, hundreds of divorce cases, dozens of other litigation cases, hundreds of collection cases, as well as assisted in excess of 100 small businesses in their initial set up. I have also drafted more than 100 estate plans.  It would be safe to say that this experience gives me insights that you may not have about these issues.  All of us in our firm have a wide variety of experience that helps us to help you.

Attorneys bring an analytical mind to a problem.

There is a saying that I once heard that goes something like this “When emotion is high intelligence is low”. Being brought into the courts can be a scary, frustrating, and maddening situation. Very often you are hurt, scared, or angry. If these emotions were to be the only thing guiding your decision-making, it is likely that the decisions that you would make concerning your legal matter might not be in your best interest. One of our roles as attorneys is to bring that rational, reasoning mind to a legal problem when our clients are suffering the extremes of emotion. We can even take steps to delay or put off the case until our client is able to be thinking clearly in making their decisions.

Call us! We can help!

If you think any of the above applies to you, and you are currently in a situation that you could use the assistance of an attorney please call and schedule a free consultation at 435-674-2564. Ask for Travis. I will be glad to assist you.



Utah DUI Laws, Fines and Penalties

What are the penalties for a DUI in Utah?

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Jail 48 hours min. 240 hours min. 1,500 hours min.
Fines and Penalties $700 min. $800 min. $1,500 min.
License Suspension 120 days 2 years 2 years
IID** Required No Yes Yes

Lookback Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Utah?

Under 21 .00% (zero tolerance)
21 or older .08%
Commercial .04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn’t let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Utah?

Utah has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more aboutUtah’s implied consent law.

1st Offense 2d Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to take test 18 month license suspension 3 year license suspension 3 year license suspension

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Utah?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of “impaired driving” might be accepted by the prosecution in Utah. A “impaired driving ,” or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the “impaired driving ” is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what’s required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a impaired driving , you’ll need the help of a lawyer.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Utah

The State of Utah prohibits driving a motor vehicle with a .08 percent or above, blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The .08 percent limit is the standard used across the United States for the “impaired” driver. The State of Utah has lower BAC limits for commercial drivers (.04) and a Zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21. The Utah DUI law also prohibits driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicants.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Utah? Trying to figure out how many drinks it would take you to reach the .08 BAC limit isn’t a simple task. Each driver has individual attributes such as weight, sex, body-fat percentage, and other variables that factor into a BAC score. There are charts and calculators that can serve as a reference, however these tools do not consider all of the variables that contribute to a BAC score. It is safe to assume that each drink you consume puts you that much closer to becoming an intoxicated driver.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of Utah has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Utah, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first time you are arrested and convicted of drunk driving in the State of Utah you will be placed in jail for no less than 48 hours. You will be fined no less than $700 and your drivers license will be revoked for no less than 120 days. The court may allow for community service work in lieu of jail time or you may be placed in an electronic monitoring program at your home. You will also be ordered to participate in a drug or alcohol screening program and potentially be ordered to participate in a educational series relating to drugs, alcohol or both. These services will all be paid for by the convicted driver.

The second time you are convicted of driving under the influence in Utah within 10 years of a previous offense you will be fined a minimum of $800. You will also receive a jail sentence of no less than 240 hours or 10 days. Your drivers license will also be suspended for a period of 2 years. The court will also order the convicted driver to 240 hours or 10 days of community service or you may be placed in an electronic monitoring program at your home. You will also be ordered to participate in a drug or alcohol screening program and potentially be ordered to participate in a educational series relating to drugs, alcohol or both. These services will all be paid for by the convicted driver.

The 3rd time you are convicted of drunk driving in the State of Utah you will be placed in jail for no less than 1,500 hours. You will be fined no less than $1,500 and your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. You will also be ordered to obtain a screening and assessment at a substance abuse treatment program providing intensive care or inpatient treatment and long-term closely supervised follow through after treatment for not less than 240 hours. The court may also order more penalties including additional jail time, extended or permanent drivers license revocation and for the convicted driver to pay all fines and fees, including fees for restitution and treatment costs.