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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Will blood test be suppressed in former Utah officer's DUI case?

A single vehicle accident involving a man and four children in February of this year led to a drunk driving charge against the former Utah sheriff's lieutenant ("Utah sheriff's lieutenant resigns after being charged with DUI," March 17, 2014). In May, he pleaded not guilty to the DUI charge. During his recently held pretrial conference, the trial previously scheduled for September 19 was canceled until a motion to suppress filed in August by his counsel can be heard.

According to the motion, the man's counsel is seeking to have the blood alcohol test conducted around the time of his arrest thrown out. It is alleged that the test was done without his consent and without a warrant. This would be a violation of his constitutional rights.

What are the different ways child custody is granted?

For parents in Utah who are getting a divorce, the main concern is usually the custody of the children. Adding to that concern is the confusion surrounding the different ways in which child custody can be awarded. For instance, many parents may not realize that there is a distinction between physical custody and legal custody.

Physical custody, as the term implies, is granted to the parent who the children will physically live with after the divorce. The children will spend the majority of their time with the parent who is given sole physical custody. Visitation rights are normally granted to the other parent. When a court awards joint physical custody to the parents, it does not necessarily mean the children live with each parent equally. However, the children do spend a significant amount of time with each parent.

What is implied consent in relation to a DUI charge?

Some Utah residents may have heard that refusing to take a breath test when suspected of driving under the influence makes it more difficult for prosecutors to prove impairment. That may be true, but it also may not stop you from facing a DUI charge. Further, there are risks involved with such a refusal.

This is because all states, including Utah, have what are called laws of implied consent. When you applied and tested to obtain your driver's license, you consented to undergo testing if you are ever suspected of being impaired while driving. This includes field sobriety tests and breath tests.

What happens after a Utah divorce is filed?

Even if a Utah resident knows that his or her marriage is ending, hearing that a spouse has filed for divorce can be disconcerting. Many people have no idea what to expect, and how each party reacts is far from predictable. The divorce can be either amicable or contentious, and which way it will go often depends on how each party handles the stress and emotional roller coaster that goes along with the process.

The one thing that both spouses can count on is that there will be an end to the process at some point. What happens in between the initial filing and the final hearing is largely up to the parties. Both parties may feel as if they have no control, and some people spend the whole time maneuvering to regain that control.

Utah man arrested for DUI after police pursuit

Sometimes, Utah residents make poor choices and get into their vehicles after consuming alcohol. When that happens, it is possible that they could get into an accident or be pulled over by law enforcement officials. If an officer suspects the driver of being impaired, an individual could end up being taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

An accident brought a Utah man to the attention of police when officers were searching for a vehicle that fled the scene of the crash. An officer's dash camera was recording when the officer initiated the pursuit of a vehicle that appeared to be speeding. There is a portion of the footage where the vehicle he began chasing is not visible.

Father is being charged double for his child support

Many Utah fathers -- and mothers in some cases -- understand and embrace their duty to support their children after a divorce. Making child support payments is just part of what they do as good parents. This is how one out-of-state man feels about his obligation, but when his state began taking payments from both his full-time and part-time jobs, he had had enough.

According to the state's child support office in the area where the man lives, as long as the full amount of support is being paid each month from one employer, the income from a second employer will not be touched. However, that is exactly what happened to the father in question. Even though the man was up-to-date on his child support, the state began garnishing his checks from both jobs. Even though the state says this should not happen, this was the second time it had happened to him.

Driver charged with DUI and other misdemeanors in Utah crash

A Utah Highway Patrol officer conducting a stationary patrol on Interstate 15 was alerted to an accident not far from his location. When he arrived, he found a pickup truck had smashed into a sign on the highway. After speaking with the driver, the officer arrested the man on suspicion of DUI.

According to a preliminary report from the Utah Highway Patrol, the man was headed south on the Interstate when he somehow drifted off the highway and into a sign. When the officer was informed about the crash, he was told the driver may be injured, so emergency medical personnel were called to the scene. The driver was checked out but refused any further treatment.

Pets, asset division and a Utah divorce

Nearly 1,500 members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers were polled recently regarding pets. About 25 percent of those polled have seen a rise in the number of divorce cases involving which party gets custody of the family pet. As these numbers continue to increase, it may be necessary for state laws, including those here in Utah, to treat pets as more than simple asset division in family law.

People here in Utah and across the country treat their pets as members of the family. However, current law considers them to be property just like furniture or a bank account. As such, most courts will not entertain visitation schedules or other traditional custody issues as they do for children. Even so, the courts will hear evidence to determine whether a pet is separate property or marital property.

Utah man is facing charges for DUI-related deaths

The Utah Highway Patrol recently reported a tragedy that befell a family of four on their way out-of-state for the weekend to go camping. As the family headed west on Interstate 80, another vehicle approached from the east in their vehicle's lanes of traffic. The driver in that eastbound car was arrested and is now charged in connection with the alleged DUI-related deaths of three of the four family members in the head-on collision that resulted from the man driving the wrong way.

One person claims to have stopped the man in the vehicle to discuss how he was driving. Other witnesses say the vehicle was erratic and tailgating. After that, the reports allege that the driver used an emergency turn-around to turn east into the westbound lanes. The driver and the man in the family's vehicle survived the crash, but not without suffering injuries. A mother and her two daughters suffered fatal injuries from the impact.

Prenuptial agreement can be thrown out in a Utah divorce

Prenuptial agreements have gained popularity in recent years. They are touted as an amicable agreement between a couple that will protect them both in the event of a divorce and keep any confrontations to a minimum. However, there are some agreements that may be thrown out by the Utah courts for a variety of reasons.

It is not unheard of for one potential spouse to spring a prenuptial agreement on the other just days -- or even the day before -- the wedding is supposed to take place. In these cases, some individuals may sign the agreement even though they are not comfortable with doing so. If the marriage ends in divorce, it could be argued that the party was coerced into signing the prenup, which could make it invalid.

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