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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Why focus on the traffic stop when you're facing charges for DUI?

When you come into contact with law enforcement officials here in Utah or anywhere else in the country, you have certain constitutional rights that govern their contact with you. If those rights are violated, any evidence gathered from that point forward might not be admissible in court. This is why reviewing the circumstances surrounding the initial traffic stop when you are facing charges for DUI is so important.

A police officer's opinion that you are acting suspicious is not enough to initiate a traffic stop. Traffic stops must be predicated on some reasonable suspicion. Some actions that can provide an officer with reasonable suspicion are speeding, reckless driving or weaving. Even driving too slowly or not using your turn signal can give an officer a reason to stop you.

Witnesses describe stop of suspected DUI driver on I-15

Two men traveling northbound on Interstate 15 had no idea why a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle was slowing down traffic. It was not until they came around a bend that they saw headlights heading toward them in their lane. The wrong-way vehicle was eventually stopped, and its driver was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

Reports indicate that the UHP received several calls concerning a car heading south in the northbound lanes of the highway. A trooper managed to catch up to unsuspecting northbound vehicles just in time to avert a tragedy. He then sped toward the oncoming vehicle and clipped it on the rear. The trooper's vehicle then hit the concrete barrier dividing the highway, and the wrong-way vehicle spun out and came to a stop.

Enjoying the holidays during or after a divorce is possible

As the holiday season begins, some Utah families are struggling with how they will enjoy them now that the parents are no longer together. For couples who are going through a divorce, this can be an especially stressful time of year since it might feel as if life is in chaos. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy the holidays and could actually be a blessing in disguise.

Utah couples who are going through a divorce at this time of year have the opportunity to see if the plans they have in their minds are as practical in reality. For those who have not yet been through the holidays, this is a good time to determine whether the provisions made at the time of the divorce make sense in practice. In either case, the holiday schedule needs to be discussed and posted so that everyone is aware of it.

Facing charges for DUI? You might still keep your license

Like many Utah residents, you might be under the impression that your license will be suspended once you are pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Even if you are facing charges for DUI, you should not make that assumption. Instead, find out what your rights are regarding this administrative penalty because you might be able to keep you license if you act fast.

In this instance, "fast" means within 10 days from the issuance of the citation. In order to beat this deadline, you will need to enlist the help of an attorney as quickly as possible. If you do not file a request for a Driver License Division (DLD) hearing within that time, the suspension will more than likely be automatically imposed. If the time has already lapsed, there is an appeals process, but it would be better to get the request in on time.

Proving a spouse is dissipating assets in a Utah divorce

Money remains one of the biggest points of contention for married couples here in Utah and around the country. That contention does not necessarily stop once the parties decide to divorce. In fact, matters could get worse as the parties work to divide the marital estate.

Some Utah residents might attempt to squander the marital assets rather than divide them. Dissipating assets, as it is called, is often done through excessive spending. The other spouse might notice that credit card limits are being reached and/or accounts are being drained. If this is the case, it might be time to call in a forensic accountant to review all of the couple's financial records in an attempt to determine what happened.

Do you qualify for an annulment instead of a divorce?

Consider the possibility that you married and then discovered some horrifying fact that makes it impossible to remain married. If you do not understand all of your legal options under Utah law, you might simply file for divorce or legal separation. However, there could be a third alternative -- annulment.

An annulment makes it so that the marriage never legally happened. You will not be required to divide your assets or provide support to the other party. However, you will also not be entitled to those benefits of divorce either.

Is it your first time being charged with DUI?

Most Utah residents would agree that being pulled over by police is never fun, but if you are then accused of driving under the influence, you could end up spending some time in a jail cell. If this happens to you, and it is the first time you have been charged with DUI, do not assume that you should just accept the consequences. Other options might be available to you because it is your first offense.

Police officers are required to follow certain procedures when they have contact with people since every U.S. citizen is entitled to certain rights. Your attorney will more than likely conduct a review of the circumstances surrounding the incident -- beginning with the traffic stop. Officers are required to have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are either committing a crime or violating a traffic law in order to initiate a traffic stop.

Utah woman mistakenly arrested for DUI

Utah police officers are trained to look for certain behaviors when it comes to determining when a driver is driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. The problem is that the existence of those behaviors does not always mean that an individual is impaired. Sadly, individuals are often arrested for DUI based on field sobriety tests and observations that are subjective and unreliable.

For example, a woman was recently taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. She came into contact with officers after being rear-ended in traffic. The officer believed that her erratic behavior was the result of being under the influence of a then unidentified substance. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and based on her failure of those tests, she was arrested.

Before filing for divorce, consider this

Emotions are often running high after a couple decides to end a marriage. Anger, resentment and grief can quickly take control of the divorce process if the parties let them. Instead, Utah residents should take a step back and make an agreement to work together to help ensure that they each have the chance to start their new lives in the best financial position possible.

The first and potentially most challenging part of the process is to determine what it will take to live after the divorce. Everyone has a vision of how they want their new lives to be. However, in reality, budget cuts might be needed in order to sustain two households on the same resources that used to support one during the marriage.

Angelina Jolie temporarily awarded sole child custody

By now, most people in Utah are aware that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. Recently, allegations of child abuse arose against Pitt, and a temporary child custody agreement was reached. As part of that agreement, Jolie was given sole custody of the couple's six children.

Furthermore, Pitt voluntarily agreed to undergo random alcohol and drug testing, and his first tests came back negative. The couple will attend both individual and family counseling (with the children), and a therapist will supervise at least Pitt's first visitation with the children. When the agreement was made, Pitt was already under investigation for an incident that allegedly occurred on board a private jet on Sept. 14.

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