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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Video: The value of an experienced, knowledgeable divorce attorney

If you are getting divorced, chances are you will be going through some complicated situations for the very first time. You probably won't know what to expect, what questions to ask or what you deserve. However, you can work with an attorney who has the legal knowledge and familiarity with the process that you may not have.

Utah's DUI-metabolite law gets backing from state supreme court

Some of Utah's criminal laws -- especially misdemeanors -- have never been challenged in the state's highest court. Most often, this is because doing so is not cost-effective and takes a great deal of time and effort. That is, until recently. The Utah Supreme Court recently issued a ruling upholding the constitutionality of the state's DUI-metabolite law.

According to Utah law, it is a class B misdemeanor to drive with any measurable amount of a controlled substance in the body -- including metabolites, which are byproducts of anything ingested. An individual may be charged with this crime even if not impaired at the time. Since 1994, courts have failed to consistently rule on the legality of the statute.

Couples have decisions to make when it comes to child custody

When Utah parents end their relationships, they often spend a considerable amount of time, either together or separately, attempting to make the process less stressful and uncomfortable for their children. Carrying this sentiment into the divorce process could help keep the focus on doing what is best for them both now and post-divorce. When it comes to child custody, parents have numerous decisions to make.

The first, and perhaps most important, decision involves whether to negotiate an arrangement between themselves or allow the court to make the decisions for them. Many couples find it more satisfying and advantageous to negotiate their own agreements. Parents can tailor their parenting plan to the unique needs of their family and include other provisions, such as how to resolve disputes or scheduling conflicts or changes. Since each parent helped make the decisions, each of them is more likely to adhere to them as well.

Why are second marriages more likely to end in divorce?

When your first marriage ended, you may have experienced many mixed emotions. Maybe you wrestled with the feeling of never wanting to go through that kind of heartache again, or maybe you decided you simply didn't want to be alone. Whether your second marriage was one you considered carefully or jumped into quickly, you are probably more than disappointed to see it coming to an end.

Statistically, second and third marriages end in divorce more often than first marriages. This is probably little comfort to you, especially if you had hoped to beat those odds. While each marriage is unique and the reasons for their successes and shortcomings are countless, marriage experts do see certain patterns when second marriages end.

Will the Utah legislature bend to the will of the ABI on DUI law?

Some laws passed by the Utah legislature go into effect without much more than a whisper while others meet with intense controversy before they are enacted. One such law previously discussed in this blog on March 17 is intended to lower the state's legal blood alcohol limit to .05 from .08 ("Major change is coming to Utah's DUI laws"). Since that time, the American Beverage Institute and others have begun a campaign aimed at getting the legislature to repeal the law even before its Dec. 30, 2018 effective date.

Will the ABI succeed in its efforts to rescind the new law? That remains to be seen. The ABI's efforts to get the law repealed include advertising aimed at keeping tourists out of Utah. As is the case for most states, tourism provides a significant amount of income and supports numerous jobs. In 2015 alone, tourists spent approximately $8.2 billion here, which supported around 142,500 jobs.

Defend yourself against a DUI hit and run charge

Hit-and-run accidents happen under a variety of circumstances. However, the state of Utah files charges against hit-and-run drivers based on the belief that most of these crashes are caused by drunk drivers. Therefore, if you failed to remain at the scene of an accident for whatever reason, you could face a DUI hit and run charge.

The problem with Utah's logic is that not everyone leaves the scene of an accident due to impairment. You might not have known you hit something, or you could simply have gotten scared and made a bad choice in leaving the scene. You might have gone home, had a few drinks to calm your nerves and then there is a knock at your door.

Planning to file for divorce? Get prepared before filing

Whether Utah residents decide to end their marriages, have a suspicion that their spouses want to do so or are completely surprised by the request, certain steps should be taken before moving forward. One of the central issues in nearly every divorce is finances. Without the appropriate preparation, any attempt to divide the marital property fairly and equitably could be in vain.

As the saying goes, "knowledge is power." Understanding the family's complete financial picture often creates an advantage at the negotiation table or in court. This requires gathering as much documentation as possible on the assets and liabilities a Utah couple shares. Even those assets and liabilities that may be considered separate property need to be identified.

VIDEO: Why is a trial needed in family law? | Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates

Many divorces settle before going to trial. Yet that doesn't mean that you should be scared of going to court. If the parties in a divorce are unable to resolve one or more issues, a trial is a time-tested way of finalizing the proceeding. 

Shauna Lake suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol

Many Salt Lake City residents are familiar with local news anchor Shauna Lake. As she drove Interstate 215 early one Wednesday morning, a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol noticed a vehicle driving slower than the posted speed limit in the inside lane of the highway, which is often commonly referred to as the fast lane. The trooper initiated a traffic stop. After speaking with Lake, the trooper suspected her of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The trooper claimed to smell alcohol coming from the inside of the vehicle and that Lake's eyes were supposedly bloodshot. The trooper also noticed a plastic cup and asked Lake what was in it. She told the trooper it was empty and passed it out the window. The trooper's report indicates that the inside of the cup smelled of alcohol. 

Your business can have a future, even if your marriage doesn't

Business owners often invest a great deal of time and money into building a successful enterprise. You might have started your business at an early age, and at the time, it may have been small, but perhaps now it has flourished financially. You are likely extremely proud and relieved that all your effort has paid off, but perhaps you haven't given thought to what might happen to it in the event of a divorce.

If you are facing the end of your marriage, chances are you might worry about how the process will impact this crucial asset. You will probably want to secure the future of your enterprise, but you could be in need of guidance and assistance in the process.

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