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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

It might not be finances that lead to divorce

Money matters are often cited as the reason for the end of marriages here in Utah and around the country. The more couples argue about financial issues, the greater the possibility of divorce. This might make sense, but is it accurate? One study claims that it is not necessarily money that leads to divorce, but it is a couple's division of labor that is a greater predictor. 

In every marriage, there are multitudes of tasks that need to be performed in order to run the household. Some of that work is paid, and some is not. It is the division of paid versus unpaid tasks that the study says is the true indicator of whether a couple will divorce.

Police accuse woman of DUI in fatal accident

Sadly, fatal accidents happen on Utah's roadways far too often. Some of them result in the filing of criminal charges. This is especially true if police suspect an individual of DUI at the time of the crash.

Police were recently called to the scene of a crash involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle. Preliminary reports indicate that the passenger car moved into the northbound center lane and then initiated a left turn directly in the path of a southbound motorcycle that was already moving at a high rate of speed. The 43-year-old man riding the motorcycle died from the injuries he suffered in the impact.

Driver faces charges of vehicular homicide and DUI after crash

At approximately 4 a.m. on a recent Thursday morning, police responded to the scene of a single-vehicle accident. The driver is now facing criminal charges in connection with the crash, including vehicular homicide and DUI. Allegedly, the woman's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit of .08 here in Utah.

According to reports, the driver lost control of the vehicle. It then struck a tree and flipped onto its side. Police removed the windshield and pulled out the three occupants. One was a 4-month-old infant who suffered significant injuries. She was taken by helicopter to a children's hospital in the area.

How is alimony determined in Utah?

Going from one household to two when a marriage ends often puts a strain on the available monetary resources of the parties. If one spouse will be at a financial disadvantage after the divorce, he or she might be able to obtain alimony. Utah's courts use several factors to determine the amount and duration of the payments.

A review of each spouse's overall financial situation will need to be done in order to determine what it will cost each of them to maintain a household. The income of each party, along with future earning capacities, is then reviewed. Once this information is compiled, other factors are taken into consideration such as the duration of the marriage. If either party engaged in misconduct such as infidelity during the marriage, that could also affect the amount of alimony the other party receives.

Trial against UHP officer who lied in DUI cases will move forward

On Sept. 10, 2011, a man was driving home when he was pulled over by a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol. The trooper allegedly stopped the man because he was swerving. She claimed that he failed a field sobriety test, administered a breath test and arrested him for DUI. The problem was that the breath test – and the blood test that was taken at the jail -- both proved that the driver had not been drinking. Thousands of dollars later, his name was cleared. 

Sadly, this man's story is not a unique one when it comes to this particular trooper. She was terminated in 2013 after allegations surfaced that she was lying in court, drawing blood during a traffic stop without supervision and not following proper procedures for field sobriety tests. Even her traffic stops came into question. At one time, she was honored for making somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 DUI arrests per year.

What happens if you are charged with DUI a second or third time?

The state of Utah considers driving under the influence a serious concern for its residents. For this reason, the penalties associated with DUIs increase with the number of offenses. Therefore, if you are charged with a DUI for a second or third time, it is imperative that you engage criminal defense counsel as soon as possible to protect your rights.

A DUI might remain on your record for more than 10 years, but at the expiration of that time from your first conviction, you can once again be treated as a first-time offender. However, if you are convicted of two DUIs within that 10-year period, you will spend a minimum of 10 days in jail. Your driver's license will be suspended for a year, and you will be assessed fines of at least $800.

Making the adjustment easier for the children in a divorce

Going from one household to two is often a challenge for Utah couples who are ending their marriages. However, when there are children involved, the importance of making a smooth transition becomes a significant priority for most parents. How children adjust during and following the divorce often sets the stage for the future. 

Utah parents who spend their time focusing on their resentment, hurt and anger toward each other could inadvertently sabotage the chances of giving their children the best opportunities for seamless adjustments. Granted, there will be some trepidation and issues regardless, but ensuring that children feel loved and secure will go a long way. In order to provide this to them, parents often have to put aside their feelings for each other and focus on being parents.

U.S. Supreme Court ruling puts light on refusal of DUI blood test

The United States Supreme Court recently made a ruling in a case for which it heard oral arguments in April. The issues before the court were whether those suspected of DUI can be arrested for refusing to submit to a breath test or a blood test. The court decided that drivers could be arrested for refusing a breath test, but not for refusing a blood test. This ruling is a good time to remind Utah residents what their rights are in reference to these impairment tests.

The blood test is considered an invasive procedure, and, therefore, a person's Fourth Amendment rights are violated if a warrant is not obtained for the test if the driver does not consent to it. Fortunately, only 13 states currently allow for the arrest of a driver for refusing to submit to a breath or blood test, and Utah is not one of them. However, just because an individual will not be arrested for refusing a blood test, that does not mean that there are no consequences.

Utah man arrested for driving under the influence of drugs

Few Utah residents know how they would react in an emergency situation. Where some people might be able to keep their wits about them and call for emergency services, others might react by attempting to get an injured person to medical help on their own. This is what one man was doing when he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.

The passenger in his vehicle had been involved in an ATV accident. Reports indicate that she suffered serious injuries in the crash, and the driver was attempting to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, he was pulled over by an officer with the Utah County Sheriff's Office for reckless driving.

Tax issues when splitting retirement accounts in a Utah divorce

The thoughts of Utah couples who are ending their marriages often turn to the division of their property. What they need to know is that there is more to consider than just who will receive which assets in the divorce. Many people fail to take the time to look at the tax implications associated with the division of certain assets.

For example, nearly every retirement account has tax consequences for early withdrawals. Even so, the marital portion of these accounts are often divided in a divorce. Therefore, the method in which the other party's portion of the account is transferred needs to be considered.

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