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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Car wreck ends in arrest for driving under the influence of drugs

Police received a report that a Utah woman was passed out in a vehicle. When they arrived at the location reported, no car was present. A search of the area led them to discover a single-car accident. The woman behind the wheel was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

The driver was unconscious when emergency responders pulled her from the car. Police claim that when she regained consciousness, she admitted to huffing compressed air. When searching the vehicle, officers claim to have found cans of compressed air, along with evidence of purchasing them within 90 minutes of the woman appearing for a court ordered drug test.

Woman gets permission to serve divorce petition via Facebook

From the time they were married in 2009, an out-of-state couple had issues. The marriage quickly fell apart, and the woman wanted a divorce. However, as some Utah residents may have experienced during their divorce proceedings, her soon-to-be ex-husband did not make it easy for her to serve him with the divorce papers.

He continuously claimed that he did not have a permanent address or a job. He also denied requests to make himself available to be served. Therefore, the woman went to the court seeking an alternative method of fulfilling the legal service requirement, and the method she asked to use was a bit unorthodox.

Proving DUI is difficult for prosecutors in hit-and-run crashes

Drivers fail to remain at the scenes of accidents for a variety of reasons even though leaving the scene is against the law. Utah lawmakers made this a crime so that individuals would feel obliged to take responsibility for their actions. Often, drunk drivers leave the scenes of accidents, and proving a DUI in a hit-and-run accident is nearly impossible for prosecutors.

If law enforcement officials locate an individual suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run accident within hours of the crash, the fact that he or she is intoxicated does not mean that was the case at the time of the accident. The suspected driver could have started drinking at home. Witnesses at the crash site may tell officers that they think the person might have been impaired, but there may be no way to prove that in court.

How do Utah judges determine alimony?

When a Utah couple divorces, one party may make less money than the other, which puts that individual at a financial disadvantage as they each set up separate households. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are able to amicably negotiate a large portion of the divorce settlement, the issue of alimony can be contentious. As a result, you might end up taking the issue before a judge if you are unable to come to an agreement.

A Utah judge will first review your family's current situation and each individual's financial situation to decide whether alimony is appropriate. If it is, the next step would be to determine how much support is needed and for how long. Absent any extenuating circumstances such as a disability that would hinder one party's ability to support his or herself, all judges typically consider similar factors.

Substitute school bus driver accused of DUI

At approximately 7 a.m. on a recent Thursday, a school bus in Utah was involved in an accident. At the time, only the unidentified driver, a school bus aide and one student, age 13, were on board. The driver was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

Reports regarding the crash indicate that the bus driver lost control in a roundabout. The bus hit a tree, a street sign and then another tree before coming to rest in the yard of a residence. Fortunately, no one suffered any injuries.

Child custody matters can be fraught with complex issues

For many Utah couples who have children, the only issue over which they are willing to battle it out in court is the fate of the children. This may be even more true when extenuating circumstances are present that only serve to make the issue more complex. Whether those child custody issues involve the parents or the children does not seem to matter.

Every day, Utah's courts deal with custody issues in which a child's safety is in jeopardy, such as in cases of domestic violence toward the spouse and/or children is alleged. Other cases involve a parent who allegedly has a problem with alcohol or drugs. If one parent accuses the other of abusing the child or having a substance abuse issue, those allegations will need to be vetted before a decision regarding custody can be made. Determining what is in the best interests of the child under these circumstances is not always easy.

A good DUI defense analyzes the validity of tests done by police

When a person is arrested in Utah for driving under the influence, police must have what is called probable cause to make the arrest. In order to establish probable cause for a DUI charge, officers typically use testing procedures. Those tests can be analyzed as part of a DUI defense to determine whether police appropriately established a legal reason to take someone into custody.

If you are pulled over, the officer must have a valid reason for doing so. The circumstances of the traffic stop will be reviewed first. Without establishing a legal basis for the stop, the DUI may not be valid.

Woman could be charged with DUI after crashing into wall

At approximately 2 a.m. on Feb. 18, police were called to the scene of a single-car accident. When they arrived, officers discovered that the car had struck a retaining wall measuring about 2 feet in height. Police say the Utah woman behind the wheel could be charged with DUI as a result of the incident.

Preliminary reports indicate that, after the woman somehow lost control of her vehicle, it went through a convenience store parking lot, but did not stop there. The vehicle then entered the lanes of one direction of travel first, then went through the median into the lanes of the other direction of travel. Her car finally came to a rest when it hit the wall.

New bill could affect alimony for Utah's stay-at-home parents

Many Utah couples make the determination that one parent will stay home to raise the children while the other works. This arrangement may work well while the parties are married, but, in the event of a divorce, it could become problematic -- particularly for the parent who stayed at home. The stay-at-home parent could find him or herself at a financial disadvantage without receiving alimony.

A bill that just passed through the Utah legislature's House Judiciary Committee recognizes this fact. HB 244 would make it mandatory for the state's family law judges to consider the fact that a parent stayed at home with the children when deciding whether to award alimony. Moreover, it could affect the amount of alimony a party receives.

Dividing the family business in a Utah divorce

The U.S. Census Bureau's data indicates that somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.7 million business across the nation are owned by a husband and wife together. Those couples here in Utah who are part of that statistic most likely understand all too well that when the marriage is working, the business usually is as well. However, when a couple decides to divorce, the fate of the business is uncertain.

What happens to the business during and after the divorce could largely depend on each partner's role in the company. For example, if both parties are doctors, the business might need to be divided. However, if one party is a doctor and the other is the office manager, the business may continue since a new office manager can be hired.

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