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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Arrested for a subsequent DUI? Seek help as soon as possible

One conviction for being impaired behind the wheel here in Utah comes with both short-term and long-term penalties. One of the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction is that, if you are arrested on a subsequent drunk driving charge, the offense is considered more serious. This often means more penalties and other repercussions if you are convicted.

If you are arrested for a second DUI within 10 years of the first one, you face mandatory jail time of 10 days, a yearlong suspension of your driver's license and fines of at least $800 if you are convicted. Those are just the short-term costs of a second DUI conviction. Other costs include increased insurance rates, fees to reinstate your license and the cost of the installation and upkeep of an ignition interlock device.

Utah woman arrested for DUI while sitting in parking lot

The Utah woman behind the wheel of a car told an officer that she was waiting for someone when he approached her vehicle. According to the officer, the vehicle was sitting in a convenience store parking lot when he drove by the first time. Since it was still there the second time he drove by, he decided to see if he could help the occupants. By the time his discussion with the woman was over, she was under arrest and facing a DUI charge, two counts of child endangerment and other offenses.

The sergeant, who is with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, said that he felt the need to help the individuals in the vehicle because it was "old" and had expired tags. He noticed two young children in the vehicle, along with what he assumed was methamphetamine and syringes. The officer noted that the alleged drugs and drug paraphernalia were within easy reach of the two children.

Could Utah expand child custody laws to include the family pet?

At present, the state of Utah provides no protections for the family pet when it comes to domestic violence or divorce. When it comes to divorce, family pets are considered property, which means that judges make decisions regarding their fate in accordance with asset division laws. However, a new law in the northernmost state of the country that now requires judges to apply rules similar to those for child custody to pets might begin persuading other states to follow suit.

For many families across the nation, including those who do not have children, their pets are an integral part of the family. The thought of the four-legged members of their families being treated like a chair or table is disheartening and perhaps disturbing. Several states do allow pets to be protected by restraining orders in domestic violence cases, but Utah is not one of them.

Getting the most out of asset division in a Utah divorce

Your marriage is ending, and now you and your spouse begin the task of dividing your property. Most Utah residents believe that asset division is supposed to be an equal split, but that is not always the case. The key is for the division to be equitable and fair, which does not always equate to equal, though it often comes close.

Many Utah residents approach property division from an emotional standpoint, which often only leads to more conflict and a questionable financial future. Instead, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may benefit by focusing on setting up a future that includes financial security. Attorneys can help with this task.

DUI crash ends with prison time for Utah driver

The ultimate fate of a Utah resident who is charged with alcohol-related offenses after a crash could take months to occur. During that time, both officials and the accused will scrutinize the evidence to determine charges, whether rights were violated and whether a plea bargain would be the best course of action for everyone involved. For instance, a woman accused of causing the death of a 4-month-old infant back in Aug. 2016 ("Driver faces charges of vehicular homicide and DUI after crash," Aug. 9, 2016) recently received consecutive prison sentences between zero and five years for crimes to which she pleaded guilty.

On that day in August, the 30-year-old woman was behind the wheel of a car. Her passenger, the infant's 39-year-old mother, was holding her child. When the vehicle left the roadway, it slammed into a tree and rolled. The mother and child suffered serious injuries. The mother survived, but the child did not.

Divorce does not have to be a courtroom battle -- ask Brangelina

Utah movie fans more than likely already know that the days of "Brangelina" are coming to a close. At first, it looked like the couple was going to end up in a public and contentious divorce that would be fodder for the media for quite some time. However, the couple recently decided to resolve their issues in a more private manner by moving out of the public eye and using a private judge.

Few Utah couples have the assets and public attention that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do, but that does not mean that a courtroom battle is inevitable or preferable. Giving in to the traditional adversarial system often causes more harm than good for divorcing couples. Choosing to stay out of the courtroom allows more privacy and the chance to tailor an agreement to the family's specific circumstances.

Intellectual property inventory and valuation in Utah divorce

The division of property in divorce can have enormous impact on each spouse's future portfolio of assets and therefore, on his or her individual standard of living as the marriage is left behind. For an equitable division of property to take place, an accurate inventory of assets and proper assignment of values are especially important when assets include intellectual property like copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets.

The nature of intellectual property

Intellectual property is considered intangible property, meaning property less concrete than an object, account, house or piece of real estate. Things classified as intellectual property could include a formula, brand, song, design, invention, website, marketing strategy, piece of writing, computer program, software and similar items. Ownership or the right to use intellectual property is generally exclusive.

Can I modify my divorce agreement?

The short answer is that changes can be made. While the divorce may have become final, there are many reasons for requesting a change to the decree. Of course there may have been a clerical error in the judgment or some other technical issue that the court needs to clean up. But there may be a certain decision made by the court that you feel was unfair, or perhaps there needs to be a change in certain obligations set forth in the divorce agreement.


An appeal of the trial judge's ruling is done taking the case to the higher court called the appellate or appeals court. While this is possible to do, it's unlikely in the case of divorce that the higher judge would overturn the original court judge's decision. To do this, both sides must file a brief that supports their side of the argument with appropriate laws and statutes. While the two sides file their briefs in writing, the court may allow an oral argument.

Will controversial proposal for DUI law by Utah legislator pass?

Like the rest of the country, Utah's legal blood alcohol limit is currently .08 percent. One state legislator believes that is too high, and proposes a decrease of the legal limit to .05 in 2017 in accordance with the recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board. If it passes, many more people could face DUI charges.

To put it in practical terms, a man weighing approximately 170 pounds would reach a .05 blood alcohol content (BAC) after approximately three drinks in an hour. It translates to approximately two drinks in an hour for a woman weighing around 130 pounds. The wine a Utah resident has with dinner could result in an arrest.

Thinking of filing for divorce this January? So are many others

The holidays are over and a new year has begun. For many couples here in Utah and across the nation that means filing for divorce. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorce filings increase up to 30 percent in January of every year.

Some speculate that this rise is due to the financial and emotional stress of the holidays. Another possibility is that couples do not want to "ruin" the holidays for their children and families, so they wait until January to file. However, rushing to the courthouse could be a mistake.

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