Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Driving With Controlled Substance Metabolite - Utah DUI Lawyer

Utah law provides several different ways for a prosecutor to charge a DUI or related crimes. Even if you have not had any alcohol to drink, Utah prosecutors can file what is sometimes called a  DUI-metabolite charge if a blood or urine test shows the presence of any measurable controlled substance metabolite. Consequences of a conviction in Utah for driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite can include jail time, fines, losing your driver's license, and more. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Utah criminal attorney Stephen Howard.

Elements of a Utah DUI Metabolite Charge

Under Utah Code Ann. 41-6a-517, a person can be criminally charged if he or she operates or is in "actual physical control" of a vehicle and has any controlled substance or controlled substance metabolite in his or her body. Unlike a normal DUI charge, this Utah criminal offense does not require proof that the person was impaired or otherwise not able to safely operate the vehicle.

Affirmative Defenses to a Utah DUI Metabolite Charge

Utah law provides an affirmative defense to the charge of driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite if you "involuntarily ingested" the drugs. You also have an affirmative defense to the charge if you have a legitimate prescription for the drugs that are in your system. (Note, however, that you may still be convicted of DUI in Utah if your prescription medication impairs your ability to safely drive.)

Utah's DUI/Metabolite statute also provides a third affirmative defense, where a defendant can show that the controlled substance was "otherwise legally ingested." This affirmative defense can be critical for drivers who have smoked, consumed, or otherwise ingested marijuana in another state, but then find themselves facing criminal charges in Utah. A driver who has legally used marijuana in another state (e.g. with a medical marijuana card in California, or recreationally in Colorado) may still find themselves facing DUI/Metabolite charges in Utah. But if a jury accepts the defense that the marijuana was not used in Utah, but was instead legally smoked or ingested  in another state, the jury may still return a not-guilty verdict.

Fourth Amendment Defenses in a Utah DUI Metabolite Case

In addition to these factual defenses, you may also have a constitutional defense to a charge of driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite. Although the charge does not require proof of impaired or reckless driving, an officer may still be required to demonstrate that there was a "reasonable articulable suspicion" or "probable cause" to support the traffic stop and/or the request to provide a blood or urine sample for drug testing. If the officer did not have a constitutionally sufficient reason for the stop or the test, any evidence obtained in violation of Fourth Amendment may be suppressed.

Finding a Utah Criminal Attorney in Salt Lake City

If you are facing prosecution for DUI metabolite or other criminal charges, it is vital to have an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake criminal lawyer Stephen Howard.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

Consequences »
Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah - Reasons to Hope

Clients sometimes ask what the "worst case scenario" is for their charges. We prefer to take a more positive approach. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. But you can take steps and make choices right now that will improve your chances of a positive outcome. Let us help you....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.