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Impaired Driving - Utah DUI Defense Lawyer

Utah DUI Drunk Driving AttorneyWhen facing DUI charges in Utah, you have the choice of taking the case to trial or pursuing a negotiated resolution. Both options should be considered and explored. In some cases, a negotiated plea to a reduced charge of Impaired Driving may provide a better outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine which option is best for you.

What are the advantages of an Impaired Driving plea?

A reduced charge of Impaired Driving under Utah Code 41-6a-502.5 presents one option for resolving a DUI case. A negotiated plea to a charge of Impaired Driving does not have the same minimum mandatory sentencing requirements that a Utah DUI charge carries. A plea to Impaired Driving in Utah also avoids the driver license suspension that accompanies a conviction for DUI.

What is Impaired Driving?

Impaired Driving is not a charge that can be independently filed against in a Utah criminal case. It is a charge that can only result from negotiations with the prosecutor and the agreement of the court. A charge of Impaired Driving does not have its own independent set of elements. Rather, a conviction for Impaired Driving may be considered as a reduced form of a full DUI under Utah Code 41-6a-502.  

When is a plea to Impaired Driving an option?

In order to obtain a negotiated plea to Impaired Driving in Utah, a person must be charged with DUI under Utah Code Ann. 41-6a-502. A person may either have their misdemeanor DUI conviction reduced to an Impaired Driving upon the completion of probation, or a person may be allowed to enter a plea to the reduced Impaired Driving with the agreement of the prosecutor and if the court determines that allowing the plea is in the interest of justice.

Choosing a Utah Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake

If you have been charged with a DUI in Utah, consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to determine the best way to handle your case. Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients rights in felony and misdemeanor cases ranging from homicide to DUI. He has a track record of achieving real results.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake City criminal attorney Stephen Howard.


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  • Selected Victories
  • 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.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahDismissed at Preliminary Hearing - Client charged with aggravated robbery and facing life in prison. Full case analysis and consultation with client allowed the development of a strong defense strategy. Effective cross-examination of the alleged victim at the preliminary hearing resulted in an outright dismissal of all charges by the judge.
  • 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.
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  • Utah Misdemeanor Attorney Salt Lake Can I handle a Utah misdemeanor from out-of-state? - Even if you do not intend to take your case to trial, a misdemeanor criminal offense in Utah can require multiple court appearances to reach a resolution. If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, but are not a Utah resident, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without returning to the state. . . .
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In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

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Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

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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
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, 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

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