Utah Criminal Defense

Utah Traffic Glossary

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Here is most everything you need to know about traffic offenses in Utah. Points, charges, probation and insurance rates. Even a list of common Gotchas at the end to be aware of.

Accident Fee. $30. If you are involved in an accident you will be charged $30 for the accident. It is waivable. Yet traffic offenses involving accidents are hard to resolve, especially if someone is hurt or there is significant property damage. Also, you need to watch out for the concurrent civil lawsuit for personal injuries that can be brewing, but not yet filed.

Bail Forfeiture. Pay Without Appearance. Most Utah traffic offenses don’t require you to personally appear in court. These traffic citations you can just pay and are called bail forfeiture offenses. You can just call in and pay the fine. Classic Utah traffic offenses that you can’t just pay are DUI, reckless driving, driving over 100MPH, traffic offense involving accident, personal injury, drugs or alcohol.

Bail Schedule. This document can be found by Googling “Utah Bail Schedule.” It is updated yearly and has 99.99 % of all traffic offenses detailed. It states the uniform suggested fine, whether it is moving or non-moving, reportable to the DLD and host of other good stuff.

BCI Reportable Traffic Offense. BCI means the Bureau of Criminal Identification. BCI is a division of the Utah Department of Public Safety. BCI reportable offenses are traffic offenses that go on your Utah criminal record.

Commercial Driver’s License. A CDL or commercial driver’s license is a professional driver’s license for big rig truckers and large commercial vehicles. Specialized training and medical exams are conducted yearly to better ensure safe driving. Plea in abeyances don’t affect or work on CDL drivers.

Over 100 MPH Speeding Enhanced Statutes. Utah has been on a kick since around 2022 placing enhanced fines on speeding over 100 mph. Speeding over 100 mph has its own speeding chart. See below.

Basic Speeding. Your basic speeding with basic fines are around $130, $240, etc. 0-9 over, 10-19 over, etc.

School Zone Speeding. Fines go up drastically and are enhanceable offenses. If caught driving over 30 mph in a school zone you shall be ordered to observe cross-walk duty

Speeding in Construction Zone. Increased fines.

Here is the enhanced over 100 mph speeding chart:

SR 22 Insurance. SR 22 insurance is high-rate insurance that is required upon certain traffic court convictions. DUI and no insurance convictions require high-rate SR 22 insurance. You are required to have this high-cost insurance for three years.

Non Resident Violator Compact. At the present time the following states are not members of the Nonresident Violator Compact (NRVC) and will not act on a request to suspend the driver’s license of a person, who has been issued a traffic citation in the State of Utah and who failed to appear or contact the court on the citation: Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Moving violations. Generally moving violations hurt your insurance rates and increase your Utah driving points.

Non-moving violations. Non-moving violations encompass status or conditions of the vehicle or driver license violations (e.g., not registered, not licensed, broken equipment). No points are assessed against your Utah driving record. Non-moving violations are preferred ways to resolve traffic tickets.

Failure to Appear. Add $50. If you fail to appear another $50 is tacked on to your traffic ticket.

Mandatory Appearance Traffic Tickets in Utah. Any traffic offense involving personal injury or death require a mandatory court appearance.

Plea in Abeyance. Pleas in Abeyance or PIAs don’t assess points against a non-CDL driver. Regular drivers who don’t hold a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”) will not be assessed points in Utah for the moving violation. Your home state that issues and maintains your driver’s license may be different.
CDL Driver. Any PIA on a CDL is fruitless and the points go right through and so does the conviction, greatly affecting CLD drivers.
PIA for a Non-resident, Non-CDL driver: How your home state treats your plea in abeyance on your Utah traffic case is up to your home state. It is generally the best thing you can do to deal with a Utah traffic ticket, but you must inquire with your home state.

Reckless Driving. A mandatory appearance Utah traffic ticket. Going over 105 mph is per se reckless driving. If you commit 3 or more moving violations under the Utah traffic code within a short period, or one single reckless event are also considered reckless driving. Reckless driving is a Class B misdemeanor and carries 80 points. Very devastating for under 21 drivers and insurance rates.

Under 21 Provision Driving Points System. A driver under 21 years of age, who accumulates 70 or more points in three years, may be suspended or denied for one month to a year, depending upon the severity of the record.

Over 21 Adult Driving Points System. A driver 21 years of age or older, who accumulates 200 or more points in three years, may be suspended for three months to a year, depending upon the severity of the record.

Points per traffic offense generally. Below is the general chart for points assessed for certain traffic offenses.

When Non-Criminal Convictions Can Suspend your Utah Driver’s License. We all know that drugs and alcohol convictions often suspend your driving privileges. Sometimes a single episode of a serious accident causing death or injury that doesn’t involve a conviction can still suspend your license. See this article when driving incidents that don’t involve convictions can suspend your license. https://provocriminaldefense.com/2021/04/12/utah-driving-suspensions/

Traffic Offense Arrest Warrants in Utah. Warrants for the following require transportation regardless of the Utah county that you are found in. • felonies; • class A misdemeanors; and • class B misdemeanors charged Assaults, Weapons, and Driving Under the Influence and Reckless Driving.
Unless otherwise ordered, most other Class and Class C warrants will not require transportation from any outside county.

GOTCHAS IN UTAH TRAFFIC LAWS

There are many trips and pitfalls in Utah traffic law to watch out for. Here are a few that happen a lot and some that just can happen.

(1). Two Reckless Driving Convictions in 12 months. Normally a reckless driving ticket alone will not suspend your driver’s license. But two reckless driving convictions or one reckless driving and a DUI conviction will suspend your license. See Utah Code 53-3-220 (The master and mother of all suspension statutes).

(2). Reckless Driving and the Under 21 Driver. Reckless driving convictions usually will not suspend your license. If you are an under 21 provisional Utah driver you only get 100 points and reckless driving is 80 points automatically. At 70 points, you are subject to suspension. Pleading guilty to any attempted reckless driving, or infraction reckless driving for an under 21 driver may suspend their license on a points suspension.

(3). Too Many Points. Before pleading guilty to any traffic offense, you better know how many points you have. 200 points is the max for adults and 100 for under 21 provisional drivers.

(4). Pleas in Abeyance on CDLs. Normally PIAs mask points being assessed against your driver’s license. If you have a Commercial Driver’s License, forget about a PIA holding back points. It goes straight through to your sensitive CDL license. It is better to stay away from CDL traffic cases.

(5). Pleas in Abeyance Out-of-State Licensed Drivers. Normally PIA work like a champ on in-state and out-of-state drivers. But every so often the home state will treat PIA as convictions, even though Utah does not. That is a matter of home state law and the client will need to hire a lawyer in their own state to figure that out.

(6). School Zone Speeding. Speeding convictions in a school zone at 30 miles or more require you to observe crosswalk duty. This provision to observe is built right into the statute and is a real surprise. Make sure you plead down to under 30 mph over if you are pleading at all to a Class C school zone traffic matter.

(7). CDLs, Commercial Drivers in General. Most traffic court prosecutors will not deal on CLD drivers, especially if they cited driving a commercial vehicle. The gotcha also applies when a CDL driving is driving their normal vehicle, the same problems for a CDL driver apply.

(8). Fatalities Car Accidents Not Charged. You can still lose your Utah driving privileges even when not charged or convicted. If someone dies as a result of your driving, the Utah DLD will hold a hearing to determine if your license should be suspended. See this article when driving incidents that don’t involve convictions can suspend your license. https://provocriminaldefense.com/2021/04/12/utah-driving-suspensions.

(9). Car accident Injury Claims and Traffic Cases. When you are charged with a traffic accident causing any injury you may be sued civilly also for the same car accident. You need to be careful how you plead and be watch out for criminal restitution being ordered in the traffic case, instead of the civil case. Criminal traffic restitution is never dischargeable in bankruptcy and if not paid, you can ever get a traffic expungement. Let the restitution be ordered and dealt with in the civil case so your car insurance pays it.

(10). Failure to Appear on Traffic Tickets—License Suspension. If you fail to appear a warrant will issue for your arrest. Further Utah will ask your home state to suspend your license and issues a warrant for your arrest. You will likely be rolling around your home state and not even know that your driving privileges are suspended in Utah and your home state.

TXT/CALL UTAH TRAFFIC ATTORNEY JAKE GUNTER (801) 373-6345. HE CAN NORMALLY TELL YOU RIGHT OVER THE PHONE WHAT HE CAN DO FOR YOU.

Is the lawyer you are about to call have 20 plus jury trials? Experience matters in criminal defense. Contact Jake today!

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