Utah Criminal Defense

Utah Traffic Ticket Defense

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Being convicted of speeding tickets can cause your car insurance to go up and you can loseyour ability to drive if you get too many tickets.

There a few basic ways a Provo Orem Traffic Ticket Attorney can help.  One, alleviate point.  Two, alleviate moving, versus nonmoving violations.  Three, beat the ticket.

Utah Adult Traffic Point System.

Adult Utah drivers over 21 years old have the following point system.
200 Points.

You can only have 200 points on your over 21 adult driving record in a three year period.   As you approached 200 points, or as you go over 200 points, the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles will start disciplining you, suspending your license or ordering traffic school to be attended.

1 Year Clean Driving.
Every one year of driving without a citation, half of your points will drop off your record.
2 Years Clean Driving.
If you drive two years without a moving violation, all your points will drop off your record.
3 Year Rollover.
Every three years you can take a defensive driving course to clear 50 points off your record.  

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Under 21 Traffic Point System.

Adults get 200 points on their record before disciplinary action is taken, drivers under 21 yearsof age only get 70 points. The same clearing mechanisms apply to under 21 year old drivers asover 21 year drivers.

Is your professional license being sanctioned? An experienced attorney can help.

List of Provo Orem Traffic Tickets and Points Associated.

Reckless Driving Speeding (depending on severity) 80
1-9 mph over 35
11-20 mph over 50
21 mph over 75
Failure to Yield Right-of-Way Following too Closely 60
Following too Closely 60
Wrong Side of Road 60
Wrong Way on One-Way Street 60
Red Light 50
Stop Sign 50
Improper Lookout 50
Improper Passing 50
Negligent Collision 50
Other Moving Violations 40

Master List of All Points on All Utah Traffic Tickets.

By Utah administrative rule, upon request The Driver License Division, Utah Department of Public Safety, shall make available for public review and inspection at the division office, reception desk, 4501 South 2700 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0560 a listing of the number of points assigned to moving traffic violations and the length of time that the violations remain on your record. See administrative rule R708-3-4. Point Assignment. Subsection 3.


If you do get too many points on your driver’s license, the Utah Driver License Division of the Department of Public Safety by administrative rules can assess the following sanctions.

R708-3-6. Point System Thresholds for Drivers Age 21 and Older.

(1) Upon receiving notice of a court conviction of a moving traffic violation, the division will post the violation to the driving record of the individual convicted, along with the points assigned to the violation, as designated in the code violation table.
(2) The division will use the following point thresholds to determine the severity of the sanction to be levied against the driver:
(a) 150 to 199 points: driver is sent a warning letter;
(b) 200 points: driver must appear for a hearing;
(c) 200 to 299 points: driver may be placed on probation or suspended for three months;
(d) 300 to 399 points: driver is suspended for 3 months;
(e) 400 to 599 points: driver is suspended for 6 months; and
(f) 600 or more points: driver is suspended for 1 year.
(3) A driver who is within a designated threshold may be considered for action at a lower threshold if completion of the defensive driving course has lowered the point total to that lower threshold.
(4) The suspension time is doubled, up to a maximum of one year, for a second or subsequent suspension within a three year period.

Utah traffic citation law firm

Avoid Points. Avoid Increased Insurance Rates.


(2) The division will use the following point thresholds to determine the severity of the sanction to be levied against the driver:
(a) 35 to 69 points: driver is sent a warning letter;
(b) 70 points: driver must appear for a hearing;
(c) 70 to 139 points: driver may be placed on probation or denied for 30 days;
(d) 140 to 199 points, or violation of probation for the first time in a three year period: driver may be denied for 30 days;
(e) 140 to 199 points for a second time in a three year period or a second probation violation in a three year period: driver may be denied for 60 days;
(f) 140 to 199 points for a third time in a three year period or a third probation violation in a three year period: driver may be suspended for 90 days;
(g) 200 to 249 points: driver is suspended for 60 days;
(h) 250 to 349 points: driver is suspended for 90 days;
(i) 350 to 449 points: driver is suspended for 6 months; and
(j) 450 or more: driver is suspended for 1 year.

Utah traffic citations attorneys. Provo Orem Traffic Defense Attorneys.

Commercial Driver License (“CDL”) Effects of a Traffic Ticket.

Many truck driving companies look down severely on even one traffic ticket.  Fighting trucking traffic tickets is extremely important to commercial truck drivers.  Hiring an attorney to fight the ticket can be the difference between losing your job and paying the bills. ‘

Costs of Traffic Ticket Defense—Flat Fees.  

Depending the court location, the type of ticket, your driving record, basic traffic ticket defense can be very affordable.  If your license is up for review because of too many points, or if you are a commercial driver, the states are much higher and it will cost more to protect your important legal rights.
Provo Orem Speeding Defense Lawyer Jake Gunter generally charges flat fees for traffic defense representation.  There is one flat fee to pretrial and another flat fee for the trial.  Same goes for an appeal if the client wants to appeal.  Flat attorney fees on traffic tickets give the client some control over their legal fees and how far the client wants or needs to push his traffic ticket defense.

Fighting Utah County Traffic Tickets.

Utah County Traffic Ticket Pleas in Abeyance.
With a good driving record and not being an 18 wheeler trucker, a 6 month Plea in Abeyance, a fine and traffic school is a really good outcome for basic speeding violations.  The benefit of a Utah Plea in Abeyance is that the speeding ticket and the associated points are not abstracted to the State of Utah.  Since Plea in Abeyances are not convictions when you successfully complete the probationary period, they are often not treated as a problem with your car insurance.  As a general rule, reported Utah County traffic ticket convictions will make your car insurance go up.

Reduce the Points.

As discussed above, an adult in Utah only has 200 points in a three-year period before the driver’s license division may take action to discipline the speeding driver.  One technique is to plea bargain down the points associated with you Provo Orem traffic ticket.

  1. Amend the traffic ticket to a nonmoving violation so that points do not attached to your Utah driving record.
  2. Amend the traffic ticket so that it reads 1-9 miles over, attaching only 35 points to your Utah driving record.
  3. Take the matter as a Plea in Abeyance, so that all points are never abstracted to your Utah driver’s license record.
  4. Take a diversion agreement on the matter.
  5. Beat the ticket. Challenge the accuracy of the police officer’s investigation and arrest.


For some time police have been using radar or laser to judge the speed of speeding drivers for purposes of proving the offense in court.   Sometimes you will encounter a police officer who hand paces the allegedly speeding car to assess the ticket.  Each one of these ways to detect speeding drivers has defenses.

Defenses to Car Pacing.

Car pacing is where the police officer uses his vehicle to pace behind the allegedly speeding vehicle in effort to demonstrate that the target vehicle is speeding.  Car pacing is done by pacing behind the target vehicle at a set distance, a set speed and a set duration to prove that the target car is speeding.  The police officer takes the witness stand and recounts his pacing measures, hoping the judge or jury will enter a conviction.
The problem is car pacing is subject and difficult to accomplish with accuracy.
(1).  Car Pacing is difficult to do under perfect conditions, let along business roads.  Roads that have significant traffic during the pacing environment can cause the officer to slow down, change lanes or other have to be careful about his driving to avoid an accident.
(2).  Curves in the road make car pacing even more difficult to prove because it disrupts the pacing officers duration, speed and placement during the pacing movement.
(3).  Hills, both up and down can again, disrupt the pacing officers ability to accurately pace the target car at a set speed, distance and duration.
(4).  Intersection, stop signs and entry ways into roadway during the pacing even can disrupt the pacing event to the point where the duration, speed and placement of the police officer’s pacing vehicle impairs the pacing event’s accuracy.


When a Radar/Laser speeding detection device is accurately maintained and used by a qualified and trained police officer, it is difficult to beat the Utah speeding ticket.
When radar laser devices are not used correctly, can lead to misidentification.  Misidentification of the wrong car is a defense.  Many times the police officer is using radar/laser in busy intersections.  Sometimes the police officer simply mistakes the wrong car for speeding. Meaning he radared another car for speeding, but in the moment believed your car was speeding.  Simply saw two red Hondas speeding and got the wrong one.   Here we have an honest police officer (most are), but the officer just got the wrong car.


Utah Speeding Tickets or moving violations are generally brought in Justice Court.  You have an automatic right to appeal your speeding ticket plea or an adverse verdict from a jury or judge to the District Court.

Provo Orem Traffic Ticket Appeals Lawyers Utah Traffic Ticket Appeals to the District Court.


The right to appeal your Utah speeding ticket must be taken within 28 day or you lose your right to appeal the speeding ticket.  You must file a notice of appeal with the district in a timely manner and follow the court rule correctly and you will get a second bite at the apple to prove your case to the judge or jury.  Appealing a speeding ticket to the District Court does not cost you any money.


Utah Code Section 78A-7-118 is a key section to read when appealing your Provo, Orem traffic ticket.   The key Utah Rule of Criminal Procedure is Rule 38 and Rule 27A.  The Utah criminal court rules can be found at www.utcourts.gov.
EXAMPLES:   The police officer allegedly cites you for speeding, 85 in a 70 mile per hour zone on Interstate I-15, just outside of Provo City.   15 miles per hour over is a moving violation and carries a $170 fine, along with 50 points on your adult Utah driving record.  It becomes apparent that the police officer used his car to pace your car when deciding to issue the traffic ticket.
Your decide to hire a Provo Traffic Ticket defense attorney to challenge the officer’s accuracy in using his car to pace your car in assessing the speeding ticket.  After a bench trial on the speeding ticket the Provo City Justice Court judge found you guilty of speeding 9 miles per hour over the maximum speed instead of the 15 miles per hour that the police officer stated you were going.  The fine was reduced to $120 and you are on your way.
You disagree with how the judge handled your Provo traffic ticket and inform your Provo speeding ticket defense lawyer to appeal the Justice Court’s judgment after the bench trial.  Within 28 days of the bench trial verdict you file your Notice of Appeal and conduct another Trial De Novo in front of a sitting District Court judge on your Provo traffic ticket.  Finally, at the District Court level, the judge believes your side of the story and dismisses the case.
As a result, the speeding ticket will never be abstracted to your Utah driver’s license, not counting as points assessed against your record.


Utah Administrative Rule R708-3. This administrative rule describes in detail the possible penalties associated with getting to many points.

The Utah Uniform Fine/Bail Schedule. This master document can tell you what is a moving violation and what is not a moving violation.  Non moving violations generally do not count against you driving record and insurance companies generally do not abstract them negatively against your Utah car insurance rates.

Utah Driver Handbook.

Pleas in Abeyance under CJA 4-704

Utah Department of Motor Vehicles

Utah Department of Public Safety

Utah Driver License Division

Utah Highway Patrol

Utah Highway Safety Office

utcourts.gov. Here you can find Utah’s criminal court rules on how to appeal you traffic ticket.

CALL Provo based traffic defense attorney Jake Gunter for a quote and a free consultation.  (801) 373-6345.

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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