Utah Court Records
How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Utah
In Utah, traffic tickets, otherwise known as citations, are issued following minor traffic law violations such as running a stop sign, speeding, and various parking violations. These citations are served to road-users by the Utah highway patrol, municipal police, or county sheriffs’ officers.
A Utah traffic ticket contains the address, name, license number, and the traffic law violated by the offender. The citation also includes:
- the address and name of the court to handle the recipient’s case
- the deadline by which the offender must respond to the traffic ticket
- The options available for response
- The code number or statute of the traffic law violated
All concerned parties should be aware that to receive an unsecured or non-scheduled ticket in Utah means the accused has to appear in court. However, it is not mandatory to appear in court if the driver is charged with a traffic infraction, i.e., parking violations. Concerned parties can pay for the citation online or mail-in the bail fee to the appropriate court. To pay fines online, interested persons will be required to enter either their court case number or ticket number. However, not all Utah courts allow online payment; therefore, concerned persons should contact the appropriate court clerk to discuss payment options.
The Utah DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) is the official agency in charge of all state driver records. Generally, choosing to contest the traffic citation as opposed to paying the fine means the accused motorist has to appear in court to plead “not guilty.” Afterward, the offender or the representative may attempt to negotiate with the prosecuting party. If negotiations are not successful, the court will schedule a trial. The trial is an opportunity for the accused to narrate the event to either a jury or a judge. The judge/jury will also listen to the officer’s testimony and the witnesses before giving a verdict.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary
Is it Worth it To Fight a Traffic Ticket in Utah?
Yes, fighting a traffic ticket in Utah is worth it, especially in cases where the driver was erroneously cited. Deciding to pay-off, the ticket is considered an admission of guilt and will be reported to the vehicle’s insurance company. This may lead to increased insurance premiums. Accumulating traffic points may also result in driver’s license suspension.
Most traffic violations in Iowa are categorized as infractions with no jail time and a $750 fine (maximum). Other violations are categorized as class C misdemeanors, with a 90 day (maximum) jail time and $750 in fines. However, other traffic violations, such as drunk driving, are regarded as graver offenses. This offense generally results in higher fines and longer jail terms.
Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Utah
Persons that decide to plead not guilty should mail, call, or inform the appropriate court online of their decisions. Fighting a traffic citation in Utah is done in the state’s justice courts. Defendants are advised to hire an experienced Utah traffic attorney to help navigate the court system’s nuances. Once the offender’s plea gets recorded, the justice court assigned to the case will schedule a date for the accused to appear for either a full trial or pretrial conference. The defendant’s party will be allowed to meet with the prosecutor to exchange information and possibly resolve the case before trial. However, if the case goes to trial and the jury or judge decides that the accused is not guilty, then the following will be the result:
- No points will be added to the driver’s history
- Penalties and fines will be dismissed
- All traffic charges will be dropped
- Auto insurance premiums will not be increased
If the verdict from the court does not favor the motorist, then such a person has the right to appeal to the state’s district court for a “hearing de novo” (this means that the trial will be repeated).
How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court
Concerned parties can manage to contest traffic citations without going to court if the defendant’s party can successfully negotiate a bargain with the offense. Both parties are allowed to meet at a pretrial conference to discuss agreeable ways to resolve the matter before trial. Generally, if the negotiations are successful, the accused driver may have to comply with any of the following:
- Perform a community service
- Enroll in a driver training course
- The fine will be reduced
How do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Utah
Enrolling in a Utah driver training course can help reduce traffic tickets of offenders in the state. Below are other advantages of taking this course:
- Participants may get as much as 50 points removed from their driving history once this course has been completed
- Certain insurance companies may reduce their auto insurance rates with participants (aged 55 and above) after the course has been completed.
- The participant’s driver’s license may not be suspended or revoked.
Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Utah?
Yes, accused drivers in Utah can get their speeding ticket dismissed through a plea in abeyance. This action means the offender is pleading no-contest, but action concerning the ticket will be held for a year. During this time, if the traffic offender goes a full year without receiving additional tickets, then the charges could get dismissed. In Utah, pleading in abeyance allows an offender’s driving record to stay clean even after being issued a citation as long as additional tickets are avoided.
Alternatively, the court may automatically dismiss an offender’s citation if the prosecuting officer does not appear on the trial date.
What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Utah
In Utah, when an offender pleads guilty to a traffic citation, such a person is liable to several penalties depending on the severity of the violated traffic law. A first-time traffic offender in Utah is liable for the following punishments:
- A $750 fine
- 90 day jail time
- A year license suspension (minimum)
Committing three moving violations at a time or a reckless driving offense may result in the following penalties for first-time offenders:
- A 90 day jail time
- A maximum fine of $1000
- A minimum of 3 months license suspension
How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Utah
The Utah courts website includes a legal assistance tool to help drivers contesting a traffic ticket find lawyers to help with the case.
Persons who have decided to fight a Utah traffic ticket are advised to employ a credible traffic ticket attorney. Legal advisors on Utah traffic issues are also available online through specific third-party sites. These sites provide reviews, names, credentials, and the addresses of the lawyers. The reviews are helpful as they disclose the winning record and expertise of that lawyer.