Is DUI a Misdemeanor or Felony In Salt Lake City, Utah?

What are the penalties for drunk driving?

Utah has strict penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) convictions. However, getting charged with a DUI is not the same as being convicted. In addition, you will notice a large difference between the minimum and maximum penalties for both misdemeanor and felony drunk driving charges in Utah.

At Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen, our DUI attorneys work hard to support your case, prove your innocence, and minimize the consequences if you do face a conviction. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, having the right law firm can build a strong defense to protect you.

Felony DUI charges in Utah

Utah state criminal law statutes divide crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. Felony convictions are more significant crimes that include more long-term consequences than misdemeanors. In general, prior convictions and the severity of injuries determine the difference between a felony and misdemeanor DUI charge in Utah.

The following circumstances could raise your charges to a felony:

  • A third offense within 10 years
  • A DUI resulting in a serious injury or death
  • Any prior vehicular homicide conviction


Felony conviction penalties include:

  • Jail ― From 62.5 days in jail to five years in prison
  • Fines ― From $2,775 to an additional $9,250 in fines
  • Substance abuse treatment ― From up to 240 days of substance abuse treatment to up to five years of treatment
  • Supervised probation
  • License suspension

What is a misdemeanor DUI charge in Utah?

Misdemeanor charges carry less severe drunk driving penalties than felonies, but can still have serious consequences. Furthermore, a third conviction in a ten year period is upgraded to a felony, so it is important to avoid any additional convictions.

The sentence for a less severe criminal offense may vary if the conviction is for a first or second offense. Any sentence you may receive will always contain some type of confinement. For the minimum sentence, this could be as little as 48 hours in jail for a first offense or 10 days in jail for a second offense. These minimum penalties could be replaced by equivalent home confinement or community service. Maximum jail sentences for a first or second offense could be up to six months in jail.

All sentences also include fines and license suspensions:

  • First offense license suspension ― License suspension from 120 days to two years
  • Second offense license suspension ― License suspension up to two years
  • First offense fine ― $1,395 to $1,940 in fines with additional fees
  • Second offense fine ― Fines up to $1,940
  • Probation ― First-time offenders may receive good behavior probation after completing their confinement. Serious and repeat offenders may be sentenced to supervised probation.

How does Utah DUI penalties reduce the number of repeat offenders?

In an effort to reduce habitual offenses, Utah also imposes alcohol and drug screenings and abuse education. For example, the state requires convicted offenders to attend a Prime for Life class. These classes have been tested and proven to reduce the rate of repeat offenders.

Salt Lake City DUI attorneys can help keep your driving record clean

The Salt Lake City, Utah attorneys at Larsen, Larsen, Nash, & Larsen can help you improve your situation if you have been charged with DUI. We understand the implications of a felony or misdemeanor charge. A criminal record can have lasting effects on your life, which we take very seriously. Our criminal defense lawyers work to protect you, while dealing with your charges in the best way possible. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call our firm at (801) 964-1200 or contact us online today.

We are conveniently located in West Valley City, just west of I-215. We currently represent clients throughout Salt Lake County and the surrounding areas of northern Utah. These include Summit County, Davis County, Wabash and the cities of Provo, Ogden and Park City.