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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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I got a minor in possession 8 days away from my 21s birthday,

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I got a minor in possession 8 days away from my 21s birthday, there was new legislation passed a few years ago it is a mandatory 1 year suspension of your drivers license, and a fine, what is the best way to go about this so I do not lose my license. I have no prior record.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) What is the best way to go about this so I do not lose my license?

It sounds like you've been charged under 32B-4-409. The maximum punishment if convicted is up to 6 months in jail and up to a fine of $1,000.00.

Here's the relevant portion of the statute which refers to the driver's license suspension:

(5) (a) When a minor who is at least 18 years old, but younger than 21 years old, is found by a court to have violated this section ... the court hearing the case shall suspend the minor's driving privileges under Section 53-3-219.

But, keep may be in luck:

(5) (b) Notwithstanding the provision in Subsection (5)(a), the court may reduce the suspension period required ... if:
(i) the violation is the minor's first violation of this section; and
(ii) the minor completes an educational series as defined in Section 41-6a-501

This means that Utah has a sort of "first offender" program for underage possession. If you have never gotten a ticket for this before, and you take an "educational series" class, the judge can reduce the suspension down to as little as he or she wants.

So, here's what I would do. First, if you have not yet spoken with an attorney, retain a criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you cannot afford an attorney, ask the judge to appoint one to represent you when you go to court. Since the charge carries possible jail time, you are entitled to an appointed attorney if you qualify financially.

Talk to the attorney about the facts of the case. The attorney can make a recommendation about whether or not you should plead not guilty and have a trial or whether you are likely going to be convicted. If it's the latter, ask if the attorney recommends that you plead guilty and try to get the educational series I mentioned above so that your license is not suspended for so long. Also, ask if you can at least get a restricted license, i.e. permission to drive to and from work, school, the doctor, etc.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
S. Huband, Esq. and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,

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