Field Sobriety Tests In Nevada

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a federal agency that has established field sobriety tests as a means of standardizing police officer methods for determining if someone is driving under the influence. These tests are not the only factors considered by police when deciding whether to stop you for suspicion of driving under the influence. If you were stopped by the police for suspicion of driving under the influence and received a Field sobriety tests in Nevada and failed, consider visiting with the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Spartacus Law Firm at (702) 660-1234 to learn more about your legal rights. 

Types of Field Sobriety Tests in Nevada

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed the standardized field sobriety tests that are used throughout the county, and in the state of Nevada. The three tests that comprise the standard field sobriety test (SFST) battery include: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. 

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is when a person has eyes that involuntary jerk when the eye moves to the side. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, this is enhanced and easy to see. Additionally, a person impaired by alcohol will have challenges following any kind of movement of a specific object across their line of sight.  

Walk and Turn (WAT)

Walk and Turn make a person walk 8 steps with their heel to their toe, then proceed to turn on one foot and then walking in the other direction. This task is scored on the number of clues observed during two separate phases: (1) instruction and (2) walking. One point is deducted for each clue missed or each step improperly taken. 

One Leg Stand (OLS)

One Leg Stand requires the suspect to stand with one foot 6 inches from the ground and count out loud by thousands until the police officer tells them to put the foot down. The person must keep their foot raised for 30 seconds, which is timed by the police officer. One point is deducted for putting their foot down, using their arms to balance, hopping or putting their foot down twice; if they do not maintain balance while counting or make any mistakes in counting they receive a zero. 

Are You Required to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test in Nevada? 

Even if a police officer requests that a person take a field sobriety test, few people are aware that field sobriety tests are not a legal requirement in the state of Nevada. However, during a traffic stop in Las Vegas, police officers are unlikely to inform you of this. It is important to note that refusing to take a field sobriety test might be considered sufficient cause to conduct further testing, such as a breath test or blood test.

Do Field Sobriety Tests in Nevada Work?

Many people just believe that since the police do these tests, they must be effective. The sad reality is that they are frequently incorrect. The NHTSA Appendix articulates how field sobriety tests should be conducted. These instructions were not followed by police officers in many cases, and errors can stem from the use of outdated instructions for these tests. The instructions indicate that clues must be evaluated in relation to each other; however, this is often not done by law enforcement. Instead, drivers are arrested based on one or two "clues" without consideration of whether any other factor might have contributed to the person's performance on the field sobriety test.

Another problem with field sobriety tests is that they are designed for sober people. If you feel nauseous, fatigued or sick after drinking just one alcoholic beverage an hour ago, it will affect your performance during a field sobriety test. In fact, there are a variety of scenarios regarding how these field sobriety tests in Nevada might be incorrectly evaluated or administered, resulting in wrong results. If you were subjected to a field sobriety test and received a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in Nevada, consider visiting with an experienced DUI attorney at Spartacus Law Firm to help you understand all of your legal options. 

Defenses Against a Failed Field Sobriety Test 

There is much debate regarding whether or not field sobriety tests are scientifically valid. In many tests, the accuracy rate appears to be very low, according to the NHTSA Student Manual

It might be possible to raise doubt about the accuracy of your field sobriety test results by asking some of the following questions with an experienced DUI lawyer at Spartacus Law Firm. 

Did the officer properly administer the field sobriety tests? 

Police officers are required to follow standardized procedures during these tests, so if they deviated from those protocols, there may be a chance that any evidence gathered as a result of the faulty procedure will not be allowed into court. For example, it is common practice for an officer administering these tests to ask you not just one question at a time but several. However, if he or she fails to inform you that more one question will be asked before you are required to give an answer, evidence gathered as a result of that question may be excluded from the trial.

Did the officer administer all three field sobriety tests? 

It is important for you to establish whether you were given all three field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test. If you failed only one type of these three tests but passed the rest, this could potentially work in your favor.

Did the officer fail to follow standard procedures? 

On rare occasions, police officers fail to follow standard procedures during these field sobriety tests without giving their reasons. For example, they might not use a stopwatch while administering the test or fail to tell you that you are supposed to keep your arms down at your sides.

Does one of these field sobriety tests seem impossibly difficult to you even if you are sober? 

Many people find either one-leg stand test or the walk-and-turn test extremely difficult. People who have problems with their sense of balance often fall during the one-leg stand test. People who have problems with their sense of space often fail to take the correct number of steps in the walk and turn test.

Did you take uncontrolled, multiple steps? 

Police officers watch for this mistake very carefully because it is a sign of intoxication. If you were wearing slip-on shoes or sandals and took multiple steps without removing your shoes first, your performance will be judged as poor and can result in arrest and conviction. 

Were there any distractions while performing these field sobriety tests? 

If there were any significant distractions such as bright lights or loud noise around you then that factor could defeat all other evidence presented by the police officer that shows intoxication; since they failed to account for such factors, which may have influenced their decision regarding your field sobriety test. 

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney Today 

If you received a DUI following a failed field sobriety test, you may have the ability to fight your charge successfully. Contact an experienced criminal DUI defense attorneys in Nevada at Spartacus Law Firm at (702) 660-1234 to get answers to your questions and ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Arrested for a DUI? Here's What You Need to Know

 

 

If you've been arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in the state of Nevada, don't despair. There are a number of defenses that you can raise to have your charges either dismissed or significantly mitigated.

Know Your Rights - Nevada DUI Defenses and Arrested for a DUI

One of the first ways that you can challenge a DUI arrest or charge is to challenge the stop itself.  The police have to have probable cause in order to stop your vehicle and engage in an arrest or detainment.  It cannot be a pretextual stop. 

In other words, they can't just pull you over because it's Saturday night and it's 2 a.m. and you're out on the road. The police have to cite their probable cause to stop your vehicle. That means that you were speeding, that you were weaving in-and-out of traffic, that maybe your tail light was out - but there has to be a reason.

After you've been pulled over for a traffic violation, the officer will approach. If they believe that you have been drinking or are intoxicated for some reason, the officer may ask you to do a series of tests. These are called field sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests. 

If you choose to do the field sobriety tests, you have to make sure you follow the officer's instructions explicitly because everything that you do is going to be used and examined as to whether or not you were impaired at the time you were operating a vehicle. 

You can learn more about the Nevada Revised Statutes for DUI here.

One of the things that has to be proven in a DUI case is that you were intoxicated at the time you were driving.  You may have a drink and get into the car and drive - at that point in time your body may have not metabolized the alcohol. So - you would not be impaired. You may have two drinks and still NOT be impaired. Hours later, you may be impaired but that's not what the test is for. The test is whether you were impaired at the time you were driving.

If it's taken after, then it's not reflective of what your impairment is or what your alcohol level was at the time of the arrest - that means your arrest may be dismissed.

Hire the Right Las Vegas DUI Lawyer  

If you've been arrested for a D.U.I., it's important to retain legal counsel immediately. The Spartacus Law Firm is available 24/7 to assist you with your DUI charges. Contact us today for a free in-person or virtual consultation. 

For a FREE initial consultation, call (702) 660-1234.

 

What Happens When You Get Arrested? 5 Things To Do If You are Arrested in Las Vegas

man arrested in las vegas

It’s possible that things may go awry on your Las Vegas vacation. Many people who find themselves facing charges in Las Vegas were simply visiting to have a good time and ended up in a situation where things got out of control. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to understand what happens when you get 5 Things To Do If You are Arrested in Las Vegas. 

Some of the most common types of arrests that occur in Las Vegas include Driving Under the Influence (DUI), domestic violence, public intoxication, drug possession, and sex crimes such as solicitation and sexual assault. Much of the time, these charges will be considered a misdemeanor, but more serious charges such as a felony may be faced depending on the circumstances of the case. 

Let’s take a look at what happens when you get 5 Things To Do If You are Arrested in Las Vegas and how a Las Vegas lawyer can help.

Getting Arrested in Las Vegas  

If you’ve never been arrested before, then you’ll probably be scared and unprepared for what’s to come. The Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 171.104 defines arrest as “the taking of a person into custody” as authorized by law. In Nevada, the police may arrest someone when there is probable cause to believe the suspect committed a crime. 

In some cases, a person may be detained first to determine whether or not they should be taken into police custody. If a person is being detained, they must give their name to identify themselves but are not required to answer any other questions. The detainee may be searched on the scene and any possible threats such as a weapon may be seized at this time to ensure the safety of the public. 

Detentions must be swift and must occur in the location where the police encountered the suspect. If the detainee has been cleared and is not being arrested, they are free to go, but if the detainee is determined to be arrested, they will be handcuffed and taken into police custody as soon as possible.  

The Arrest Process

During the arrest process, the arresting officer will verbally inform the suspect(s) that they are under arrest. The officer will place handcuffs on the suspect(s) which are used to transfer them to the police station where they will be kept in custody. During this time, the arresting officer will also read the suspect(s) their Miranda rights which state that the arrestee has the right to remain silent and has the right to an attorney. Upon arrival at the police station, the arrestee will be booked and processed which includes the taking of their mugshot and fingerprints. Suspects will then remain in police custody until their case has been heard by a judge. 

Most arrestees will be eligible to be released on bail or own recognizance in Nevada. This allows an arrested person to await their hearing outside of police custody under some restrictions. Regardless if bail is granted or not, a court date will be scheduled and the suspect must be present for their arraignment which is a formal reading of their charges. Failure to show up to this court date may result in increased charges, fines, and consequences. 

5 Things To Do If You’re Arrested in Las Vegas

#1 Take Advantage of Your Miranda Rights

Miranda rights, also called Miranda warnings, are a notification that is given by an arresting officer to an arrestee. These warnings are to inform suspects of their Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights which state that you have the right to remain silent, meaning you are not required to answer any interrogating questions, and you have the right to an attorney. Miranda warnings are as follows: 

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?”

#2 Ask To Speak With a Las Vegas Lawyer

Before speaking with the police, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Las Vegas lawyer to see how you should proceed following your arrest. Your attorney will help you better understand your charges and will be able to assist you throughout your questioning. You have the right to have your lawyer present during the custodial interrogation which can help you avoid making incriminating statements and prevents further legal trouble. 

#3 Seek Bail

The first thing on anyone’s mind who gets arrested is “how am I going to get out of here?”.  Being in police custody is never fun and the goal is to get you out as soon as possible. To do this, you need to be able to post bail. Typically, an arrestee will be eligible for bail and if you are able to meet the requirements of your bail, your Las Vegas lawyer can help you get out of police custody. In order to post bail, one must do one of the following:

#4 Show Up For Court 

After you’ve been arrested, whether you were released on bail or remain in police custody, you are required to show up to the court for your arraignment. This date will be given to you after your arrest and failure to present yourself to this appointment may result in the court issuing an arrest warrant to bring you back into police custody. If this occurs, you will likely face more serious charges and consequences, so it is in your best interest to appear in court on the day they tell you to. 

#5 Seal Your Record 

While Nevada doesn’t expunge criminal records, you can have your records sealed. This will make your record invisible to potential employers, which can greatly improve your employment opportunities. To seal your record, be sure to reach out to your Las Vegas lawyer. They’ll guide you through the steps to seal your record and ensure it gets done properly. 

Contact Las Vegas Lawyers at Spartacus Law Firm 

If you’re a medical professional facing domestic violence, DUI, or other legal charges, connect with the experts at Spartacus Law Firm. Spartacus Law Firm will fight to make sure that your rights are protected and will work aggressively to represent you to avoid penalties, fines, and damage to your career. Contact us today for a free in-person or virtual consultation. We are available 24/7 to assist.

For a FREE initial consultation, call (702) 660-1234.

Can You Go To Jail For a Car Accident? | Nevada DUI Law

Nevada state law can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the language used or how the system operates. When it comes to being charged and facing penalties, the circumstances of the crime will always be considered. So, if you’re wondering “can you go to jail for a car accident?”, the answer isn’t so black and white. 

There are many factors that need to be assessed before a sanction can be allocated for a driving accident. A DUI Las Vegas attorney can help you navigate this difficult situation and will aggressively fight to represent you. Learn more about whether or not you can go to jail for a car accident below. 

Can You Go To Jail For a Car Accident?

In short, it is possible for a person to be sent to jail for a car accident. The criminal liability of an “at-fault” driver will depend on the degree of blame and the repercussions of their actions. Nevada law declares that a driver who causes a fatality could be charged with a criminal felony or misdemeanor depending on the occurrences of the event. However, charges will vary case by case, even in cases where a motorist is killed. 

Likewise, state law discusses the penalties faced by those who are found guilty of a serious vehicle accident that does not result in a fatality. Depending on how severe the accident was and the circumstances of how the accident occurred, a driver may still face jail time even if the victim walks away unscathed. 

Let’s take a look at some of the specifics of reckless driving and driving under the influence.

Reckless Driving and Simple Negligence Accidents and Can You Go To Jail For a Car Accident

Reckless driving in the state of Nevada is defined as driving “in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of people or property” around them. Simple negligence on the other hand, are accidents that occur due to lack of attention and are not made with ill-will. Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 484B.657 declares vehicular manslaughter caused by negligence a misdemeanor and requires an offender be punished as such. 

A person may be charged with the misdemeanor if they cause another person’s death due to simple negligence. These are usually mistakes made out of simple error, not malice intention. Simple negligence in driving cases can look like any of the following:

  • Failure to yield
  • Eating while driving
  • Slightly speeding 
  • Distracted driving (simply not paying attention)
  • Failure to use a turn signal
  • Failure to look and yield to oncoming traffic before changing lanes
  • Taking your eyes off the road for any amount of time 

Simple negligence cases typically result in lesser charges and fines since they are classified as a misdemeanor. However, in reckless driving cases, NRS 484B.653 criminalizes the offense and results in more serious penalties. Reckless driving in the state of Nevada may look like any of the following:

  • Running a red light
  • Speeding in excess
  • Weaving in and out of traffic carelessly
  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Aggressive tailgating

A reckless driving charge is considered a misdemeanor, but may be increased to a Category B felony if the offense results in another person’s death. 

It’s also important to note that the degree of blame will significantly affect one’s charges. In cases that are out of the driver’s control, such as inclement weather or vehicle malfunctions, the accused will not face the same level of blame as a DUI or reckless driver case. Therefore, the charges and penalties will differ depending on the circumstances of the accident. 

Possible Penalties and Charges of Can You Go To Jail For a Car Accident

If convicted of vehicular manslaughter due to simple negligence, a person can face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The penalties may be doubled if the accident happened in a work zone and the death will also go onto a person’s driving history. This could possibly lead to a license suspension and more fines.

If convicted of vehicular manslaughter due to reckless driving, a defendant faces 1-6 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Your penalties can also be doubled if you caused the death in a work zone.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Accidents 

Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of such substances is extremely prohibited by motorists of all types. In Nevada, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will hence result in severe legal charges. A person is considered under the influence if they are impaired to the degree that they are driving recklessly. Also, if a driver displays a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8% or more at the time of the accident, they will be charged with DUI. 

In cases where the DUI offender causes the death of another person, the charges and penalties are even more severe. 

Possible Penalties and Charges

DUI penalties in Nevada will vary depending on whether the incident was the first, second, or third offense. According to NRS 484C.400, a first DUI offense charge will result in mandatory 2-day hold in jail (or equivalent in community service hours) with a maximum hold of 180 days, a $400 minimum fine, and license revocation for at least 185 days.

A second DUI offense will result in a mandatory 10 days in jail or home confinement with a maximum hold of 180 days, a $750 fine, and license revocation for 1 year.

A third DUI offense will result in 1-6 years in prison, a $2,000 minimum fine, and license revocation for 3 years. 

In DUI cases that result in a fatality, NRS 484C.430 states that the driver will be charged with a Category B felony and will spend 2-20 years in prison (away from violent offenders), face fines ranging from $2,000-$5,000, be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel, and will have a breath interlock system installed in your vehicle at your expense for at least 1 year upon release.   

Meet With a Reputable Las Vegas DUI Attorney 

A Las Vegas attorney such as those at Spartacus Law Firm will fight to make sure that your rights are protected. Losing isn’t an option. Having extensive experience with DUI law in Nevada, we’re more than prepared to help you find justice following your accident. A DUI is a serious legal matter and should be handled by a serious legal defense team. We will aggressively represent you to avoid penalties, fines, and damage to your driver history.

Connect with us today to learn more about your rights and see how we can help you avoid serious legal implications. 

 

For a FREE initial consultation, call (702) 660-1234.