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Like most areas of criminal defense, DUI cases in Las Vegas are rarely straightforward. Even if your breathalyzer or blood test results indicate exceeding the legal limit, an experienced DUI attorney is often able to exploit various factors to lessen the charges or potentially have them dismissed altogether. We encourage you to look deeper into your options before you accept the attorney provided to you by the state and plead guilty. It’s quite possible that a dedicated, experienced lawyer can greatly improve your chances of successfully beating your charges. This is particularly true if it is your 1st DUI in Las Vegas, NV.

What Is Nevada Law Regarding DUI Charges?

DUI arrests are serious. Nevada law regarding DUI charges imposes strict penalties for those found to be driving under the influence while operating a motor vehicle. The key provisions of Nevada’s DUI law include:

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits

The legal limit for drivers aged 21 and over is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. For commercial vehicle drivers, the limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21 years old, any measurable amount of alcohol in their system can lead to a DUI charge.

Enhanced Penalties

Are you facing a second or third DUI? The state of Nevada has enhanced penalties for DUI offenses involving high BAC levels or repeat offenses within a specified timeframe. These penalties can include longer license suspensions, mandatory alcohol treatment programs, ignition interlock devices, and more severe fines.

DUI Penalties

Once arrested and charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, Nevada, you are looking at penalties that can include fines, jail time, mandatory DUI school, community service, license suspension, and probation. The severity of the penalties depends on factors such as your exact BAC level, a prior DUI conviction, and the presence of aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances include but are not limited to driving under the influence with a suspended or revoked license or driving under the influence with a child passenger in the vehicle. If this is your 2nd DUI or resulted in a personal injury, you can expect a more harsh punishment.

How DUI Defense Lawyers Help Clients in Las Vegas Avoid Conviction

Various strategies exist for Las Vegas DUI attorneys to raise legal skepticism regarding your BAC results in cases involving DUI of alcohol or even drug DUI. It is possible that the testing equipment for breath or blood was flawed or improperly managed. Alternatively, external factors such as a medical condition could lead to an erroneously elevated reading. Moreover, even if the BAC outcomes were precise, judges can dismiss DUI criminal charges solely based on instances of police misconduct. Once Spartacus Law Firm takes on your case, we’ll get hard to work looking into all possible defense strategies. We may even be able to get DUI charges dismissed altogether.

Can Drunk Driving Charges in Las Vegas Lead to Felony DUI Convictions?

Occasionally, those charged with a DUI need a felony defense. The specific circumstances and prior convictions play a significant role in determining whether a DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. A first or second-offense DUI in Las Vegas is typically charged as a misdemeanor, which carries penalties such as fines, mandatory alcohol education programs, license suspension, and possible jail time. However, if certain aggravating factors are present, a DUI offense can be elevated to a felony. There are four circumstances where driving under the influence is a felony in Nevada, and each carries a different prison sentence. 

Third-time DUI – NRS 484C.400(1)(c)

The third DUI or subsequent DUI offense must be within a specified time frame, usually within 7 to 10 years. Nevada DUI laws state that if you are charged with your 3rd DUI, you are facing 1 to 6 years in prison. You may be able to avoid Nevada State Prison and a felony conviction by doing DUI Court, a rehab program.

DUI following a felony DUI – NRS 484C.410

In this circumstance, you can face anywhere from 2 to 15 years in prison.

DUI causing injury or death – NRS 484C.430

Any DUI that results in injury or death is going to be punished severely. This includes any time you cause significant bodily harm or death to another person while driving under the influence, even if you are under the influence of prescription drugs and not alcohol. In this case, you are facing from 2 to 20 years in prison.

Vehicular homicide – NRS 484C.440

If found guilty of a felony DUI that leads to death, legally known as vehicular homicide, you’re looking at 25 years or life in prison. You may be paroled after 10 years. 

In certain circumstances listed above, a DUI offense can be charged as a felony. If you are charged with causing serious injury or death while driving under the influence, there is no doubt that you need an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer to help you stay out of jail or serve as little time as possible.

What Are Some Defenses Available to a Drunk Driving (DUI) Charge in Las Vegas?

There are several defenses available to challenge a Nevada DUI case. They include:

Challenging the traffic stop

From the strip to North Las Vegas and beyond, law enforcement is always on the lookout for drunk drivers. If the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your vehicle, it could be argued that the initial stop was unlawful. Any evidence obtained after an unlawful stop may be suppressed.

Questioning field sobriety tests 

Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are subjective and can be affected by various factors unrelated to intoxication. Your Sparactus DUI attorneys can challenge the accuracy or reliability of these tests.

Disputing the accuracy of chemical tests

Breathalyzers or blood tests are commonly used to measure BAC. These tests may produce inaccurate results due to improper calibration, maintenance, or administration. Your DUI defense attorney can investigate potential issues with the testing equipment or procedures.

Medical conditions or external factors

Certain medical conditions or external factors can lead to false high BAC readings. Conditions such as acid reflux, GERD, or certain diets can affect breathalyzer results. Be sure to tell your DUI defense attorney of any medical conditions you have during your initial consultation so they can explore whether any such factors played a role in your case.

Police misconduct or procedural errors

If there is evidence of police misconduct, such as an unlawful search or violation of your rights, an attorney can challenge the legality of the arrest or the collection of evidence. It is not uncommon in DUI cases to not be properly informed of your Miranda rights, meaning any statements made afterward could be inadmissible in court.

How to Avoid a Driver’s License Suspension

License revocation is not guaranteed. Every DUI arrest results in both a criminal case and a DMV case being initiated. Winning both cases is essential to retain your driving privileges. However, it is generally more challenging to prevail in the DMV case due to the lower burden of proof required by the DMV. Fortunately, first-time, misdemeanor DUI offenders who are unsuccessful in the DMV hearing can often secure a restricted license promptly.

In the state of Nevada, a restricted license may be granted to individuals who have been convicted of a DUI offense but have the best DUI lawyer fighting on their behalf. A restricted license allows individuals to drive under certain conditions and for specific purposes, despite their DUI conviction and the accompanying license suspension or revocation.

In order to be eligible for a restricted license in Nevada after a DUI conviction, several requirements typically need to be met:

Serve the mandatory license suspension period

After a DUI conviction in Nevada, there is a mandatory license suspension period that must be served. The length of the suspension depends on various factors, including prior DUI convictions and the specific circumstances of the offense.

Complete DUI education programs

Drivers are generally required to complete a DUI education program. These programs are designed to provide education on the risks and consequences of impaired driving and may involve alcohol or drug counseling.

Install an ignition interlock device (IID)

In many cases, individuals seeking a restricted license must install an IID in their vehicle. An IID is a breathalyzer device that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration is above a predetermined limit. The IID records the breath test results, providing a measure of accountability.

Provide proof of insurance

Individuals applying for a restricted license must demonstrate that they have valid and sufficient auto insurance coverage. Car insurance premiums generally tend to increase significantly after a DUI. Insurance companies consider DUI convictions as a significant risk factor, indicating that the individual is more likely to be involved in accidents, reckless driving, or commit further violations.

With a DUI conviction on your criminal record, insurance companies may view you as a high-risk driver and adjust your premiums accordingly. The specific increase in insurance rates can vary depending on several factors, including the insurance company’s policies, your driving history, the severity of the DUI offense, and any previous convictions or accidents on your record.

Pay the required fees

There are usually fees associated with obtaining a restricted license, including installation and monitoring fees for the IID. For example, the fee required to reinstate your driving privileges after the mandatory license suspension period is $121. There is typically a fee associated with obtaining a restricted license itself. As of September 2021, the fee for a restricted license in Nevada is $42.

Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Let Our Las Vegas DUI Lawyers Help You After a DUI Arrest

Our Las Vegas defense group knows a drunk driving charge is serious but doesn’t need to be the end of your hopes and dreams. We take criminal justice very seriously, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction, and take pride in being a top criminal defense law firm in the area. 

Founding member and Principal of Spartacus Law Firm, Attorney Chandon Spartacus Alexander, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, where he distinguished himself through his advocacy skills in the Civil Rights Moot Court. 

As an experienced DUI lawyer, Chandon S. Alexander is an active member of the National Trial Lawyers Association and has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Attorneys under 40. He is also a member of the Clark County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Nevada Justice Association. Spartacus Law Firm has won numerous awards and distinctions, including being named to America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys, Lawyers of Distinction 2022, and more. 

Contact Spartacus Law Firm for a Free Consultation

A drunk driving charge should be taken seriously, meaning bringing in a criminal defense firm to fight on your behalf. When facing a DUI conviction, you need a criminal defense lawyer who has many years of experience handling criminal cases like yours. We encourage you to learn more about us, and then contact our DUI lawyers to help with your fight against DUI charges. Call us to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyers. We can consult about your Las Vegas DUI case over the phone, or we can sit down with you at our law office. Call us at (702) 660-1234 to move your case forward.