Fighting DUI Charges In Las Vegas
DUI cases in Las Vegas are almost never cut and dry. Even if your breathalyzer or blood test came back over the limit, there are often many issues an experienced DUI lawyer can use to get the charges reduced – or even dismissed. We understand how stressful this time can be, but it’s critical that you take control of your DUI defense as quickly as possible. Contact the Spartacus Law Firm now to get help from our experienced Las Vegas DUI defense attorney.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges can be severe and penalties are often not favorable for the accused. There is much to consider when determining the penalties, fines, and charges of the driver cited, causing the consequences of a DUI to vary by case. In order to see that your case gets the best defense possible, it’s crucial that you work with a criminal defense lawyer
that will aggressively fight for you.
DUI Penalties, Fines, And Charges In Nevada
A person is considered under the influence if they are impaired by drugs or alcohol to the degree that they are driving recklessly. NRS 484B.653
criminalizes reckless driving, making it a much more serious offense than simple negligence. A driver will face DUI charges in Las Vegas if they display a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more at the time of the accident. The same goes for drivers under the age of 21 who display a BAC of 0.02% or higher and for commercially licensed drivers who display a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
DUI penalties in Nevada will vary depending on whether the incident was the first, second, or third offense. In DUI cases that result in a fatality, the driver will be charged with a Category B felony and will face much harsher punishment.
Possible penalties of DUI charges include criminal arrest, vehicle impoundment, jail or equivalent community service hours, hundreds to thousands of dollars in fines, DUI school or substance abuse treatment, Victim Impact Panel, and permanent damage to your driving record. In some cases, a DUI offender may be able to avoid spending time in prison if a Misdemeanor or Felony DUI Court program is completed. This is an intensive rehabilitation program that is not available to everyone and eligibility is often determined by a judge.
Understanding First, Second & Third DUI Offense
1st DUI Offense
A first DUI offense
in 7 years will result in a misdemeanor charge which carries a 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. The offender may also be required to attend DUI school, which is typically an 8-hour class that can be completed online, as well as a Victim Impact Panel. If the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is greater than 0.18%, an alcohol/drug dependency evaluation will be recommended and an ignition breath interlock device will be installed in their vehicle for 12-36 months at their own expense.
2nd DUI Offense
A second DUI offense
in 7 years will result in a misdemeanor charge which carries 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. An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation will be performed and a breath interlock device will be installed in the offender’s vehicle for a minimum of 185 days at their own expense. If the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than 0.18%, an ignition breath interlock device will be installed in their vehicle for 12-36 months.
3rd DUI Offense
A third DUI offense
in 7 years will result in a Category B felony
. Offenders of a 3rd DUI charge will spend 1-6 years in prison, pay a $2,000 minimum fine, and have their license revoked for 3 years. An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation will be recommended and an ignition breath interlock device will be installed in their vehicle for 12-36 months at their own expense. Punishment for multiple DUI offenses can be severe and it’s recommended that you seek representation from a qualified Las Vegas DUI defense attorney.
Nevada Revised Statutes Regarding DUI
The Nevada Revised Statutes
(NRS) are the most up-to-date codified laws in Nevada. Several statutes discuss DUI offenses and reckless driving charges. Below is a list of DUI and other driving-related Nevada statutes to review:
• NRS 484B.657
- Declares vehicular manslaughter caused by simple negligence (i.e. distracted driving, failure to use a turn signal, speeding slightly, etc.) a misdemeanor and requires an offender to be punished as such.• NRS 484B.653
- Criminalizes reckless driving (i.e. running a red light, speeding in excess, aggressively weaving in and out of traffic, etc.) resulting in more severe charges and penalties ranging from large fines to potential prison time.• NRS 484C.150
- (Replaces the previous statute NRS 484.382) States that a driver or person in physical control of a vehicle on a public road gives their consent to a preliminary test of their breath to determine their alcohol concentration level at the scene of a vehicle crash or in the location and time that the police officer stopped the vehicle.• NRS 484C.160
- (Replaces the previous statute NRS 484.383) States that a driver or person in physical control of a vehicle on a public road gives their consent to an evidentiary test of their blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance to determine the concentration of alcohol or presence of another controlled substance, chemical, poison, or prohibited substance at the time that the test is administered• NRS 484C.400
- Lists the penalties for first, second, and third offenders of DUI charges. Each penalty will be determined upon consideration of the circumstances of the accident.• NRS 484C.430
- Declares that the driver of a fatal vehicle accident will be charged with a Category B felony and will face serious charges including prison time, hefty fines, and more.
Nevada’s Implied Consent Law in DUI Cases
If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, Nevada has laws which control the testing used to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs or marijuana. The standard tests used include blood testing, breath tests and urine tests. The results of these tests can prove if you are intoxicated and to what extent you are intoxicated. There is a misconception that you can’t be convicted of a DUI without the results of a blood, breath or urine test, and therefore you should refuse the testing. Nevada statute 484C.160 states that “any person who drives or is in actual control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to an evidentiary test of his or her blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance to determine the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood or breath…”
Before 2013, the police were able to force a blood draw under Nevada’s implied consent laws. In Missouri v. McNeely, 569 US 141 (2013), the United States Supreme Court addressed states implied consent laws head-on and ruled that the police can no longer force driving under the influence suspects to give a blood sample, unless they have a search warrant.
Most recently however, In Mitchell v. Wisconsin, 139 S.Ct 2525 (2019), the United States Supreme Court, ruled that police may, without a warrant, order blood drawn from an unconscious person suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. The Supreme Court did state they were addressing a narrow category of cases, however, one can not deny that the ruling in Mitchell allows for an easier time justifying warrantless blood draws of intoxicated drivers by law enforcement.
If you choose not to take a breath, blood or urine test you could have your driver’s license revoked for one year. And your refusal may be seen as evidence of guilt at your DUI hearing. By law, Nevada drivers are required to submit to a PBT (preliminary breath test) when an officer suspects them of DUI. It’s important to note that refusing to take the PBT has consequences as well, such as:
• DUI Arrest
• Confiscation of driver’s license
• The refusal may be used as evidence against the driver
However, while it is the law to consent to the PBT, the police cannot force you to take the test. If you’ve made the decision to forgo a preliminary blood test, speak with a DUI lawyer in Clark County as soon as possible.
Fatal DUI Accidents In Las Vegas
In a DUI case that results in the wrongful death
of another person, the offender will be charged with a Category B felony spending 2-20 years in prison (away from violent offenders). Other penalties of a fatal DUI accident include facing fines ranging from $2,000-$5,000, are required to attend a Victim Impact Panel, and must have a breath interlock system installed in their vehicle at their own expense for at least 1 year upon release. An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation will also be performed at this time. Find out more about DUI accidents and if you can go to jail for a car accident here
Tourist DUIs in Las Vegas
Las Vegas sees 42.5 million visitors a year. And with the 24 hour party atmosphere, ease of purchasing alcohol and an abundance of traffic, it’s no wonder that out-of-state DUI arrests are very common. Visitors often misunderstand the law. They assume the laws are more lenient in Las Vegas than in their home state. For example, it is legal to carry an open beverage in designated areas, like the Strip. But, it is not legal to drive with one. Public intoxication is not a crime, however if the police determine that a person is intentionally being loud, acting aggressively or initiating fights, they can be arrested for disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct.
If you have been arrested for a DUI on a recent trip to Las Vegas, you’ll need an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer to represent you. Spartacus Law Firm can handle all aspects of your case on your behalf. This means you won’t be required to attend court dates or produce the required documentation yourself. You can go back home knowing you’re in good hands.
If you are convicted of a DUI offense in Las Vegas, the DMV will report the offense back to the proper government agency in your state. Each state handles the offense differently, but some actions you could experience:
• State will take action if the Nevada DMV suspends your license
• State will only take action if you are criminally convicted
• DMV Penalties will be as if you were convicted in your home state
• Penalties if your home state have the same or similar DUI statutes as Nevada