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Out Of State DUI In Las Vegas, NV

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Out Of State DUI While Visiting Las Vegas? We Can Help

It’s a famous saying, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But the reality is that any criminal activity committed in Las Vegas will follow you home, regardless of what state you reside. Out-of-state DUI charges are very common for tourists visiting Las Vegas. Don’t leave Las Vegas thinking that law enforcement will forget about your DUI. In fact, delaying any kind of action will often make matters worse.
Most importantly, whatever state you receive a DUI in will determine the charges that you face, So if you live in a state with more lenient DUI penalties like Pennsylvania, it will not matter. Therefore, if you receive an out-of-state DUI in Las Vegas, you will face prosecution from the Nevada legal system. To make things worse, Nevada has a strict focus on drunk driving and hands down harsh penalties that reflect that. If you are charged with a DUI while visiting Las Vegas, your best option is to work with a local DUI defense attorney who understands the Nevada courts and can work for you while you go back home. If you’re facing a DUI charge and reside in another state, call the Spartacus Law Firm today for a consultation and to begin planning your defense.

Understanding Out Of State DUI Charges In Nevada

In order for the prosecution to prove you are guilty of an out-of-state DUI in Las Vegas, there are certain elements that must be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. Without proof of these violations, the case against you will not be as strong and opens the door for reduced penalties or potentially dropped charges. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal process and provide the best possible outcome for your specific circumstances. According to NRS §484C.110, it is unlawful for any person, to operate or be in control of a motor vehicle if they:
  • Are under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or liquor
  • Have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more
  • Have a BAC of 0.08% or higher within two hours of driving
Nevada law also declares that it is illegal for a driver to be under the influence of a controlled substance or under the influence of both alcohol and a controlled substance. The term “controlled substances” can equal a variety of different drugs. Some of the more common drugs that we see associated with out-of-state DUIs in Nevada are cocaine, heroin, morphine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines.

Driver License Compact (DLC)

Like most other states, Nevada is part of a collection of states that are members of the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact (DLC). The DLC is an agreement between individual states based on the sharing of information from one state to another. This most commonly involves sharing the driving privileges of an individual in the state that issued the person’s driver’s license. For example, if you received an out-of-state DUI in Las Vegas, you will receive the same consequences related to the suspension of driving privileges as if you were caught drinking and driving in your home state.
Under the DLC agreement, any state that convicts a driver of an out-of-state DUI offense must share this information with the driver’s resident state. This allows the driver’s home state to apply its own punishment. Essentially, this means if a driver from Nevada is convicted of a DUI in California, the state of Nevada will treat the offense as if it happened within state lines. The home state of Nevada will then take action against the driver as if he or she had received a DUI in Nevada. For example, suspending or revoking their driving license under Nevada law. These circumstances can be technical and tough to understand. Seeking representation from an experienced out-of-state DUI attorney will provide you with the best chance to achieve the optimal outcome for these charges.

Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC)

In addition to the Driver’s License Compact (DLC), tourists visiting Las Vegas must understand that any out-of-state DUI charges acquired in Nevada can impact their right to lawfully drive in their own home state according to the Non-Resident Violator Compact. Generally speaking, if you are arrested for DUI in another member state, the NRVC will apply your home state’s vehicle code to your out-of-state offense. In fact, the NRVC requires that any state that takes action against a driver for a DUI-related offense must report that information to the other member states. If convicted of an out-of-state DUI in Las Vegas, the home state that issued the defendant’s license may be forced to suspend or revoke it depending on the outcome of the DUI case.

Penalties For Out Of State DUI In Las Vegas

A DUI conviction can be a life-altering moment in your life. Not just because of the stigma behind having a DUI charge on your record, but the penalties for a DUI in Nevada can be especially strict. Not to mention, your cost of auto insurance can soar due to a DUI charge. Even if you are a proven driver with a flawless driving record, your premiums for car insurance will likely double after being convicted of a DUI. Due to the potential consequences being so severe for a DUI in Nevada, it’s recommended to have representation from a local DUI defense attorney in the state that you were charged. A skilled out-of-state DUI attorney may be able to help you minimize penalties, including potentially avoiding a driver’s license suspension. On the other hand, without experienced legal representation, you could be facing the maximum penalties for an out of state DUI in Las Vegas including:

  • Anywhere from 2 days up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines ranging from $400 to $1,200, not including court costs
  • 90-day suspension of the right to drive in Nevada

This may not seem so bad considering you don’t live in Nevada, but understand that Nevada will also report drunk driving incidents to your home state’s Department of Motor Vehicles where additional consequences may take place. This means that your home state may also suspend your driving privileges, require alcohol or drug treatment, additional penalties, and impose fines.

In most cases, the penalties for a first-time out-of-state DUI can be completed in the defendant’s home state.

Defenses To Out Of State DUI Charges In Nevada

Due to the harsh nature of the Las Vegas DUI laws the probability of an unfavorable case outcome is much higher in Nevada than in other states. It’s critical that you work with a skilled out-of-state DUI attorney that can assist with clearing the charges or mitigating the potential penalties. There are plenty of defense strategies that can be used to combat DUI charges, but some of the most effective include the following:

  • Challenging the validity of the Field Sobriety Test
  • Questioning the probable cause that initiated the traffic stop
  • Leftover alcohol in the mouth or throat could have enhanced BAC reading
  • Questioning the baseline of the Field Sobriety Test
  • Lack of sufficient evidence for an out of state DUI in Las Vegas
  • Acid Reflux or Heartburn Can Influence the Breathalyzer Test
  • BAC Test Result is Inconsistent with a Driver’s Behavior
Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Have To Return To Las Vegas For My DUI Court Date?

If you have a local Las Vegas DUI lawyer representing you, then no, most of the time the judge will allow for your attorney to represent you in court. If you received a misdemeanor DUI, which most first-time DUI and second-time DUI offenses are, then there is a high likelihood that your attorney can appear in court for you. However, if you are facing a felony out-of-state DUI in Nevada, you may have to physically appear in court. There’s still a chance that your attorney could appear in court for you, but it will ultimately depend on the circumstances of the DUI and the judge handling the case. A felony DUI in Nevada includes all third DUI offenses within 7 years or a DUI that caused serious injury or death. If you are permitted to stay home, a Las Vegas DUI defense attorney can handle the following on your behalf.

  • Make court appearances on your behalf
  • Collect evidence using local resources
  • Develop defense strategies based on past Nevada court experience
  • Run motions before the judge
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or drop charges
  • Conduct a DMV administrative hearing

What Happens If No One Appears In Court On My Behalf For My Las Vegas DUI?

If you fail to appear for your initial DUI appearance the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are detained or encounter law enforcement in Nevada your warrant will appear and the bench warrant will show up when law enforcement runs your name in their database. Thereafter, you will be arrested and detained until your initial appearance for the DUI charge, and at that time a bail may be set. It is always best to avoid having your case fall into warrant status.

It is unlikely that you will be extradited for a misdemeanor DUI, but if the case is a felony DUI, extradition is much more likely. You can read more about the extradition process here.

If you have failed to appear for your out-of-state DUI and the case is in warrant status, you can invoke legal assistance to have the warrant quashed. In most cases, your attorney will not require your presence to have a warrant quashed. You can read more about Las Vegas warrants here.

Will My Home State Revoke My License?

Your driver’s license can be suspended in your home state if your Nevada DUI case is not handled properly. The Interstate Compact provides all 50 states the authority, accountability, and resources to track the supervision of offenders who move across state lines. Therefore, if the circumstances of your DUI warrant license suspension, then you may have that penalty extend to your home state as well. Luckily, a Nevada DUI attorney can help negotiate your charges and position your case for the best possible outcome. An out-of-state DUI can potentially be reduced to reckless driving or even dropped completely.

Will A DUI Conviction In Nevada Count Towards A Felony DUI Enhancement In My Home State? Or Will My Home State DUI Be Used As A DUI Enhancement In Las Vegas?

It is likely that a conviction in Nevada can be used as an enhancement in your home state. Each state is different and this is a complex issue that is state-specific.

If you have a DUI in another state that can be used as an enhancement in Nevada, especially as it pertains to a felony enhancement for a third DUI offense.

To sustain a felony conviction for DUI in Nevada based on an out-of-state DUI conviction, the other state’s statute must punish the same or similar conduct as that proscribed by Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484C.110. That issue is a question of law; therefore, an appellate court reviews it de novo. The criminalized conduct need not be identical in order to satisfy § 484C.410(1)(d). The conduct may merely be the same “kind or species.”

For example, Utah prohibits driving while incapable of safely operating a vehicle due to alcohol consumption. Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(2)(a) (1998). Nevada prohibits driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484C.110(1). Both states prohibit driving with a blood-alcohol concentration at or above 0.08. Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(2)(a). Additionally, both states classify a third offense within a statutorily prescribed recidivism window as a felony, the only difference being that Nevada’s recidivism window is seven years, Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484C.400(1)(c), while Utah’s recidivism window is 10 years, Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(6)(a)(i). The length of the recidivism window, however, does not change the offending conduct. Because Utah’s DUI recidivism statute prohibits the same or similar conduct as Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484C.110(1) and Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484C.400(1)(c), a Utah felony conviction satisfies Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484C.410(1)‘s mandate that the offense be deemed a Category B felony.

When Can I Get My Nevada DUI Expunged Or Sealed?

Unfortunately, Nevada does not allow for expungements of criminal cases. If you have a misdemeanor DUI you can get the file sealed after seven years from the date your case was closed.

Felony DUIs can not be sealed in Nevada, they stay on your permanent record forever. You can apply for a pardon from the governor, but that does not remove the crime from the public eye, it merely allows for forgiveness of the offense.

Below is the statutory time frame for sealing criminal offenses in Nevada:

NRS 179.245 Sealing records after conviction: Persons eligible; petition; notice; hearing; order.

1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5 and NRS 176A.265176A.295179.259453.3365 and 458.330, a person may petition the court in which the person was convicted for the sealing of all records relating to a conviction of:

(a) A category A or B felony after 15 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
(b) A category C or D felony after 12 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
(c) A category E felony after 7 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
(d) Any gross misdemeanor after 7 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from probation, whichever occurs later;
(e) A violation of NRS 484C.110 or 484C.120 other than a felony, or a battery which constitutes domestic violence pursuant to NRS 33.018 other than a felony, after 7 years from the date of release from actual custody or from the date when the person is no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later; or
(f) Any other misdemeanor after 2 years from the date of release from actual custody or from the date when the person is no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later.
You must petition the court to have your criminal case sealed it does not automatically occur seven years after your case is closed.

If your case is dismissed you can have your file sealed immediately.

What If I Live Outside Of The U.S. And Get Arrested For DUI In Nevada?

Most of the time, international tourists facing DUI charges in Las Vegas do not have to return to the US for court as long as they hire a local attorney to represent them. Although trials for DUI charges are rare, if your case is taken to court, you most likely will be required to be present for the trial.

It’s also worth noting that foreign defendants should speak with their DUI defense attorney regarding potential consequences that may affect their ability to return to the US. It’s highly recommended that international defendants respond to DUI charges promptly. If an international DUI is ignored, a Nevada judge could issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This could have nightmarish consequences for immigrants hoping to obtain a US visa in the future.

Is It Possible To Retain An Attorney Without Physically Meeting With Them?

Yes. If you retain the Spartacus Law Firm as legal counsel, you are never required to come into the office, though you are welcome to. We offer free phone consultations for all clients, and if you retain our firm to represent you we will send you a retainer agreement via mail or email. We can discuss your case over the phone or zoom, and all relevant discovery documents can be emailed or mailed to you at your home address. Our attorneys can take care of everything else on your behalf.

Dealing with a criminal charge is difficult enough and our law firm seeks to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Out Of State DUI? Contact The Spartacus Law Firm

We understand how stressful it can be to be arrested for an out-of-state DUI in Las Vegas. It’s natural to have a million questions running through your head about the technicalities and consequences of a DUI outside of your home state. Fortunately, there are DUI attorneys who specialize in out-of-state DUIs and have successfully defended countless similar cases. The Spartacus Law Firm has been recognized as a top-ranked DUI law firm and will fight to make sure that your rights are protected. Our mission is to help you mitigate consequences and help you move on from a mistake. Call the Spartacus Law Firm today for a consultation.
(702) 660-1234