Although alcohol seems to flow freely in Las Vegas, Sin City takes drinking and driving very seriously. A DUI charge could net serious fines and jail time. But what if you’re just visiting Vegas from another state? Do you have to deal with a DUI charge if you don’t live in Nevada and aren’t planning to return?
Unfortunately, many people later discover that the answer is yes. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in Las Vegas, you could face penalties in your home state, too. But, with the help of a skilled out-of-state DUI attorney, you could have a much better outcome than tackling this charge on your own.
Why Do I Need an Out-of-State DUI Attorney?
A DUI conviction in Nevada carries serious penalties, both criminal and penalties involving your driver’s license and vehicle.
Nevada criminal penalties for a DUI include:
- The cost of posting bond if you are arrested
- Two days to six months in jail
- Community service
- Fines ranging from $400 to $1,000
- Required attendance in a DUI school
- Required enrollment in a substance abuse program
- Installing an ignition interlock device in your car (at your expense)
The vehicle and driver’s license penalties for a Nevada DUI include:
- Vehicle impounded and the cost of getting it out
- License revocation, with a reinstatement fee of $121
- A $42.25 Driver’s License Fee and an accompanying $26 testing fee
An SR-22 Certificate of Liability Insurance may be required for up to three years after your conviction. Furthermore, if you hurt anyone else while driving drunk, like hitting a pedestrian and causing bodily injury, hitting another car, or hitting an inanimate object, then you may face civil penalties, as well. The injured person or property owner could file a lawsuit for damages against you, and you may owe them thousands of dollars or more to cover their losses.
If your license is revoked in Nevada and not reinstated, the revocation remains on your record and will likely mean you can’t get a license in other states. The Driver License Compact (DLC) includes nearly all states in the U.S., so if you’re charged with DUI in Nevada, that information may be shared with the appropriate authorities in your home state.
And that’s just Nevada. Nevada has a reciprocity agreement with many other states, meaning that any DUI charge you receive here could also carry consequences in your home state, including a license suspension.
The Role & Benefit of an Out-of-State DUI Attorney
If you get a DUI while in Nevada, you still have to deal with it. However, often, a Nevada lawyer can represent you in court proceedings, so you may not have to travel back here to take care of the DUI. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser plea, which, in turn, could reduce your penalties at home. Each state’s reciprocity laws differ, so it’s important to work with an attorney familiar with the ones in your state.
Your Nevada DUI lawyer may act on your behalf to investigate the circumstances surrounding your charge. This includes determining whether your stop was legal and whether the officer had probable cause to test you for alcohol use. If the only piece of evidence was a field sobriety test, then the lawyer may question whether it was properly performed. Or, they could challenge the BAC testing to see if it was done correctly or fell within Nevada’s two-hour rule. The two-hour law says that if your BAC was over the limit within two hours of driving, you can be charged with DUI.
Finding the Right Out-of-State DUI Attorney
Not just any DUI lawyer in Las Vegas may be knowledgeable or experienced enough to handle the complexities of an out-of-state DUI charge. When looking for the right lawyer, it is important to find one qualified to represent you – and one you trust with such a serious matter. Many Nevada DUI lawyers offer free consultations. When you’re interviewing lawyers for your out-of-state DUI case, you can learn about their abilities by asking things like:
- How often do you represent out-of-state people in DUI cases?
- What strategies do you employ for an out-of-state DUI case?
- Will you be able to represent me in hearings or other in-person court appearances?
You can also learn more about local Las Vegas DUI lawyers by reading reviews and contacting the Nevada Bar Association, where you’ll find a wealth of information about all licensed attorneys in the state.
The Legal Process
Dealing with an out-of-state DUI charge can be worrisome since you may not be able to physically represent yourself in the process. Trusting your DUI lawyer in Las Vegas is essential. The first step, once you’ve been released from jail, is determining whether you can have your lawyer represent you in the hearing. If you have a misdemeanor charge, your lawyer can likely be your representative. But remember, if you ignore the charge completely, you’ll likely have an arrest warrant or bench warrant issued, meaning that when you come to Nevada again, you can be arrested.
The DUI process in Nevada doesn’t stop with the Nevada courts. You may also have to attend a Nevada DMV hearing. You may have been subject to a DMV license suspension from the Nevada DMV. This could carry over to your home state, depending on your state’s laws. Your DUI lawyer may be able to attend the DMV hearing in your stead, as well. However, if you neglect this aspect of the out-of-state DUI process, then you could have your license suspended for 185 days (or longer) in Nevada and in your own state if you live in one that is part of the DLC.
Schedule a Consultation with a Las Vegas DUI Lawyer Today
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas – especially when it’s a DUI charge. Depending on the severity of the charge, such as whether there were aggravating factors, like bodily injury or excessive property damage, you could be looking at serious jail time and costly fines. You can try to minimize the penalty for an out-of-state DUI charge with the help of one of the skilled DUI lawyers from De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration. Contact us today for a phone or video consultation.