A Las Vegas arrest for driving under the influence can be one of the most difficult and frustrating circumstances in one’s life. That one choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while even slightly intoxicated can change the course of a driver’s future. It is, however, one of the most common offenses that are committed throughout Las Vegas.
Drunk driving is a very serious offense that carries heavy penalties in Nevada, so contact a criminal defense attorney from De Castroverde Law Group for the legal assistance you need.
Las Vegas DUI Penalties for First-Time DUI
If you are convicted of a DUI in the state of Nevada, this is typically charged as a misdemeanor, but Las Vegas DUI penalties can become harsher with successive DUI convictions or if there are aggravating conditions related to your case. For a standard, first time DUI offense in Clark County, you can be facing two days to six months in jail or between one and four days’ worth of community service in addition to fines from $400 to $1,000. DUI offenders also have to attend DUI classes, which cost about $150. Some even have to go to a substance-abuse treatment program. It is important to note that these penalties may vary depending on the unique circumstances of the case and the presence of any factors that may result in enhanced sentencing, such as a child in the vehicle at the time of the offense or an extremely high blood alcohol concentration. Other Las Vegas DUI penalties for first time DUI’s could include:
- Court fees (often $600 for a first DUI)
- DUI School, paid for by the defendant
- Victim Impact Panel, a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) lecture
- Possible ignition interlock device in the defendant’s vehicle, at the defendant’s expense
The driver may also have a license suspension for at least 90 days. Sometimes, the driver can apply for a restricted license after 45 days which allows that person to go to and from work. To get your license back, the DMV requires you to pay a $65 reinstatement fee, a $35 victim’s penalty, $21 application fee, and retake tests. In addition, you have must contact your insurance company and have them file a SR-22, which will usually double or triple your insurance until it expires in 3 years. Some insurance companies will not allow drivers with DUI convictions, and may drop you.
Multiple DUI Offense Penalties (Second and Third DUI Offense)
For a second offense, your driver’s license could be revoked for a year, with no restricted license and mandatory attendance at a DUI class. You could be facing jail time of 10 days to 6 months and 100-200 hours of community service with fines of up to $1,000. For a third conviction, your driver’s license could be suspended for three years, will possibility of a restricted license. The courts will most likely suspend the registration on your car and put you in prison for up to 6 years. For a third DUI or more penalties could include:
- 1 to 6 years in prison
- $2,000-$5,000 fine
- 3 year license suspension
- Ignition interlock device installation
- DUI program enrollment for 3 years
Penalties for DUI Causing Death or Injury
DUI causing injury or fatal DUI accidents may be punishable by 2 to 20 years in state prison, fines of $2,000 to $5,000, and other penalties such as license suspension, probation, counseling, rehabilitation, and community service. Challenging these charges and working to avoid a conviction is crucial and is best achieved with a defense lawyer who has the experience and resources to properly handle your case.
The state would need to prove three key elements to convict you:
- The defendant was driving under the influence (with an unlawful blood alcohol concentration and/or impaired abilities)
- The victim was injured
- The defendant’s conduct was the proximate (most likely) cause of the victim’s injuries
If the DUI caused the death of another individual, you face severe Las Vegas DUI penalties including felony charges, even on a first offense. This includes driver’s license revocation for up to three years, imprisonment for between 2-20 years, and a fine of up to $5,000. To ensure that you have the proper legal representation you need, hire a DUI attorney from our firm that has the experience you need to fight your charges.
For individuals who are under the legal drinking age with blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .18% or higher, conviction for underage DUI means they will have to attend an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program with an alcohol or drug dependency evaluation with a $100 fee. In addition, the court may order a Breath Interlock Device to be set up in your car for one to three years.
Can I refuse a chemical test in Nevada?
In Nevada, drivers are under the implied consent law, which means that by operating a vehicle, they are automatically required to submit to chemical testing. If a driver refuses, then the police officer can suspend his or her license for 90 days and arrest the driver for DUI anyway. If you have already refused a chemical test in the last 7 years, then your license can be suspended for up to 3 years. If a person will not submit or complete a breath, blood, or urine test, then the Nevada law enforcement officials are allowed to use reasonable force to administer it.
Get assistance from our experienced lawyers!
Contact a DUI lawyer in Las Vegas from our firm today if you are in need of legal assistance handling the charges you are facing. Whatever the conditions of your case, we can help you seek a reduction or dismissal of your Las Vegas DUI penalties.