Las Vegas DUI Third Offense – What Are My Options?
If you are arrested in Las Vegas for a DUI Third Offense, it undoubtedly felt very much like prior DUI arrests. The only difference is you might now be subject to pretrial release conditions such as a SCRAM bracelet, breath monitoring, or even house arrest. But make no mistake: while the arrest and the behavior were the same as the prior two DUIs, a DUI Third Offense is severe. It’s a Category B Felony. However, there are options available to reduce a DUI Third Offense and avoid prison. If you were charged with a DUI Third Offense in Nevada, you need to contact a DUI Attorney immediately. Charles Goodwin has experience defending DUI Third Offenses and is an experienced DUI Lawyer in Nevada. Call today for a free consultation.
Here is our TL;DR about DUI Third Offense penalties:
A DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas is a Category B Felony. It requires a minimum of one year and a maximum of six years in the Nevada Department of Corrections. The minimum fine is $2000, and the maximum fine is $5000. The Court must also order a breath interlock device for a minimum of 12 but up to 36 months. Additionally, the DMV will revoke the driver’s license for three years.
Requirements For A DUI Third Offense
For a DUI Third Offense to be charged, the State must prove several elements:
1. It is unlawful for any person who:
(a) Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
(b) Has a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath; or
(c) Is found by measurement within 2 hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath,
to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access.
The first set of elements are the standard DUI elements. Being at or above .08 measured within two hours of being in actual physical control of the vehicle. However, this is insufficient for a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas by itself. In addition to the standard elements, the State must also prove:
The facts concerning a prior offense must be alleged in the complaint, indictment or information, must not be read to the jury or proved at trial but must be proved at the time of sentencing and, if the principal offense is alleged to be a felony, must also be shown at the preliminary examination or presented to the grand jury.
Thus, the proof of the prior convictions must be listed on the complaint and produced at the preliminary hearing or the grand jury. If convicted of a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas, the State must prove the convictions at sentencing.
Counting Prior Convictions
There are a lot of misconceptions concerning when a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas is charged. The method for determining if prior convictions will count towards a DUI Third Offense is to count back from the arrest date seven years. All DUI cases that were not yet closed will count toward the DUI Third offense. Here are a couple of examples:
Danny was arrested in January of 2012 for a DUI First Offense. He completed all of his requirements and the case closed in May of 2013. He was arrested for a DUI Second Offense in March of 2016. He completed all of his requirements and the case closed in January of 2017. Danny was arrested again in January of 2020 for a DUI Third Offense. This is a proper charge. Going back seven years from January 2020 puts us at January 2013. Danny’s DUI First Offense had not closed until May of 2013.
What is important to understand is that the seven years is not reset when you get another DUI. Here’s another example:
Danny was arrested in 2012, except this time his DUI First Offense was completed in December of 2012. His March 2016 DUI is still a DUI Second Offense, but now his January 2020 DUI is also a DUI Second Offense. The DUI First Offense is no longer within the seven-year window, so it cannot be counted towards the DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas.
Out Of State Convictions
Different states treat DUIs very differently. Some do not charge a felony DUI until the fourth DUI in 10 years. Some treat DUIs as a step above misdemeanors but not quite felonies. The penalties can be formal probation for several years. In Las Vegas, a prior DUI from a different state will be subject to Nevada’s seven-year rule as long as the elements are the same or substantially similar. For example:
California Vehicle Code 23152 makes it unlawful to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. It is also unlawful for a person who has a 0.08 blood alcohol content to drive a vehicle. This is substantially similar to Nevada’s NRS 484C.110, which states it is unlawful for an individual at .08 or more or an individual impaired by alcohol to drive a vehicle. A conviction for a DUI in California will also count as a conviction in Las Vegas.
It is important to remember that Las Vegas DUI laws count the convictions from other states. That means that if the State of the prior conviction counts back 10 years, Las Vegas will not. Las Vegas will only look back seven years.
Las Vegas DUI Third Offense Penalties
The penalties for a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas are severe. A DUI Third Offense is a Category B felony, so it is no longer a misdemeanor. Here are the penalties:
- Prison: If you are convicted of a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas, you must serve a minimum of one year and a maximum of six years in the Nevada Department of Corrections. Probation is prohibited!
- Fine: Las Vegas’ DUI Third Offense has a minimum fine of at least $2000 with a maximum of $5000.
- Victim Impact Panel: For any DUI Conviction in Las Vegas, the person convicted must complete a victim impact panel.
- Breath Interlock Device: Conviction of a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas will result in the judge ordering a Breath Interlock Device for a period of at least 12 months, but not more than 36 months.
- DMV Revocation: The DMV will revoke your license for three years if convicted of a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas.
Needless to say, a conviction for a DUI Third Offense has severe penalties. But prison is not guaranteed.
DUI Third Offense: Treatment Programs
If you are convicted of a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas, programs are available to have your DUI Third Offense reduced to a DUI Second Offense. These programs include:
- Veterans Court: A DUI Third Offense can potentially be dismissed outright after undergoing treatment through the Veterans Court. This option is only available to veterans or current members of the military.
- Treatment Program: Instead of a felony, a court may defer a DUI Third Offense conviction and allow an individual to enter a treatment program. The treatment program must go for at least three years and has several other conditions to monitor and address an alcohol or substance abuse program. Successful completion of the program will result in a conviction for a DUI Second Offense.
If you are being charged with a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas, then you need an attorney. Contact Charles Goodwin at the Goodwin Law Group, PLLC today. We can discuss your options and the best way to face these charges.
A DUI Lawyer Is Necessary
Whenever the issue of penalties comes up, a DUI Lawyer is necessary. Charles Goodwin, a Las Vegas DUI Defense Lawyer, can help. Here’s why:
- Complexity: There is a lot of variation on DUI First penalties in Las Vegas. Charles Goodwin knows how to navigate these complex issues to ensure that if you have a DUI, the penalties stay at the minimum sometimes regardless of BAC!
- Knowledge: lawyers not trained to handle DUIs will often recommend that you accept whatever the prosecutor offers – which is generally harsher than required. This is because the prosecutor is often much more knowledgeable about DUIs than the untrained lawyer. Don’t let that be you! DUI Attorney Charles Goodwin understands DUIs and can help.
- Experience: Many lawyers who do not handle DUIs regularly may be unaware of the new requirements under the law, including breath interlock requirements being run concurrently, no more per se marijuana DUIs, and more. DUI Defense lawyer Charles Goodwin has resolved hundreds of DUIs, is a member of the National College of DUI Defense and has practiced in all courts in Southern Nevada. He can help you.
Contact Charles Goodwin at Goodwin Law Group, PLLC today. He has the knowledge and experience to navigate the complexity of your DUI Offense and help you decide how to proceed when you are facing a DUI Third Offense in Las Vegas. Don’t chance your future. Call today for your free consultation!