Nevada DUI Second Offense - Am I Going to Jail?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a DUI 2nd Offense, it more than likely felt very similar to a DUI 1st Offense arrest. Unfortunately, the penalties are stricter. That is because, in Nevada, DUIs are "enhanceable" offenses. This means the penalties become more serious for repeat offenders within a seven-year time frame. In this article, we're going to be discussing:
- When a DUI becomes a 2nd versus a 1st Offense
- Mandatory Penalties for a DUI 2nd
- Potential diversion programs
As always, our TL;DR:
A DUI 2nd Offense is a misdemeanor. The penalties are a minimum of ten days in jail or residential confinement and a maximum of six months in jail or residential confinement; a minimum fine of $750 and a maximum fine of $1000; mandatory evaluation and participation in an alcohol or substance abuse program; attend and complete a victim impact panel; installation of a breath interlock device for at least six months and up to three years. If your blood alcohol content was above.18, the interlock device is required for at least twelve months and up to three years.
When is a DUI 2nd Offense Charged?
There are two ways a DUI 2nd Offense is charged. The first, per NRS 484C.400(1)(b):
(b) For a second offense within 7 years, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in the past seven years, the State or City will charge a DUI 2nd. However, the State must provide certified documents proving a conviction for a DUI 1st Offense and allege it in the complaint. Simply seeing the charge on the officer's computer or a background check without a copy of the conviction is insufficient.
The seven-year time frame begins ticking from when the case was closed, NOT THE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL INCIDENT! Here is an example:
Sam was arrested for a DUI 1st Offense in January of 2014. The State was not ready for the first six months, and the trial was continued once. Sam finally plead guilty in February of 2015. He was given three months to complete everything, which he did. The case was closed in May of 2015. Now, in in June of 2021, Sam is arrested for a DUI again. He is charged with a DUI 2nd Offense because his first DUI did not close until May of 2015. His seven year time-frame runs from May of 2015 until May of 2022.
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 Nevada, 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 Nevada.
It is important to remember that Nevada's DUI laws count the convictions from other states. That means that if the State of the prior conviction counts back 10 years, Nevada will not. Nevada will only look back seven years.
Mandatory Penalties for a DUI Second Offense
Similar to a DUI First Offense, there are statutory minimums that apply to a DUI 2nd offense. They are more serious than the requirements for a first. In many instances, jail of some time will be required. A DUI Second Offense in Nevada is still a misdemeanor. Here are the requirements:
- Jail Time: Nevada's mandatory minimum for jail time is ten days. The maximum jail time is six months. This time can be served as residential confinement, but that decision is at the sentencing judge's discretion.
- Fine: A DUI Second Offense has a mandatory minimum fine of $750. The maximum fine is $1000.
- Victim Impact Panel: Nevada requires anybody convicted of a DUI Second Offense to attend and complete a victim impact panel.
- Treatment Program: Nevada judges must order a person convicted of a DUI Second Offense to a treatment program for drug and/or alcohol abuse. People subject to this order must first get an alcohol evaluation, then follow the recommendations. Those recommendations vary significantly based on the initial evaluation.
- Breath Interlock Device: Nevada requires judges to sentence somebody convicted of DUI Second Offense to install a breath interlock device for 185 days. HOWEVER, if the blood alcohol content is over .18, the breath interlock requirement increases to a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 36 months.
- DMV Penalty: The DMV will suspend the license of an individual convicted of a DUI Second Offense for one year. It will be split in two. The first half of the suspension is entered when an individual is arrested for a DUI Second Offense. The second half of the one-year suspension does not go into effect until after a conviction is entered. You can continue to drive on a suspended license if a breath interlock device is installed in the car you drive.
Diversionary Programs for DUI Second Offense
There are a couple of different ways to avoid the penalties for a DUI Second Offense. They can be more strict but not require jail time. They can also drop the penalties entirely. The options for a DUI Second offense are as follows:
- First for Sentencing, Second for Enhancement: This is the best option if you are charged with a DUI Second Offense in Nevada, and there are no evidentiary issues. It moves the minimum sentencing requirements back to a DUI First Offense. Thus, the jail time requirement is again placed at two days, a lower fine requirement, and a DUI School instead of the treatment program.
- Program of Treatment: Instead of the mandatory minimums, an individual can instead apply to join a treatment program. This option still requires five days in jail.
A DUI Lawyer is Necessary
If you are charged with a DUI Second offense, an experienced Nevada DUI attorney like Charles Goodwin is necessary. He has fought for his clients in every courtroom in the Las Vegas Valley. A member of the National College for DUI Defense, he serves on several task forces. a Nevada DUI can be a very complex case. DON'T TRUST JUST ANYBODY! Charles Goodwin knows how to make the right arguments for you!
Call 702 472 9594 today for your no-obligation, free consultation!