DUI in Vegas? You’re Not Alone
If you are charged with DUI – driving under the influence – in the Las Vegas area, you won’t be alone. Several thousand people are placed under arrest for DUI every year in the Las Vegas area. If you’re one of them, promptly arrange to discuss your case with an attorney.
More than a hundred people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents in the State of Nevada in 2022. In that same year, in Las Vegas alone, more than two thousand drivers were taken into police custody and charged with driving under the influence.
The majority of people who are arrested for driving under the influence have never been in legal trouble before. They’ve made a one-time mistake that probably will not ever happen again. Nevertheless, the penalties for a first DUI conviction can be harsh in the State of Nevada.
What are your rights if you are charged with DUI? Can you avoid a conviction? What are the penalties for a first DUI conviction in this state? Keep reading for the answers you may need – now or in the future – about driving under the influence in the Las Vegas area.
What Should You Know if You Are Charged With DUI?
If you are charged with DUI in the Las Vegas area, the first thing to understand is that you will need legal counsel immediately. Let a Las Vegas DUI lawyer handle your driving under the influence case from the start.
Especially if you are a first-time DUI offender, and if you caused no injuries or property damage, there is a possibility that the right Nevada DUI lawyer can have the charge against you reduced, or in some cases, entirely dismissed.
If the police stop you while you’re driving, and a breathalyzer test indicates that your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is at or above 0.08 percent – or if you appear to be too impaired or intoxicated to drive – you can be arrested for driving under the influence.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest?
If you are charged with driving under the influence in Nevada, the next thing you should understand is that every first DUI arrest opens two separate proceedings that are independent of one another: a criminal court proceeding and an administrative proceeding.
When you are charged with DUI in this state, an administrative penalty is imposed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – a 185-day driver’s license revocation. If you do not request a DMV hearing, that license revocation begins seven days after your DUI arrest.
If your license is administratively revoked, you may obtain a restricted license that, along with the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, will allow you to drive to work or school and back during the 185-day driver’s license revocation period.
Even if the DMV doesn’t revoke your license at the hearing, if you’re convicted of DUI in your criminal proceeding, your license will be suspended by the DMV at that time. But with only seven days to request a DMV hearing, you will need to contact a DUI lawyer at once.
How Are First DUI Convictions Penalized?
In Nevada, for a first driving under the influence conviction, you’ll be fined and you will pay additional court costs. You will also pay:
- for DUI School, which typically costs about $150
- to attend a Victim Impact Panel, which typically costs about $40
- to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for at least six months
Offenders must serve at least two days in jail for a first DUI conviction, but judges may count any time served as two days credit. First-time DUI offenders receive a six-month jail sentence which may be suspended as long as the other terms of the sentence are successfully completed.
How Will a DUI Attorney Help You?
If you have no prior convictions, the penalties that are imposed for a DUI conviction will depend on the details of the DUI incident. Every DUI case and sentence is different. The best outcome is avoiding a conviction – having the DUI charge dismissed or winning an acquittal at trial.
Do not even think about trying to represent yourself in a driving under the influence case. DUI law is scientifically and legally complex, too much will be at stake, and any mistake could send you to jail for the maximum sentence. You must be defended by a Las Vegas DUI attorney.
Depending on the details of the case, your attorney may seek to have the driving under the influence charge against you dismissed, to have the charge reduced, or to win a not guilty verdict at trial. If the DUI charge cannot be dismissed, and you are innocent, insist on going to trial.
What Defenses Can Your Attorney Offer?
If your case goes to trial, your knowledgeable drunk driving defense attorney will review the details of the driving under the influence incident, examine the prosecution’s evidence, and develop an aggressive, effective defense strategy. For example, your lawyer may insist that:
- The police had no reasonable suspicion to stop you or probable cause to arrest you.
- Your breathalyzer test results are inaccurate.
- The officer who tested you was not qualified to conduct the test.
If you are in fact guilty of driving under the influence, the evidence is conclusive, and your conviction is inevitable, instead of going to trial, your attorney may negotiate to have your driving under the influence charge reduced to reckless driving.
A reckless driving conviction entails serious penalties, but your driver’s license will not be suspended, and a reckless driving conviction can be sealed (made inaccessible to the public) after one year, while you must wait at least seven years to seal a DUI conviction.
How Can You Choose the Right DUI Attorney?
If you are facing a first driving under the influence charge in the Las Vegas area, Goodwin Law Group will address all of your concerns, answer all of your legal questions, and bring your first-offense DUI case to its best possible outcome.
Attorney Charles Goodwin is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. He understands the legal difficulties that breathalyzers and field sobriety tests entail, and he offers aggressive defense representation for clients who are charged with driving under the influence.
Do not let one mistake threaten your job or your freedom, or disrupt your family or your future. If you are charged with DUI in the Las Vegas area – now or in the future – promptly contact Goodwin Law Group at 702-819-8242. We will fight for the justice you need and deserve.