What Can I Expect After a DUI First Arrest in Las Vegas or Henderson?
At Goodwin Law Group, PLLC, we understand how difficult and disorienting drunk driving charges are. They interfere with our client's personal and professional lives. From the outset, getting your car towed, an arrest, and spending the night in jail is a lot to process. And it's just the beginning.
Nevada law treats a DUI First Offense as a misdemeanor, but the penalties that come along with this misdemeanor are more severe than other misdemeanors. A Nevada DUI conviction can have long-term effects on your life. This includes your ability to drive and your criminal record. This is because as soon as you are arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson, two different actions are taken against you. One is through the courts, and the other is through the DMV. The process is often complex.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson, contact Charles Goodwin at the Goodwin Law Group immediately.
THE DMV WILL SUSPEND YOUR LICENSE IF YOU ARE SUSPECTED OF A DUI, AND AN APPEAL CAN BE FILED BUT MUST BE DONE WITHIN TEN DAYS!
This blog will discuss what to expect if you are arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson. This includes:
- Pre-trial Release Conditions
- The DMV Process
- The Court Process
Las Vegas and Henderson DUI Release Conditions
You are almost always taken to jail when you are arrested for a DUI in Henderson or Las Vegas for your first offense. Most people are released within 12 hours administratively, others after they see a judge. Some will bail themselves out immediately. Regardless of how you are released, there are always standard release conditions. Two are always ordered:
- Stay out of trouble
- Show up to all of your court dates
The condition of staying out of trouble is self-explanatory. Your pre-trial release is conditioned upon good behavior. Being arrested for a felony while out on pre-trial release can result in a no-bail hold in jail. Picking up another DUI or another misdemeanor can result in contempt time or an increase in your bail.
The requirement to show up to all of your court dates is more flexible. In Henderson and Las Vegas, a DUI defense attorney can appear for their client in all justice and municipal court proceedings. Your appearance would only be necessary at trial or if you were going to enter a plea.
A court will also look at the circumstances of the arrest and occasionally order other pre-trial release conditions. These include:
- Wearing a SCRAM bracelet or patch
- Options breath monitoring
- Ordered not to drive
These pre-trial release conditions are much rarer. They are usually only imposed if there was an accident that caused substantial bodily harm or a DUI Second or Third Offense. If any of these pre-trial release conditions were imposed, you should contact Charles Goodwin at Goodwin Law Group immediately. There is a chance that these are unconstitutional and should not be imposed.
DMV Proceedings for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson
Once you are arrested for a DUI in Nevada, the DMV WILL take action against your license. Part of a DUI arrest is an officer filling out a "certification of cause" slip that is sent to the DMV to be used to revoke your license. A DUI in Nevada will revoke your license for a total of 185 days, with half of that time being served on suspicion of a DUI and half being served when there is a conviction. THIS IS APPEALABLE! If you have been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson, you must immediately contact Charles Goodwin. He can appeal the decision to revoke your license and potentially get the allegations thrown out.
The standard for license revocation is meager. That means all that an office has to prove to get your license suspended for the first half is slight or marginal evidence that you were driving while impaired. Often, the DMV will wait for the results of a blood test to move forward on the appeal. If you took a breath test, your license was more than likely taken from you at the jail. YOU ONLY HAVE 10 DAYS TO APPEAL! If you do not appeal, your license will be revoked.
If you do appeal, there will be a hearing. The hearing takes place at the DMV appeal office. The officer will introduce exhibits and testify about the stop and why they arrested you for a DUI. Your lawyer then has the opportunity to cross-examine the officer and make arguments as to why the officer should not have charged you.
If your license is revoked, the DMV will issue you a restricted license if you install a Breath Interlock Device into your car. If you have the Breath Interlock Device installed, you can drive without restriction. However, if your license is revoked and you do not have the breath interlock device installed, and an officer stops you, the punishment is 30 days in jail.
Court Proceedings for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson
When you are arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas or Henderson, a criminal case is initiated against you. The district attorney or city attorney is going to prosecute you. The first court date is the arraignment. At the arraignment, you will receive a criminal complaint. The criminal complaint lists what the District Attorney is charging you with. Sometimes it is only driving under the influence, and sometimes it contains traffic infractions that led to the stop.
After the arraignment, the court will either set a pre-trial or a trial. A DUI defense attorney will receive your discovery. Discovery is the term for all of the evidence in your case. That evidence will then be reviewed by the attorney and by you. A trial or negotiation strategy will be formulated, and your attorney will speak with the district attorney or city attorney.
After the preparation is complete, you are often left with choosing to take a negotiation or take your DUI charge to trial. If you do not like the negotiation, then a trial is the only way to obtain a better result.
The trial or plea negotiation generally signifies the end of the adversarial court proceedings. If you win at trial, your court case is entirely over. If you take a negotiation or plea deal, then the penalty phase will begin. The court will give you several requirements to complete and a time frame to meet them in the penalty phase. Courts differ significantly on their penalties, but they will all include:
- Suspended jail time
- DUI School
- Victim Impact Panel class
You can learn more by seeing this article: Nevada DUI First Offense.