Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, categorized as driving under the influence in Nevada typically as DUI, is a very popular crime in this State. It is a rather unique offense given the fact that most clients have to deal with both the DMV for the loss of their license and the court system for the criminal side of it. At The Law Office of Jess Marchese, I can explain your legal options if you have been arrested for DUI. I will also carefully review your case to try to expose any evidence that could assist in supporting your innocence and mount a defense that will help us to avoid you being convicted for DUI. I have handled every kind of DUI case from those involving death, to first offense DUIs. I have personally tried hundreds of DUI cases as a defense attorney and a former DUI prosecutor. Let me use my experience and knowledge to help you with your case.
Basic DUI Law Overview
You can be convicted of a DUI offense in Nevada if your blood alcohol level reaches .08 percent or more. In addition, you can be convicted if your blood alcohol is less than that if the prosecutor can prove that the alcohol that was ingested affected your ability to drive a motor vehicle safely and that you were an increased risk to cause an accident.
There are also limits set on the usage of prohibited substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine. If you are above these limits (which typically are very low), you can be charged with DUI drugs.
There are set limits on the usage of controlled substances which are typically pain/anxiety medications that are prescribed by a doctor. The prosecutor will try to obtain a conviction based upon the totality of the circumstances from your case. This would encompass such items as your outward appearance, driving conduct, performance on the field sobriety tests, etc.
You can even be convicted of DUI if you weren’t driving. These cases are called Actual Physical Control (APC) cases. If you felt intoxicated and decided to “sleep it off” in your car, an arrest and conviction can still be obtained. A knowledgeable DUI attorney will know the APC factors and argue them successfully to the judge if the necessary facts are present.
Nevada DUI laws
Nevada’s penalties for a first offense DUI include the following:
- From two days in jail up to 180 days in jail
- Time undertaking community service is a penalty
- Fines could be imposed from $340 to $1,000
- Mandatory of a DUI school and a Victim Impact Panel
- The loss of your license for ninety days
- Possibility of a breath interlock device installed in your car
- Other counseling as mandated by the court
Nevada’s penalties for a second offense DUI within seven years include the following:
- A minimum of ten days in jail up to 180 days
- Attendance of a Victim Impact Panel
- A mandatory substance abuse evaluation
- A fine of $750-$1000
- Loss of your driver’s license for 1 year
- Installation of a breath interlock in your car for one year at your own expense
Nevada’s penalties for a third offense DUI within seven years include the following:
- MANDATORY prison time ranging from 1-6 years in the Nevada Department of Prisons
- A fine of $2000-$5000
- Attendance of a Victim Impact Panel
- Installation of a Breath Interlock Device in your car for 1-3 years after your release from prison
- A 3 year suspension of your driver’s license
- Undergo and adhere to a substance abuse evaluation
Penalties for DUI resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm or Death
- 2-20 years in the Nevada Department of Prisons (This is not subject to prosecutorial discretion unless there is a legal basis for the prosecutor to deviate)
- A fine of $2000-$5000
On these particular cases, it is extremely important to have competent counsel. Aside from the obvious harsh punishment,
A DUI Conviction can Affect Your Life Forever
Once your conviction has been recorded, you will have a criminal record. This can label you to the extent that present and future potential employers, landlords and credit companies will have access to the information. The most serious DUI convictions can affect your career and educational opportunities for the rest of your life. With these convictions having such a great effect, you must be sure that you know your rights as a citizen and that you consult with the most knowledgeable lawyers that are available to take up your case.
What Will a DUI Lawyer Do?
The first thing I do when I get a DUI case is to talk with the client. Police officers are trained to write reports in a certain manner in which to enhance the likelihood of a conviction. Oftentimes, crucial facts or witnesses are left out so that a client’s chances of bearing the DUI are reduced. As such, it is important to gather as much information as possible from the client as it might have been omitted from the reports.
The next step is to evaluate the reports. Many times, a meticulous defense counsel can find inaccuracies in the report that will lead to a successful defense for the client.
After gathering all the information, I will contact the prosecutor to discuss the case and bring up the possible defenses. If an offer is worked out that is acceptable to the client, then it is accepted. If not, then the offer is rejected and something else is either worked out or the case proceeds to trial.
I will also handle your DMV hearing. At some point in time, the DMV typically tries to suspend your license. However, this is not automatic and you are entitled to try and stop the process. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, the process can be somewhat confusing. But rest assured, the DMV will try to take your driving privileges away and you will need representation to defend you at the hearing.
The first thing to consider is if you took a blood or a breath test. If you took a breath test, your license was most likely taken on the spot and you were given a temporary license in the form of a piece of paper. If this is what happened to you, you need to contact an attorney immediately as you will lose your license in seven days.
If you took a blood test, a certified letter from DMV will be sent to the last known address that the DMV has on file for you. Once that letter is received, it is paramount that you contact an attorney to stop the process.
Whether you took a blood or breath test, an experience attorney can suspend the revocation process pending the outcome of the DMV hearing. In the interim, he or she can get you a temporary license granting you the same driving privileges that you had before your arrest.
It is also important for you to consider your jurisdiction. Different jurisdictions have different procedures which can greatly affect the outcome of your case. Only an experienced Nevada attorney will know the nuances that each jurisdiction has. Without this knowledge, you can be placing yourself at a great disadvantage with your case.
If you, a member of your family or someone you know has been accused of a DUI, contact The Law Office of Jess Marchese today to ensure your rights are upheld. It is your legal right for an attorney to defend you when you have been accused of a wrong doing in Nevada and in your best interest to do so.