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Las Vegas DUI Court Process

When you’re arrested for a DUI, you face both criminal charges and the possibility of getting your license revoked.  License revocation, unlike the DUI charge, is an administrative proceeding before the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”). 

Because having a driver’s license is a privilege not a right, the same constitutional protections that attach to a criminal proceeding do not apply to a driver’s license revocation hearing.  Regardless, proper legal representation will help you receive the least amount of penalties whether you’re facing criminal charges for a DUI or dealing with having your license suspended and/or revoked by the DMV.

Do I Really Need To Hire A DUI Lawyer?

Yes.  DUI cases can become complicated and confusing.  All the facts of your arrest must be evaluated and considered by your defense team so that you can get a result that will be the least punitive under the circumstances.   

To better your chances of getting charges dismissed, receiving a reduced penalty or avoiding a license revocation, you need proper representation from an experienced DUI attorney.  It’s important that you have an attorney in your corner that is familiar with the court procedures involving DUIs and has the respect of the judges and prosecutors.   

Is Appearing In Court Necessary?

Appearing in court is not necessary in a DUI case.  However, if the case ultimately goes to trial, then you’ll need to appear.  At The Vegas Lawyers, we routinely appear in court for our clients and answer “not guilty” on their behalf sparing them the stress and anxiety of a court appearance.  But in those instances when a case needs to go to a trial, we’ll fully prepare our clients so that they perform well before the judge or jury.  

In Nevada, you don’t have to show up in court as long as your Nevada attorney appears for you and submits your plea.  Tony Abbatangelo, Esq. is the former Chief Judge of the Las Vegas DUI court and is well-known and respected by judges and prosecutors.  His paralegal Arelice Parra is very familiar with the court procedures and knows the in-and-outs of the process. 

Tony and Arelice are truly among the best at what they do!  Tony can appear for you to handle your charges sparing you the stress of an appearance.  Arelice will deal with all the paperwork and provide you with step-by-step instructions with what needs to be completed.  This will significantly reduce your stress.    

What Is DUI Court Process Like In Nevada?

The DUI court process has several stages and varies depending on the state. For the state of Nevada, the stages are as follows (subject to change):

Arraignment:  At this proceeding, you’re formally charged and you enter your official plea (no contest, not guilty, or guilty). This is optional for you to attend. Your attorney will receive evidence from the prosecution and the next court date will be set if you plead not guilty.

Plea Bargain Negotiation: Oftentimes, your attorney and the prosecution will negotiate a plea bargain to avoid trial.  Negotiations highly depend on whether the case is weak or if a lower offense can be agreed upon if the evidence is strong.

Sentencing: This is the hearing where the judge decides what penalties to impose upon a person that has either plead guilty to a DUI charge or been convicted of DUI.  Sentencing requires work on the part of the attorney to ensure his client is presented in the most favorable light to the court.  This is where having the right attorney on your side can make a big difference.   Sentencing is a serious process and requires an attorney that is knowledgeable about the laws.  

Pre-trial: When the prosecution and your defense cannot come to an agreement, motions must be made in anticipation of trial. These include further negotiations, petitions to exclude evidence, challenging arrest procedures, and conducting possible witness interviews.

Trial: If dealing with a misdemeanor DUI, the judge will make the ultimate decisions.  In Nevada, if you’re charged with a felony DUI, you have the option for a bench trial or jury trial. 

Will I Face Probation?

It’s possible to be placed on probation following a DUI/DWI conviction. 

While on probation, you’ll have to report to a probation officer and ask for permission to leave the state or designated area when needed.  In addition, you must not consume alcohol or drugs, and depending on your location and/or judge, you can face additional limitations.

Contact The Vegas Lawyers If You’re Facing DUI/DWI Charges in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Searchlight, Goodsprings or Pahrump! Don’t gamble with your future.  Whether you live in southern Nevada or you’re a tourist from out of town and you’re now facing DUI charges, it’s important to have the best possible DUI team on your side. 


The penalties involved with a DUI can be severe and life altering.  Known to many as the best DUI attorneys in Las Vegas, our strong team of lawyers and paralegals brings a sense of compassion and understanding in our representation of our clients.  We have the experience to make sure you get the least amount of penalties possible.

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or drugs in Las Vegas, contact The Vegas Lawyers today!  Or call us direct at (702) 707-7000. 

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