DUI With Accident
DUI With Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas
DUI accidents happen on Nevada roads and highways at an alarming rate. For this reason, state and local law enforcement agencies have ramped up efforts to decrease the likelihood of a DUI accident by increasing patrols, deploying DUI strike teams, and imposing harsh penalties for intoxicated drivers who cause accidents resulting in serious injuries or death.
A DUI accident in Las Vegas that causes substantial bodily injury or fatalities is classified as a Category B felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI causing injury or death (NRS 484C.430), it’s in your best interest to seek the legal counsel of an experienced Nevada DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Your DUI attorney can help to negotiate decreased charges, lessened penalties, or even a dismissal of charges.
Don’t gamble with your future by representing yourself. Contact The Vegas Lawyers or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Nevada DUI Accident Statistics
People from all over the world flock to Las Vegas and other Nevada areas to have a good time and relax. Unfortunately, many visitors and state residents have a bit too much fun and decide to get behind the wheel after drinking.
This can lead to devastating consequences, including the loss of life. Take a look at a few Nevada DUI accident statistics below.
- Nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in Nevada are alcohol-related
- Nevada is ranked 12th in the nation for DUI accidents causing fatalities during “brunch hours”
- There are more than 300 DUI accident related fatalities in Nevada each year
- 65% of DUI-related car accidents occur in Clarke County
- 3.3/100,000 Nevada residents die due to DUI accident instances (higher than the national rate)
In recent years, Nevada has significantly increased the number of DUI arrests. In conjunction with the Nevada Highway Patrol, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department has arrested thousands of people before they have the chance to cause harm to themselves or others.
Legislatures, law enforcement, city agencies, journalists, and more are heavily invested in decreasing DUI accidents and deaths in Nevada. Since DUI accident fatalities and injuries are highly publicized, many DUI defendants face an uphill battle in court.
What Is A DUI Offense In Nevada?
Like the rest of the country, a DUI in Nevada is defined as operating a motor vehicle on a public road or highway with a BAC higher than .08 percent (if over 21).
If you’re under 21, the legal BAC level is below .02 percent. Furthermore, commercial vehicle drivers must maintain a BAC below .04 when operating their commercial vehicle.
Penalties for a DUI conviction are severe but not as harsh as the consequences for a DUI accident, causing substantial bodily injury or death. Learn what can happen if you’re responsible for a DUI accident, causing an injury or fatality below.
What Happens When You Get A DUI And Crash?
If you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and cause an accident, you can expect a few things to occur. They include:
- Sobriety field test and/or preliminary breath test
- Evidentiary breath or blood test
- Arrest if BAC is above .08
- Prosecution formally files charges
- Attend DMV administrative hearing
- Nevada DUI trial including arraignment, negotiation/potential plea bargain, pre-trial motions, and the trial if no plea bargain is reached or case is not dismissed
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI accident causing serious injury or death, it’s essential to contact an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The more time they have to investigate your case, interview eyewitnesses, review the police report, and negotiate with the prosecution, the better.
What If I Get Into A DUI Accident, But There Are No Injuries?
If there are no serious injuries or deaths involved in your DUI accident, you may still be charged with a DUI offense, but not a DUI causing bodily injury or death – that’s important. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the property damage caused, you may face other charges, such as reckless driving.
Any type of accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can make a prosecutor less reluctant to decrease DUI charges or dismiss the case. Speak with a knowledgeable DUI attorney to learn more about your options.
What Is The Penalty If Convicted Of A DUI That Causes Serious Injury Or Death?
As mentioned previously, penalties for individuals convicted of a DUI that causes serious injuries or death are severe. The offense is a Class B felony that can lead to extensive prison time, high fines, license suspension, and much more.
According to Nevada DUI laws set forth under NRS 484C.430, those convicted of a DUI accident causing fatalities or injuries can include:
- 2 – 20 years in Prison
- Potential fines ranging from $2,000 – $5,000
- 3-year license suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for 1 – 3 years
- Mandatory attendance of MADD Victim Impact Panel
- Alcohol or drug dependency evaluation
Cases that go to trial depend on a judge or jury to make decisions determining guilt. However, most DUI cases are resolved by plea bargain.
No lawyer can guarantee they will have your DUI accident charges dismissed or decreased. However, hiring an adept legal professional can increase your chances of receiving the least amount of penalties possible under the circumstances.
Enhanced Penalties For Drivers With Prior DUI Convictions
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI offense within the previous seven years, you can expect harsher penalties and sentencing for a DUI accident causing serious injury or death.
Suppose you have three or more DUI convictions within the previous seven years. In that case, your DUI could be classified as vehicular homicide, which is a Category A felony that is punishable by up to a life sentence in prison.
Also, if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a child 15 years or younger in your vehicle at the time of the crash, you are more likely to receive a prison sentence near the higher end of the guidelines.
Defenses For DUI Accident Charges
The consequences of a DUI accident that causes significant injuries are long-lasting and strict. However, just because you are charged doesn’t always mean you will be convicted.
Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, so they must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If they can’t, they are more likely to seek decreased charges, drop the case, or negotiate with your Las Vegas DUI lawyer.
Potential defenses for DU charges involving serious injury or fatality can include:
- Not Under The Influence at Time of Accident: In rare cases, the vehicle driver didn’t start drinking until after the accident. Perhaps while they were waiting for the police to arrive at the scene. If the prosecution can’t prove the driver was drinking or under the influence of drugs before the accident, charges may be reduced or dismissed.
- Faulty Equipment: Breath test equipment is not 100 percent accurate. If the device is not calibrated correctly or working properly, it can be difficult for the D.A. to prosecute your case. Also, police officers must follow appropriate DUI breath test procedures. If they don’t, a prosecutor may be reluctant to move forward with the case.
- Fatality or Injury Not Caused by Driver: To be convicted of a DUI causing bodily injury or death, it must be proven that you were at fault for the accident. It often takes expert witnesses to reconstruct the accident scene and evaluate the evidence to show you were not at fault for the DUI accident.
There are many other potential defenses to a DUI causing serious injury or death charge. The exact defense strategy your DUI lawyer in Las Vegas employs will depend on the circumstances of your case and available evidence.
How Can A Plea Bargain Help?
If your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can persuade the prosecutor that they don’t have enough evidence to convict you, they may be open to a plea bargain to dismiss the charges or decrease them.
Your attorney may negotiate reduced charges like reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter, or a misdemeanor DUI. Each of the previously mentioned reduced charges are misdemeanors and carry lighter sentences, fines, and penalties.
While a reduction in charges can help you avoid the most severe penalties, a judge may not suspend sentences or offer probation in DUI accident cases involving serious injury or death.
Contact The Vegas Lawyers Today – We’re Here to Help
If you’ve been involved in a DUI accident causing injury or death, we can help. Our top-rated team of skilled Las Vegas DUI attorneys and paralegals are compassionate, hard-working, and prepared to help you receive as few penalties as possible under the circumstances.
The sooner we can begin working on your case, the better. DUI accidents involving injury or death incur severe penalties that can affect you and your family for a lifetime. Don’t gamble with your future.
We handle cases in southern Nevada and surrounding areas, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Green Valley, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Laughlin, Mesquite, Searchlight, Goodsprings, and Pahrump.
Contact The Vegas Lawyers through this website or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 today for your free initial consultation.