First Time DUI Defense
First Time DUI Defense Lawyer Las Vegas
Nevada takes a heavy-handed approach to all DUI offenses, including first DUI charges. Generally, a first DUI in Las Vegas or anywhere in the state is a misdemeanor offense. It is punishable by mandatory jail time, fines, license suspension, and more.
Exact consequences for first DUI convictions vary depending on the circumstances of your arrest, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, and other factors.
If it’s your first DUI arrest within seven years, a skilled DUI attorney can mount a strong defense and potentially have your charges decreased, dismissed, or negotiate for less severe penalties.
DUI convictions have serious consequences. Don’t gamble with your future. Contact The Vegas Lawyers or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation today.
What Happens When You Get Your First DUI In Nevada?
If you’re convicted of a first-time DUI in Nevada, the penalties are not light. You can expect the following consequences:
- 48-hours to 6 months of jail time or community service hours to be determined by the judge. In many cases, jail sentences can be suspended so long as you stay out of trouble during the probationary period
- Fines ranging from $400 – $1000, in addition to court costs
- License suspension of 185-days, plus a $35 civic penalty fee
- Mandatory attendance of a state-approved substance abuse program (you pay the fees)
- Mandatory attendance of a Victim Impact Panel
- Potential installation of an ignition interlock device for 3 – 6 months (at your own expense)
The penalties mentioned above are for typical first-time DUI offenses. However, consequences can be more severe if your DUI cases involve other factors such as a BAC above .18, death, or injuries. Seeking proven legal counsel can help to ensure you know what you’re up against and how to mount a strong defense to first DUI charges.
Also, defendants can possibly avoid jail time and other penalties by taking advantage of Misdemeanor DUI Court – a rehabilitation program for first DUI offenders. However, you must be eligible and meet all requirements of the program to benefit from it. Contact a trusted DUI lawyer to learn more about Misdemeanor DUI Court and if you qualify.
When Is A First DUI In Nevada A Felony?
Most first-time DUI convictions in Nevada are classified as a misdemeanor, but there are exceptions. According to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484C.430, DUIs causing injury or death are classified as a Category B felony. With this classification comes heavier penalties such as:
- Up to 20 years in prison
- Fines ranging from $2,000 – $5,000
- Mandatory attendance of Victim Impact Panel
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- License revocation for three years
In addition, if it is your third or more DUI offense within the last seven years, you may face felony charges and more extensive penalties if convicted.
Will My First DUI Be Dismissed?
No lawyer can guarantee your first DUI case will be dismissed. However, a proven Las Vegas DUI lawyer armed with a strong defense strategy can increase the likelihood of a dismissal or decreased charges.
The sooner you seek legal help, the more time your lawyer has to prepare a solid defense, examine the evidence, interview eyewitnesses, and negotiate with the prosecution to help you receive the least amount of penalties possible under the circumstances.
How Soon Can I Get My License Back?
Regardless of the circumstances of your first DUI arrest, if your BAC is over .08 percent or you refuse to take a breath or blood test, the arresting officer will take your license. If they do, you will be issued a 7-day temporary license.
You must request a hearing with the Nevada DMV to contest your license suspension during these seven days. If you wait until after the seven days, your temporary license will expire, and your driving privileges will be revoked for 185 days.
So long as you request a hearing within the required time, your temporary license will be extended until the date of your hearing. It’s possible to have your suspension dismissed, but not the easiest feat to accomplish, especially without the help of an experienced DUI lawyer.
First-time DUI offenders may also qualify for a restricted license 90-days into the suspension. To qualify, you must contact the Nevada DMV, complete the SR-22 form, obtain SR-22 insurance, apply for a restricted license, and await the results.
How Long Does A First DUI Stay On Your Record In Nevada?
First DUI convictions in Nevada can potentially stay on your record for a lifetime. However, you can petition to have your record sealed seven years after your case is officially closed. If you don’t seek a record seal on your own, the DUI will remain on your criminal record indefinitely.
Can I Get My Record Expunged?
No, Nevada does not allow for the expungement of criminal records. Expunging a record essentially means that it is erased from the record. However, you may potentially seal your record, which hides it from typical background checks.
If your record is sealed, some government agencies can still access it. It can also be used against you in other criminal proceedings.
Potential Defenses For A First Time DUI
A first DUI charge doesn’t always mean a DUI conviction. A skilled DUI attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and apply the appropriate defense strategies. Potential defenses to a first DUI charge can include:
- Invalid reason for the traffic stop or lack of probable cause
- Lack of sufficient evidence to convict
- Faulty breath test equipment
- Procedural errors committed by the police
- Improper collection or storage of blood samples
Your attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution or seek to reduce the charges based on a lack of previous criminal history or other factors.
First DUI Offense? Contact The Vegas Lawyers Today
Whether it’s a first DUI offense or you’ve been charged multiple times, the consequences of a conviction can be severe and life-altering. Working with a Las Vegas DUI lawyer familiar with DUI laws as they appear in Chapter 484C of the NRS is essential to your case’s eventual outcome.
At The Vegas Lawyers, we understand the potential implications of a first DUI conviction. Our dedicated team of lawyers and paralegals have seen it all and understand what’s at stake.
When facing potential jail time, license suspension, and permanent criminal records, it’s important to work with the best DUI defense team possible.
We’ve developed a reputation as one of Nevada’s best criminal defense law firms because we are compassionate, determined, skilled, and prepared to help you receive the least amount of penalties possible for a first-time DUI.
We’re here to help. Contact The Vegas Lawyers or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.