WHAT ARE THE ODDS MY FIRST DUI CHARGE GETS DISMISSED?
March 14, 2022
Your chances of getting your first DUI charge dismissed in Nevada depends upon many factors. However, one thing is clear, getting a first-time DUI charge dismissed is much harder now than it used to be.
With that in mind, yes – it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible to get first-time DUI charges reduced or dismissed.
That’s especially true if you have a skilled attorney on your side. An experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer can analyze the evidence, search for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and build a strong defense strategy on your behalf.
Continue reading and watch my video below to learn more about first offense DUI charges in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If you’re convicted of driving under the influence for the first time in Nevada, the judge must impose a minimal sentence. The penalties for 1st offense DUI include but are not limited to:
- Minimum two days in jail, but up to 26 weeks OR 96 hours of community service instead of jail time
- Fines starting at $400
- One year Drivers license suspension
- Mandatory DUI school at your own cost
- Attendance at Victim Impact Panel
- Alcohol treatment program (depending on the case)
Suppose your BAC was over 0.18 at the time of the breathalyzer or blood draw. In that case, you can expect harsher penalties, including higher fines, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (at your own expense), and a 3-year license suspension.
Generally speaking, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor offense. However, a first offense DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm or death is a category D felony. A category D felony carries the following penalties:
- Minimum 1-year imprisonment, but up to 4-years in prison
- Fines up to $5,000
The Nevada DMV must suspend your license for a minimum of 185-days if you’re convicted of a 1st offense DUI in Nevada. If charged with a 1st offense DUI, the defendant is given a 7-day temporary license. During that time, they can request a DMV hearing.
In many cases, the defendant may keep their restricted license pending the conclusion of the hearing. However, DMV hearings are tough to win. Additionally, the DMV automatically suspends your license if you’re convicted of a criminal DUI defense.
With that in mind, you may still be eligible for a restricted license (pending the installation of an ignition interlocking device). A restricted license allows you to travel for work, school, groceries, and medical appointments. You are not allowed to drive anywhere otherwise.
Yes, a first DUI charge can be dismissed. However, it’s not easy nor does it occur with frequency. Nevada courts take DUI charges very seriously. Navigating complex DUI laws in Nevada, investigating evidence, drafting motions, negotiating with the prosecution, etc., can be especially challenging without an experienced attorney.
Hiring a proven Las Vegas DUI lawyer drastically improves your chances of a successful outcome in your case. Learn about commonly used first-time DUI defense strategies below.
There are three possible outcomes in all DUI cases: Conviction, reduced/amended charges, or dismissal. In many cases, obtaining a dismissal for a DUI (even if it’s the first offense) is an uphill battle.
A skilled attorney can seek dismissal while working hard for amended charges (if dismissed charges aren’t possible). Potential defense strategies for driving under the influence can include:
- Errors made during the arrest or DUI procedure
- Faulty breathalyzer equipment
- Contaminated breath or blood test results
- Illegal traffic stop
- Other violations of rights
If the prosecution has overwhelming evidence against you, your attorney can still argue for community service instead of jail time. However, at The Vegas Lawyers, our goal is always to dismiss or reduce charges, first – decrease penalties, second.
It’s important to remember, DUI’s are not just alcohol related. You can also face first time DUI charges in Nevada if you take certain prescription drugs before driving. That’s true even if a licensed physician-prescribed those drugs to you. That’s because many prescription drugs are considered controlled substances under Nevada law.
Unlike alcohol-related DUI’s, there is no minimum threshold for the amount of prescription drugs you’re allowed in your system before driving. That means that you could be convicted of driving under the influence for the first time even if you have very small traces of the drug in your blood.
Possible defenses for prescription drug DUI’s in Nevada include:
- You were not “under the influence” of your prescription drug
- You did not exhibit behaviors that suggest an impaired driving ability
- The was a problem with the testing facility or method
- You did not have any prescription drugs in your system
- You were unknowingly “slipped” a prescription drug before driving
In most cases, fist-offense DUI misdemeanor convictions can be sealed seven years after the case closes. However, if it’s a felony DUI conviction, the record can never be sealed.
If your DUI attorney gets your charges reduced to something like reckless driving, your case may be eligible for a record seal just one year after the case closes. Dismissed first time DUI charges can be immediately sealed in Nevada.
Author: Tony Abbatangelo, Esq.
Anthony “Tony” L. Abbatangelo Esq. is a smart, compassionate attorney that knows how to get results and is no stranger to the courtroom. Tony and his team are ready to assist you with your criminal and DUI defense.