The Consequences of DUI Convictions: What You Need to Know

Although most people are aware of the dangers, and possible consequences, of driving while under the influence (DUI), DUI arrests continue to occur at a steady rate – especially in a city like Las Vegas. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” may apply to a wide range of questionable behavior; however, if what happens in Vegas is a DUI conviction, that will come with far-reaching and long-lasting consequences that most assuredly do not remain in Vegas.

Man arrested facing DUI convictions in Las Vegas

What Are the Potential Judicial Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Las Vegas?

If you are convicted of a DUI in Nevada, the potential judicial (court-imposed) penalties you face will depend on whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI. A first or second DUI within seven years is typically charged as a misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail, a license suspension of 180 days, mandatory attendance at a victim impact panel, and attendance at DUI school along with fines and costs.

If there are aggravating circumstances involved, and you are charged with a felony DUI in Nevada, you could be sentenced to anywhere from one year to life in prison, depending on the nature of the circumstances that elevated the charge to a felony. You will also have your license suspended for up to three years and be required to install, and pay for, an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

What Are the Non-Judicial Consequences of DUI Convictions?

While the actual terms of the sentence imposed by the court for a DUI conviction can be harsh, there are additional consequences that bear consideration as well. The financial cost of a DUI, for example, cannot be understated. Along with a fine of several hundred dollars up to $5,000, you will be required to pay court costs and may incur costs related to probation, alcohol evaluation and treatment, alcohol and drug testing, installation, and monitoring fees for an ignition interlock device, as well as the cost of an attorney. The biggest financial cost of a DUI, however, is often the increased insurance premiums you will pay after the conviction. Expect your premiums to increase by 50 percent or more following a DUI conviction and for those increased premiums to apply for at least three years after your conviction.

If you hold a professional license (physician, attorney, teacher, etc.), another consequence of a DUI conviction may be professional discipline. While the rules vary, most professional licensing boards require those holding a license to report a criminal conviction of any kind. Once the conviction is reported, you may face disciplinary action ranging from a private reprimand to revocation of your license.

If your job involves driving or requires your employer to insure you, a DUI conviction may also threaten your employment if you are now too expensive to insure. By the same token, a DUI conviction may disqualify you from certain jobs that you would otherwise be qualified for in the future.

Finally, keep in mind that a DUI conviction is just that – a conviction for a criminal offense. Even if you avoid spending any time in jail, once you are convicted of driving under the influence, you have a criminal record that can be accessed by future employers, landlords, or even a nosy neighbor. That conviction will remain on your record for at least seven years, after which you can petition to have it sealed if it is for a misdemeanor DUI. A felony DUI conviction, however, remains on your criminal record for life.

What Should I Do If I Am Charged with DUI in Las Vegas?

If you are facing DUI charges in Las Vegas, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Vegas Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss how to avoid ending up with a DUI conviction. Call us at 702-707-7000 or contact us online.