DUI in Las Vegas
DUI Lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada
What Happens When You Get A DUI Charge?
Overall, crime has declined, but the number of DUIs in Las Vegas has increased since this time last year. That’s according to the Nevada Department of Safety. For the last few years, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol have teamed up to create a DUI Strike Team. Recently, they’ve recorded their 2,500th DUI arrest. The ultimate goal of the DUI Strike Team is to reach zero DUI-related fatalities on Nevada roads.
With this in mind, you can expect more law enforcement officers watching for potential signs of intoxicated driving, more DUI checkpoints, and harsh punishments for those convicted of driving under the influence in Las Vegas.
If you’ve recently been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas or surrounding areas, it’s in your best interest to hire a proven DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk facing prosecution without adequate representation.
DUI Statistics In Las Vegas
It’s no secret that the people who live in Las Vegas and especially out-of-state visitors, love to have a good time. After all, this is the “party capital” of the world.
Unfortunately, the mixture of readily available alcohol and bad decision-making has led to many DUI accidents and fatalities over the years. Listed below are a few interesting and pertinent Las Vegas DUI statistics from recent data.
- Nevada has the 12th most DUI fatalities during the “brunch hours” or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- A third of traffic-related deaths could have potentially been avoided if a motorist didn’t get behind the wheel while intoxicated
- Nevada’s drunk driving rate is 1.8 percent, compared to a 1.9 percent national average
- Clark County accounts for nearly 65 percent of DUI-related crashes in Nevada
- 56 percent of accidents caused by impaired driving in Nevada involve pedestrians
- Most drunk driving accidents and arrests in Las Vegas can be attributed to men between 26 and 35 years old
Nevada still has a lot of work to do to reach the goal of zero DUI-related fatalities. However, as progress is being made, you can expect a continued increase in law enforcement presence on weekends, at popular party areas, on busy streets, and the highways.
Understanding Nevada’s Implied Consent Laws
Some people think that they can outsmart the police and judicial system by simply refusing to submit to a DUI chemical test when arrested. However, refusal to take an evidentiary DUI breath or blood test can result in a 1-year license suspension, forced DUI blood draw, and eventual prosecution. Learn more about Nevada’s Implied Consent Laws.
After a DUI arrest in Las Vegas, it’s usually in your best interest to comply with an officer’s request for you to take a DUI breath test. Otherwise, you could make it more challenging to seek decreased charges, a favorable plea deal or even a dismissal.
Be sure to avoid saying anything that will incriminate yourself and contact a Las Vegas DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Is A DUI A Felony In Las Vegas?
Most DUIs in Nevada are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses. However, a DUI can be charged as a felony under the following three scenarios:
- It’s the defendant’s 3rd DUI conviction within the last seven years
- The defendant has a prior felony DUI conviction
- The defendant causes severe injury or fatality while driving under the influence
If you’ve been charged with a felony DUI in Vegas, you could be facing hefty fines, prison sentences, and many other devastating consequences. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas to start working on your case and developing a strong defense strategy.
What Happens When You Get Your First DUI In Nevada?
It may just be the first DUI charge, but that doesn’t mean the law will go easy on you. A typical first-time DUI in Las Vegas is a misdemeanor offense. Penalties for your first DUI (within seven years) include:
- 48 hours – 6-months in jail
- $400 – $1,000 in fines
- Mandatory DUI school and Victim Impact Panel
- 185-day license suspension
Penalties can increase depending upon the circumstances of your DUI case. If you’ve had prior DUI convictions within the last seven years, caused an accident or fatality as a result of driving under the influence, had a BAC over 0.08%, or you’re under 21, you can expect harsher penalties. Contact a Las Vegas DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Penalties For Subsequent DUI Convictions
Defendants convicted of a second or third DUI within seven years face longer jail sentences, higher fines, increased license suspensions, and a potential felony conviction. In some cases, you may avoid convictions by completing a Misdemeanor or Felony DUI Court (an intense drug and alcohol rehabilitation program).
Can I Get A DUI For Marijuana In Las Vegas?
Recreational use of marijuana has been legal in Nevada for a few years. However, that does not give Nevadans or visitors the right to drive while under the influence of marijuana or any other illicit or prescription drug known to cause intoxication.
Driving under the influence of drugs is treated the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. The only notable difference is that first-time marijuana DUI offenders only face a 90-day license suspension instead of 185-days.
How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record?
It depends. If you do nothing about the conviction, it will stay on your record indefinitely. However, defendants charged with a misdemeanor DUI are eligible to have their case sealed seven years after their case ends. If you’ve been arrested but not convicted, you’re eligible to have your record sealed immediately.
Those convicted of a felony DUI in Las Vegas are not eligible to have their records sealed at any time. It will stay on their record, regardless of circumstances.
How Much Is Bail For DUI In Vegas?
Most people arrested for a misdemeanor DUI in Las Vegas are released soon after being booked. Depending on the circumstances of your case, past DUI convictions, and other criminal history records, you may be released on your own recognizance, or the judge may require you to post bail.
A standard bail schedule determines the bail amount for a misdemeanor offense. If you’ve been charged with a felony DUI in Las Vegas, bail will be determined at an official bail hearing. You may be tempted to enlist the services of a bail bonds company depending upon your financial condition.
However, in many cases, it will serve you better to work with a Las Vegas DUI lawyer when posting bail as your payment could be used towards attorney fees.
Can I Have My Record Expunged?
Many states allow DUI expungement, but not Nevada. The best you can do is have your record sealed (if you’re eligible). While they are similar, they are not the same. Sealing your record doesn’t erase it as an expungement would.
Instead, sealing simply hides your DUI conviction from most public background checks. However, your record can still be used against you in subsequent criminal hearings and viewed by certain government agencies when applying for employment.
Las Vegas Out-of-State DUI – What If I’m From Another State?
Out-of-state DUI defendants face the same penalties as native Nevadans when charged with a DUI. If convicted, you will face the consequences in Nevada and likely your home state as well.
Fortunately, drivers charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense can hire a Las Vegas DUI attorney to appear in court on their behalf. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you’ll have to appear in person.
It’s important to note that forgetting about your DUI charge or neglecting to appear in court doesn’t mean your charge will disappear. Ignoring your charge for DUI in Las Vegas can lead to a bench warrant for your arrest and other complications.
Should I Hire A DUI Lawyer In Las Vegas?
Those facing DUI charges in Las Vegas are up against a highly motivated prosecution, potential jail time, fines, license suspension, and many other consequences. With this in mind, representing yourself is nothing short of a gamble.
An adept attorney experienced with DUI in Las Vegas cases can devise a strong defense strategy, negotiate decreased charges, push for a dismissal, or limit the effect of penalties. The law doesn’t force you to hire an attorney, but it’s typically in your best interest to do so.
We Can Help – Contact The Vegas Lawyers Today
If you’re facing DUI charges in Las Vegas or the greater Clark County area, don’t take additional risks. It’s essential to hire the best DUI lawyer in Las Vegas and nothing less.
At The Vegas Lawyers, we understand that simple mistakes shouldn’t lead to a lifetime of consequences. Our Las Vegas DUI lawyers and paralegals have a reputation as the best in Clark County for a reason. We care about our clients.
We have the experience to help you get the least amount of penalties possible under the circumstances. Contact The Vegas Lawyers today or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation.