On September 15, 2020, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents will no longer be charged with second-degree murder. The most serious charge a DUI motorist can face is felony DUI causing death.
DUI causing injury or death in Nevada is a category B felony, which carries a prison sentence between two and 20 years, a fine of up to $5,000, and driver’s license revocation or suspension for up to three years. On the other hand, second-degree murder is a category A felony, punishable by a prison sentence between 25 years and life – with the possibility of parole after serving 10 years of the sentence.
The decision by the state’s highest court arose from a case involving a man who was speeding between 70 and 142 miles per hour through a Las Vegas residential neighborhood before causing a collision. When he took a chemical test, law enforcement officials discovered marijuana in his system.
Chief Justice Kristina Pickering essentially said since there is no intent involved in killing someone while driving impaired, the state may not seek second-degree murder charges against drunk drivers who cause another person’s death in an accident. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said the ruling would lead to five second-degree murder cases being dismissed.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious DUI offense in Reno, contact the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover today and schedule a free initial consultation. Let a former prosecutor protect your rights, reputation, and freedom.