Nevada’s laws and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are among the strictest in the nation. If you find yourself facing a DUI charge for the first time, you might be wondering if you need a DUI attorney. The answer, in short, is yes. Here's why.
Navigating Nevada's strict and complex DUI laws alone, especially when facing a first offense charge, can be daunting. A DUI conviction is permanent, potentially influencing future employers, landlords, or loan officers during background checks. Without effective representation, prosecutors in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada, may pursue maximum sentencing.
However, an accusation of driving under the influence doesn't equate to a DUI conviction. You are entitled to every legal defense to avoid jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges, among other penalties.
Our role is not to judge but to safeguard your rights and construct a compelling defense on your behalf. We invite you to reach out to us today to shield yourself from the severe implications of the DUI charges you face. Our dedicated Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys prioritize understanding the unique circumstances surrounding your arrest, thereby offering personalized legal support.
Understanding the Severity of a First-time DUI Offense
In Nevada, even first-time DUI offenses are taken seriously. After being arrested and charged with a DUI, your driver's license will automatically be suspended for 90 days. However, you have seven days to request an administrative hearing before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to appeal this suspension.
The hearing will determine whether, at the time of arrest, a test showed you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or a detectable amount of a controlled and/or prohibited substance in your blood. If so, your license will be revoked for 90 days. After half of this revocation period has passed, you may apply for a restricted driver's license.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offense
While navigating the DMV's administrative hearings, you'll also face trial for your DUI offense. If convicted of a first-offense DUI in Nevada, you can expect to face the following:
· Two days to 6 months in jail or 48 to 96 hours of community service
· A fine of $400 to $1,000, plus court costs
· 185-day suspension of your driver's license and a $35 civil penalty
· Attendance at a state-approved alcohol awareness program
· Attendance at a MADD Victim Impact Panel
· Possible orders for an ignition interlock device for 3 to 6 months
These penalties can be severe, and the repercussions can impact your life long term.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help
A DUI attorney can work to get your charges dropped, secure a not guilty verdict, or, if unavoidable, negotiate a plea deal for the least severe penalty. We do this by meticulously investigating your arrest circumstances and any alleged evidence against you to formulate a robust legal defense against the DUI charges.
Based on the case specifics, a DUI attorney may challenge the legitimacy of your arrest, the sobriety tests conducted, breath test results, or other evidence, including whether you had “actual physical control” of the vehicle. There's a possibility of having your charges reduced or dropped without you setting foot in court.
A skilled DUI attorney can provide a robust defense, challenge evidence, negotiate plea deals, and potentially reduce your sentence. Even for first-time offenders, having an experienced attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the DMV's administrative hearings, assist you in applying for a restricted driver's license, and represent you in court. They can also provide guidance on steps to take to mitigate the impact of a DUI charge on your life, such as attending alcohol or drug abuse treatment programs.
While a first-time DUI offense might seem like a minor mistake, it can have serious consequences under Nevada law. It's essential to treat this charge with the gravity it deserves and seek legal representation. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can provide the support and representation you need to navigate this challenging time and work towards the best possible outcome.
DUI Treatment Programs: A Viable Option for First-Time Offenders
If a conviction seems inevitable and you are a first-time DUI offender charged with a misdemeanor, Nevada law (NRS 484C.320) presents alternatives to mitigate the harsher DUI penalties. You may apply to attend an alcohol treatment program instead of serving a jail sentence, provided your BAC is less than 0.18.
Agreeing to this option entails committing to a program that lasts at least six months, potentially under supervision—including random testing and infrequent status checks—for up to three years. Successful completion of the program results in a reduced sentence to the day served in jail or community service performed, and a limited fine of $400. However, failure to complete the program could lead to a full sentence for a first-offense DUI, including six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a six-month driver’s license revocation.
Contact the DUI Attorney at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover
Secure your future with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover. With our deep understanding of toxicology, probable cause, and DUI procedures, you can trust our legal team to work hard to have your charges dismissed. Attorney Ken Stover, an esteemed member of the state bar faculty and a respected educator on DUI law, is prepared for all DUI cases, including those involving drunk driving-related deaths. Act now if you’re facing a first-time DUI charge in Nevada. Call today at (775) 502-1575 to schedule a consultation.