23 May Criminal Defense And DUI
Many people ask if you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you for a DUI that you have received. To clear up any confusion, a “DUI attorney” is a criminal defense attorney. Someone who specializes in DUI cases may be more familiar with the specifics of a DUI charge than someone who handles different types of charges, but ultimately they are both specialized in the representation of clients who have been charged with crimes. The confusion probably comes from the fact that many people do not even realize that DUI is a crime. They think of it as “drunk driving” but many do not equate this with other types of crime like theft or assault. Make no mistake, the city of Las Vegas takes DUI charges very seriously and does consider them a crime, and if you are convicted of DUI it is going to have consequences.
It is probably best to start with the different types of crimes to understand where DUI fits in. There are “misdemeanors” and there are “felonies.” The easiest way to understand it is that misdemeanors are minor crimes that usually do not involve prison if you are convicted. Felonies are more serious, and if you are convicted of a felony you can usually expect to spend some time in jail. Different types of crimes fit into each category, but the same crime can be considered a misdemeanor and a felony depending if you have done it more than once. This is why a DUI conviction in Las Vegas your first time will be a misdemeanor, conviction the second time will be a misdemeanor with harsher penalties, and a DUI conviction the third time will be considered a “Class B felony.” Even though you have been convicted of doing the exact same thing each time, the fact that you have repeated the crime elevates it to felony status. First and second DUI convictions have a seven year time frame, meaning that if you are convicted of DUI again within seven years of another conviction, the penalties are harsher. If you get convicted of DUI three times within seven years, there is almost no chance you will not do significant time in prison. The standard for a DUI third is one to six years in jail and two to five thousand dollars in fines. Additional standard penalties include mandatory counseling for drugs and alcohol and an ignition lock device installed in your car. You will also lose your license for three years in almost every case that results in conviction the third time.
Do not take DUI charges lightly. Most people who get pulled over for suspicion of DUI have made the simple mistake of judging incorrectly that they were all right to drive. Most people are generally responsible and did not mean to break the law, they simply assessed themselves as being sober when they may have had a BAC over the legal limit. Once you have been convicted of a DUI, the next seven yours of your life are going to be more difficult, and if you were to get another DUI charge within that time frame there is a good chance you will end up in jail for up to six months. It is crucial that you do not make the mistake of thinking you can defend yourself against these charges. We have more experience than you do, and we know the system. You need all the help you can get to avoid that conviction, so do not judge the cost of a DUI as simply the amount of money that you pay to the lawyers. The real cost of a DUI is your life after you have been convicted. We can help.