What is the worst sentence you could receive for DUI in Nevada? You could face up to 6 months in jail and an $1160 fine. You could also be forced to attend DUI school, the Victim Impact Panel and the Coroner Program.
How do I fight a DUI charge? DUI cases are not always as straight forward as some people might think. There are many ways to challenge a DUI, such as attacking the type of tests administered and whether the police had probable cause for the traffic stop. As a former judge, Tony Abbetangelo Esq. presided over many thousands of DUI cases. There are few lawyers in Las Vegas as knowledgeable about DUI charges as Tony.
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If you have been pulled over for suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas, it is probably because you were either weaving or crossing the yellow line, or you went through a DUI checkpoint. The police have noticed enough about your behavior to pull you over in order to ask you questions. Your future is going to depend on a few factors over the course of the next few minutes, and how you handle the situation. The most important thing to ask yourself during this time frame is “am I over the legal limit?” If you answer “no” because you have not been drinking in the last 24 hours, then comply with everything the police ask you to do and you should be fine. If you answer “maybe” or “yes,” you must follow the next few steps as best you can.
First off, lets establish exactly what the legal limits for blood alcohol (BAC) are with regards to operating a motor vehicle. If you are a normal adult, a BAC of .08% is over the legal limit, .04% if you drive commercial vehicles and .02% if you are under 21. If there are children in the car, any BAC at all will result in your arrest. Any testing by a breathalyzer during the stop that is over any of these amounts is going to result in your arrest. You may also be arrested if you are “noticeably impaired,” which simply means that you are acting drunk or on drugs. If any of these signs are shown or these limits are registered on the field sobriety tests you will be arrested.
A normal person processes alcohol at about one drink per hour. Any typical drink like a beer, a glass of wine or one shot will have the same effect, and your BAC will register at the legal limit. There are other factors that come into play as well, like your weight and how much you have eaten, but as a general rule you can follow the one drink per hour formula. If you have a drink, wait an hour before driving. If you have two drinks, wait two hours before driving. Start the clock after your last drink, and help the process by eating, drinking water or drinking coffee. Once this time frame has passed, you will probably be able to drive as long as you feel clear headed, but this is not a hard and fast rule so use your judgment. If you feel impaired, call a cab. If you get pulled over, call a DUI lawyer.
If you have had more than one drink in the last hour, when the cop asks if you have been drinking say “no.” If he asks more questions be polite but refuse to answer them. Speak as little as possible because he is looking for signs of DUI. If he asks you to step out and take a field sobriety test, you must refuse. He will arrest you for refusing to take the test, but you would have been arrested anyway. By refusing to take the tests you are not providing evidence that can be used against you in court. This will be critical to getting the charges reduced or dropped later. The arrest is not the worst part, it is the conviction. If you try to get out of it by talking to the police, you are providing evidence for your conviction. Don’t risk it.
A first time DUI in Nevada has five main penalties and is a misdemeanor. These punishments can be handed down in different combinations and levels by the judge, depending on the circumstances involved in your arrest. You can be fined anywhere between $400 and $1,000. You can be required to attend DUI school for up to 8 hours. You can be forced to attend a Victim Impact Panel. You may receive a 185 day license revocation, but this may be able to be reduced to 90 days as long as you use an ignition interlock device in your car. You may also be sentenced anywhere between 2 days and six months in jail, but judges in Las Vegas usually grant a suspended sentence and order 48-96 hours of community service.
The conviction of a “DUI first” in Las Vegas happens when you are found guilty of driving while you are drunk or high. A “DUI first” will only be given if you have had no other DUI convictions in the last seven years. Even if you were not specifically impaired, you can still be convicted if you have a BAC over .08% or you have illegal amounts of other substances in your blood like marijuana or drugs. Convictions of a “DUI first” will result in having to wait seven years before you can ask for the records to be sealed, but there are circumstances where you can plea bargain a “DUI first” down to a full dismissal or a reckless driving charge, which allows for record sealing after one year.
The defenses against a DUI conviction will vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Many times the tests and tools used by the officers to determine intoxication are unreliable. Our DUI defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation and try to provide evidence that the state’s case is not strong enough to convict you.
Will you go to jail on a “DUI first” conviction? The answer is “probably not.” Even though the judge is allowed to impose the maximum misdemeanor penalty of six months in jail, they will usually get the “minimum mandatory sentence.”
What will probably happen to you if you get convicted of a “DUI first?” The judge will usually impose the minimum sentences, which include the following:
You will receive harsher sentences if you have a child under 15 in the car with you, or if you have had a prior DUI in the past seven years. This DUI can be from any state. After seven years has passed, you will not be charged with a “DUI second” as long as you have remained out of trouble.
If you have been arrested and need a DUI attorney in Las Vegas, contact us immediately.