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Driving Patterns

DUI cases in Las Vegas are rarely straightforward. Even if your breathalyzer or blood test results indicate you have exceeded the legal limit, there are numerous other factors that an experienced DUI attorney can use to decrease or even dismiss the charges.

Contact us to arrange a case evaluation with one of our skilled Las Vegas defense attorneys. We offer the flexibility of conducting consultations either over the phone or in person at our office, located on West Charleston near the I-15 freeway.

What Are the Consequences for a First-Time DUI in Nevada?

A first time DUI is a misdemeanor under Nevada Law. The typical penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:

  • Fines ranging from $400 to $1,000, in addition to court costs.
  • Completion of an 8-hour DUI School, which is often available online.
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel, such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
  • Potential jail time of 2 days to 6 months; however, judges often suspend the jail sentence or order 48 to 96 hours of community service instead.
  • A 185-day revocation of the driver’s license, though it may be possible to obtain a restricted license by installing a breath interlock device.

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures 0.18% or higher, you may be required to complete one or more of the following:

  • A Mandatory alcohol/drug dependency evaluation.
  • Completion of a rehabilitation program.
  • Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for a period of one to three years.
  • Responsibility for the costs associated with IID installation and monthly monitoring.

What is the Penalty for a Second DUI?

A second DUI offense within seven years of the first is also considered a misdemeanor in Nevada. Unlike the first, it carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days. The complete set of penalties includes:

  • Fines ranging from $750 to $1,000, along with court costs.
  • Completion of a 12-hour DUI School.
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel.
  • Jail time of 10 days to 6 months, or potentially house arrest.
  • One-year revocation of the driver’s license.
  • Possibility of a court-ordered substance abuse program lasting for one year.

If your BAC measures 0.18% or higher, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one to three years, with the associated costs being your responsibility.

However, it might be possible to avoid jail time by successfully completing a misdemeanor DUI Court, an extensive rehabilitation program.

What Happens If You Receive a Third DUI?

A third DUI offense within seven-years of the first is an automatic category B felony in Nevada. The penalties for such an offense include:

  • Imprisonment for a period of 1 to 6 years.
  • Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, in addition to court costs.
  • Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 to 3 years, with the associated costs to be borne by the individual.
  • Revocation of the driver’s license for a period of 3 years.

Like with the second time DUI, prison time might be avoided by completing a Felony DUI Court, an extensive rehabilitation program.

When Is DUI Considered a Felony?

Driving under the influence (DUI) becomes a felony in Nevada under the following circumstances, each with varying penalties:

  1. Third-time DUI:1 to 6 years in prison. However, it may be possible to avoid a felony conviction and Nevada State Prison by participating in DUI Court, a rehabilitation program.
  2. DUI following a felony DUI: 2 to 15 years in prison.
  3. DUI causing injury or death: 2 to 20 years in prison.
  4. Vehicular homicide: 25 years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 10 years.

If you require assistance with a DUI case in Las Vegas, please contact us to seek the help of a DUI lawyer.

Will You Have to Appear in the Court?

In most cases, if you are charged with DUI/DWI in Nevada, you typically do not have to personally appear in court as long as your criminal defense attorney represents you.

That being said, there are instances where your presence is required. This includes if the case goes to trial or for a preliminary hearing in felony DUI cases.

Some judges may also request defendants to attend their sentencing hearing, although many accept a notarized written entry of plea instead.

Is There a Way to Avoid Driver’s License Suspension?

 Each DUI arrest triggers both a criminal case and a case with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To retain your driving privileges, you need to succeed in both cases.

Winning the DMV case can be more challenging as the burden of proof is lower compared to the criminal case. Fortunately, first-time DUI defendants who lose the DMV hearing often have the option to obtain a restricted license promptly.

Do DUI Charges Appear on Background Checks?


A misdemeanor DUI conviction remains on your criminal record for seven years before it can be sealed.  Whereas a felony DUI conviction remain on your record indefinitely.

This highlights the importance of having an attorney who can work towards reducing your DUI charges. Either to reckless driving or having them dismissed altogether, thereby minimizing the long-term impact on your record.

Is It Possible to Get a DUI Even If You Are Under the Limit?

Yes. It is possible to be charged with DUI in Nevada even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit. Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is prohibited, regardless of whether your BAC is above or below the legal threshold.

What Strategies Can Be Used to Successfully Beat a DUI in Nevada?

There exist numerous approaches to defend against a DUI charge based on your BAC. .

Some Examples of Defenses include:

  • It is possible that the breathalyzer or blood testing equipment used was faulty or mishandled.
  • Alternatively, factors like a medical condition or external influences may have contributed to an erroneously elevated reading.
  • Furthermore, it’s worth noting that judges have the authority to dismiss DUI criminal charges solely based on instances of police misconduct, even if the evidence provided by the BAC results were accurate.

What Are the Advantages of Reducing a DUI Charge to Reckless Driving?

There are several benefits associated with having a misdemeanor DUI charge reduced to reckless driving.

  1. Criminal record sealing: If you are convicted of misdemeanor reckless driving, you can petition for a criminal record seal after only one year following the conclusion of your case. In contrast, a misdemeanor DUI conviction typically requires waiting for seven years before being eligible for record sealing.
  2. Avoidance of license suspension: Unlike a DUI conviction, a reckless driving conviction does not result in a driver’s license suspension. Therefore, as long as you succeed in the DMV hearing, you can avoid having your license suspended.
  3. Future DUI arrests: If you were previously convicted of reckless driving rather than a DUI, it would not be considered a prior DUI offense if you are arrested for DUI in the future. This is crucial because DUI charges carry increasingly severe penalties for each subsequent conviction.

By reducing a DUI charge to reckless driving, you can benefit from a shorter waiting period for record sealing, avoid license suspension, and potentially face less severe penalties for any future DUI arrests.

Is It Possible for a DUI Charge to Be Dismissed in Nevada?

Nevada defense attorneys specializing in criminal law work diligently to have DUI charges either dismissed or decreased. They typically opt for one of these four types of evidence to prove a drunk driving offense in court:

  1. The manner in which you operated the motor vehicle did not reflect normal and sober behavior.
  2. Observations made by the police indicate that you exhibited signs of intoxication through your smell, speech, walk, and overall behavior.
  3. Inability to perform roadside field sobriety tests accurately.
  4. Blood alcohol level measured through breath or blood tests exceeding 0.08%.

A skilled criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas who is well-versed in attacking the state’s case can potentially dismantle each of these pieces of evidence. Consider the following:

  • Studies conducted at universities demonstrate that trained law enforcement officers are often no better than average social drinkers in accurately determining if a person is intoxicated, and they frequently make incorrect assessments.
  • The federal government mandates specific procedures for the administration of roadside sobriety tests, which the police often fail to follow correctly.
  • Breathalyzer tests are susceptible to false positives caused by common conditions such as dental pockets, braces, diabetes, certain diets, etc.

For a more comprehensive discussion of these issues, refer to this article written by experienced DUI attorneys at the Las Vegas Defense Group.

Is It Necessary to Hire a Local Attorney?

According to NRS DUI law, prosecutors are not permitted to dismiss or reduce drunk driving charges unless there is insufficient evidence to secure a conviction. As a result, it is crucial to have aggressive DUI attorneys and trial lawyers in Las Vegas who can thoroughly investigate every detail to weaken the state’s case.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that prosecutors are more inclined to negotiate favorable plea deals when individuals are represented by a law firm that has experienced DUI defense lawyers advocating on their behalf.

Is it Possible to Engage Services without Visiting the Law Office in Person?

Absolutely! We provide remote consultations via telephone or video conference for your convenience. All necessary paperwork can be handled via email.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, DUI arrests have not diminished. As a result, our team of attorneys at Las Vegas Defense Group remains fully committed to vigorously advocating for charge dismissals or reductions.

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