Many people wrongly think that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” and sadly, this leads to serious violations of the law that can follow you home and affect your life for years to come. One of these is DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Nevada law strictly prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration is .08% or more. Furthermore, if a police officer believes a person is driving recklessly, that person can be charged with DUI even if their BAC is not .08%.
If you are charged with DUI in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas, you will need confident, knowledgeable lawyers who understand Nevada law and can defend you against DUI charges. You should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer right away as soon as you are arrested in order to prevent incriminating yourself during interrogations.
At Benjamin Durham Law Firm, our attorneys can counsel you on how to interact with law enforcement officers, so you start out on the right foot and have the best chance possible of getting your charges reduced or thrown out altogether. We will conduct our own investigation of what happened to find evidence that shows you do not deserve the harshest punishments. We often get our clients a lower sentence, and we often see the case dismissed. Give us a call right away at (702) 793-2326, so our legal team can get to work building a strong defense against your DUI charge.
What Are Nevada’s DUI Laws?
Driving under the influence in Nevada is a serious offense that can result in dramatic consequences if you are convicted. Government officials want to end DUI on Nevada roads, and rightly so. This behavior leads to unnecessary accidents, injuries, and deaths and should be stopped in our state. However, sometimes law enforcement officers pull people over who are not inebriated but who fail the breathalyzer test for other reasons. Therefore, it is helpful to understand what Nevada laws are regarding DUI.
Drivers in Nevada are permitted to refuse a breathalyzer test if they are arrested for DUI. However, police officers may forcefully administer blood testing to check for the presence of alcohol and other drugs after the person is admitted to the police station. However, you should be aware that refusing a breathalyzer test can be used as evidence against you in your legal proceedings.
Drivers arrested for a first DUI will have more lenient sentencing than subsequent DUIs. First and second DUIs can land you in county jail, while a third DUI could result in time in state prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Whether you are being charged with an initial DUI or a 2nd or 3rd offense, you need legal representation you can trust. Call Benjamin Durham Law Firm right away for lawyers who will listen to your side of the story and fight for justice in your case.
How Can I Avoid a DUI Conviction in Vegas?
The BAC test result is the most likely way for people to be arrested for DUI in Nevada. This piece of evidence is critical in the case against the defendant. However, according to Nevada law, the police officer must have administered the test within a certain time period (two hours). If these instructions are not followed, the results of the BAC test could be thrown out.
With a skilled criminal defense law firm on your side, you will be aware of whether your rights are being violated in your drunk driving case. Since there is so much on the line, you don’t want to take any chances, especially if you have prior DUI convictions. Reach out to an experienced DUI lawyer like those at Benjamin Durham Law Firm.
Is Driving While Using Drugs Considered DUI?
Many people don’t realize that even prescription drugs can affect their driving and could lead to a DUI conviction. This is the case with many individuals in Las Vegas and can affect even the least likely people, like mothers, lawyers, and doctors. The courts will often recognize that prescription drugs are necessary and will not find the person guilty of DUI. But there are some cases where a person took more than the prescribed amount, which could have legal repercussions. Since drugs affect different people in different ways, there’s no way of knowing ahead of time whether your driving will be impaired. It’s always best to get used to medication first before driving while using it, just in case.
Of course, other drugs certainly lead to driving impairment, and these should not be used while operating a motor vehicle. For example, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin would be more difficult to explain to a judge and jury and avoid sentencing. If you are facing a DUI offense for hard drug use, you will need a criminal defense attorney to help avoid charges. Give us a call today for a free consultation to see how our DUI attorneys can make a difference in your case.
Is DUI in Las Vegas a Felony Charge?
A felony DUI is extremely serious and could land you in federal prison for years, not to mention losing your license. However, not all DUIs are felonies. In general, the first two DUIs will be considered gross misdemeanors. However, if you have a third or more DUI within a certain period of time, this will be considered a felony DUI.
Another way a DUI could qualify as a felony is if you had an accident while you were inebriated and if the crash injured someone severely. A severe injury in Nevada is when someone breaks a bone or otherwise has to go to the hospital for treatment. If the victim died, this would be another example of a felony DUI. In that case, you could also face charges of wrongful death in connection with your reckless driving and your DUI arrest.
DUIs that are felonies can get you up to 20 years in Nevada state prison and are non-probational. Living through the horror of knowing you killed someone because of your drunk driving is hard enough as it is. You don’t need to face the burden of the legal process on your own as well. Let our helpful DUI defense lawyers stand by your side and give you the counsel and strength you need to get lower sentencing for the DUI charges.
What is the Trial Process for DUI in Vegas?
People charged with DUI are often worried about what the trial process will be like. Often, these people have never been through the Nevada legal system before and don’t know what to expect. Your DUI lawyers will be a critical asset for you to successfully navigate the legal process and get the positive outcome you need in your case.
Arraignment is when you are formally charged and enter your plea. Your DUI defense lawyer will enter the plea on your behalf, whether it is not guilty, no contest, or guilty. The prosecution will then share their evidence with your attorney, and the judge will schedule your court appearance.
Negotiation and Plea Deals
Your DUI attorneys will negotiate with the prosecutor according to what evidence each side has gathered. If the prosecution has difficulty proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you could get the charges lowered or dismissed.
Preliminary Hearings and DUI Trials (Felony Cases Only)
If your DUI is a felony charge, you will first have a preliminary hearing where the defense gets a preview of what evidence the prosecution has gathered. The judge may still dismiss the charges at this point.
If the case moves forward, the next step is the DUI trial. These trials are seen by judges, not juries, and are only for felony DUI cases.
Are BAC Tests Always Accurate?
Since the breathalyzer test is such an important part of drunk driving cases in Nevada, many people wonder whether these machines are accurate or not. The truth is that breath tests are known to give false readings for a variety of reasons. It could be that the person has a high amount of acid in their throat because of a medical condition. Sometimes police officers are inadequately trained and do not use the equipment properly.
In Nevada, you have the right to refuse a breath test. Given that these tests are so unreliable, it is understandable for you to do so. However, you should understand that refusing a breathalyzer test can serve as evidence against you later in your DUI proceedings. You may be less likely to receive a plea bargain deal from the prosecution during negotiations, for example.
Interacting with law enforcement, including submitting to a breathalyzer test, can greatly impact whether you receive a DUI conviction. If you are under arrest for DUI or any other criminal charges, you should speak with an experienced DUI attorney right away. They can help you understand the charges you’re facing and help you communicate with police officers in a way that will give you the best hope for a positive outcome in your case. So please don’t delay; call Benjamin Durham Law Firm right away if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving.
Can Our DUI Defense Lawyers Help You?
Facing DUI charges may be one of the most challenging criminal cases out there. The stigma around drunk driving can affect how the judge sees you and your case. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need fearless, skilled criminal defense lawyers from Las Vegas who have a deep understanding of Nevada law.
At Benjamin Durham Law Firm, we have helped many clients with their DUI cases in our twenty years of practice. We understand DUI laws, and we will work tirelessly to investigate your case so we can get you the lowest sentence possible. Often, our clients even get the case dismissed.
DUI penalties in Nevada are harsh, resulting in jail time, a possible prison sentence, and hefty fines. You could lose your driving privileges and end up with a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life, making it difficult to find employment or keep custody of your children in a divorce. You have so much at stake, so don’t risk everything by going it alone when facing a drunk driving charge. Reach out to our talented legal team today for a free, confidential consultation where we can go over the details of your case. We promise to dedicate all our knowledge, integrity, and determination to getting the positive results you need in your DUI case. Call Benjamin Durham Law Firm today at (702) 793-2326.