How Likely Is Jail Time for a First DUI?

How Likely is Jail Time for a First Dui

You’ve had your first DUI offense. Now, you want to know what is waiting for you on the other side of a DUI conviction. Nevada takes drunk driving seriously, and the penalty, even for a first-time DUI offender, can involve jail time. That doesn’t mean it needs to.

A first-time offender can often avoid jail time by hiring a good DUI lawyer. Below, we take an in-depth look at the penalties associated with a first DUI conviction.

Standard Nevada First-Time DUI Sentence

In Nevada, a typical sentence for a first-time DUI charge is between two to 180 days in jail. However, in many cases, you can avoid jail or prison by completing community service instead.

If you spent some time in police custody after being arrested for a DUI, this will typically be counted toward the mandatory two-day sentence. Even if you bailed out, the judge will typically allow you to complete community service instead of going to jail.

You will also need to complete a series of educational requirements designed to reduce the risk of future DUIs. These include:

  • An alcohol awareness program that you pay for out of pocket
  • Attendance at a victim impact program, often conducted by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • Payment of various fees and fines

Additionally, you will often have your driver’s license suspended for six months. It is impossible to avoid this suspension by installing an ignition interlock device on your car. These devices test your sobriety through a breathalyzer feature, only allowing you to use the car when you haven’t been drinking.

The True Cost of a DUI Conviction

Even though you may be able to avoid jail or prison time, you will feel the sting of your DUI. Getting convicted results in penalties and other requirements that take money out of your pocket. Taking a DUI school course, attending a victim impact lecture, court fees, lawyer fees, and fines all add up. These financial penalties often exceed $10,000.

There are also secondary costs that are harder to calculate. For example–insurance. When you get a DUI for the first time, your insurance rates can go up–sometimes almost doubling overnight. This is not a punishment, exactly, but a way of reducing risk. Insurance companies know that drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Nevada?

Nevada state law allows for DUI records to be sealed after seven years. This means that if you had a DUI a decade ago and were recently arrested, your charges will most likely be processed as though it were a first-time offense. There are exceptions. A DUI case that involves serious harm or death will remain on your record forever. A third DUI will also remain permanently on your record.

You Have Options: Possible Defenses Against DUI Allegations

If you have been charged with a DUI, you might assume that’s the end of it. Because drunk driving uses an objective metric to establish guilt, it may feel harder to fight the consequences of a DUI. Nevertheless, there are ways to mount a defense in certain situations. A good DUI attorney will be able to walk you through your options and help you make the choice that is best for you.

Here are a few common techniques for fighting a DUI conviction:

  • Challenging Test Results’ Accuracy: One approach involves questioning the reliability of breathalyzer or blood test results due to factors like improper calibration or administration, which could lead to inaccuracies.
  • Disputing Probable Cause: Another strategy is to contest the validity of the traffic stop’s initial reason; if there isn’t a valid cause, evidence gathered afterward may be inadmissible.
  • Demonstrating Lack of Impairment: Additionally, providing evidence such as witness testimonies, video footage, or expert opinions indicating the defendant wasn’t impaired despite registering a certain BAC level can be effective.

Admittedly, most people do not go this route. However, not every DUI reflects true impairment. If you feel your DUI is incorrect, or if you simply want expert advice on how to move forward, contact the Benjamin Durham Law firm.

We will take a look at your case and advise you on the best steps for moving forward. Our firm has many years of combined experience in criminal defense. Don’t go through this alone.

Author Bio

Benjamin Durham is the principal attorney and founder of Benjamin Durham Law Firm, a criminal defense law firm based in Las Vegas, NV. With over 20 years of experience in the legal field, he represents clients in both injury and criminal cases. Over his career, he has secured favorable verdicts for clients in both state and federal courts and successfully defended numerous high-profile prosecutions.

Ben’s exceptional legal skills and dedication to his clients have earned him recognition as a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also has been honored as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, further solidifying his reputation as a top-notch legal practitioner.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google