DUI Lawyers in Las Vegas

Las Vegas DUI Defense Lawyers

Las Vegas DUI Lawyers

The Las Vegas DUI lawyers at Oronoz & Ericsson remind drivers that according to statistics, there were almost 12,000 DUI arrests in the state of Nevada alone in 2011. That averages out to about 32 a day. Because DUI arrests are so common, many people believe they’re not worth fighting, or that they don’t need to be taken seriously.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Any DUI Lawyer will tell you an arrest is going to significantly impact your future. The fines will be expensive, your insurance rates will almost certainly skyrocket, and jail time is a possibility, no matter how little you may have been over the legal limit.

There are also many types of DUI that people may not realize are illegal. Police are quick to perform arrests any time someone is under the influence of any controlled substance behind the wheel, including prescription drugs and marijuana. While you may have received a prescription for painkillers or other drugs (or even marijuana) from a medical doctor, you are prohibited by law from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of something that may impair your judgment or reaction time. DUI arrests for substances other than alcohol are increasingly common, and are just as serious.

It’s important to know what’s at stake. Our Las Vegas DUI Attorneys have created this page and the other pages on this site to help our clients (and others) stay informed about the law so that they can make the best decisions going forward. Navigate the links below to learn more about the different types of DUI charges you might face, or a click here to learn more about how a Las Vegas DUI Attorney can help you fight a DUI charge.

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DUI – Alcohol

The Law

Nevada’s laws about drunk driving/ DUI are in Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484C.110. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a publicly accessible road when he or she:

  • Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor
  • Has a BAC of 0.08 or higher
  • Is found to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher within 2 hours after being in control of a motor vehicle
  • Is under the influence of a controlled substance (even if in accordance with a prescription)

Click here to learn more about alcohol-DUI and possible defenses.

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DUI – Marijuana, Other Drugs

The Law

Nevada’s laws about driving under the influence are included in Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484C.110. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a publicly accessible road when he or she:

  • Is under the influence of a controlled substance (even if in accordance with a prescription)

The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs can include fines up to $1,000, up to 6 months of jail time, and license revocation on a first offense. The penalties increase for each offense. If the DUI causes a serious accident, the charge becomes a felony carrying up to 6 years of prison time and a fine of up to $5,000.

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DUI – Prescription Drugs

The Law

Nevada’s laws about driving under the influence are included in Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484C.110. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a publicly accessible road when he or she:

  • Is under the influence of a controlled substance (even if in accordance with a prescription)

The penalties for driving under the influence of prescription drugs can include fines up to $1,000, up to 6 months of jail time, and license revocation on a first offense. The penalties increase for each offense. If the DUI causes a serious accident, the charge becomes a felony carrying up to 6 years of prison time and a fine of up to $5,000.

Click here to learn more about prescription drug DUI and possible defenses.

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DUI – 2nd and 3rd Offense

The Law

  • A second DUI conviction within 7 years of the first is considered a misdemeanor and carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence.
  • A third DUI conviction within 7 years of the second is considered a category B felony and is punishable by a minimum of 1 years and a maximum of 6 years in prison and a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000.

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Underage DUI

The Law

Nevada’s laws about juveniles convicted of driving under the influence are included in NRS 62E.640. There are special penalties and procedure when a juvenile is convicted of a DUI. Among other things:

  • A juvenile court is required to revoke the convicted minors driver’s license (if he or she has one) for a minimum of 90 days.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles will require the juvenile to submit to certain extra tests when he or she tries to get the license reinstated.

Minor in Possession-

Nevada’s laws about consumption and possession of alcohol by minors are included in NRS 202.020.

  • Minors who consume, purchase, or possess alcoholic beverages will be charged with a misdemeanor.
  • Conviction of alcohol possession will result in suspension of driver’s license privileges for between 90 days and 2 years.

Click here to learn more about underage DUI and possible defenses.

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Drunk Driving Accidents

The Law

Nevada’s laws on vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter, the two most common charges arising out of drunk driving accidents, are included in Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484C.430. The penalties are described below.

Any person who:

  • Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or
  • Has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more, or
  • Is under the influence of a controlled substance, or
  • Is found within 2 hours after operating a motor vehicle to have a BAC of 0.08 or above

And does anything to cause an accident in which someone is killed or seriously injured, will be charged with a category B felony (vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault).

If convicted, individuals are subject to a penalty of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of between $2000 and $5000.

Click here to learn more about penalties and defenses for drunk driving accidents.

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Repeat DUI Felony

The Law

The laws concerning DUI defendants who have already been convicted of a felony DUI are included in NRS 484C.410. A felony DUI includes one in which death or serious bodily injury occurred or a third or more standard DUI conviction.

  • DUI conviction with a previous felony DUI conviction is considered an additional felony. It is punishable by a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000.
  • This law holds true if the offense for which the prior conviction came about occurred after the instant offense.

*Aggravating Factors

If the above offense occurs with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, the court considers it an “aggravating factor” in determining the sentence. This meaning sentences are more likely to be closer to the maximum.

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Knowledge of the System

If you’re arrested on DUI, you will go through two proceedings: a criminal case brought by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, and a Nevada DMV Hearing. If your DUI charge is only a misdemeanor, your Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer will be allowed to appear on your behalf, meaning you can stay home.

- Criminal Proceeding

The first step in defending a DUI charge is to hire an experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorney. The lawyer’s job is to:

  • Collect police reports, lab reports, and the history about how the breathalyzer machine (if there was one) was maintained and administered.
  • File motions with the court on your behalf
  • Negotiate with the Clark County District Attorneys Office to try and get the charges reduced or dismissed
  • Represent you at a bench trial in front of a judge

- Nevada DMV Hearing

As soon as your DUI charge is filed, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your drivers license for a minimum of 90 days, even if you haven’t been convicted yet. If you live out of state, the Nevada DMV will notify your home state and your license will likely be suspended by your local DMV.

It’s possible to keep your driving privileges, although the process can be complicated. Your Las Vegas DUI Lawyer can request a hearing with the DMV where the suspension will be reviewed. Your Lawyer can also request a temporary license until the hearing is held. It’s important to note that the hearings and the temporary license request are not always successful, and that the evidence you would give in front of the DMV hearing could be used against you when you go to fight the charge in your criminal proceeding.

You will need to discuss the details of your case with your Las Vegas DUI Lawyer to decide the best way to handle your license suspension.

How to Fight a DUI

Surprisingly, many people who are charged with DUI decide not to defend themselves. While it’s true that prosecutors and police have a lot of experience in proving DUI charges, the high volume of this type of work means they are more likely to make mistakes. This can mean innocent people are convicted. If you don’t take responsibility for your defense, there’s no way to make sure law enforcement does its job and proves its case.

Police and Prosecutors typically rely on one of 4 different types of evidence in DUI cases:

  • The suspect’s breathalyzer reading or blood test reading was above 0.08
  • The suspect failed the roadside sobriety test
  • The suspect smelled of alcohol, or behaved as if they were intoxicated
  • The suspect’s driving was erratic or unusual, indicating intoxication

An experienced Las Vegas DUI Lawyer can fight each one of these pieces of evidence, even breathalyzer readings or blood test results. Any of the following might lead to a dismissal.

  • Police are required to follow strict procedures when giving field sobriety tests. Many officers are not familiar with the procedures or simply fail to administer all the steps properly. Failure to follow the rules means your case could be dismissed.
  • Studies have shown that police are not always able to accurately identify when a person is intoxicated just from observing their behavior. If the officers and prosecutors can’t prove their case at trial beyond a reasonable doubt, your case could be dismissed.
  • Breathalyzer machines have to be maintained regularly by the police department or their readings won’t be accurate. Even when properly maintained, breathalyzers might give incorrect readings based off of a suspect’s acid reflux conditions or dental work. If the state can’t prove it’s breathalyzer was maintained and accurate, your case could be dismissed.

Charged with a DUI But Don’t Live in Nevada?

Las Vegas hosts millions of visitors from out of state. Getting arrested for a DUI if you are not a Nevada resident puts you at a disadvantage. You will need a Las Vegas DUI Lawyer who understand the court process and know how to work with local prosecutors to help avoid a conviction, or secure the best possible plea agreement. It may also be possible to handle your case so that you won’t have to return to the state to defend yourself.

Las Vegas DUI Lawyer – When You Need Counsel

If you choose plead not guilty, your case will go to trial. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys specialize in trial work. We bring years of experience in courtroom advocacy that has made the difference for hundreds of clients in your position.

If you choose to plead guilty, you will need a tough attorney negotiating your position to make sure you are offered the fairest deal possible. The lawyers at Oronoz & Ericsson have handled hundreds of DUI cases, and know the difference between a good deal and a bad deal. Prosecutors know to be fair with our attorneys because they know we’re not afraid to call a bluff and prepare for trial.

To speak with a DUI Attorney in Las Vegas at our office, call 702-878-2889.

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