Las Vegas DUI Lawyers
The criminal attorneys 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.
Click here for more details about different types and variations of DUI charges, or keep reading to learn more about how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you achieve the best outcome possible in your DUI case.
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.
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.
When You Need Counsel from a DUI Lawyer
Only a criminal defense attorney with the broad skill sets that encompass tenacity for aggressive negotiations and savvy courtroom litigation can ensure that someone facing DUI charges will see a desirable end result. As Las Vegas Criminal attorneys that possess that broad and deep skill set, Oronoz & Ericsson know how to construct a case that will result in the fairest deal possible. Hundreds of positive outcomes from all types of DUI cases have had their genesis in scenarios ranging from tough negotiations with prosecutors to expertly executed jury trials. Regardless of the scenario, the Oronoz & Ericsson team is equally at home in both legal spheres where we have helped set right an even greater number of lives.
Armed with the facts uncovered by a crack investigative support staff, we assemble a case that shows prosecutors that we are prepared to go to trial if necessary. Every move that we make drives home the point that we have every intention of attaining the best resolution for each and every client. To speak with a DUI Attorney in Las Vegas at our office, call 702-878-2889.