In Reno and elsewhere in Nevada, a person accused of driving under the
influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (“DUI”)
may face either misdemeanor or felony charges. Both of those involve consequences
such as jail or prison time, fines, and suspension of the driver’s license.
Arrests for DUI often occur after drivers have either been stopped by police
for traffic violations or been involved in a traffic accident. If the
police suspect DUI, they will give the driver one of several kinds of
tests intended to measure blood-alcohol level; the initial test is likely
to involve a breathalyzer.
A driver may be charged even if his or her blood alcohol level was lower
than 0.08 (the legal limit in Nevada), if the police can show that the
person could not drive safely or maintain control because of the alcohol
or drugs consumed.
Any conviction for
DUI will lead to the suspension of the driver’s license–from 90
days for a first conviction, up to 3 years for felony DUI convictions.
Drivers may ask for a DMV hearing to contest their suspension, or, in
some circumstances, ask for a suspension that would still allow them to
drive to and from work.
A second DUI conviction would be followed by harsher punishment than the
first one; a third DUI conviction, if it occurs within 7 years from the
first one, would be charged as a felony, which would involve up to 6 years
incarceration in state prison and thousands of dollars in fines. However,
a third-time DUI driver may ask the court for permission to undergo treatment
(for a minimum of three years). If permission was granted and the treatment
was completed, the driver would return to court to be sentenced for the
initial violation, but the charge would be reduced from a felony to a
If a DUI violation causes death or serious bodily injury, the law mandates
that the DUI driver must serve at least 2 years in prison (in addition
to having to pay substantial fines). While some people convicted of felony
DUI had been allowed to serve their time under house arrest, recent media
reports have led the Nevada Attorney General to end that option.
Once a person has been convicted of a
felony DUI, any subsequent instances of driving under the influence would be charged
as a felony. Moreover, a DUI conviction in any other state will count
as a prior conviction for the purposes of Nevada law.
If you are facing DUI charges in Reno, Nevada, you should contact an experienced
Reno DUI defense attorney who can help you reach the best outcome possible,
after evaluating the circumstances of your case. Call Joey Gilbert Law
today for a free confidential consultation
(775) 574-4774. Se habla Español.