When is a DUI a Felony in Nevada?
In most DUI cases in Nevada, drivers are charged with misdemeanors. Although the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction can be serious – including license penalties, hefty fines and fees, and terms of imprisonment – they are not as severe as penalties posed by felonies. As such, anyone facing a felony DUI charge should understand the stakes are higher in these cases, and the need for experienced legal representation is essential.
The state of Nevada takes a tough stance on driving under the influence, and therefore enhances certain DUI charges to felonies. In cases where felony charges are filed, certain aggravating circumstances must be present. Felony charges also carry at least a 1-year prison sentence.
Under Nevada law, drivers may face felony charges for the following:
- Multiple DUIs – In Nevada, drivers can be prosecuted with felony DUI if they have 2 prior DUI convictions within the past 7 years. This means if you are arrested for a third DUI and have 2 convictions in the last 7 years, you can be charged with a felony. Penalties for a third DUI can result in a 3-year license suspension, fines up to $5,000, and 1 to 6 years in prison.
- Prior Felony DUI – Any driver who has been convicted of a felony DUI at any time in the past can face felony charges for any new DUI charge, even if the situation itself is not a felony-level offense. This is category B felony punishable by 2 – 15 years in prison.
- Causing Injury or Death – Causing injury or death while driving under the influence is a serious felony that carries a 2 – 20 year term of imprisonment. In certain circumstances, including cases where a defendant has 3 or more prior DUI convictions and causes death, prosecutors can charge drivers with vehicular homicide. As the most serious felony DUI offense, vehicular homicide is punishable by a 25 to life sentence.
Felony charges demand swift and seasoned defense, and our legal team is standing by 24/7 to speak with clients as soon as possible after an arrest. With ample time, a Reno DUI lawyer from our firm can work to investigate all circumstances of an arrest and charge to pursue the most positive outcome possible, including dismissed or reduced charges and minimized penalties.
Joey Gilbert Law has extensive experience defending clients charged with all types of DUI offenses, including serious felonies. Put a proven criminal defense team in your corner by calling (775) 574-4774 for a FREE consultation.