Reno, Nevada DUI Penalties Enforcement Now Stepped Up, Especially for Felonies

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 misdemeanor.

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.


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