Las Vegas Nevada DUI Lawyers

How The Las Vegas DUI Process Works

A DUI arrest in Las Vegas results in two separate proceedings.

1. The court case

The first is a criminal case for driving under the influence. Following a Nevada drunk driving arrest, the police officer generally provides you a citation to appear in court at a later date to enter a plea and answer to the charges. If you have a Las Vegas DUI lawyer, and the charge is only a misdemeanor, your attorney can appear on your behalf (meaning you do not have to go to court).

Your attorney will obtain the police reports, lab reports, the maintenance history of the breath machine, and other evidence. We will run motions and negotiate with the Clark County District Attorney in an effort to get the drunk driving charges reduced or dismissed. If an agreement with the prosecutor cannot be reached, you are entitled to a bench trial before a judge where it may be possible to get a NOT GUILTY verdict.

If convicted, the penalties for DUI in Nevada on a first offense include:

  1. $400 to $1,000 in fines;
  2. 8 hour DUI School;
  3. attendance at a Victim Impact Panel;
  4. 2 days to 6 months in jail (usually the judge suspends the jail sentence or orders 48 to 96 hours of community service); and
  5. a 185-day driver's license revocation (though it may be possible to get a restricted license after 90 days with an ignition interlock device)

2. The DMV case

The second proceeding is a Nevada DMV hearing to determine whether your driver's license will be suspended. If you have a lawyer, he/she can represent you at the DMV hearing as well. It may be possible to win the hearing and avoid the license suspension. If not, your Nevada drivers license will go into suspension temporarily. If you live out of state, the Nevada DMV will inform the DMV of your home state. Your home state will most likely impose a drivers license suspension action of their own. (Learn more about the DUI court process.)

Fighting a Nevada DUI Case

Nevada prosecutors generally rely on four types of evidence in trying to prove a drunk driving case in court:

  1. the suspect was not driving in a normal, sober manner,
  2. the suspect smelled, talked, walked and behaved like an intoxicated person,
  3. the suspect could not perform the roadside field sobriety exercises correctly, and
  4. the suspect's breath test or blood test showed a blood-alcohol level above a .08.

None of these "pieces of evidence" are as solid as you might think...and a good Nevada DUI lawyer knows how to attack each of them. For example, did you know:

  • University studies show that trained police officers are no better than average social drinkers at discerning whether a suspect is drunk...and they get it wrong most of the time!
  • The federal government has set forth a strict set of procedures for how cops are to administer the roadside sobriety tests...and police almost never follow these procedures properly!
  • DUI breath machines are prone to error and can be "tricked" into erroneously high reading by such things as heartburn, acid reflex, braces, cavities, dental pockets, burping, diabetes, high-protein diets, and residual alcohol inside the suspect's mouth!

For a complete discussion of these issues, read our article How to Fight a Las Vegas Nevada DUI Case.

And for information on how our Nevada DUI attorneys plea bargain down drunk driving charges, see our article on how to reduce a DUI to reckless driving in Nevada.

To learn about the laws in California, go to our information page on California DUI laws.

To learn about the laws in Colorado, go to our information page on Colorado DUI law.

Contact our Las Vegas DUI lawyers for Help

Dozens of people plead guilty every day to Las Vegas drunk driving charges, often in spite of highly questionable state's evidence. It is almost always advisable to have a competent attorney evaluate your case before taking this route. Penalties may be lowered. Charges may be reduced. The case may be won at trial.

The attorneys at Las Vegas Defense Group have experience fighting all types of Nevada driving under the influence cases, including first offense DUI, second offense DUI, driving on a suspended license charges, felony DUI, DUI of drugs, DUI of marijuana, DUI causing injury, and vehicular homicide.

We practice in all the local Clark County courts, including the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas.

Nevada DUI cases are rarely cut and dry and conviction may not be inevitable. We know how to size up the prosecution's case, take advantage of Las Vegas police mistakes, locate evidence favorable to you, and navigate you through the Clark County Court System so as to give you the best chance of avoiding the consequences of a conviction and a license suspension.

If you are facing charges in Las Vegas, we encourage you to join us for a free case evaluation before making any decision as to how to proceed.



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