Many people from out of state drive to Las Vegas for conventions, for recreation and for weekend getaways. Most of these people drink while they are here. Unfortunately, some of them get arrested on Las Vegas Nevada DUI charges.
Our Las Vegas DUI attorneys represent many non-Nevada residents who find themselves in this situation. In each case, our goal is (1) to keep the drunk driving charges off your record and (2) to prevent a license suspension that could affect your driving privileges back in your home state. We included this page in our website to explain the DUI court process and address many of your questions and concerns.
Will I have to return to Las Vegas for my DUI court date?
Probably not. Most first and second offense DUI charges are misdemeanors. Under Nevada DUI law, your attorney may appear in court on your behalf in misdemeanor DUI (as opposed to felony DUI) cases.
Your Las Vegas DUI lawyer can make the court appearances, conduct the Nevada DMV hearing, collect all the evidence, develop defenses to the case, run motions before the judge, and negotiate the case with the prosecutor in an attempt to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
If there is some sort of plea bargain reached, this can be executed by paperwork sent through the mail. You will probably only have to return to Las Vegas for court only if the DUI case proceeds to jury trial.
Do I need an attorney?
A person charged with misdemeanor DUI in Nevada is not required to have an attorney. You can go to court and represent yourself before the judge, or ask the court to appoint a public defender (if you qualify financially).
But if you do not have a private Las Vegas DUI attorney, you face two disadvantages. First, you will have to appear personally for the first court date, and any subsequent court hearings. Second, and most importantly, your chances of successfully fighting the case are very low without the help of an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer who knows drunk driving law and the local court system.
What if no one shows up to court on my behalf?
If neither you (nor a Nevada DUI attorney on your behalf) shows up for the court date, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Local authorities in your home state may arrest you and extradite you back to Las Vegas to face the charges. At that point, the judge may impose bail or just hold you in custody until the DUI case is resolved. Simply "blowing off" the court proceedings is a very bad idea.
If my driver's license gets suspended in Nevada, how will that affect my driving privileges in my home state?
The state of Nevada lacks jurisdiction to suspend driver's licenses issued by other states. An out-of-state license holder who suffers a Nevada DUI conviction (or loses his DMV hearing) will simply see a suspension of his or her privilege to drive here in Nevada. However, the Nevada DMV will also report the local suspension to the DMV or Department of Transportation of his home state.
By virtue of an agreement among the states called the interstate compact, the person's home state will most likely honor Nevada's suspension. For example, suppose a California resident suffers a Las Vegas DUI conviction and therefore a 90-day suspension of his Nevada driving privileges. The Nevada DMV will notify the California DMV of its action. California will then most likely impose a suspension of the person's California driver's license.
Do I have to return to Las Vegas to meet with or retain a DUI attorney?
No. Our Las Vegas DUI Law Firm conducts free phone consultations for individuals who were arrested here on drunk driving charges. We can discuss the specifics of your case, and advise you about possible defenses and the best way to proceed. If you decide to hire our Las Vegas DUI law firm to represent you, we will email you a retainer agreement. You can sign the paperwork and either email or fax it back to us. Our Nevada DUI laws then handle the entire case from there.
Once we obtain the police reports, lab reports and other documentation in the case, we can email it you for your review. We then set phone meetings to discuss the reports together and plan case strategy.
Call us for help...
If you have been accused of driving while impaired in Nevada, call our Las Vegas DUI attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation. We will investigate every aspect of your case to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed and without you having to come back to Nevada.
For information about California DUI laws for people out-of-state, go to our article about California DUI laws for people out-of-state.