Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Nevada DUI Laws to learn more.
One of the first questions that Nevada judges ask recently arrested defendants is if they can afford private counsel. If they answer no, the judge appoints a public defender to represent them. Public defenders are not completely free, however…
In 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court instructed the state’s district courts to start charging indigent defendants who rely on public defenders. These fees get assessed when the case ends. The money then goes into an indigent defense fund in order to pay for public defenders (or for private attorneys judicially-appointed to represent indigent defendants).
In Clark County, public defender fees range from $250 to $750 depending on how much work the public defender does for the case. Ultimately, the judge has discretion over how much to charge. If the defendant truly has no money, the judge can elect to waive the fee.
Fees or no fees, public defenders are overworked and unable to accommodate all of Nevada’s indigent defendants. Just this past November, the ACLU brought a federal class-action lawsuit claiming that the state’s woefully deficient public defender system cheats public defenders out of fair wages and rural defendants out of fair representation.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.