No one likes to think that it can happen to them, but the Las Vegas Metro Police are arresting an average of 15 drivers per day for driving under the influence. If the unthinkable happens to you, and it’s your first offense, chances are you are nervous and worried about the potential consequences. The results of your case aren’t a given, and you have the right to a fair trial. Though you may be able to represent yourself in court, hiring the best DUI lawyer is likely your greatest chance for a favorable outcome.
Understanding the Penalties for a DUI in Nevada
Nevada has a blood alcohol content limit of .08. You can be pulled over, arrested and convicted even if your BAC is lower than the limit if the police and the courts determine that your driving was impaired.
What Happens if You Are Convicted of a First Offense DUI?
Regardless of your previous driving record, first offense DUIs incur a severe penalty if you are found guilty. In Nevada, a conviction for driving under the influence is a criminal offense. Generally, the first time a person is charged with a DUI, it is considered a misdemeanor. It’s a felony if you have an accident and someone is injured or killed.
You need the best DUI lawyer to argue your case in court to reduce the likelihood of a conviction. The state levies criminal and driving penalties for those who are convicted of driving under the influence.
What Are the Criminal Penalties?
When you’re pulled over for drunk driving, the police may arrest you and impound your vehicle. The state charges you with a DUI, and you are required to appear in court. If the court hands over a conviction for a first-time DUI offense, you face penalties that include:
- Fines ranging between $400 and $1,000
- Community service requirements
- Jailtime of anywhere from two days to six months
- Mandatory DUI school or substance abuse treatment
A conviction shows up on your driving history for 10 years but remains part of your driving record for life, so it pays to hire the best DUI lawyer to fight for you in court.
What Are the Driving Penalties?
In addition to criminal penalties, your driving privileges are impacted. A conviction for a first offense may result in a driver’s license revocation for at least one year. You may also be required to install a mandatory ignition interlock device at your own expense.
To get your license reinstated, you must meet the state’s requirements and pay a $121 reinstatement fee. You do not get your license automatically reinstated. If your driving privileges are not restored, it remains on your driving record indefinitely, and you’ll be unable to apply for a license in any other state.
Understanding What the Best DUI Lawyer Can Do for You
Having an experienced attorney on your side may significantly improve your chances for a favorable outcome. DUI lawyers understand the law and the legal system. They help their clients through a process that is often overwhelming and frightening.
As with any legal battle, you are innocent until proven guilty, and the burden is on the state prosecutors to prove you are guilty of the crime. To do so, they must present evidence.
What Happens Before the Trial?
Often, the police violate rights during the DUI arrest process. One of the first things a DUI defense lawyer does is to file a motion to suppress, resulting in a hearing to determine evidence admissibility. With the best DUI lawyer on your side, the court may toss out evidence that could potentially harm your case.
What Happens During the Trial?
If your case makes it to court on the allowable evidence, your attorney defends you in court. Defense attorneys know the tactics prosecutors use to paint a picture for the jury that improves the chances of a guilty conviction.
Defendants who represent themselves are usually not aware of these methods and are often thrown off-guard by them. Defense lawyers anticipate and recognize these unfair maneuvers and raise objections to derail prosecutors. They may also work out a plea bargain that prevents your case from ever going to trial.
Getting the Best DUI Lawyer in Southern Nevada
If you’re facing a first-time DUI offense, the lawyers at C. Benjamin Scroggins, Chtd., are here for you. Our DUI attorneys have the experience you need to fight your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.