Las Vegas DUI Lawyer
Getting pulled over and arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can seem like a hopeless case leaving you to deal with the worst possible consequences available. The truth is, a DUI is not hopeless, and the right legal team can help you reach a fair and reasonable conclusion. It may seem like it, but it isn’t the end of the world. As an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer, Attorney Craig Drummond can help.
Types of Drunk Driving Cases
Drinking and driving can result in various charges – not just DUI. Because of the charges and potential consequences, it’s crucial that you take them seriously. We can help you with a broad range of types of drinking and driving cases such as DUI involving drugs, felony DUI, BAC tests, DMV hearings, driver’s license restoration, and multiple DUI convictions. Whether it is your first offense or one of many, make sure you have someone in your corner to represent your best interests.
Regarding DUI alcohol offenses, subsection 1 of NRS 484C.110 provides that:
1. It is unlawful for any person who:
(a) Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
(b) Has a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his blood or breath; or
(c) Is found by measurement within 2 hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his blood or breath, to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access.
DUI DRUG CASES
It is not just illegal to drive with certain levels of alcohol in your system, it is also illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs and controlled substances. NRS 484C.110(2)(c) provides that having a prescription to use a drug is not a defense to a charge of driving under the influence of that drug.
NRS 484C.110(2) concerns driving under the influence of drugs. As noted above, many of the elements of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or premises to which the public has access are identical for alcohol and drugs, but there are some laws unique solely to DUI drugs cases.
NRS 484C.110(2) provides that is unlawful to:
a) drive under the influence of a controlled substance;
b) drive under the influence of a controlled substance and alcohol; or
c) use any chemical, poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders him incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle.
NRS 484C.110(3) provides it is unlawful to drive with certain drugs at certain levels in the blood.
If you have been charged with a DUI for being under the influence of a controlled substance it is important to meet with a DUI lawyer to evaluate the specific facts and circumstances of your case to analyze the level of drugs that may have been in your body and whether proper testing procedures were used by law enforcement and the laboratory in analyzing the evidence.
Nevada DUI Laws
You should be aware of some of the primary laws of Nevada regarding DUI arrests and charges. Some of the most important include the following:
- Illegal Per Se Law. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is at or exceeds the legally prescribed limit. A driver’s BAC for unlawfully driving under the influence of alcohol will meet or exceed .08 grams when tested up to two hours after driving or being in actual possession of the vehicle. However, even if your BAC is lower than this limit, you can still be arrested or cited if you were “under the influence of intoxicating liquor” “to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle.”
- Open Container Law. In Las Vegas, it is illegal to drive with an opened alcoholic beverage in the car. The Open Container Law, however, does not apply to living areas of motorhomes, or passenger areas of buses, taxis, and other modes of transportation.
- Aggravating Circumstance. Other conditions can result in additional penalties to a DUI charge. Aggravating circumstances can include driving under the influence with a passenger under the age of 15 years old or a higher BAC level.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can include a broad range of charges. In Nevada the term used is DUI. Other States call it a DWI, OWI, DWAI, OUI, OUIL, DWUI etc. These terms all refer to the offense commonly known as “drunk driving.” Like California, Arizona and most states, Nevada law uses the term “driving under the influence” or DUI.
The Nevada charge for a DUI varies according to whether or not it is your first offense or one of many, your BAC at the time of your arrest, and the type of damage that occurs as a result of your DUI. It is important to take note that although a DUI can be a misdemeanor or felony, it is a criminal charge that can affect you for the rest of your life. Most cases extend further than just paying a fine, so it’s crucial that you take DUI charges seriously.
The DUI Process in Nevada
The DUI process in Las Vegas will vary according to your own circumstances, but for the most part, will include the arrest, a citation to appear in court, and a Department of Motor Vehicle or DMV hearing. What happens in this process depends largely on whether or not you have a qualified DUI lawyer on your side throughout the process. For instance, your attorney can likely attend most hearings on your behalf if you aren’t able, gather important evidence, and make sure required documentation is filed in a timely manner. These are all areas that can result in severe consequences if not managed appropriately. Craig Drummond is an experienced DUI lawyer who can effectively navigate the process and make sure you receive the best results for your situation.
Consequences of DUI in Las Vegas
It’s no secret that the consequences of a DUI in Las Vegas can be life-changing. You not only face expensive fines and fees, but a DUI can result in jail time as well as losing your driving privileges. All of these consequences affect your freedom, ability to get to and from work or school, and can mean limiting your opportunities and ability for employment in the future. If you have been arrested for DUI, you have too much to lose to risk ineffective representation. Plus, this type of charge can affect your loved ones and family members long-term as well.
There are various ways we can help your DUI case, depending on the circumstances and your individual case. Some of the most common defenses include, but are not limited to the following defenses:
- Probable cause
- Proper field sobriety testing
- Contaminated or faulty breathalyzer
- Unreliable field testing
- Inaccurate testing
- Non-alcohol reasons for driving errors
- Insufficient evidence
- Inconsistent evidence
- Contaminated blood sample
Many other elements can be used to defend your case and result in less severe penalties, but you’ll need a qualified lawyer to help ensure you follow up on every possibility. Your attorney can investigate and research to uncover whether any of these or other reasons contributed to your DUI and help you defend yourself against the charges.
What You Should Do After a DUI Arrest
If you are arrested for DUI, you’ll need to take steps that can help your case. FIRST, DO NOT TALK WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AT ALL. You have the right to remain silent and this is an important right that you should exercise and implement if you are pulled over. Additionally, after an arrest it may be helpful to speak with a friend or family member right away to provide evidence to your speech and whether or not you were slurring. It’s also important to document all food and drink that you consumed before the arrest. Make sure you hang onto any receipts for purchases that you made as well. Most important, however, is that you contact your DUI lawyer to make sure you have covered everything. For instance, your lawyer will need to contact the Nevada DMV regarding the hearing, generally within seven days of the arrest.
Understanding Nevada DUI Laws
A DUI in Nevada can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on individual circumstances and any prior history of DUI’s. Because it’s difficult to keep up with changing laws and procedures, a DUI lawyer is necessary to navigate the process, especially one familiar with Nevada law. The smallest detail such as how you are stopped and pulled over, or what you ate or drank in the last 24-hours, can make a huge difference in a DUI case. A qualified DUI lawyer can investigate and make sure that nothing is overlooked or ignored, and that you don’t suffer unfair consequences as a result.
DUI Felony and Penalties
DUI felonies are extremely serious charges. Although DUI misdemeanors and felonies are both criminal charges, a felony can result in much more severe consequences. A DUI can become a felony if you have already been convicted twice of a DUI, the incident caused serious harm or ended up in the death of someone else, or if you have been convicted of felony DUI in the past. A felony DUI can result in thousands of dollars in fines, 2 to 15 years in prison, and loss of driving privileges.
If you are found guilty of driving under the influence, the judge decides the appropriate sentencing. Penalties for a First Offense DUI conviction in Nevada include:
- At least 2 days jail or 48 hours of community service
- A minimum fine of $400, plus fees and assessments
- A $60 chemical testing fee for tests conducted at the jail at time of arrest
- A $100 DUI Fee
- Mandatory in-person attendance at a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) presentation
- An alcohol/drug awareness class or a period of counseling, as determined by a Judge.
- In addition, whenever the BAC is over .18%, the Judge must order the driver to install a Breath Interlock Device (BID) for 1 to 3 years as a condition of reinstating a Nevada driver’s license.
Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer is imperative to ensure everything that is possible is done to avoid a conviction and license suspension. When your future is on the line call our experienced DUI lawyer, Craig Drummond, to discuss you case.
Military Ramifications of a DUI Conviction
Even a first offense misdemeanor DUI or DWI conviction can have a direct impact on your military service and may trigger an administrative discharge out of the military. A civilian DUI conviction can trigger nonjudicial punishment (NJP) by your commanding officer. Each of the services uses different names for NJP to include “Article 15” in the Army and Air Force, “Captain’s Mast” or “Mast” in the Navy and Coast Guard, and “Office Hours” in the Marine Corps.
It can also trigger a reprimand, revocation of driving pass privileges, mandatory referral to a substance abuse program, corrective training, an administrative reduction in grade, or a bar to reenlistment.
Unfortunately, many attorneys are not aware of the military ramifications of a DUI conviction and are not able to advise their clients about the direct impact this may have on your career. Attorney Craig Drummond is a former Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and has handled hundreds of cases for his clients that are in the military or are military Veterans. Give Craig a call today to discuss your case and what the criminal charges may mean to your military career.
It’s normal to have questions regarding your DUI and your options. While many of the most common questions are included on our DUI FAQ page, it’s important that you consult a lawyer to get a better idea of your options. Each DUI and individual is different with details that can make a huge difference in your case. Although the FAQ page is a good place to start, you’ll need to take the next step and contact the Drummond Law Firm for clear answers.
Experienced DUI Legal Team
The legal team at Drummond Law Firm is familiar and experienced not just with Nevada law, but also DUI and representing clients from the beginning to the end. We understand that this is a serious matter that requires time and dedication in order to get the best results. You deserve to share your side of the story and receive the best possible outcome, no matter what the charges, with an experienced DUI lawyer in Las Vegas.