Nevada has some of the strictest DUI laws and penalties in the nation. Nevada DUI laws provide progressively harsher “minimum mandatory” punishments for each subsequent conviction within seven years. However, the prosecutors have to prove that the 2nd DUI charge is valid. If you contact an experienced 2nd Offense DUI lawyer at Adras & Altig after an arrest in Las Vegas, we can move quickly to defend your rights.
The Las Vegas DUI attorneys of Adras & Altig will argue aggressively for your second offense DUI charge to be resolved in the manner most favorable to you. You have the right to a rigorous legal defense. We have the legal knowledge, determination and experience in Clark County courts necessary to provide it.
There are several actions Adras & Altig can take right away to help you after a DUI arrest. Schedule a free consultation with Adras & Altig as soon as possible. We pride ourselves on being responsive to calls from people in need of legal help. Our compassionate and understanding Las Vegas DUI defense attorneys know that there are two sides to every story. We will treat you with the personal attention and respect you deserve.
What to Expect From a 2nd DUI Charge in Nevada
Being charged for DUI a second time in Nevada is not much different than a first arrest. You may be charged for a second offense DUI if you have been convicted within seven years in any jurisdiction within Nevada or any other U.S. state or territory. However, the seven-year period is counted from the date of arrest, not conviction, which can be a difference of several months or longer.
After being booked, charged and released from custody, there are steps you can take to help yourself.
A second offense DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, if you were involved in a car accident that led to someone else’s death or substantial injury, you will be charged with a felony DUI, which carries much stricter penalties.
After any DUI arrest in Nevada, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for 90 days. You then have seven days to request an administrative hearing before the Department of Motor Vehicles to halt suspension of your driving privileges.
The Nevada DMV will run a national check of your driving record after receiving your request for a hearing. If you have no other active revocations or suspensions, you may receive a temporary driver’s license.
An administrative hearing will examine whether you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 after you were arrested or whether you had a detectable amount of a controlled and/or prohibited substance in your blood. If testing at the time such as breathalyzer or blood test shows that you did, your license will be suspended for 90 days.
Nevada law allows defendants to obtain a restricted license following a first or a third DUI license revocation but does not allow a restricted license following revocation on a second DUI charge within seven years.
Your temporary driver’s license remains valid until the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who presides over the hearing renders a decision, which is typically a month to six weeks after the hearing.
If the judge rescinds the revocation, and you are otherwise eligible, you can obtain a permanent driver’s license from the DMV.
If you contact Adras & Altig right away, we can take the procedural steps to stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license and represent you at the administrative hearing.
2nd Offense DUI Consequences and Penalties in Nevada
After you have gone through the DMV’s Administrative Hearing process, the district attorney’s office will have scheduled your trial date.
If you are convicted of second offense DUI in Nevada, the standard sentence includes:
- 10 days to 6 months in jail or under house arrest, or 48 to 96 hours of community service. The court may order confinement in a residential alcohol or drug treatment center in lieu of all or a portion of jail time. Rehab programs are typically 90 days. At least 48 consecutive hours of confinement is mandatory.
- A fine of $750 to $1,000, plus court costs. The defendant may be allowed to perform 100 to 200 hours of community service in lieu of the fine.
- 1 year suspension of your driver’s license and a $35 civil penalty.
- Completion of a state-approved alcohol awareness program (DUI school) at your own expense of about $100.
- Attendance at a MADD Victim Impact Panel ($40)
- If you are younger than 21 or your BAC was 0.18 or more, you may be required to have an alcohol/drug dependency evaluation ($100) and attend an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.
- If your BAC was 0.18 or greater regardless of age, the above will be imposed, plus attachment of an ignition interlock device in your car for 12 to 36 months.
- A suspended jail sentence of 6 months will be imposed if you fail to complete any sentencing terms outlined above.
For a second DUI offense to affect the judge’s sentencing, the prosecutor must establish the fact of the prior conviction and that it was after an arrest that happened within seven years of the arrest under consideration. This requires the prosecutor to obtain and present records of your previous conviction. If for some reason the prosecutor fails to do this, the judge should sentence you under the guidelines for a first DUI offense.
Should I Get A Lawyer for My 2nd DUI Offense?
No one should ever face a charge of any kind under Nevada’s strict DUI laws on their own. A second DUI conviction stays on your record and will be an issue when any prospective employer, landlord or loan officer conducts a routine background check.
Prosecutors in Clark County are under pressure to obtain the maximum sentence for a second DUI offense. They will likely do so if there is no defense attorney to push back and persuade them and the judge that such an outcome is unjustified.
Keep in mind that an arrest for driving under the influence is not an automatic DUI conviction. You have a right to every legal defense available to help you avoid jail, fines, loss of driving privileges and other penalties.
Upon arrest, you should exercise your right to remain silent except to ask to speak with an attorney. If you have been arrested for DUI in Las Vegas, we urge you to contact Adras & Altig at your first opportunity.
We will thoroughly investigate your arrest and the alleged evidence against you to evaluate your options.
Potential defenses for a second DUI charge include:
- Improper arrest, such as an illegal checkpoint, lack of probable cause for a traffic stop or for conducting a field sobriety test, or failing to advise of Miranda rights.
- Unreliability of field sobriety tests, including the adverse impact of environmental factors such as wet roads, flashing lights and crowds, disadvantageous footwear, or personal factors, such as a prior injury or physical or mental condition that may affect a driver’s physical agility and ability to pass the test.
- Problems with evidence, such as a breath test conducted beyond the two-hour time limit or an officer not being certified to operate the breath machine.
- Unreliable or unavailable witnesses, which is not unusual in a tourist destination such as Las Vegas.
- Evidence that supports a not guilty verdict, such as witness statements attesting to sobriety or that the defendant began drinking after parking their car.
A Nevada law adopted in 2015 defined “actual physical control” of a vehicle and cleared up years of debate about what is required for a DUI charge.
Nevada DUI laws specifically exclude a person from arrest who is:
- In a vehicle that is lawfully parked
- In a vehicle with the engine turned off
- Not in the driver’s seat
- Could not have driven the vehicle to the location while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or a prohibited substance.
Someone who has decided that, instead of driving after drinking, they would sleep in the back seat of their legally parked car with the engine turned off should not be charged with DUI in Nevada.
Further, Nevada recognizes two special defenses for DUI charges:
- Medical episode: If a medical condition caused a crash, erratic driving, or whatever led to the traffic stop, a DUI charge should be dismissed.
- Necessity: If the defendant drove to avoid physical harm, such as to flee an assault, or to obtain assistance for a passenger in need of emergency medical care, the “lesser of two evils” may be weighed in favor of charges being dismissed.
Once we are engaged as your Las Vegas DUI attorneys, our duty is to protect your rights and build a strong and persuasive defense for you. We’re not here to judge you. We have more than a decade of experience successfully handling DUI defense cases. We will fight for you.
Contact Our DUI Attorneys in Las Vegas Now
A second-offense DUI conviction in Nevada will drastically alter your life. You should not try to fight these charges on your own. Contact the seasoned criminal defense attorneys of Adras & Altig in Las Vegas today about protecting your rights and your freedom.