Life After a DUI in Vegas
A first-time DUI offense is punishable in Nevada by fines, mandatory DUI education, license revocation, and even jail time in some instances. A DUI arrest can impact your life in many ways, but you have the right to a legal defense to challenge the charges against you.
If you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, you deserve quality legal representation. Between fines, fees, and the possibility of losing your driver’s license, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take to preserve your rights. The good news is that an experienced attorney can help you avoid the worst consequences. Contact the knowledgeable DUI defense lawyers at Adras & Altig by phone or reach out to us online to schedule a free evaluation of your case.
Understanding the Difference Between a DUI Arrest and a DUI Conviction in Vegas
A DUI arrest is different from a DUI conviction. An arrest is simply the act of a cop pulling you over and claiming that you are not okay to drive. Even if you don’t submit to a breathalyzer test, you can be arrested if the officer who stops you believes you are too intoxicated to safely operate a vehicle.
An arrest for a DUI does not automatically equal a conviction. In order to convict, the prosecutor has to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” in court that you are guilty of being impaired behind the wheel. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. A DUI defense lawyer can bolster your case for reasonable doubt.
Short-Term DUI Consequences
If you’re arrested and convicted for a DUI in Las Vegas, there are several immediate sentences you can expect to receive. For a first-time DUI misdemeanor, short-term consequences may include:
- $400 to $1,000 in fines
- Attendance at a victim impact panel
- Eight hours of DUI school
- 185-day license revocation
A second DUI offense (without substantial injuries) is also a misdemeanor and may carry some similar consequences, including attendance at a victim impact panel awareness program, and up to $1,000 in fines. In addition, a second DUI can result in:
- Court-ordered rehabilitation
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- One-year license revocation
In some instances, defendants may be able to avoid a conviction by entering a court-approved intensive rehabilitation program.
Long-Term DUI Consequences
In Nevada, a DUI charge will remain on your record permanently. However, after seven years, you can apply for your record to be legally sealed from the public, as long as you:
- Did not spend time in prison
- Do not have any pending charges
- Meet all probation conditions
- Have no prior charges
Long-term consequences for both first- and second-offense DUIs can also include jail time. For a first offense, you can potentially spend two days to six months in jail. For a second offense, you can potentially spend a minimum of 10 days and up to six months in jail.
A third DUI offense is considered a Class B felony if the driver had two prior DUI convictions with the previous seven years and can result in up to six years behind bars and a three-year license suspension.
The penalties become more severe for chronic DUI offenders.
Will a DUI Affect My Record for Background Checks?
A DUI misdemeanor or felony conviction will remain on your record indefinitely unless you get it sealed after the mandated seven years, so it is likely it will appear in a background check. The stigma around a DUI may influence the decisions of employers and others who perform background checks on you.
Potential employers and loan providers, for example, can find out if you’ve been convicted of a DUI and base hiring or lending decisions on these findings. DUI convictions can also influence a landlord’s decision to rent to you.
In addition, a DUI conviction on your record could prevent you from obtaining professional licenses in fields such as medicine, law, or finance.
Will a DUI/DWI Offense Affect My Car Insurance?
After a DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction, your auto insurance company will likely consider you a “high-risk driver” – someone more likely to prompt or file an auto insurance claim. Auto insurance premiums are significantly more expensive for high-risk drivers.
In the worst cases, some insurers will drop DUI offenders altogether once the drivers’ current policies expire.
The effects of a DUI on your auto insurance rates don’t have to be permanent. Much like increased rates from an at-fault accident in Nevada, your rates will start to decrease again after several years of good driving behavior.
How Will a DUI Affect My Job?
A DUI conviction can affect your employment status in several ways. Depending on your job and its terms and conditions, you may get fired after being convicted of driving under the influence. You’ll likely have to miss some work for court appearances and community service, which could affect your employment as well.
A DUI conviction can also affect your career growth. A DUI is a criminal charge, and as such, a DUI can affect your trajectory if you apply for a job or a promotion that requires applicants to have a clean criminal record. Read more in this article about dealing with your employer after a DUI.
Will I Have to Attend Counseling After a DUI Arrest?
Counseling such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other forms of therapy are not always required after a DUI charge. However, first-time DUI offenders in Nevada are required to attend an eight-hour DUI school as part of the minimum punishment.
DUI school courses cover alcohol awareness and driving safety and usually cost around $150. Luckily, they can often be taken online. For subsequent DUI arrests, a court may order rehabilitation programs. In addition, for both a first- and second-offense DUI, you’ll be required to attend a victim impact panel, which costs about $40.
How Our Las Vegas DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help
The aftermath of a DUI arrest can be stressful, but it does not have to ruin your life. You are entitled to an aggressive legal defense, and the compassionate Law Vegas DUI attorneys at Adras & Altig can help. Check out the results of other people just like you, here.
Give us a call at (702) 385-7227 or fill out our simple online contact form to arrange for a free consultation in our Las Vegas office.