Many of our clients ask if a First Time DUI is a serious enough offense that a lawyer is required? We answer that any DUI is complicated and has serious life changing penalties associated with a conviction for the offense, to the point that you should retain an attorney if you have been charged with DUI at any level. Many of the penalties are set by statute (484C.400), which means if you are convicted, the statutory penalties will be imposed with little discretion from the court.
What are the minimum penalties for conviction of a first time DUI?
DUI’s result in both court imposed criminal penalties and driving restrictions through the DMV. If convicted of a first time DUI in Nevada, with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of more than .08, with no accident resulting in serious injury to another person, outside of a work zone, results in the following penalties:
Court Imposed Criminal Penalties:
- First Time Conviction is considered a Misdemeanor
- Incarceration from 2 days to 6 months in county jail and/or community service
- Vehicle Impounded at point of arrest (you pay towing and storage fees)
- Fine from $400 to $1,000
- Court Costs
- Chemical test fee = $60
- Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel
- Attendance at DUI School or
- Substance Abuse Treatment at your expense (required if BAC exceeds .18)
DMV Driving Restrictions
- Mandatory 90-day revocation of Driver’s License or
- Installation of Ignition Interlock System at your expense for 6 months
- $121 reinstatement fee
- $35 Victims Compensation Civil Penalty
- $42.25 Driver’s License Fee
- $26 Testing Fee
- Requirement to carry SR-22 Insurance Certificate for 3 years
Sealing of arrest and conviction records may not take place prior to 7 years after the DUI is concluded. DMV records remain on driving record for life and will follow you if you move to another state.
If arrested for DUI in a work zone, the criminal penalties double.
Why do I need a Lawyer for a DUI?
A lawyer knows the court system and knows whether evidence of a DUI is weak and therefore may not win in court. It is required that the prosecutor prove all evidence of the DUI “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Your lawyer may be able to convince the prosecutor that the evidence is too weak to win in court and may be able to plea bargain your charges to a non-DUI charge, such as Reckless Driving. Reckless Driving does not carry the stigma of a DUI for background searches for employment or professional license applications but does carry 8 demerit points on your DMV driving record. If the evidence is weak enough, a lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed in court. While these outcomes may, or may not occur, it is highly unlikely that an individual can make such arrangements without the assistance of a lawyer.
You may also be able to avoid the 90-day license revocation with the DMV through a DMV Administrative Hearing. This must be done within 7 days of the DUI arrest. Your driving privileges may be limited, but through an Administrative Hearing you may be able to drive to work. If you choose this option, you should have a lawyer representing you at the Administrative Hearing.
Ticket Busters represents those charged with DUI
Ticket Busters can provide a defense against charges of DUI whether first time or otherwise. With the penalties for a first time DUI, any subsequent DUI will impose greater escalating penalties. The system becomes more complex and the stakes become higher. If you have been charged with a DUI, call Ticket Busters today at (702) 666-6666, or click the green button at the bottom of the page to text us your information.