Do I Need An Attorney To Handle My Vegas DUI?
If a driver has been arrested for driving while under the influence in the State of Nevada, he or she may be asking whether an attorney is needed?
While legal fees are never a positive subject when it comes to most people, not having an attorney on the defendant’s side could end up hurting him or her more in the long run.
What Is A “DUI?”
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a charge often referred to as “drunk driving,” but it can encompass more than just alcohol.
Driving under the influence can include driving under the influence of any type of mind-altering drug.
A DUI charge refers to an individual operating a motor vehicle while his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is above the set level for the state, which is 0.08 percent.
A DUI charge can be a misdemeanor but also a Category B felony depending on the severity of the offense and how often it has occurred.
What Are The Penalties For A DUI?
- First Time DUI
A first time DUI offense is a misdemeanor but can come with jail time ranging from days to up to six months.
His or her driver’s license could also be suspended for up to 90 days, and the driver could face a fine up to $1,000.
If the driver’s BAC is higher than 0.18, the punishments can be increased. The driver could even be subject to alcohol counseling and treatment.
- Second Offense:
If a driver receives a second DUI offense within seven years of the first DUI, he or she should expect the consequences to be more severe.
A mandatory jail sentence of more than ten days is required for a second DUI offense, but it can go up to six months. The driver can also face one-year suspension of his or her license with a fine of up to $1,000.
- Third Offense:
If a driver receives a third DUI within seven years, he or she is now facing a Category B felony, which is the second highest level of felony in the State of Nevada.
The driver is facing a minimum of one year in prison, but this time can go up to six years, depending on the severity of the offense. He or she will have a three year suspension and should expect to have to use a breath interlock device.
Can The Charges Be Dropped Or Reduced?
It is possible the charges can be reduced or even dropped, but this is where an experienced DUI attorney can assist the driver best.
No one situation is the same, and depending on the driver’s history, criminal record and the circumstances involving the arrest, the charges could be dropped to something much lower, such as a reckless driving charge.
When Can An Attorney Help?
An attorney can help in many aspects of a DUI case. The first benefit was discussed previously with the help that the attorney may be able to provide in reducing the DUI charges.
However, the attorney can also work with the prosecution on reducing the penalties and saving the driver’s driving privileges.
The attorney can negotiate with the other side on what consequences are ordered and can avoid the prosecution giving all possible consequences for a DUI offense.
For instance, the attorney may be able to negotiate community service, rather than jail time, or the attorney may be able to negotiate a lower fine or smaller amount of time for a driver’s license suspension.
In terms of getting the charges dropped, having a reckless driving charge instead of a straight DUI charge can save the driver a great deal in the long run should the unthinkable occur, and he or she be arrested for a later DUI before the seven years passes between offenses.
How Much Does A DUI Attorney Cost?
It depends on the attorney, but most DUI attorneys will require a retainer be paid upfront. Depending on how much work is involved, that retainer can be anywhere as low as $500 to as much as $5,000.
If this is not the driver’s first offense, and the attorney will need to do a lot of leg work, he or she may request a larger amount upfront to cover these costs.
However, keep in mind that paying for a good attorney far outweighs the possibility of jail time.
Contact Dan Hill Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI while visiting our state, it is important you contact the Hill Firm today. We can meet with you to discuss your rights and all potential legal consequences from your arrest.