4 Steps In Nevada DUI Administrative Proceedings
After being pulled over for a driving under the influence (DUI) in Nevada, the individual arrested for the DUI will be facing both criminal proceedings as well as administrative ones.
The first thought is almost always to handle the criminal matter, but the administrative portion of the case is just as important. Here is what to expect after being arrested.
1. Automatic Suspension
It is important to not wait too long following the arrest before speaking with an attorney. Drivers need to act quickly because the administrative suspension occurs almost immediately.
After a DUI arrest in Nevada, if a breath test was conducted, the driver has seven (7) days to request a DMV hearing to keep his or her license from being suspended or revoked.
Handling an administrative hearing to prevent a suspension can be complex and it is encouraged that the driver contact an attorney before going forward.
2. Civil Before Criminal Hearing
While the DUI matter is a criminal proceeding, the administrative driver’s license hearing is a civil matter. Therefore, the proceeding is not meant to punish the driver necessarily but to protect public safety from a driver who is deemed dangerous.
However, it may seem like the hearing is meant to punish to the driver personally when the automatic suspension kicks in. If the driver wants to get his or her license back, the hearing is required.
An attorney will be able to argue on behalf of the driver and will be able to submit evidence in his or her favor, bring forth witnesses and cross-examine the arresting officer.
Many times, the evidence that comes out in the civil hearing can help the driver in the criminal proceeding, and at best, the driver can come away with his or her driver’s license at the end of the hearing.
3. Length of Suspension Determination
The length of the license suspension depends on how many offenses the driver has received.
For a first DUI, if the driver loses the administrative hearing or is convicted of a first-time DUI, then he or she will have his or her driver’s license revoked for a period of 90 days.
The driver may be entitled to what is known as a restricted driver’s license after the first 45 days have passed.
If the driver has received two DUI convictions within a seven-year period, his or her driving privileges will be suspended for up to one year.
If the driver has received three or more DUI convictions within a seven-year period, his or her driving privileges will be suspended for up to three years.
4. Review Of Additional Factors By The Court
Many factors are considered by the court during this administrative proceeding. First, the burden of proof is on the driver to prove that he or she deserves to have his or her driver’s license reinstated and not on the state to prove that the driver was not intoxicated.
One consideration is whether the driver failed to submit to an evidentiary breathalyzer or blood test, to determine whether his or her blood alcohol level was over the state’s legal limit and whether the officer who ordered the test had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was operating the vehicle was intoxicated.
If the driver refused to submit to the testing or if the testing showed alcohol or any other controlled substance in his or her bloodstream over the legal limit, the driver’s license is subject to summary revocation.
This revocation can be challenged in a hearing before the DMV, and if the driver is not satisfied with the determination, he or she may appeal it to the district court on up to the State Supreme Court.
It is important that the officer must tell the driver that he or she has the right to seek an administrative and judicial review of the license revocation.
The driver could always agree to submit to a blood test, and if the driver does submit to a blood test then the officer will give the driver his or her license back and wait for the results.
Blood test results normally take four to six months to return. Once the officer receives the results, the DMV will be notified.
If the results show that the driver was, in fact, intoxicated, the driver will receive a certified letter indicating that the driver’s license will be suspended in seven days.
If the driver does not turn in his or her license, the driver will face criminal proceedings, so it is important that the driver does not ignore the letter.
The letter must state the grounds for the revocation, how long the person is not eligible for the license permit or privilege to drive, as well as how the driver can appeal for an administrative review of the revocation.
The order to revoke the license becomes effective five (5) days after it is mailed to the driver.
Contact The Hill Firm Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI while in Nevada, 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.
Contact us at (702) 848-5000 for your free consultation today.