Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor and one of the most frequently charged crimes in the State of Nevada. Driving under the influence may occur if: (1) a person is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content above .08; (2) a person is operating a motor vehicle and is under the influence of a controlled substance-including prescription drugs-beyond the limits prescribed by law; or (3) a person is operating a motor vehicle and is "impaired," meaning that the person is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance "to any degree, however slight" that renders the person incapable of safely operating the motor vehicle.
An arrest for driving under the influence may immediately result in the loss of driving privileges in the State of Nevada. A person is entitled to an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles before trial to challenge the loss of these privileges. At this hearing, an attorney can also begin to probe the prosecuting attorney's case for weaknesses. Temporary licenses are available while a person awaits this hearing and if a person's driving privileges are suspended, restricted licenses are available after the person serves fifty-percent of the suspension.
The prosecuting attorney is not permitted by law to reduce or dismiss a charge of driving under the influence unless evidentiary issues exist at the time of trial. A driving under the influence conviction may result in consequences for most jobs, such as the revocation of some professional licenses. It is important to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to navigate these consequences and find weaknesses in prosecuting attorney's case. An experienced criminal defense attorney may also discover witnesses or evidence that the police missed.
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Driving Under the Influence is a Misdemeanor for any first or second offense within seven (7) years and punishable by up to six (6) months in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. For a first offense, the offender must spend a minimum of two (2) days in jail. Additional jail time is uncommon. Most first offenders are ordered to complete community service, pay a small fine, and complete a driving under the influence prevention class. If the blood alcohol content of the offender was greater than .18, the offender may be required to complete treatment for alcohol or substance abuse. For a second offense within seven (7) years, the offender must spend a minimum of ten (10) days in jail. Other requirements may include community service, a fine, and treatment for alcohol or substance abuse. A third offense within seven (7) years is a Category B Felony and punishable by one (1) to six (6) years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. "Felony Driving Under the Influence" is a non-probationable offense, meaning that the judge is required by law to send the offender to prison for at least one (1) year. However, an offender may be eligible for "Felony DUI Court" in lieu of prison. (NRS 484C.110, NRS 484C.350, NRS 484C.400, NRS 484C.420)
Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm is a Category B Felony and punishable by two (2) to twenty (20) years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm is also a non-probationable offense, so the judge is required by law to send the offender to prison for at least two (2) years. (NRS 484C.430).