D.U.I.’s: Why You Need a Lawyer
Our JK Nelson Law attorneys have helped many individuals get out of DUI charges, or minimize the penalties, by using all of our legal knowledge and expertise to defend our client’s legal rights. Whether you were just charged or have been dealing with the court system for a while, our attorneys are ready to fight for your legal rights. In Nevada, DUIs are considered a severe offense and can receive penalties that will impact you for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is important to know what your legal rights are, and what the penalties could be if you are caught driving under the influence.
First, let’s talk a bit about what the legal limits are in Nevada so that you can be aware of the laws in your state.
- For any driver under 21, it is illegal for your blood alcohol concentration to be 0.02% or higher.
- For any commercial drivers over the age of 21, it is illegal for your blood alcohol concentration to be 0.04% or higher.
- For all other drivers that are 21 and over, it is illegal for your blood alcohol concentration to be 0.08% or higher.
- If you have any detectable amount of an illegal substance found in your blood, you could receive penalties that are equal or greater to the penalties given for those who were driving with alcohol in their system.
Now that you are aware of what the blood alcohol concentration limits are in Nevada, let’s talk a bit about what the differences are between a breathalyzer and a blood test. A breathalyzer is a small, handheld device that you will be asked to blow a breath sample into either prior or after your arrest. This option is much less invasive than a blood test would be, as a blood test will require that you go to the police station and get your blood drawn so that they can test it for alcohol. The breathalyzer will measure the amount of alcohol that is present in your breath, whereas a blood test will measure the alcohol content in your blood. One thing to note is that breathalyzers can have false positives if the device is not maintained or calibrated properly. It has occasionally been known to provide false positives if mouthwash was present. Blood tests, on the other hand, rarely provide false positives, but should be taken as quickly as possible after your arrest. While there used to be an implied consent law in Nevada, which allowed police officers to take a blood or breathalyzer test without the consent of a driver, that was ruled unconstitutional in 2014. However, if an officer has probable cause to suspect you have been drinking, they can obtain a search warrant telephonically. A blood test has to be taken within 2 hours of the initial traffic stop to be used as evidence of a DUI.
So, what happens if you are caught and charged with a DUI?
- If it’s your first DUI charge, you could receive several penalties. You could receive anywhere from 2 days to 6 months of jail time, be required to pay fines, have a mandatory breath interlock device (essentially a breathalyzer that won’t allow you to start your car if your B.A.C. is over the legal limit) installed in your car, and be forced to participate in a mandatory alcohol and drug abuse treatment program.
- If you are charged with a second DUI within 7 years of your first one, you could receive anywhere from 10 days to 6 months of jail time, extensive fines, have your driver’s license suspended or revoked for 1 year, be ordered to attend an alcohol/drug abuse treatment program, and have an interlock device installed into your vehicle.
- If you are charged a third time within 7 years of your first charge, you will go to prison for anywhere from 1 to 6 years, be required to pay extensive fines, have an interlock device installed into your vehicle after you are released from prison, and you will have your license suspended or revoked for 3 years.
A DUI can have a long-lasting impact for you both financially and in terms of your liberty. At JK Nelson Law, we recognize that each case has its own particular set of facts and that it is important to have those facts evaluated by an experienced lawyer. We will take the time to discuss your options based upon the specific facts surrounding your case. If necessary, we have the experience in fighting for your legal rights and will fight for you in court so that you can move through the court process as quickly as possible and see the best results possible.