Have you just been arrested for driving under the influence? Do you think because it’s your first offense, you’re already as good as home free?
If so, it’s time to think again. The majority of states, Nevada included, classify first DUI offenses as misdemeanors, but this does not mean it’s not serious. The consequences of any DUI have deep, persistent roots. Hard to eradicate, they will stay around to bite you long after you’ve forgotten the wild, intoxicated ride that got you into trouble in the first place.
Why Your DUI Offense Matters
Despite its relatively minor-sounding misdemeanor classification, a first conviction for DUI is no laughing matter. Although the large number of first DUI offenders will receive probation of some type, there is no guarantee that the court will not also order you to serve some jail time first. Even if you are able to sidestep any time behind bars, the court will usually set conditions that include court costs and fines along with urinalysis and probation fees. Moreover, even a first conviction for DUI will likely result in a suspension of your driver’s license.
It could even get worse if a child was present or you happened to be driving with an open container inside the vehicle. This sort of factor can increase the severity of your sentence or even raise your charge to a felony. In cases such as these, first offender status will no longer protect you, and a drunk driving defense from Weiner Law Group becomes even more imperative.
Further, if the state of Nevada should convict you of driving under the influence for the first time, don’t think that the lack of a prior criminal record will do you any favors. You will be facing severe penalties regardless of whether any prior record does or does not exist. Nevada law provides for so-called minimum mandatory punishments, and after any conviction for a first DUI, the courts must by law impose them. The avoidance of conviction is therefore crucial and makes obtaining legal assistance all the more important.
First DUI and Short-Term Consequences
Under Nevada Law, the penalties for any DUI can vary depending on whether your record contains any previous DUI convictions within a 7-year time frame. The courts may still consider any priors that fall outside that period, but cannot use their existence to increase the severity of your standard first-time DUI punishments.
If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest to charges of a first DUI, Nevada law requires the courts to levy punishments as follows:
- Either 96 hours of community service or a jail sentence that can vary in time from 48 hours to as long as six months.
- Fines and assessments that range from a low of $400 to a high of $1,000 in addition to court costs.
- Suspension of your driving privileges for a period that varies from three months to 90 days. After 45 days, however, you will be eligible to apply for a restricted license permitting you to drive to and from work for the remainder of your license suspension.
- Attendance at an eight-hour-long DUI School course at a cost of $150.
Furthermore, if your blood or breath alcohol concentration at the time of arrest measured at least. 08 percent, the courts may insist that you complete an approved alcohol treatment course at your own expense. In addition, if your BAC at the time of arrest measured higher than 0.18 percent, the courts will impose a $100-a-day DUI Assessment program that could lead to extensive counseling sessions. It will also mandate your attendance at a $40 Victim Impact Panel along with the installation of a breath interlock on your car for which you must cover setup and maintenance charges. This will remain in place for between 12 and 36 months.
These punishments for conviction on a first DUI in Nevada are sufficiently severe to warrant the assistance of a competent criminal defense attorney, so please contact Weiner Law Group for a free consultation. There are protections in place that can ultimately save you from conviction. To take advantage of these protections, it’s vital to procure legal assistance as soon as possible after your arrest before deadlines impede your chances of fighting the accusation. Weiner Law Group will assist you in preserving your rights to defend against this criminal charge under Nevada Law.
First DUI and Long-Term Consequences
If you hope in the future to buy a house, get a job or qualify for a car loan, that first DUI is sure to come back to haunt you. That’s because it remains on your record regardless of whether you actually did any jail time or even received a final conviction. This can happen even when you’re merely placed on probation or your sentence gets deferred. If you do receive a conviction, however, it is certain to become a part of your criminal history, and prospective employers who choose to run a background check are bound to find it out. Even if this is your first DUI arrest, the potential crimp in future employment opportunities serves as just another reason for which it is mandatory to avoid conviction with the help of competent legal assistance.
Your auto insurance rates are sure to rise as well, and exorbitant fees in this area legitimately stand as just one more reason for seeking out competent legal assistance when fighting the charges against you. Moreover, if your first DUI resulted in an accident, the courts have the discretion to raise your offense from misdemeanor to felony level, and if they do, your insurance company may refuse to cover the costs of that accident altogether. Damages arising from the commission of a felony frequently suffer from insurance companies’ unsympathetic stances on this matter.
Help from a Competent DUI Lawyer
Unless you work to prevent conviction, your first arrest for DUI will take its toll on your criminal record, your financial health and your opportunities for gainful employment. Although it may seem funny to your friends, this is one charge that no one should ever laugh off. It is vital to avoid conviction wherever possible, so don’t wait until it’s too late to take advantage of your legal protections. Contact Weiner Law Group today at 702-202-0500 and arrange a visit with one of our DUI attorneys. We will help you deal with this very serious charge.