In the state of Nevada, committing a third DUI offense within a seven-year period from the previous two offenses is categorized as a class B felony—even if there were no injuries involved in the charge. The penalties for a third offense are severe; extended jail terms and higher fines are expected. Getting someone injured on a third DUI merits an even tougher punishment for the offender. These situations call for the expert help of an experienced drunk driving attorney, who will ensure that the accused is represented properly in court, and that the client will either receive a commuted punishment, or have the case overturned completely.
Third DUI Offense Explained – DUI Defense Attorney Ross Goodman
The State of Nevada defines driving under the influence as
- The state of driving a vehicle while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs;
- The state of driving a vehicle when the driver’s blood alcohol content(BAC) is at 0.08 or higher; or
- The state of driving a vehicle even when the driver has taken an amount that surpasses the legal amount of prescription and narcotic drugs
Drivers can still be charged with a DUI even if they were driving within speed limits and following road safety rules. It is, after all, illegal to drive any motor vehicle while their blood alcohol/drug content is beyond prescribed limits. Once arrested, offending drivers can post bail amounting $5,000.
Penalties for Third DUI offense
- Three-year suspension of driver’s license, with possible eligibility for a restricted licenseSuspension of motor vehicle registration
- Victim impact panel attendance
- SR22 Nevada insurance requirement
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s motor vehicle for a period between 12 and 36 months
- $35 civil penalty
- Nevada Health Department-approved rehabilitation program up to a period of three years
- No less than one (1) year to no more than six (6) years in the Nevada State Prison
- No less than $2,000 to no more than $5,000 in fines
Nevada Felony DUI Court
In addition to the aforementioned penalties, the State may require the offender to regularly attend a felony DUI court for up to five years. During this time, the offending driver must undertake rigorous counseling and appear in court at pre-determined times to report on his or her rehabilitation progress. Failing to attend a counseling session or court date can result in additional penalties or another outright felony conviction for the offender.
Defenses against Third DUI Charge
DUI defense lawyers make it a point to fully investigate the charges and circumstances of their client’s arrest to spot an inconsistency that can weaken the case against their client. In many cases, defense attorneys will call upon the following:
- The arresting officer had no probable cause to pull the defendant over
- The previous DUI cases were invalid
- The previous Dui convictions were outside the 7-year time frame prescribed by law
- The blood and/or breath tests were conducted improperly
- The technicians who conducted the blood test lacked proper certification
- The defendant has a medical condition that caused the BAC to come out higher than it really was
As stated in Nevada law, the accused has the right to enter any one of three pleas: ‘guilty’, ‘not guilty’, or ‘no contest’. Entering a ‘guilty’ plea means the accused accepts all the penalties that he or she will receive as part of his third DUI. Entering a ‘not guilty’ plea means that the case may go to trial after several pre-conference hearings. Entering a ‘no-contest’ plea means the accused accepts all penalties, but he or she is not admitting to committing the offense. How the trial proceeds depends on which plea the offending driver chooses.
Attorney for Third DUI Charge
The Clark County’s district attorney’s office in Nevada prosecutes third DWI cases differently. If you have been arrested for a third DUI offense, it is important that you seek for expert consultation. Third DWI is a serious case, it could have a major impact not only on your freedom, but also on your employment, car insurance, and properties.
Contact a DUI defense attorney for defense possibilities that may apply to your case!
*Last Updated June 15, 2016.