Felony DUI Convictions
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE – THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE (FELONY OFFENSE)
The penalties for driving under the influence depend on whether you have a prior conviction for a DUI offense. If you have previously been convicted of two (2) or more Drunk Driving/DUI/OWI offense within the past seven (7) years, the sentence is for your new conviction is “enhanceable.” In other words, the punishment goes up for each offense. The seven (7) year period is calculated from the arrest in the first case until the arrest in the current case. If you are arrested for Drunk Driving/DUI/OWI after you have previously been convicted of two DUIs within the past seven (7) years then your case will be charged as a Felony (class “B”). More importantly, this offense is a “non-probationable” offense, meaning that you are not eligible for probation and must go to prison.
The minimum and maximum sentencing ranges for a DUI THIRD offense in Las Vegas, Nevada, are as follows:
“Prison / Jail time” or Incarceration:
For a Felony DUI third conviction the court must impose a sentence between one (1) year and six (6) years in the Nevada Department of Corrections, which is the State Prison system in Nevada.
Monetary Assessments and/or Fines:
For a Felony DUI third conviction the court must impose fines of at least $2,000.00 and as much as $5,000.00. This is in addition to any court costs.
Suspension of Driving Privileges:
For a Felony DUI third conviction the Court will Order the suspension of your driving privileges for three (3) to five (5) years. This suspension means that not even a restricted driver's license is available until you have served at least one (1) full calendar year of the revocation after your release from custody. After that period you are allowed to request a restricted license, but not until you provide proof that you have installed a breath controlled ignition interlock device on any car you drive and that you have obtained special auto insurance, called SR-22 insurance, which comes at a staggering cost compared to standard auto insurance.
Additionally, for a DUI third conviction, the DMV has a mandatory duty to revoke your privileges to drive a motor vehicle for 3 years.
Depending on the Court issuing the order, you may be required to enter, complete and pay for, an alcohol treatment program.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE – SUBSTANTIAL BODILY HARM OR DEATH (FELONY)
In addition to the Drunk Driving/DUI charges detailed above, there is a separate crime recognized in Nevada for DUI Causing Serious Bodily Harm or Death. This Crime is a Felony. A very serious Felony.
The law in Nevada states that if a person is convicted of DUI which causes substantial bodily harm, or death, in another person, it is a FELONY offense. This is true even if the person charged has no criminal history whatsoever.
The charge for DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death is a category “B” Felony, which is the second most severe level of Felony in Nevada law. In this instance, such a crime is punishable by imprisonment in Nevada State Prison system for a minimum term of 2 years and a maximum term 20 years. It also carries a fine of between $2,000.00 to $5,000.00. More importantly, DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death is a non-probationable offense, meaning if you are convicted, you must go to prison.
When someone finds themselves charged with the crime of DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death, it is extremely important that a qualified, dedicated and aggressive lawyer is obtained early on in the process to begin fighting the case. There are several issues that are unique to this charge and anything less than an experienced and educated DUI lawyer may miss a chance to obtain the best result for the person charged.
For instance, one of the essential issues in a DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death case is whether the charged driver who was allegedly intoxicated with alcohol or impaired by a controlled substance was the “proximate cause” of the serious bodily injury or death of the victim. If not, then the conviction, and the 2-20 year prison sentence that comes with it, cannot stand. Many lawyers, who do not specialize in DUI defense, do not know they have the right to present defense evidence that the person charged is not guilty of that element of the charge because something else caused the injury or death. This is known as a superseding or intervening cause.
This is just one of the many potential defenses to someone who is in the scary position of being charged with DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death. You need a lawyer who knows these issues and will fight on your behalf when faced with such a charge. Partner Josh Tomsheck, of the Law Firm of Hofland & Tomsheck, is a former Chief Deputy District Attorney and a Member of the National College of DUI Defense. Attorney Tomsheck has made a career out of not being afraid to fight a case in the Courtroom in the interest of Justice. Attorney Tomsheck will do the same thing for you.
If you have been arrested or charged with a drunk driving or DUI offense in Las Vegas, Clark County or Nevada, contact our office right away to discuss your DUI case. We will give you a free consultation to determine what needs to be done to get you the best result possible. We are available during regular business hours and can be reached 24/7 in the case of an emergency. Call (702) 895-6760 or e-mail to schedule an appointment.