A First Offense DUI in Nevada is a misdemeanor. However, if the driver is arrested for having a minor child in the car with them, it is not uncommon for the prosecutor to seek additional consequences or more harsh judgment for a conviction. In addition, having a child in the car with a person who is arrested for DUI can lead to the filing of the serious Felony charge of Child Abuse.
The mandatory minimum punishment for DUI first offense are two (2) days to six (6) months in jail, either at the City of Las Vegas Detention Center or the Clark County Detention Center. The judge may order the Defendant to twenty-four (24) to ninety-six (96) hours of community service. In some cases, if the Defendant cannot afford the court imposed fine, he or she may be able to do additional community service hours. For a first offense DUI Conviction, the court imposed fine can range from $400 to $1,000. The Judge may order the Defendant to attend a Victim Impact Panel, Coroner’s Class and/or DUI School. If the Defendant is under the age of 21, the Judge may order him or her to complete an alcohol/drug dependency evaluation. A Defendant with a blood alcohol content or breath alcohol content higher than 0.18% may also be ordered to complete an alcohol/drug dependency evaluation. Additionally, for a Defendant with a blood alcohol content or breath alcohol content higher than 0.18%, the Judge may order him or her to complete an alcohol/drug abuse program.
Along with the criminal consequences, the Department of Motor Vehicles will also punish the defendant. Upon conviction, the Court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Defendant's driver's license will be suspended for ninety (90) days. If the Defendant won the DMV Hearing, the DMV will still suspend the individual's driver's license for ninety (90) days once a DUI Conviction is on his or her record. Upon reinstatement of the Defendant's driving privileges, the Defendant will be required to obtain a SR-22 form from his or her insurance agency.
In other cases, the government may decide to charge the Defendant with an additional charge. This is often a charge of “Child Abuse, Neglect, or Endangerment” for driving while under the influence and putting the child at risk of harm or injury. This charge can be filed whether the person is in an accident or not and does not require a child to actually be harmed for this charge to be filed. This is because, under Nevada law, a child abuse charge can be alleged where “[a] person … willfully causes a child who is less than 18 years of age to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of abuse or neglect or to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect.” The law is clear that a person can be charged simply for placing a child in a situation where the child may suffer mental or physical harm. For more on the crime of Child Abuse, please click here. If you are charged with a DUI while a child is in the car in a city, or municipal court, case, you may face the filing of a separate action for the Felony charge of Child Abuse in the Justice Court, or State Court. In some cases, your misdemeanor charge will transfer to the State Court for prosecution of both charges together. A Child Abuse charge is a serious felony offense which carries one (1) to six (6) years in the Nevada Department of Corrections and carries with it a number of other collateral consequences.
It is important to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney as soon as possible. In addition to facing criminal charges, the DMV will have their own "hearing" for you. The quicker you contact an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney, like Josh Tomsheck, the quicker he can help put this unfortunate incident behind you. Las Vegas DUI Attorney Josh Tomsheck has handled hundreds of DUI cases with positive results. Josh Tomsheck has been able to help DUI clients have their charges dismissed entirely. For more on his case results, please click here. For your free consultation, please contact him here today!