DUI Law in Reno, NV
What Is a DUI?
DUI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a criminal offense that can lead to weighty consequences. Also known as DWI, the process of going to court to face either conviction or exoneration can change the course of your life forever.
Learn more about your DUI law defense options below, and then talk to a local attorney in Reno, Nevada who will help you in this delicate situation. You don’t have to stare down consequences alone. You can take wise steps today to protect your interests.
Possible Consequences of a Reno, Nevada DUI Conviction
Where you live, the severity of the incident, and your criminal record determine the sentencing for a DUI. The punishments can drastically increase if you have had previous DUIs, so be mindful of that. If this is your first DUI, do not go at it alone and risk costly mistakes. Get a Reno law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.
If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Reno, Nevada, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles states that fines can range from $400 to $1,000 for your first DUI in Reno. However, a third offense within seven years is charged as a felony and can carry fines up to $5,000.
However, other factors can drastically increase the amount you must pay, including:
- Any damage to property while driving under the influence
- If someone suffered injuries as a result of your intoxicated driving
- Cases that include child endangerment
- Any court costs associated with your case
Jail time is mandatory, even for first-time offenders in Reno. If this is your first DUI offense, you may only have to face a day or two in prison. But if you have previous convictions for DUIs, you can be sentenced to several months or years, depending on the nature of the crime. Know that some circumstances can add even more time in a cell, including injury to other people while driving under the influence.
If you do not face jail time, you will likely be on probation, with the sentencing judge determining the duration. You will pay monthly fees, and you cannot commit any more criminal offenses, including traffic violations. If you violate the terms of your probation, count on facing time behind bars.
For your first DUI in Reno, Nevada you could receive up to 6 months of probation in place of jail time. Probation fees are generally $30 per month. Rules of probation can include installing an Ignition Interlock Device and community service. In addition, you could be ordered to attend a Victim Impact Panel and avoid all alcohol and drugs. Violating probation in Reno could result in serving the maximum time of 6 months in jail. However, for a first probation violation, jail time could be a few days to a couple of weeks. For Reno residents, probation will be handled by the Reno Office of the Nevada Department of Public Safety Parole and Probation.
Drug and Alcohol Education Program
Following a Reno DUI sentencing, the law states you must complete a drug and alcohol education program. This will teach you about the dangers of driving under the influence. These programs cost more fees besides the legal costs you already have to pay.
You will be ordered to complete DUI School or Substance Abuse Treatment after your first DUI offense in Reno. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles licenses and monitors DUI programs that satisfy this requirement. There are several certified DUI Schools in Reno, and a list can be found on the Nevada DMV website. However, the Nevada DMV does not regulate pricing, and fees can vary. In addition to DUI School, reinstatement will require the purchase of SR-22 insurance for at least 3 years. Once all requirements are met, reinstatement of your license can still cost up to $225 in Reno.
The education programs also include a DUI evaluation. An evaluator asks you questions about how alcohol and drugs affect your life. If they believe that you are dependent, you may have to enter a substance abuse treatment program.
Suspension or Loss of License
No matter where you may face a DUI conviction, you have to undergo a license suspension period, at the very least. If it is your first DUI, you may have a license suspension for a few months while you go through probation and the drug and alcohol education program.
If this is not your first DUI, you may have your license suspended for much longer, or you could have it taken from you permanently.
What Should You Do When Charged With a DUI in Reno, Nevada?
If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, you must take the following steps to protect yourself:
Step 1: Contact an Attorney Familiar With Reno, NV DUI Law
Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced Reno DUI attorney. Your attorney can help prepare for your arraignment and prepare a defense to vindicate yourself or reduce the sentencing.
Step 2: Learn About Your Local DUI Laws
Reno, Nevada has unique laws for DUI or DWI charges. Your lawyer will work with you to help you better understand your state’s laws on driving while intoxicated. It is critical to understand what charges you face and the potential outcomes of your case.
Step 3: Request a DMV Hearing
You or your attorney should request a hearing as soon as possible following your arrest. In Reno, Nevada you only have so much time to ask for a DMV hearing to keep your license until your court appearance. If you do not request a hearing, prepare for a license suspension.
In the case where you are arrested for a DUI in Reno, Nevada, your license can be confiscated immediately. If that happens, you will be given a temporary permit which is only good for seven days. Consequently, you have only seven days to request a hearing with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to contest the suspension. Doing so allows you to continue driving pending the results of the hearing. For Reno residents, requests can be sent to the Carson City Office of Administrative Hearings, the closest location. Fortunately, there isn’t a state fee for having a DUI hearing.
Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance
You and your attorney will prepare for your appearance and arraignment in Reno. If you plead “not guilty,” your DUI defense attorney represents you in court, and a judge and jury oversee the DUI law case.
Step 5: Receive Sentencing or Exoneration
You will either be “not guilty” of the charges brought against you and walk free, or you will receive sentencing for a guilty verdict.
Work with an Experienced Local DUI Lawyer in Reno, Nevada
Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, you need to work with an experienced Reno, NV lawyer who can stand up for you in court. You cannot clear your name of the charges or reduce the consequences without help. Your life and future depend on having great legal representation during your DUI case. Contact an attorney near you today. We can even help you connect with legal help across Nevada state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!