In Nevada, Felony DUI with prior felony comes with higher penalties and more severe punishment.
How Penalties & Punishment For DUIs Progress in Nevada
A first-time DUI in Nevada that doesn’t cause any injuries or fatalities is a misdemeanor. In these cases, the defendant typically doesn’t face any jail time. A second DUI within seven years of the first DIU is also considered a misdemeanor if there are no injuries or fatalities. However, the defendant will typically face 10 days of jail. A third DUI within seven years is automatically charged as a felony even if the offense didn’t cause any injuries or fatalities.
If a defendant has already been convicted of a felony DUI, any additional DUI charges will be filed as felonies even if the offense didn’t cause any injuries or fatalities. There are no time restrictions in these cases, meaning a defendant can be charged with a felony DUI even if their previous felony DUI was 20 years ago.
To reduce or dismiss Felony DUI charges, a defense attorney will need to adopt one or more of the following stances:
Invalid past convictions. The defense attorney must show that the defendant was forced into pleading guilty or that the court made a clerical error. If the defense attorney is able to prove the defendant doesn’t have a prior DUI conviction, the current felony DUI charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor.
No probable cause. If the defendant was pulled over without probable cause, the felony DUI case may be dismissed. The police officer must show that he or she was pulling the defendant over for a traffic violation or other crime.
Police misconduct, erroneous test results, malfunctioning equipment. The defense attorney may bring into the question the breath or blood test results by showing that the police did not meet minimum standards for administering the tests. This could cause the case to be dismissed or the charge could be reduced.
Necessity. In emergency situations, the driver may have needed to drive, even while intoxicated. This is called a necessity defense. The three most common scenarios that may excuse a DUI in Nevada are driving a dying person to the hospital, driving to escape a killer or other dangerous person, or driving to escape a natural disaster.
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