If you have been arrested for DUI in Las Vegas, you have every reason to worry because a lot is at stake. You could lose your license or even end up behind bars. Knowing what to expect is the best way to prepare for the following legal battle that awaits you. Below is a breakdown of what happens after you have been arrested for a DUI in Nevada.
Immediately after the arrest
Once you have been arrested, your license will be confiscated and sent to the Nevada DMV for revocation. You have a window of just seven days to request a DMV hearing to challenge the revocation.
The officer will handcuff you and take you to the nearest police station or jail.
At the police station, your photo and fingerprints will be taken and kept on record. You will also be required to provide crucial personal information such as your name and residence.
Most drivers get released as soon as they have been booked, but this depends on the severity of the charges.
Hiring a DUI lawyer
In court, you can represent yourself, use a state-paid defender, or hire an attorney from the Las Vegas Defense Group to represent you. Your attorney will listen to your case and help you decide if you should plead guilty, not guilty or negotiate a plea bargain.
The DMV hearing
As stated above, your driving license will be confiscated for a week to let you decide whether you will request a DMV hearing or agree to the revocation of your license. During the seven days, you will be issued with a temporary license.
DMV hearings happen separately to criminal hearings, and winning either of the cases doesn’t necessarily affect the outcome of the other. A DMV hearing will help determine if it is the right decision to revoke your driver’s license.
Depending on your plea – whether guilty, not guilty or no contest – the trial process may involve some distinct procedures. For instance, if you plead not guilty, the next court date will be scheduled, meaning you will have to appear in court again, but still be allowed to negotiate a plea deal. You may not reach the pretrial and trial stages, if the case against you is weak, though it is not unusual for a bargain to be reached as late as on the day of your trial.
What to expect if you’re found guilty
If this is your first time in court for a DUI offense, expect the following:
- Your driver’s license to be suspended for 90 days
- To pay a $4,00-$1,000 fine
- A jail term of between two days and six months
- To attend and pay for DUI school
If you have a prior criminal DUI conviction, were arrested driving with a BAC of 0.18% or more, had a passenger of below 15 years in the car, or are facing other charges related to the arrest, you may face the following in addition to the above penalties:
- Mandatory substance dependency assessment
- Participation in a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your car