DUI Serious Offenders Program

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Serious Offenders Program (SOP) for Felony DUI NRS 484C.340

Instead of serving a minimum 1 year prison sentence or a maximum sentence not more than 6 years for a DUI 3rd (B felony), a judge may allow a defendant to enroll in the Serious Offenders Program (SOP) to treat their drug and/or alcohol addiction. The Serious Offender Program is no joke, it is designed to treat the defendant to ensure that the defendant stays sober. It does this by imposing strict requirements. SOP is a minimum 3 years and can last as long as 5 years.

SOP is no guarantee to avoid prison. The defendant must meet certain requirements and the judge will have to grant treatment instead of prison.

First, the defendant has to be eligible. This means it must be a 3rd DUI offense within 7 years, making it a felony DUI. A defendant is not eligible if they have previously been charged with vehicular homicide or a felony DUI resulting in death or substantial bodily harm.

The defendant will have to be diagnosed as an alcoholic or abuser of drugs, pay the cost of the program, and be accepted for treatment at a facility in order for the court to approve the program. Then the defendant will enter a plea of guilty or no contest to a felony DUI and Judgment will be withheld while the defendant is placed on probation to attend the Serious Offender Program. When the defendant completes SOP, the court will enter a judgment of conviction of a misdemeanor DUI 2nd.

After the court approves the SOP, you will report to Pretrial Services and to DUI court. In the beginning you will have regular status check dates to ensure you are compliant. Then these will be spread out the longer you remain compliant. If you do not comply with the program, such as missing mandatory meetings or failing a drug test, you may be terminated from the SOP and be charged with a felony DUI and sentenced to prison for 1 to 6 years.

On top of the intensive counseling the defendant will have to serve at least 6 months of house arrest, install interlock devices on any vehicles in the household, be subject to random testing and other conditions the court orders. While under house arrest, you will still be able to maintain employment and attend group/individual N.A. or A.A. meetings.

SOP aims to treat people and ensure they remain sober. SOP is an option to avoid prison and receive treatment with the ultimate goal of alcohol and/or drug free living.

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