I’m Facing a Third DUI Charge in Nevada. Will I Go to Jail?

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Criminal Penalties for a 3rd Drunk Driving Offense in Nevada

In Nevada, a third offense for driving under the influence (DUI) within seven years will be charged as a Category B Felony. This means that if convicted, you could face up to six (6) years imprisonment in state prison. The penalties for a 3rd DUI in Nevada are steep, but with the help of a knowledgeable drunk driving defense lawyer, you may be able to reduce or suspend your sentence.

At The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, we provide superior legal representation to those charged with drunk driving in Las Vegas and throughout the state. We know Nevada drunk driving law and have helped thousands of clients obtain a favorable outcome in their case. Your best chances of fighting the charges are with an experienced lawyer. Contact Garrett T. Ogata today for a free consultation.

What Are the Penalties for a 3rd Offense DUI?

If you are charged with a 3rd DUI offense within seven years in Nevada, you will be facing a felony conviction. 

Pursuant to NRS 484C.400, the criminal penalties for a third offense can include:

  • A minimum prison sentence of one (1) to six (6) years
  • Fines of $2,000 to $5,000
  • Court-ordered alcohol or substance abuse treatment
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • License suspension
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel

Driving under the influence is one of the most commonly charged offenses in the state and can happen to anyone. Despite this, a Nevada prosecutor will seek to secure a Category B Felony conviction against you. It is imperative that you consult with an attorney as early as possible if you are arrested for drunk driving.

When Should I Contact an Attorney?

When you are arrested for a 3rd Offense DUI in Nevada, you will likely have your license confiscated by the arresting officer and will be issued a temporary driving permit. This temporary license is generally good for seven (7) days. You must request an administrative review hearing through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to stop the automatic suspension of your driving privileges.

Failure to request a hearing within seven days could result in the automatic suspension of your license for three (3) years. It is always in your best interest to contact an attorney within this seven (7) day period to ensure that the administrative hearing request is adequately made. 

Will I Lose My License?

In a DUI case, you face two separate actions, a criminal case and a civil one through the Nevada DMV. Your license can still be suspended even if the criminal charges are dismissed against you.

For a third drunk driving offense, you face a possible license suspension of up to three (3) years. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for a restricted license after a one-year hard suspension. To qualify for a restricted license, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device that will not let you start your car if you have been drinking.

Can I Avoid Jail Time If I Am Arrested for a 3rd DUI?

Nevada law regarding multiple drunk driving offenses can be complicated. Your best chances of avoiding jail time are by retaining an attorney. While an attorney can never guarantee the outcome of a case, they can provide counsel to help you make informed decisions. 

Under certain circumstances, you may qualify for alternative sentencing. A judge has the discretion to allow you to apply for an alcohol treatment program in lieu of imprisonment. There are several qualifications that you must meet to be eligible for the program under NRS 484C.340.

Are There Any Sentencing Enhancements in Drunk Driving Cases?

There are certain “aggravating factors,” which may enhance the penalties associated with your case. For instance, the court considers it an aggravating factor to have a person under the age of fifteen (15) in your vehicle at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident where someone is injured or killed, you could face severe penalties beyond standard drunk driving charges.

Each drunk driving offense within seven years requires enhanced sentencing merely because it is a subsequent offense. For a first offense DUI, the penalties are not nearly as harsh. Nevada, however, does heavily prosecute drunk driving offenses. Therefore, whether it is your first offense or third, you should still consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.

Are There Any Defenses to a Drunk Driving Charge?

If you are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, it does not mean that you will be convicted of a DUI. A prosecutor must prove that you had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. They must also show that an officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probable cause to place you under arrest. 

Furthermore, the evidence must show that the blood or breath test was accurate and that the machines used to conduct the tests were working properly. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into your stop, including subpoenaing any audio or video of the stop and maintenance logs of the breath machine. All of these things could help to prove your innocence.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney?

An attorney will not only help you navigate the legal process; they can fight the charges filed against you. On a third offense DUI, you are facing jail time. Under Nevada law, you could face state imprisonment. Many people incorrectly believe that once they are charged with drunk driving, the only option they have is to enter a guilty plea.

Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation

While many DUI cases resolve before going to trial, meaningful pretrial negotiations can help reduce the criminal penalties and fines. At The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, we will help you understand your rights and will work hard to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

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