If you are facing a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) for the first time, you are likely unfamiliar with the legal process and may be overwhelmed with stress. It is important to keep in mind that a charge does not always result in a conviction. In many situations, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. Reno DUI lawyer William J. Routsis has protected the rights of defendants in many areas of Nevada and California for over two decades. He has compiled an impeccable trial record in the process, spanning a wide range of cases.Facing a First-Time DUI Charge under Nevada Law
In Nevada, drunk driving laws are broad and cover many situations. Generally, the statute provides that it is a crime to drive or be in control of a vehicle on a road or publicly accessed area while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. It also applies to any other substance that renders a person incapable of safely driving, such as prescribed medications. In addition, even if an individual is operating his or her vehicle safely, it is illegal to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above while driving or within two hours of driving or being in control of a vehicle. For individuals under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02%, and for commercial drivers, it is .04%.
Typically, for first-time offenders, a DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor. In situations when no person has died or been seriously injured, the penalties for a first offense may include jail time of up to six months (usually imposed as a suspended sentence that will not be served unless the individual violates a court order), fines between $400 and $1,000 plus court costs, attendance of a DUI or substance abuse program at the defendant’s expense, or a 90-day suspension of the defendant’s drivers license.
There are many defense strategies that may be available to first-time offenders, depending on the circumstances of the arrest and the details of the case. For example, a police officer must have probable cause to initially pull over a driver, as well as to arrest a driver under suspicion of DUI. If there was no reason for the officer to stop or arrest the driver, the evidence against the defendant may be suppressed as a constitutional violation.
In addition, the improper administration of field sobriety tests, or evidence of inaccurate or unreliable breathalyzer results, may be a viable defense against the prosecution’s case. In some cases, a prosecutor may agree to reduce a DUI offense to a reckless driving charge, or offer a favorable plea bargain. Discussing the facts of your case with a knowledgeable attorney can be vital in determining which defenses may be available in fighting your charges.Consult a Reno Lawyer for Your DUI Case
Reno DUI attorney William J. Routsis provides legal guidance and representation to individuals who have been charged with a wide range of crimes. As a dedicated criminal defense lawyer, he believes that justice is a right that every individual deserves, regardless of financial status, and he has performed a substantial amount of pro bono work. He approaches each case with a detail-oriented defense, and each individual whom he serves with respect and compassion. Call (775) 337-2609 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We represent defendants in Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Elko, Winnemuca, Quincy, and Susanville, among other Nevada and California communities.