Nevada Third DUI Charge Lawyers

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 What Is a DUI?

Driving under the influence, also called DUI, occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a substance that alters their mind. The substance can be any substance that is known to impair an individual’s motor skills.

The most common example of a substance that an individual uses, which results in a DUI charge, is alcohol. Other examples of substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Illicit or illegal drugs such as:
    • heroin;
    • cocaine;
    • PCP; and
    • other drugs;
  • Cannabis;
  • Prescription medications such as:
    • painkillers;
    • sleep aides;
    • muscle relaxers; and
    • other medications; and
  • Over-the-counter medicines that may cause impairment, specifically antihistamines.

In some states, there are different classifications for the different types of DUIs, including:

  • Alcohol;
  • Illegal drugs; and
  • Over-the-counter medicine.

Other terms that may be used in place of DUI may include:

  • DWI: Driving While Intoxicated;
  • OUI: Operating Under the Influence; and
  • OMVI: Operating a Motor Vehicle Intoxicated.

Due to the danger of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, a state will, in general, enforce relatively strict penalties for a driver who violates DUI laws. These punishments are intended to deter individuals from violating impaired driving laws in an effort to avoid potentially placing other individuals in danger.

What Is Driving Under the Influence in Nevada?

In the State of Nevada, driving under the influence (DUI) means an individual is in physical control of a motor vehicle while having a blood concentration level above 0.08 percent. Having physical control of a motor vehicle means being in the vehicle’s driver’s seat at the time of the stop.

An individual does not necessarily have to be driving to be accused of a DUI. They may simply be waiting in their car in a parking lot or on the side of a road when law enforcement approaches.

When Does a DUI Become a Felony?

Generally, driving under the influence is classified as a misdemeanor criminal offense. In some cases, the actions of the impaired driver rise to the level of a felony.

When this occurs, it means there were specific factors present, for example:

  • The DUI incident resulted in the death of or serious bodily injury to another individual;
  • The DUI involved elements of either severe recklessness or disregard for the safety of other individuals; or
  • The charges were for a second or third DUI offense. The defendant, in other words, is a repeat offender.

It is important to note that, in some states, DUI felonies are divided into separate degrees, for example, 1st or 2nd degree felonies. The categories of classifications and their corresponding penalties will depend on the individual state’s laws.

Is a Third DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor?

The first and second DUIs in Nevada are misdemeanors. However, if an individual is charged with a third DUI, it is a Category B felony.

When Can Nevada Charge Me with a Third DUI?

Individuals may be charged with a third DUI when they have two previous convictions in 7 years. A third DUI within this period will be charged as a Category B felony.

What Punishment Will I Face for a Third DUI Conviction?

If an individual is convicted of a third DUI in 7 years, a Category B felony may be punished by:

  • 1 to 6 years in prison;
  • A criminal fine of $2,000 to $5,000; or
  • A combination of both.

When possible, this prison sentence will be served in a minimum-security facility.

Can I Keep My Driver’s License if I am Convicted of a Third DUI?

Once an individual is arrested for a DUI, most states will suspend their driver’s license immediately, pending their court date. If convicted of the DUI, they face a longer suspension or even a revocation of their driver’s license.

This applies especially in situations where it is their second offense, or they have committed multiple offenses. There may also be other restrictions placed on the individual’s driver’s license, including:

  • Having their license restricted so they can only drive for work or school purposes;
  • Complying with an ignition interlock device;
  • Not being able to drink any alcohol or ingest any substance while driving, even if it is within the legal limit;
  • Being prohibited from having children or other passengers in their vehicle while driving;
  • Prohibition of driving a vehicle for pay, such as a taxi; or
  • Revocation of a secondary license, including CDL or motorcycle licenses.

In Nevada, regardless of how often an individual is convicted of a DUI, their driver’s license will always be revoked.

What Substances Are Included in DUI Laws?

Any substance that impairs an individual’s ability to operate their motor vehicle safely may be included in state laws, including legal substances. Substances that may be included in DUI charges are:

  • Alcohol;
  • Illegal drugs, including:
    • heroin;
    • cocaine;
    • PCP; and
    • other drugs;
  • Marijuana, or cannabis;
  • Prescription medications, for example:
    • painkillers;
    • sleeping medications;
    • muscle relaxers; and
  • Over-the-counter medicines, including antihistamines.

Nevada is one of only five states that has a per se limit for the amount of cannabis an individual can have in their system while driving. An individual violates this law if their blood contains 2 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or more of THC.

It is important to note that the laws in Nevada do not differentiate between DUI for alcohol, DUI for cannabis, or DUI for a prohibited substance.

Are There Any Defenses for DUI Felony Charges?

Several defenses may be available to an individual who is charged with a felony DUI. One example is being coerced or forced to drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

This may occur if another individual threatened the driver with serious bodily harm if they did not operate the vehicle. Other types of defenses that may be available to a felony DUI charge include:

  • Affirmative defenses, or that the accused was not the actual impaired driver;
  • Improper police action or entrapment;
  • Involuntary intoxication;
  • Accuracy of the field sobriety test;
  • Rising blood alcohol content concentration;
  • Mistake of fact;
  • Insufficient evidence;
  • Accuracy of the portable breathalyzer test;
  • Improper stop or other police procedure;
  • Accuracy of the standard breathalyzer test; and
  • Various other situational or applicable affirmative defenses.

It is important to note that all of these defenses may be used to have the charges against a defendant dropped. In certain cases, a defense may simply be used to reduce the level of the felony with which the defendant will be charged.

In other words, some defenses are only used to bring down, or reduce, not completely dismiss, the charges against the defendant.

Can a Lawyer Represent Me in My Third DUI Charge in Nevada?

If you have been charged with a third DUI in the State of Nevada, it is in your best interest to consult with a Nevada DUI/DWI lawyer as soon as possible. A felony conviction can affect many aspects of your life, including your ability to vote, obtain future employment, and visitation and custody rights with your children.

Your lawyer can attempt to present a defense that will have your charges reduced and may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. Having a lawyer is your best chance at avoiding the harsh penalties a felony DUI conviction may bring.


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