Articles Tagged with Driving Under the Influence

The laws in Nevada are constantly being amended or changed, both by courts and lawmakers. It is imperative, that when you are charged with a DUI in Nevada, you have a lawyer who is up to date on changes in the law.  In order to have the best lawyer for your DUI charge, you must have an attorney who is aware of the current state of DUI law and how best to use those laws to build your defense.

A good example of a change in the law that those charged with a DUI should be aware of is Assembly Bill 67 (AB67).  This new law was voted into place unanimously and has many significant changes for those charged with a DUI in Nevada.

One main component of the bill is that removes the antiquated legal principle of “implied consent” to allow law enforcement to take a forensic blood or breath sample. While a Nevada driver can still consent to either test, if a driver refuses to voluntarily to take a test, a warrant is now required before the blood can be taken.  Moreover, if a driver refuses to submit to a test, his or her license is subject to revocation for a period of one (1) year following the refusal.

Additionally, prior to AB 67, a legal document known as an “Affidavit” allowed to be submitted in trial to attempt to prove a DUI charge unless the Defendant established a “substantial and bona fide” dispute as to the facts in the Affidavit prior to Trial.  Following AB 67, and Affidavit to prove facts at Trial is not admissible if the Defendant (or his lawyer) objects 10 or more days prior to Trial.  This requires the prosecutor to bring in the witness, instead of a sheet of paper, to prove their case and allows for a defense attorney to thoroughly cross examine the witness on the content of their testimony.

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As outlined in previous posts to this blog, DUI checkpoints remain a commonly used and effective way for the police to stop you and investigate DUI allegations. For instance, the LVMPD has just announced that they will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint between 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 through 3 A.M. on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

While the general public may not be aware that within the last six (6) months, the intersection of Rampart and Charleston has had 87 traffic incidents and two fatal accidents. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department took note of that and will be having a sobriety checkpoint at that intersection as outlined above.

A driving under the influence checkpoint or roadblock involves the stopping of all vehicles traveling on a street or highway. A police officer, or many police officers, may be seen signaling for cars to pull over to the side of the road or being stopped in the middle of the road. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department usually conducts check points during the hours of 6 P.M. – 2 A.M. on a given date, quite often a holiday or time when it is believed impaired driving will be prevalent.  Typically, police checkpoints in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Law Vegas or the surrounding communities will occur on busy, well-traveled streets.  Law enforcement will keep records on checkpoints and previous checkpoints done by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have resulted in as many as 1,500 plus vehicles passing through such a road block.  For example, on Super Bowl Sunday 2015, 1,523 vehicles passed through the pre noticed LVMPD checkpoint.  Each year, DUI checkpoints account for hundreds of arrests for allegation of Driving Under the Influence in the Las Vegas Valley.

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Being arrested for a DUI (Driving under the Influence) is perhaps the most commonly charged criminal offenses in all of Las Vegas.  The reason this crime is so commonly charged is two-fold.  First, law enforcement actively pursues arrests in this type of offense.  While there are no “robbery or rape patrols” there are DUI patrols with special units of officers dedicated to only the arrest of drivers who have been drinking.  Secondly, while most individuals are generally law abiding, there are not many among us who couldn’t have been arrested for driving under the influence at some point in our lives.

So, what happens when you are arrested for DUI?  When law enforcement pulls over a driver and determines that the person behind the wheel is impaired, they are immediately arrested.  In Nevada, when someone is arrested for DUI pursuant to a breath test sample in excess of .08%, the person is not only arrested, but their Nevada Driver’s License is immediately confiscated by the arresting officer and the driver is handed what is commonly called a “pink sheet,” or more precisely a “Officer’s Certification of Cause and Notice of Revocation or Suspension” form.  This paper means two (2) things.  First, it means that the Officer has determined that there is probable cause to arrest the driver, in the form of a breath test in excess of .08%, meaning that (in the officer’s opinion) the driver should lose his or her privilege to drive.   Secondly, this paperwork serves as the driver’s license (remember that the police officer will physically take the driver’s license) for a period of only seven (7) days before the driver’s license is revoked by the DMV.

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Some of the questions that are often asked to Nevada lawyers are “who is the best lawyer” or “How do I find the best attorney.”  These questions are often asked by those who have been arrested for Driving under the Influence or are curious about what they should do if they are.

While it is impossible to know who “the best” lawyer is for any individual case and there are likely several individual attorneys or firms who rank among the elite in their practice area, there are certainly several things a person should consider before hiring a lawyer for their DUI case.

Among the things to consider are the following:

Don’t focus on television or radio ads.  While many good lawyers DO advertise in today’s information driven age, the presence of an ad on television means nothing about a lawyer’s ability or work ethic.  Instead of snappy ads, focus on things like the organizations a lawyer belongs to, what certifications and specialized training he or she has received, ratings from independent rating agencies or referrals from other members of the legal community.

Interview more than one attorney.  While there are some situations where you would want to hire the first person you talk to, such as an ironclad referral from someone knowledgeable that you implicitly trust, in most cases it is good to talk to more than one individual attorney.  This allows you get different perspectives from different professionals and to develop a sense of comfort in the relationship with attorney you are talking with.  This is very important given the fact that you must trust the person who is standing up for you in Court while you fight your DUI charge.

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