Why You Are Better Off Consulting A Reno DUI Lawyer

Laws governing the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) in Nevada are a lot stronger than many people allow themselves to believe. While it seems normal to prosecute a motorist for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time they are pulled over, it may be surprising that an individual may be prosecuted for two hours after the arrest and to even be convicted when he is not driving or even intending to drive a car. It always makes sense in these circumstances to speak to a Reno DUI lawyer.

It may seem unduly harsh, but even if you decide you are not right to drive and do the responsible thing by phoning someone, a friend, relative or a cab company, to pick you up and drive you home, if you are sitting in your car with the ignition switched on, you are considered to be in ‘actual physical control’ of the vehicle. This means that you may still be prosecuted and subject to the same penalties as someone who was not so smart.

Penalties for driving under the influence in the State of Nevada may seem unusually severe to the uninformed. Since the formation of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in 1980, DUI has become increasingly socially unacceptable. Judges are under pressure from communities to impose stiff sentences.

Most judges are elected to office by the local public. As a result of the success of anti-drunk driving campaigns, the electorate is demanding increasingly tough sentences be imposed on even first time offenders. If judges want to remain employed and to be accountable to the people who put them in their positions, they must be very strict with people who commit DUI offences.

For a first conviction, an offender can expect to do community service or even serve a mandatory jail sentence without opportunity for parole. Additional fines and conditions may be imposed. It is possible that jail sentences may be suspended. This gives the judge increased latitude to impose further restrictions on the defendant. In the case of a second offense, if the defendant is convicted at trial or pleads guilty, they will definitely serve a minimum of 10 days in jail or, at the very least house arrest.

The statutory penalties are just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the impact a DUI conviction has on an individual’s life. Loss of drivers license is compulsory and car insurance premiums will shoot through the roof. Further, a DUI conviction remains on the driver’s record for a minimum of seven years. Beyond that, if the record is not sealed, it will be visible to prospective employers, insurance companies, and so on, indefinitely.

Drivers convicted of a DUI offense will also be required to attend what is called a Victim Impact Panel. These panels, which are held on a regular basis, were set up to show offenders what effect a DUI can have on the lives of innocent victims. Everyone in attendance at one of these panels must be both alcohol and drug free. Be warned, if your license was suspended as a result of your conviction, you would be wise to leave the car at home and not drive to the panel yourself!

The laws surrounding drunk driving in Nevada are complicated and the penalties are severe. In the case of an arrest, don’t be stupid and try to represent yourself. Call a Reno DUI lawyer instead.

You can visit the website www.hotchkinlaw.com for more helpful information about Why You Are Better Off Consulting A Reno DUI Lawyer

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