If charged with Driving Under the Influence, “DUI” for a third time within seven years of a two previous DUI convictions, you would be charged with a DUI 3rd offense. A DUI 3rd in Las Vegas, Nevada is a Felony. The prosecution has three theories that they can use to prosecute an individual for a DUI 3rd offense. First, is the “per se” theory, if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving and/or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and a blood or breath test was taken within two hours of you driving, and your blood alcohol content “BAC” was .08 or above, you are “per se” under the influence. The second theory is .08 BAC or above “at the time of driving”, if the prosecutor can prove your BAC was .08 or above at the time you were actually driving the vehicle you would be deemed under the influence. Lastly, the “impaired driving theory”, here prosecutors are not required to present any evidence of your BAC or drug toxicity levels. For example, if Marcus causes an accident, the police arrive, and he smells of alcohol, fails all his field sobriety tests, and admits to drinking, the prosecution could argue that regardless of what his BAC was, he was under the influence of alcohol “to any degree, however slight” which rendered him incapable of safely driving, and therefore deemed under the influence.
The consequences of a conviction for a DUI 3rd Felony offense are severe. If convicted, prison is mandatory, therefore under no circumstances can a Judge sentence you to probation if found guilty at trial. The Judge is required to sentence you anywhere from 1-6 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000, and DUI educational courses, such as, a Victim Impact Panel. If these penalties weren’t harsh enough, if convicted of a DUI 3rd offense you are now deemed “Once a Felon Always a Felon”, meaning if you are ever in your lifetime arrested and charged with another DUI you will automatically be charged with a DUI Felony and face mandatory prison.
Unfortunately, DUI’s are very common in the Las Vegas Valley, and all local police agencies are instructed to make an arrest if they have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, while driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a public roadway. Once arrested, the Police Officer or Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper will take you to jail, and because you have previously been convicted of multiple DUI’s, you are not given an option to take a breath test, and therefore will be forced to submit to a blood test, which will be used as evidence against you in your criminal case and DMV Administrative Hearing.
DUI offenses are vigorously prosecuted and a conviction can have dire consequences. A Driving Under the Influence Offense is the only crime on the books in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a prosecutor must have “legal cause or reason” to negotiate a DUI charge down to anything less than a DUI, such as a Reckless Driving. Meaning, a prosecutor can’t, and won’t, offer to drop your case, just because you are a good person. That among many other reasons is why it is vital to hire Las Vegas DUI Defense Attorney Michael A. Troiano. With his extensive knowledge and experience in DUI Defense on your side, he will discuss all defenses available for your specific case and keep you well informed of the entire process of your DUI 3rd criminal case in addition to the DMV Administrative Hearing and your driver’s license privileges.