The only time a defendant is required to come back to Nevada for court during the DUI process is if the case goes to trial.
The majority of tourists who flock to Las Vegas to party sometimes fail to realize that they may still be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), otherwise known as out-of-state DUI, even if they are not in their hometown. Law enforcement in Las Vegas, as well as throughout the state of Nevada, is particularly vigilant in this regard.
The process for arresting, charging, and convicting an out-of-state resident for a DUI offense in Nevada is the same as for a regular DUI offense. Drivers will be asked t pull over when a police officer suspects that they are driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. The driver will then be examined for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as well as administered field sobriety tests to verify the suspicion. Similarly to other states, Las Vegas has adopted the .08% BAC limit for DUI.
A DUI conviction in Nevada carries the same penalties for out-of-state visitors as it does for Nevada residents, including the revocation of their driver’s license. A Nevada DUI conviction typically results in the revocation of a motorist’s license in their home state due to the Interstate Compact among state DMV offices.
Penalties for First Time Out of State DUI Offense in Las Vegas
As per NRS 484C, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is over .08% or if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is greater than .08% within two hours after operating the vehicle. It is also possible to be charged with DUI if controlled substances are detected in the driver’s system.
While a first time out of state DUI offense in Las Vegas is a misdemeanor, the penalties can still include:
- Up to $1,200 in fines
- Between 2 days and 6 months in jail
- Paying court costs and fees
- A 90 suspension of driving privileges in Nevada
- Driver’s home state DMV penalties for DUI offense
Long-Term Consequences of Out of State DUI Conviction
A DUI charge in Nevada will remain on the record of the driver for the rest of their life. After seven years, however, the driver may apply for their record to be legally sealed from the public if they meet the following requirements.
- The driver does not have any pending charges
- The driver did not spend any time in prison
- The driver met all probation conditions
- The driver has no prior charges
Even if the driver has their record sealed, they will still face life-related consequences until it is. Some of the long-term consequences a DUI conviction can carry include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of or inability to gain employment
- Exorbitant auto insurance rates
- Loss of education or assistance
- Many more
Is It Required to Return to Nevada for DUI Court Dates
DUI charges are likely to worry defendants once they return home if they have been charged while visiting Las Vegas. An attorney may be able to represent them in court for a misdemeanor charge with the right legal defense. Additionally, drivers must be able to negotiate a dismissal or reduction of charges with penalties that can be completed from the defendant’s home state with the assistance of an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer. Defendants may be able to avoid DUI charges from appearing on their driving record in their home state by hiring the right criminal defense attorney.
So in laymen’s terms, no, if the defendant is represented by a Nevada criminal defense attorney, they will most likely not be required to appear in court in Las Vegas. In misdemeanor DUI cases, judges almost always permit attorneys to appear in court on behalf of their clients. Unless there is a serious injury or death involved, all first-time and second-time DUI charges are classified as misdemeanor DUIs.
Additionally, defendants facing felony DUI charges may be able to avoid court proceedings if they are represented by a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. Nevertheless, it depends on the circumstances of the case and the particular judge overseeing the case. Third-time DUI offenses and DUIs that result in injury or death are considered felony DUI offenses.
A Las Vegas DUI attorney who represents an out-of-state defendant may:
- Collect evidence
- Make court appearances
- Run motions before the judge
- Develop defense strategies
- Negotiate or make plea deals with prosecutors
- Conduct a DMV hearing
In most cases, a plea bargain can usually be reached between the defense and prosecution, in which case the defendant can usually execute all paperwork through the mail. The only time a defendant is required to come back to Nevada for court during the DUI process is if the case goes to trial. The vast majority of DUI cases are resolved without the need for trial.