DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death
In Nevada, if you are convicted of a driving under the influence (DUI) offense that causes serious injury or death, you could face up to two decades in state prison. However, some defenses may be available to you.
Even if you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, something else may have actually caused the injury or death. You may have failed a breathalyzer or blood test due to drinking alcohol after the accident happened, but were not drunk at the time of the accident.
Las Vegas Lawyer for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death
If you have been charged with causing serious injury or death while driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is critical that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Michael Pariente is a highly qualified DUI attorney in Las Vegas who will take a fastidious approach to your case to ensure that all legal avenues are explored.
Pariente Law Firm, P.C. represents individuals who have been arrested for alleged drunk driving in Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, Paradise, Boulder City, and the surrounding areas. Contact Michael Pariente today at (702) 966-5310 so that he can start examining the facts of your case and developing a strong defense.
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death in Nevada
If you are in a vehicle accident that results in serious bodily injury or death, you could be facing felony charges under NRS 484C.430 if it is alleged that any of the following circumstances exist:
- You were under the influence of alcohol;
- You had a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in your blood or breath;
- You were found by measurement within 2 hours after driving a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in your blood or breath;
- You were under the influence of a drug or were under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol;
- You inhaled, ingested, applied or otherwise used any chemical, poison or organic solvent to a degree which made you unable to safely drive a vehicle; or
- A blood or urine test found signs of drug use.
If convicted of a DUI that results in serious bodily injury or death, you face:
- At least two up to 20 years in prison;
- $2,000-$5,000 fine;
- License suspension or revocation;
- Requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle if you get your license back;
- Permanent felony criminal record which will, amongst other things, make you ineligible to ever own guns again; and/or
- Any future DUI will automatically be charged as a category B felony, even if it would normally be charged as a misdemeanor.
NRS 484C.430(4) directs judges to consider it an aggravating factor if a person under age 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the accident. This means you are likely to get a much longer prison sentence if a person under the age of 15 was with you in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Defenses to DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death Charges in Clark County
The prosecution must prove that your intoxication caused the injury or death to convict you of this charge. If something else caused the injury or death, such as an illegal, careless or reckless act by the person who ended up injured or dead, you should not be convicted of this charge. For example, if a person runs a red light, hits your car, and ends up injured or dead; that person’s behavior actually caused the injury or death and you should not be convicted for causing the accident, even if you happened to be intoxicated at the time.
If you consumed alcohol after an accident, it is very possible that you could fail a breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test, even if you were not legally intoxicated at the time of the accident. If this is the case, you should not be convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury or death. If you intend to use this defense, NRS?484C.430(4) requires you or your Clark County DUI defense attorney to file and serve on the prosecutor a written notice of your intent to use this defense at least 2 weeks before your trial or hearing. An experienced Las Vegas DUI defense attorney can work with you to ensure that all required filings are made in a timely fashion.
Other defenses may be available, for example the breathalyzer or blood test may have been administered improperly, or law enforcement may have illegally obtained evidence.
While plea bargains are common in DUI cases, NRS?484C.430(2) forbids a plea bargain to drop the charge down to a lesser charge unless the prosecutor “knows or it is obvious that the charge is not supported by probable cause or cannot be proved at the time of trial.” This means that in order to plea down to a lesser charge, you must prove your case to the prosecutor before the trial even begins. Contacting an experienced and qualified Las Vegas DUI defense attorney should be done as soon as possible if you have been accused of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury or death. If you or your attorney can make a strong presentation of your case to the prosecutor, you may be able to plead down to a lesser charge such as reckless driving, misdemeanor DUI, or vehicular manslaughter.