A 36-year-old Nevada resident was arrested in May after his car crashed into two other vehicles, killing one of the passengers of the second vehicle. After colliding with the first vehicle, he continued to drive until his car struck a second vehicle. He is alleged to have then fled the scene on foot and was ultimately picked up by Henderson police. He faces charges for driving under the influence, hit and run, and leaving the scene of an accident.
If you are convicted for DUI in Nevada, the penalties you could face are severe. Depending on your previous record, you could be spending some time in jail and may lose your license. If you caused serious injury or death, you could face a maximum of 20 years in jail. But a determined defense attorney can help you fight the charges, exploring a number of angles to get them reduced or dismissed:
- Probable cause. The arresting officer can only ask you to pull over if they have probable cause. This means they must have witnessed you committing a traffic violation, driving incompetently or otherwise engaging in questionable behavior. Without probable cause, you can challenge the arrest through a suppression motion and have the charge dismissed.
- Field sobriety tests procedure. Police officers must follow the procedures for administering field sobriety tests based on protocol established by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. However, many police officers are not properly trained or fail to follow procedure. If so, your lawyer can use it challenge the entire investigation.
- Non-alcohol factors. If you struggled with the field sobriety test, it could be caused by a number of factors not related to alcohol, such as being tired, overweight or nervous. Non-alcohol factors can also explain erratic driving, such as talking to a passenger or driving while lost. Your attorney can use these factors to defend the charge.
- Contaminated blood sample. It is not unusual for your blood sample to get contaminated during the process of collection, storage and analysis. For example, your blood sample can ferment and generate its own alcohol if a small amount of anticoagulant is not added to the vial. Your lawyer can arrange an independent blood sample to investigate whether the original blood sample could be excluded as evidence.
- Procedural error. Operators of breath testing equipment need to be licensed and use an approved, fully-functioning testing device. You must also be read your Miranda rights late, after being arrested. Some of the evidence against you may be invalid if any procedural errors took place.
- Independent witnesses. If you can produce witnesses to testify that you were sober and unimpaired, this can help cast doubt on the prosecution evidence.
If you have been arrested for DUI, make sure you get help from an aggressive Nevada DUI lawyer. He or she can help you fight the charges against you.