Court Instead of Jail Time for Misdemeanor DUI
Las Vegas (Clark County) offers misdemeanor DUI court as an alternative for serving a jail sentence for certain first and second time DUI offenders. Also called the Moderate Offenders Program, admission must be granted by a judge, who also sets the requirements. These requirements include community service, mandatory counseling meetings and individual checkups, house arrest for 90 days, monitoring of activity by way of an alcohol detection and GPS device, and a possible suspension of your driver’s license. Although these penalties are heavy, they are less devastating to your present and future life than the alternative—up to six months of incarceration in a Clark County jail. Some added benefits of misdemeanor DUI court are a possible reduction of charges to reckless driving (instead of DUI) and the ability to return home if you live out of state.
The help of a local Las Vegas lawyer is very important if you expect to successfully finish DUI court (usually about a year in length) and stay out of jail. Your lawyer can petition the judge for lighter requirements and help you make sure you finish all the steps on time, as well as correctly filling out all the applications and other paperwork that are required.
Fighting Misdemeanor DUI Charges
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that pleading guilty to a misdemeanor first or second offense DUI is the easy way out. A guilty plea will get you not only a record that will make it extremely difficult to get hired and will mark you with heavy social stigma, but also the strong probability of a 90 day suspension of your driver’s license. Instead, get a Las Vegas defense lawyer on your side who knows how to get your charges dropped or reduced to a minor reckless driving misdemeanor.
In addition to a suspension of your license for 90 days by the Nevada DMV or your home state’s DMV, a jail sentence, fines of over $1,000, and orders to attend treatment or DUI court programs are all possible penalties under misdemeanor DUI charges.
A DUI conviction depends on strict adherence to procedures and policies during the arrest process. More often than not, a hardworking attorney can find a number of ways in which the police did not respect your rights, creating grounds for dismissal of the charges. Even if a conviction of some kind cannot be avoided, reduction to reckless driving carries lighter penalties, requires a shorter waiting period before the records can be sealed, and will allow you to keep your driver’s license intact.