In order to provide an alternative option to jail time, the Nevada justice system has implement felony DUI court, also known as the Serious Offenders Program. Similar in nature and structure to misdemeanor DUI court, the program assigns a convicted individual a number of treatment, community service, house arrest, and monitoring activities instead of serving an extended prison sentence. One of the most important services a Las Vegas lawyer can perform for you is petitioning the court and completing the complex application process in order to get you accepted into felony DUI court. A personal relationship with local judges and prosecutors as well as a long history handling DUI cases are significant advantages for a lawyer in this situation.
Felony DUI court lasts from three to five years, and typically includes the following steps:
Six months of house arrest and installation of a car device that detects blood alcohol and prevents the car from starting if the level is above .02.
Group and individual counseling, frequent testing, and weekly status meetings with the judge (becoming less frequent with time)
Other possible penalties include a curfew and suspension of your driver’s license.
If you live out of state, you need a lawyer with valuable influence in the Clark County legal system. He will have to go to work for you, negotiating with the judge and prosecutor to find a solution that will allow you to complete the felony DUI court requirements in your home state.
Not every felony DUI conviction allows for DUI court instead of jail time. If a serious injury or fatality is involved, DUI court is not an option. If the offense is your fourth within seven years, jail time is mandatory. However, if you are only a third time offender with no bodily harm caused to others, a Las Vegas defense attorney with experience can probably save you from serving an extended prison sentence. Applying for DUI court instead of prison time is a “last resort” effort in the event that you are found guilty. The application process is very complicated, but a knowledgeable lawyer who has navigated it many times before can guide you through it and keep you out of jail. In addition, your lawyer can explain the requirements to you clearly and answer any questions you have so that you can avoid accidentally violating the rules and being sent to prison after all.