Felony DUI

In Nevada, there are three ways that a DUI can be treated as a felony:

  1. First, a third offense DUI conviction within 7 years is a felony.
  2. Second, if you are the driver involved in a DUI where there is a death or substantial bodily harm to your passenger, a pedestrian, or occupants of another car, you will be charged with a felony DUI.
  3. Third, once you have a conviction for a felony DUI, any later conviction will also be a felony.

Felony DUI convictions in Nevada carry mandatory prison time.  This means that the judge does not have the authority to grant you probation.  For three or more convictions within 7 years, the sentence is 1 to 6 years in prison.  The prison sentence for a DUI with death or substantial bodily harm or for a fourth DUI conviction is a minimum of 2 years to a maximum of 20 years.

There is a way to avoid jail time for some third offense DUI convictions.  Nevada has a program called the Serious Offender Program.  You may be eligible to attend the Serious Offender Program and avoid a prison sentence if: 

  1. You are diagnosed by an appropriately certified person as an alcoholic or drug abuser: and
  2. You agree to pay for treatment to the extent you are able to pay.

First, you will need to be evaluated by an appropriate person to determine the extent of your alcoholism or drug use.  The evaluator will then write a report detailing the length and type of treatment you require and submit this report to your judge.  Second you must agree to pay for all costs associated with your treatment, to the extent you are able. 

The decision to allow you to attend a treatment program instead of going to prison will then be submitted to the judge.  The prosecutor has the authority to challenge you seeking treatment.  If your request for treatment is granted, the criminal proceedings against you are suspended and you are placed on probation for a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 years. 
The judge has discretion to determine the conditions of your probation.  At a minimum, the terms of your probation will include:

  1.  Serving at least 6 months of house arrest;
  2. Installing an interlock device on all cars you drive for a minimum of 12 months; and
  3. Agreeing and submitting to random drug and alcohol testing;

If you successfully complete the program, your charge of felony DUI could be reduced to a misdemeanor second offense DUI.  If you fail the program, the judge will convict your of felony DUI and impose the mandatory 1-6 year prison sentence. 

Not all persons charged with felony DUI are eligible for this program.  Call our office now to find out if you can attend this program and avoid jail time.



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