DUI Diversion Program in Nevada

You are here: DUI > Diversion Program

DUI’s happen everyday in Nevada and the Las Vegas area.

Believe it or not, most DUI arrests happen during the morning hours in Las Vegas due to the 24 hour job market.

There is a whole group of people who work overnight and get off in the morning.

Even the graveyard shift goes out after work. If you have walked into a 24-hour pub or bar in Las Vegas in the early morning and it’s crowded these are the graveyard casino workers going out after work.

For those of you that don’t work in the casino industry, this might be hard to understand or fathom. Whether or not you work casino shift work or a 9 to 5, getting arrested for a DUI can have a lasting effect on everything from getting a job to applying for an apartment.

A lot of states including Nevada offer alternatives to convictions of a crime called (Alternative Sentencing) if you complete a specific program. This is also the case for DUI arrests in Nevada.

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Nevada, contact The Defenders. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in navigating the complex legal system and help you explore all of your options, including the DUI Diversion Program.

What Is DUI Diversion Program in Nevada

The DUI Diversion Program, or The DUI Court Program, is an alternative sentencing program in Nevada that is very unique. It allows eligible drunk or drugged driving defendants to take part in an intensive rehabilitation program in lieu of jail time.

Before you can apply to the program, you’ll need to hire an expert DUI lawyer to try and get your DUI case dismissed or reduced based on evidence. However, this is very rare and DUI cases are taken very seriously and the prosecutor may refuse anything other than going to trial.

Additionally, alternative sentencing programs are not suitable for everyone, as they can be quite invasive and expensive. The defendant bears the financial cost, and these programs also demand a significant investment of time.

However, after completion of the program you may have the DUI charge reduced to reckless driving or a lesser offense.

Can Anyone Enter The DUI Court Program In Nevada?

Just because you got arrested for a DUI does not make you automatically eligible for the DUI court program.

You must apply after your lawyer has tried to have the case either dismissed or reduced.

The program is very selective and admission is on a case by case basis.

You will automatically be disqualified if:

  1. You are not actually addicted to drugs and or alcohol.
  2. You killed or inflicted serious bodily harm on a victim while driving under the influence
  3. You have been convicted of misdemeanor DUI two or more times over the past 7 years
  4. You have a prior felony DUI conviction

What Are The Requirements For Both Misdemeanor And Felony DUI Court Programs

The programs for both the felony and misdemeanor DUI court diversion program require a set of tasks that need to be completed in order to complete the program and have your DUI charge reduced.

  • Weekly court appearances in front of a judge for a status check up: These will be less frequent over time
  • Group counseling such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous: Attendance is mandatory and usually involves having a representative from the group sign off on your attendance
  • Individual Counseling with an approved substance abuse counselor
  • Ignition interlock device placed in all cars you will be driving at the defendant’s expense. This device requires you blow into it without any alcohol to be able to start your car. Besides a fee for the equipment and placing the device in your vehicle, there is a monthly monitoring fee and a removal fee.
  • Unannounced alcohol and drug testing: you may be required to show up at the probation office or an officer may appear at your work or home without notice and require a test. Failing this test may get you thrown out of the program.
  • SCRAM Devices: SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. This device is usually an ankle monitor that tracks the defendant’s alcohol levels through the sweat. If a judge mandates the use of a monitoring device to ensure sobriety, failing to stay alcohol-free during the designated period could result in expulsion from the DUI court program.

What Are The Differences For Both The Felony And Misdemeanor DUI Court Programs?

As expected, the felony program for DUI court is longer, harsher and more expensive than misdemeanor DUI court. Other ways the programs differ include:

  • Time: Misdemeanor DUI court for the first and second offense the program will last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. The Felony program will last 3 to 5 years
  • House Arrest Time: Misdemeanor DUI up to 90 days of house arrest. Felony DUI court 6 months of house arrest
  • Costs: Misdemeanor DUI court approximately $4,500. Felony DUI court approximately $11,000-$15,000
  • Jail Time: Misdemeanor DUI court for the first offense 1 day in jail or 24 hours of community service. The second offense 5 days in jail and 50 hours of community service. Felony DUI court no jail time if you’re compliant due to the six months of house arrest.
  • Changes in charges: If you complete the misdemeanor DUI court program you may have your charges reduced to reckless driving or other lesser charges. Upon completing the felony DUI program your charge may be reduced to a 2nd DUI which is still a misdemeanor and not a felony.

The DUI Treatment Court or The Moderate Offenders Program as it was known has been around since 1983.  The Felony program is more recent and has only been available since 2007.

How to Apply to DUI Court in Nevada?

There are several steps that must be completed to be considered for the DUI court program. If one of them is not met, then it is likely that you won’t be accepted to the program.

That’s why hiring a DUI expert lawyer like The Defenders is so important.

The Defenders can help ensure everything is completed on time and correctly to give you the best chance of getting into the DUI court program.

The application process require the following:

  • You must appear in court and plead guilty or no contest to the DUI charge you have been originally charged with.
  • The Defenders law team and the defendant must submit to the court the following
    • A completed application to the rehab program/ and
    • A substance abuse evaluation completed by a certified counselor or a medical doctor that states that you in fact have a substance abuse problem
  • There may be a hearing requested by the judge and prosecutor within 10 days of the application to discuss whether you should be accepted into the program. This hearing should always be attended with legal counsel.
  • If accepted to the program the judge will suspend your original DUI sentence and transfer the case to the specialty DUI Court.

What If I Don’t Finish The Program

If you are accepted to either the misdemeanor or felony DUI court program and you fail to finish the program, your original sentence will be reinstated.

This will usually involve jail time.

Punishment for not completing the DUI Treatment Court is up to 6 months in jail.

The sentence for not completing the Felony DUI court is one to six years in Nevada State Prison.

If you are arrested for DUI at any time or would like to try and apply for the DUI Court diversion program, call The Defenders today.

We have an expert team of lawyers ready to help you.

The Defenders Criminal Defense Attorneys - Best of Las Vegas Gold Winner

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the DUI Diversion Program in Nevada?

The DUI Court Diversion Program, also known as the Moderate Offenders Program, is a court-supervised program designed to help people facing DUI charges reduce their sentence and address any underlying substance abuse issues.

Who is eligible for the DUI Court Diversion Program?

Eligibility for the DUI Court Diversion Program is determined by the severity of the DUI offense, the individual’s prior criminal history, and their ability to complete all program requirements.

How long does the DUI Court Diversion Program last?

The length of the program varies depending on whether it is a misdemeanor or felony DUI charge. Misdemeanor programs typically last 6 months to 3 years, while felony programs can last up to 5 years.

How much does the DUI Court Diversion Program cost?

The costs of the program vary depending on the type of charge and program length. Misdemeanor programs can cost around $4,500, while felony programs can cost between $11,000-$15,000.

What happens if I don’t complete the DUI Court Diversion Program?

If you fail to complete the DUI Court Diversion Program, your original sentence will be reinstated and you may face additional penalties, such as jail time. It is important to consult with a lawyer and follow all requirements of the program to avoid this outcome.

Practice Areas