Suspended License from a DUI: Facts, Myths, and Next Steps
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It is a fact in any state including Nevada that if you are convicted of DUI, your license will be suspended for a period of time. The time frame depends on many factors including whether or not it is a first offense or not.
Having your license revoked or suspended is only one of the penalties you can face when convicted of a DUI. However, having your license revoked is the most inconvenient penalty other than jail time.
Not having a license can affect your ability to get to work and earn a living. Just going to the store can become a much harder experience. Everyday things that you once were able to do at a whim are no longer an option while your license is suspended.
You may need to find an alternate mode of transportation like riding a bike. You may also need to rely on others for rides to get things done. You may also incur the extra expense of public transportation or rideshare services like Uber or Lyft.
Once the Nevada DMV suspends your license for a DUI, your car insurance will almost double for the following three years if your insurance company doesn’t drop your policy altogether. In a lot of cases, they will drop your policy and you’ll be required to get new insurance from a less reputable insurance company that provides services to high-risk drivers at an over-inflated price.
License suspensions are automatic when you are charged with DUI so you need to fight the charges as soon as they happen.
How Soon Does My License Suspension Start
Once you have been arrested for DUI in Nevada, you give up the right to have a driver’s license.
Remember a license is a privilege, not a right according to the DMV.
If you agree to take the blood or breath test at the time of arrest, you will be issued a temporary permit for 7 days. That means you can drive for 7 days after your arrest. After that, your license will be suspended.
Note: Do not drive while you’re on the suspended list, especially if your case for DUI has not gone to court yet. If you get caught, you could end up in jail or your license will be suspended for a much longer period than just the DUI suspension.
During the 7-day temporary license permit period, you must request a hearing with the DMV.
This hearing is almost like a DMV court where they will hear evidence and determine if the DMV thinks you are guilty of DUI.
You should always have an attorney with you or have an attorney go for you to this hearing since it is just like a court proceeding.
If the DMV finds that you are guilty of DUI, your license will be suspended from that date.
However, a good attorney could have the revocation period not start until after your state court hearing is completed.
If you need your license this may be the best option for you. If you decline to take a chemical test for DUI at the time you are stopped, your license will be revoked immediately for one year.
If you fail to take the test for a second time within 7 years your license will be revoked for 3 years immediately.
You can also request a DMV hearing when this happens as well but you must do it within 7 days of the incident.
How Long Will My License Be Suspended
The length of time your license will be suspended depends on a few factors and the charges against you. Remember the DMV suspends your license, not the court.
- 1st offense DUI in 7 years: 6 months suspension or restricted license with ignition lock device
- 2nd offense within 7 years: 1 year loss of license; no way to resume driving earlier
- 3rd offense or Felony DUI: 3 years; after one year you may resume driving with an ignition interlock device. This suspension begins after you have finished serving your required prison term
If you fail to take a chemical test for DUI:
- 1st offense: one year suspension immediately
- 2nd offense within 7 years: 3 years license suspension starting immediately
You have the right to refuse a chemical or breathalyzer test; however, it will result in an automatic license suspension for the periods above.
In some cases of DUI resulting in injury or death, a defendant could have their license revoked for up to 10 years or permanently in Nevada. This is rare but has happened in certain cases.
What Is a DMV Hearing and Can I Win
In order to prevent your license from being suspended, you must win both the DMV hearing and your DUI court case. If you lose one but not the other your, license will still be suspended.
A DMV hearing is much harder to win because in a court of law, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a DMV hearing, the judge can find you guilty based on very little evidence.
DMV hearings are just like a court. At the DMV hearing, your DUI attorney can present evidence in your defense, you can cross-examine witnesses or the arresting police officer.
It’s an opportunity to present your criminal case and test your arguments and evidence.
You have 7 days from the time of your arrest to request a DMV hearing in writing. Failure to request a hearing in that time frame will result in the suspension of your license regardless of the outcome of your criminal trial.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device
An ignition interlock device or IID is a small device no larger than a cell phone that is installed in the vehicle’s steering column near the ignition.
The IIDs have a mouthpiece like a regular breathalyzer device that you blow into every time you get into your car.
If there is no alcohol detected by the IID your car will start like normal.
If anything above a .02% BAC is registered on your device, the car will be disabled from starting because the device assumes you are under the influence of alcohol.
In some cases, you can get an IID installed to resume driving in lieu of having a suspension.
This must be approved or issued by the court and the defendant pays all fees for the device and the installation and removal. The price can range from installation and then there is a monthly fee for leasing the service provider for the device.
You must also have your device calibrated every 30 to 90 days.
Based on your charges, these are the terms for ignition interlock devices:
- 1st offense: for 6 months; can resume driving immediately after the device is installed
- 2nd offense: 1 year; can drive immediately after the device is installed
- 3rd offense or Felony DUI: 3 years; usually must wait one year before driving with an IID.
The ignition interlock device is a game changer when it comes to DUI suspension as the court realizes that people still need to get to work to provide for their families even if they get a DUI.
Your DUI attorney can provide you with more information on the IID and can request this option from the court.
How Can the Defenders Help You With a DUI License Suspension
When you hire one of our DUI lawyers, we:
- Will request a DMV hearing within the time frame
- Will attend the DMV hearing for you or without you, your representative may attend on your behalf
- Will investigate the DUI arrest to see if all the laws were followed by the police
- Will try and get your DUI dismissed or reduced to reckless driving
- Will get fines and penalties reduced to the minimum including and license suspension periods
- Will advise on Ignition interlock devices
- Will advise on insurance if convicted of DUI
Our goal is to always strive for a successful outcome on behalf of our clients. If you have been accused of driving under the influence, don’t delay! Get in touch with us today and let us help protect your license from suspension.