NRS 484C.430: DUI Resulting In Death—Charges, Penalties & More
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It was a tragic start to the new year when a 21-year-old male was charged with DUI resulting in death and injuring another on New Year’s Day. This heartbreaking incident is an example of how serious DUIs can be and what happens when laws are not followed.
According to Nevada Laws, driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in injury or death can result in felony charges and significant penalties including jail time, fines, license suspension, and more.
In Nevada, out-of-state DUIs are treated as if they occurred within the state. This means that out-of-state DUIs can count towards a three-DUI limit within a seven-year period, resulting in up to a felony charge for the third offense.
It is important to remember that we all have a responsibility to follow the laws of our state and communities. Ignoring traffic laws and driving under the influence can have devastating consequences. If you find yourself in trouble for a DUI, it is important to seek the help of an experienced DUI lawyer who can protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
The Defenders can help. We have successfully represented clients in DUI cases throughout Las Vegas, Henderson and Clark County for decades. Our experienced attorneys can provide you with the compassionate legal guidance you need to get through your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. We understand that a DUI charge can be overwhelming, but we are here to help ensure a positive outcome. If you have been charged with DUI or any other crimes, contact The Defenders today for a free case evaluation.
What Does Nevada Law Say About DUI Resulting in Death
NRS 484C.430 applies to a person who:
(a) Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
(b) Has a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath;
(c) Is found by measurement within 2 hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath;
(d) Is under the influence of a controlled substance or is under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and a controlled substance;
(e) Inhales, ingests, applies or otherwise uses any chemical, poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle; or
(f) Has a prohibited substance in his or her blood or urine, as applicable, in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount set forth in subsection 3 or 4 of NRS 484C.110,
and does any act or neglects any duty imposed by law while driving or in actual physical control of any vehicle on or off the highways of this State, if the act or neglect of duty proximately causes the death of, or substantial bodily harm to, another person
Summarizing the statute above, a person can be charged with DUI resulting in death or injury if (1) they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance and (2) proximately causes death or injury to another person while driving.
In the news article above, the person was charged with both DUI resulting in death and DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm.
Examples of Substantial Bodily Harm
- Wounds needing stitches
- Organ damage
- Serious burns
- Long-lasting contusions
- Loss of consciousness
- Long-lasting cosmetic damage
- Chronic pain
What Are the Consequences for DUI Resulting in Death or Injury?
In Nevada, if you are convicted of a DUI Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm or Death, the law considers it to be a Category B felony. The prison time for such an offense could range from two years up to twenty years. Additionally, fines can go as high as $5000 with a mandatory minimum of $2000.
On top of that, judges may require offenders to attend a victim impact panel as well as install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for 1-3 years after they have been released from prison.
Summary of Penalties for DUI Resulting in Death or Injury:
- Category B Felony
- 2-20 years in jail
- $2,000 – $5,000 in fines
- 3-year license suspension by DMV
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for 1-3 years (as a condition to reinstate driver’s license)
- Attendance to victim impact panel
Common Defenses for DUI Resulting in Death or Injury
If you have been charged with DUI resulting in death or injury, The Defenders can fight your charge by utilizing the following possible defenses:
Officers Administered the Field Sobriety Tests Incorrectly
There are a lot of factors as to why Field Sobriety Tests (FST) can go wrong or produce inaccurate results. Some examples of these are poor lighting conditions, environmental distractions, a surface that is slippery or uneven, language barriers, failure to explain the test clearly, and physical ailments of the individual being tested which may limit their ability to perform the tests accurately.
That’s why hiring an attorney who specializes in DUI is important. In the scenario above, the attorney may be able to prove that an individual failing the FST score does not mean that they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that they failed because of how it was administered.
The Breathalyzer Was Administered Incorrectly, Defective, or Not Calibrated Recently
Breathalyzer machines are routinely checked for accuracy. If a breath test machine was not in good working condition, or it wasn’t calibrated recently, then the results of the test may be inaccurate.
In this case, a DUI lawyer may be able to argue that since the machine was not in good working condition, it should not be used as evidence in court.
The Blood Test Was Administered Incorrectly or Was Contaminated
Blood tests are considered the most precise and accurate form of testing for alcohol or drug intoxication. However, the results may be inaccurate if a blood test has been mishandled or contaminated.
For example, the defendant had rising blood alcohol. Meaning, the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was legal at the time of the driving, but it rose to illegal levels by the time the police took the blood test.
In this case, an experienced attorney can prove that since the sample was not handled properly, it is unreliable and should not be used in court as evidence against the defendant.
Defendant Has a Medical Condition
Sometimes a medical condition can cause an individual to appear intoxicated when they are not. For example, diabetics have been known to have low blood sugar levels which can mimic the symptoms of drunkenness.
The defendant can also suffer from a medical condition such as GERD which caused inaccurately high BAC results from the breathalyzer.
An attorney may be able to argue that since the defendant was suffering from a medical condition (and not impairment due to drugs or alcohol), the results of the tests should not be used in court.
Can I Enter a Plea Bargain?
As mentioned above, two things must be proven for this charge: that you were driving under the influence and that you caused the death or injury.
If the DUI charges can’t be proven with the evidence, you may be able to get a lesser charge. However, in many instances, if you are charged in Nevada with a DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and the evidence is weighed against you, the conversation is more about stipulating a particular prison sentence than it is about fighting the case.
Can My Criminal Record Be Sealed?
In Nevada, it is possible to keep your DUI record sealed in some instances. Misdemeanor charges can be sealed, but felony convictions—where DUI resulting involving death falls under—cannot be sealed. These felony charges stay on your criminal record forever.
Legal Representation for DUIs Involving Injury or Death
It’s important to remember that if you are facing charges for DUI resulting in death or injury, or any DUI charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
The Defenders is a Las Vegas criminal defense law firm with dedicated attorneys who specialize in DUI cases. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to understand the details of your case and can provide you with aggressive legal representation.
Call us today at (702) 333-3333 to get started on your case. We will fight for justice and work to get you
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I am convicted of a DUI resulting in death or injury?
If you are convicted of a DUI resulting in death or injury, then you could be subjected to fines, prison time, and long-term license revocation. Penalties for these charges vary from state to state but typically involve harsh punishment.
What is the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in Nevada?
The legal BAC limit in Nevada is .08. If your BAC is higher than .08, you may be charged with a DUI regardless of whether or not you are impaired.
Can I fight DUI charges?
Yes, you can fight DUI charges. An experienced attorney will carefully review the evidence to determine if there are any legal defenses that can be used in your case.
Can an attorney help me with my criminal case involving a DUI?
Yes! An experienced attorney can help you understand the complexities of your case and provide aggressive legal defense. At The Defenders, we specialize in defending those facing criminal charges related to DUIs, including DUIs that resulted in death or injury. Contact us today at (702) 333-3333 for more
Is DUI a felony or a misdemeanor?
It depends on the circumstances of the case. Generally, a DUI is considered to be a misdemeanor charge. However, if there was an injury or death involved, then it may be charged as a felony. In Nevada, DUIs resulting in death are classified as Category B felonies with serious penalties.
Can I get my criminal record sealed after pleading guilty to a DUI?
In Nevada, it is possible to keep your misdemeanor DUI record sealed in some instances. However, felony convictions—where DUI resulting involving death falls under—cannot be sealed and will stay on your criminal record forever.
What should I do if I am facing charges for DUI resulting in injury or death?
If you are facing charges related to a DUI that resulted in injury or death, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and provide aggressive legal representation. At The Defenders, we specialize in defending those facing criminal charges related to DUIs, including DUIs that resulted in death or injury. Contact us today at (702) 333-3333 for more information about how we can help you with your case.
The first step is to reach out and get started on your case now! Our attorneys are here for support and guidance every step of the way, so don’t delay—contact us today. We will fight for justice and work to get you the best outcome possible.
What is the punishment for DUI resulting in death or injury in Nevada?
The punishment for DUI resulting in death in Nevada is a category B felony, punishable by 2-20 years imprisonment and fines. Additionally, the court may impose additional penalties including license revocation or community service. It is important to note that penalties can vary from case to case depending on the circumstances.
How long is the sentence for vehicular manslaughter in Nevada?
Vehicular manslaughter is generally prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Nevada. This carries the penalty of up to 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and a 1-year driver’s license suspension. In some cases, it may be possible to do community service instead of paying the fine. Depending on the case, the defendant may also be able to avoid jail time.
What makes a DUI a felony in Nevada?
A felony DUI in Nevada can happen in three instances: a third “simple” DUI within a 7-year period, previously convicted of a felony DUI, or a DUI involving serious bodily injury or resulting in death.