Driving Crimes

Nevada is a state with many activities, specifically Las Vegas, hence the high number of driving crimes. There is a wide range of driving crimes that you can be charged in Nevada, depending on the circumstances of your driving offense. The Law Offices of Martin Hart in Las Vegas will help you and your loved one evade harsh penalties of any driving crime charge or reduce the charge to a less severe offense.

An Overview of Driving Crimes in Nevada

A driving crime is any traffic offense that is punishable by imprisonment. To enhance road safety and prevent injuries or damages, NHTSA has set strict laws for operating an automobile on the road. Operating a vehicle on the road in a manner that poses a risk of bodily injury, death or damage of other vehicles or objects constitutes a driving crime in Nevada. A defendant is guilty of a driving crime charge if he/she was driving his/her vehicle on the road or any other road-related places during the time of the arrest. These places include:

  • Crosswalk

  • Public street

  • Sidewalk

  • Any road division area

  • Cyclist designated roads

Any driving crime that is punishable by imprisonment is not something you should underrate at any circumstance because a criminal conviction affects a person's reputation negatively. Some driving crimes can also have immigration consequences to the guilty defendant, such as deportation regardless of the defendant’s achievement in the country or children who were born as US citizens. A criminal defense attorney like The Law Offices of Martin Hart will come in handy to protect you from severe consequences of any driving crime charge in Nevada. Here are common driving crimes a prosecutor can charge in Nevada:

Driving Under Influence (DUI)

It is a crime to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other prohibited substance, according to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484C. DUI of alcohol or other drugs impairs a driver’s vision and ability to make the right judgment on the road, which puts other people at risk of injuries or even death in the event of an accident. DUI checkpoints are set randomly on roadways in Nevada to arrest susceptible people who might be drunk driving. Setting up DUI checkpoints is an effective way of reducing road-related injuries and damages.

Before a DUI arrest, a police officer will pull over a suspicious driver after noticing some unreasonable driving acts. To confirm if the driver is DUI, the police officer will ask him or her to blow a breathalyzer after switching off the car or motorbike engine. A breathalyzer detects the presence of alcohol in a driver’s breath vapor. Apart from a breathalyzer test, there are other sobriety tests that a police officer will conduct before arresting a suspect driver such as:

  • Field Sobriety Test

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration Test

If a police officer reasonably confirms that you were DUI after conducting all sobriety tests required by law, you will be arrested and arraigned in court. DUI is usually a misdemeanor offense, but a prosecutor can charge a drunk driver with a felony offense if he/she has prior DUI conviction history on his/her criminal record or if there is an accident leading to injuries or death. Penalties for DUI in Nevada vary depending on the circumstance of the offense and the defendant's DUI conviction history. To avoid loss of your driving license and possible conviction, you should hire a criminal defense attorney to protect you against the charges.

Vehicular Homicide

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 480C.130 defines laws of vehicular homicide. A defendant will be guilty of vehicular homicide if he/she is involved in a fatal DUI collision while having prior DUI conviction history of at least three times. A person could be DUI without impairment, and the conviction history could be of any time in the defendant’s lifetime. What constitutes a defendant to be DUI is his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which should not be above 0.08%. According to NRS 484C.440, vehicular homicide is a category A felony offense with a sentence of 25 years in the state prison. However, a convict can request parole after serving a maximum of 10 years in prison in the promise of good behavior after release.

With the aid of a reliable criminal defense attorney, you can be able to raise the following legal defenses in court to avoid severe vehicular homicide penalties or reduce the charge to a less severe crime:

  • The defendant was not responsible for the accident

  • The defendant was not DUI

  • The defendant has no prior DUI conviction history

Remember, vehicular homicide is a different crime from vehicular manslaughter in Nevada. Vehicular manslaughter involves a driver’s simple mere negligence causing a fatal unforeseeable accident, unlike a vehicular homicide where a defendant is DUI during the occurrence of a fatal accident.

Driving with a Suspended License

According to NRS 483.560 of Nevada law, it is a misdemeanor offense to operate a vehicle on a highway after suspension, cancellation, or revocation of a driving license. The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) will suspend a person’s driving license because of too many demerit points or DUI arrest. The DMV will send a driver notification of driving license suspension after accumulating twelve demerits points within 12 months.

Driving after completion of your driving license revocation or suspension period does not count as a violation of NRS 483.560. Still, a prosecutor can charge you with other driving crimes like a violation of NRS 483.230 if you’re driving without a license. Here are some of the penalties for driving with a suspended license in Nevada:

  • A maximum of $1,000 fine

  • Six months of imprisonment

  • Extension of your driving license suspension period

However, your criminal defense attorney can always fight to dismiss the charges on you or have them reduced by raising the following legal defenses:

  • The defendant did not get a notification of license suspension by the DMV

  • The defendant driving license was not suspended or canceled

  • The defendant driving license suspension or revocation period has lapsed

Hit and Run

All motorists in Nevada have a legal obligation to lend assistance to all other people with injuries after an occurrence of any type of road accident. Fleeing the accident scene while you are aware, there could be possible injuries, damages, or death is serious driving crime in Nevada. As per NRS 484E 030, after any type of road accident, a motorist should lend help to other accident casualties by providing the following:

  • Reasonable help such as calling the ambulance

  • Give his/her license and insurance information

  • Give out his/her name, vehicle registration number, and contact address

Even if you get into a collision with a parked vehicle, you’ve got a legal obligation to report the case to the police and also stick a note indicating your name and address on the vehicle you hit. Otherwise, it will be considered a hit and run accident. A prosecutor can charge a hit and run accident as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the severity of the accident.

Usually, a hit and run accident leading to property damage is a misdemeanor offense as per NRS 484E.020, and penalties include:

  • A maximum of $1,000 fine

  • Addition of six demerits points on your driving license

  • Six months of jail term

While a hit and run accident causing the death of a person(s) qualify as a category B felony offense which is subject to the following penalties:

  • Pay a fine ranging from $2,000 to $5,000

  • Suspension or revocation of the defendant’s driving license

  • Two to fifteen years in imprisonment

After a hit and run accident, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to access and investigate details of your case to formulate a viable legal defense for the hit and run driving crime charge.

Vehicular Manslaughter

According to NRS 484B.657, a person commits the crime of vehicular manslaughter when he/she proximately causes the death of another individual through a particular act or omission, often known as ‘simple negligence.’ NRS 484B.657 defines simple negligence as a failure to act reasonably like a cautious person. During the occurrence of vehicular manslaughter, the defendant does not have malicious intent to cause harm to any person. Vehicular manslaughter tragedy might occur due to momentary lapse of the driver’s judgment.

Vehicular manslaughter is a misdemeanor offense in Nevada unless the defendant was driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Punishment for vehicular manslaughter is not as severe as penalties for vehicular homicide. Sometimes a judge will just impose a fine and no jail term for vehicular manslaughter. Otherwise, a defendant guilty of vehicular manslaughter can receive a six months jail term and a maximum of $1,000 fine.

A vehicular manslaughter sentence can increase if the accident occurred in a place of work. DMV might also suspend the defendant's driving license for one year. Depending on the circumstances of your vehicular manslaughter case, you might be able to fight the charges with the aid of a criminal defense attorney.

Road Rage

Road rage is not a crime itself in Nevada, but it leads to other driving crimes such as reckless driving or voluntary manslaughter when a person is driving aggressively. Nevada law considers aggressive driving similar to reckless driving, and penalties are the same to any person who causes an accident due to aggressive driving after a road rage.

A person can also receive battery charges if he/she hits someone or uses significant force against him/her because of road rage. In this situation, the defendant will receive charges for battery, which has a punishment of six months imprisonment and $1,000 fine. The defendant will also be guilty of other driving crimes that he/she commits as a result of road rage, for instance, voluntary manslaughter or reckless driving offenses. Fortunately, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you fight any criminal charge arising from a road rage incident in Nevada by raising numerous legal defenses.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is another driving crime in Nevada, which you should never underrate because it can result in some unbearable punishments as well. According to NRS 484B.653 of Nevada law, reckless driving involves a wanton or willful driving of a vehicle with disregard of other people’s safety or their property. A defendant guilty of reckless driving in Nevada can face misdemeanor penalties and, at the same time, would compensate any person with damages or injuries as a result of his/her reckless actions after a civil lawsuit. A motorist can get reckless driving charges if he/she was allegedly undertaking the following actions:

  • Driving over the speed limit designated in that specific area

  • Running or ignoring red lights

  • Disregarding or disrespecting a traffic police officer’s order to pull over

  • Driving while hitting medians and shoulders

  • Driving recklessly and carelessly after the event of a road rage

Punishment, a defendant, receives after reckless driving depends on whether there was physical harm or death of a person. Reckless driving penalties become severe if a driver’s reckless actions lead to a fatal accident. Below are penalties for reckless driving in Nevada:

  1. Misdemeanor Reckless Driving

If a reckless driving accident does not cause damage or bodily injuries, the defendant will be guilty of a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor reckless driving offense in Nevada carries the following penalties:

  • A fine ranging from $250 to $1,000 for a first-time offense

  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 for a second-time offense

  • A fine ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 for a third-time offense

  1. Felony Reckless Driving

If there is death, property damage, or bodily harm of a person in the event of a reckless driving accident, the defendant will face category B felony reckless driving charges with harsher penalties than a misdemeanor offense. Here are potential punishments of a felony reckless driving offense in Nevada:

  • Imprisonment for one to six years

  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000

If a driver willfully tries to evade a police order to stop after causing the death of a person in a reckless driving accident, the driver will likely face harsher penalties of up to ten years in state prison and a maximum of $50,000. Retaining a criminal defense attorney during any driving crime charge is vital in preventing harsher penalties and fines of the offense.

Find a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

The Law Offices of Martin Hart has a credible reputation in Las Vegas for their outstanding and professional legal representation of clients facing driving crimes charges. Call us at 702-380-4278 to schedule an appointment with our skilled criminal defense lawyers if you’re facing any driving crime charge.