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Felony DUI


What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor DUI charge in Nevada? Most DUI cases in Nevada are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses. A smaller number of DUI cases are prosecuted as a felony. A DUI in Nevada can be charged as a felony because it is a third offense within 7 years, because of a prior DUI conviction, or because the case resulted in death or serious bodily injury to another.

Aggressive Felony DUI Defense in Las Vegas

If you are charged with any felony DUI charge, contact Pariente Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your arrest in the greater Las Vegas area or throughout Clark County, Nevada. Call us to discuss your case today. Michael Pariente diligently represents clients facing these very serious drunk driving charges. He can represent you on all matters, including license suspension.

Call (702) 966-5310 today to set up a consultation. Michael Pariente represents people throughout the Las Vegas area, including Henderson and Paradise.

Comprehensive Felony DUI Information

Detailed Overview of Felony DUI Cases in Nevada

A DUI in Nevada can be charged as a felony when:

  1. the person has been convicted of DUI twice before within the last seven years;
  2. the DUI resulted in a crash causing serious bodily injury or death to another;
  3. the person charged with DUI has a prior conviction for a felony DUI.

Legal Consequences for Third DUI Offense in Las Vegas

The Nevada Legislature in 2005 increased the penalty for subsequent DUI offense that occurs when the person has a prior DUI conviction. If you have two prior DUI offenses within the last seven years and you are arrested for a new DUI charge, then the third DUI can be charged as a category B felony.

In determining whether this offense is a third within 7 years, the date of conviction is irrelevant, only the date of the prior offenses matter. Speer v. State, 116 Nev. 677, 5 P. 3d 1063 (2000). The prior DUI convictions can be from the State of Nevada. In certain cases, the prior DUI convictions can count if they occurred out of state, but only if the other state punishes the same or similar conduct.

A third DUI charged as a felony is punishable by the following:

  • a period of incarceration from 1 to 6 years;
  • fines between $2,000 to $5,000;
  • a drug and alcohol evaluation with a requirement that you successfully complete any recommended follow up treatment;
  • installation of the ignition interlock device for the first 1 to 3 years after your release from incarceration;
  • a requirement that you complete the Victim Impact Panel; and
  • a driver’s license suspension or revocation for three years with a 5 day registration suspension and a $35 civil penalty.

Penalties for DUI with Prior Felony Conviction in Nevada

If you are charged with DUI and have a prior felony DUI conviction (regardless of when it occurred), then the new DUI can also be charged as a category B felony. The possible penalties for this form of felony DUI include:

  • a period of incarceration from 2 to 15 years, and
  • fines between $2,000 to $5,000.

The prior felony DUI conviction can be from the State of Nevada or from some other state if the conviction in the other state punishes the same or similar conduct.

Charges for DUI Causing Injury or Death in Las Vegas

The felony DUI statute for DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death is found in 484C.430. In these cases, the prosecution must prove that the act or neglect of duty by the person charged with DUI must proximately cause death or substantial bodily harm to the victim. Also, the victim must be another person other than the person charged with DUI. So the impaired driver is not guilty of felony DUI if he or she was the only person injured in the crash.

The term substantial bodily harm is defended to mean:

  1. Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ; or
  2. Prolonged physical pain.

The offense can be charged as a category B felony with the following possible punishments:

  • a period of incarceration from 2 to 20 years; and
  • fines between $2,000 to $5,000.

Understanding Vehicular Homicide in Nevada DUI Cases

The last type of felony DUI combines both DUI with prior offenses and DUI causing death. If a person is convicted of DUI causing death and has three prior DUI convictions, then the person violates NRS 484C.130 and commits the offense of vehicular homicide.

Vehicular homicide is a category A felony with the following possible punishments:

  • a period of incarceration for twenty-five years to life, with the possibility of parole after 10 years.
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