In Las Vegas, not only is it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, it is also a crime to do so while under the influence of drugs. The two variations on the same essential crime share the potential for extremely onerous penalties, including incarceration, costly fines and license suspension or revocation. If you’ve been apprehended for driving under the influence of drugs, you can contact the criminal defense team at the Office of Benjamin Nadig at any time of day or night for legal counsel.
According to NRS 484C.110, there are two ways in which an individual may be subject to arrest for driving under the influence of drugs. The first situation involves a driver who operates a vehicle when under the influence of any substance that, in the amount taken, makes it impossible for that individual to safely drive or physically control their vehicle. Thus, this definition encompasses:
- Illegal street drugs
- Prescription medications
- Any over-the-counter remedies able to cause sufficient impairment
The other way in which an individual may be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs is if he or she is found to be operating a vehicle while specific, enumerated levels of prohibited substances are in their bloodstream. The statutory language, therefore, allows for the conviction of individuals who are not driving dangerously, but whose blood or urine levels indicate the presence of an excess amount of one of the proscribed substances.
Penalty Ranges under NRS 484C.400
In most cases, driving under the influence of drugs is a misdemeanor. However, cases involving a third offense within seven years or those involving accidents causing significant bodily injury or death to another will be felonies. The sentencing ranges for those convicted of this category of offense vary widely, depending on a number of factors, but essentially mimic those imposed in drunk driving cases.
First offenses can warrant consequences such as:
- A few days to a few months in jail
- A term of community service
- Alcohol awareness training
- Assessments of fines and costs
- Participation in a victim impact group
- Driver’s license suspension
Subsequent offenses cause the penalties to increase, often significantly, in terms of potential incarceration, fines and licensing consequences. Because these convictions can have a devastating impact on the lives of individuals and their families, it is important to enlist the aid of a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following an arrest.
Expert Legal Help is Available
It is important for anyone facing the charge of driving under the influence of drugs in Las Vegas to realize that there is hope, and that sound defense strategies do exist, including:
- No probable cause for initial police stop
- Human error or equipment malfunction related to blood or urine testing
- No proof that drugs were taken before driving ceased
- No proof of causation in cases involving injury or death of another
By contacting the seasoned professionals at the Law Office of Benjamin Nadig, Chtd, you can receive a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Let us review the facts of your case and craft a defense strategy aimed at protecting your rights and securing the most favorable outcome possible.