If you were recently stopped for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be wondering whether you need a lawyer. The simple answer is that it is never a bad idea to contact an attorney for advice, and it is never too soon to do so after being charged with a DUI.
Dedicated counsel from a Lincoln DUI lawyer could prevent you from making statements or taking actions that jeopardize your case. Moreover, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can work to ensure you understand your charges, help you evaluate your options, and fight for your freedom in pursuit of a positive outcome.
What Constitutes a DUI Violation?
Nebraska state law prohibits either operating or being “in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Nebraska Revised Statutes §60-6,196 specifies that a driver has violated the law if a breath or blood test reveals a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher.
The way this statute is worded also allows law enforcement officials to stop drivers who may be intoxicated and, if they find probable cause to believe a driver is under the influence, to make an arrest even if the driver’s BAC level is below .08. As a result, police may charge a driver with DUI based on either a chemical test or the results of field sobriety tests.
The wording of the statute also allows drivers to be arrested when they are not actually operating a motor vehicle. If someone is in a position that could be considered to give him/her “actual physical control” of the vehicle, such as the driver’s seat in a parked car, he/she may still be liable for a DUI.
License Penalties for DUI Violations
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Lincoln is treated as a Class W misdemeanor for a first offense. According to the penalty provisions established in N.R.S. §60-6,197.03, a first-time offender may have his/her license suspended for six months after conviction, or for a year if he/she is found to have a BAC of .15 percent or more. However, drivers who submitted to a chemical test may be eligible for driving privileges with an ignition interlock device after a portion of the revocation period has passed.
Subsequent violations increase the length of the revocation. With one prior offense, the court would revoke a defendant’s license for 18 months upon conviction. After two or more prior offenses, drivers risk losing their licenses for 15 years. These potential penalties underscore the possibly critical role a Lincoln DUI attorney can play in working to mitigate the negative outcome of a DUI case.
Criminal Penalties for DUI Violations
Under N.R.S. §28-106, penalties for misdemeanor DUI offenses vary depending on the existence of any prior offenses and may include a term of imprisonment as well as a fine. DUI offenses may be treated as felonies if the driver involved has three or more prior convictions.
A DUI lawyer in Lincoln can help with any DUI situation, but some are more severe than others. The maximum sentences for various DUI scenarios are as follows:
- No prior convictions – 60 days imprisonment and $500 fine
- One prior conviction – six months imprisonment and $500 fine
- Two prior convictions – one year of imprisonment and $1,000 fine
- Two prior convictions with BAC of .15 percent, or three prior convictions – Class IIIA felony charge, three years of imprisonment, and $10,000 fine
- Four or more prior convictions – Class IIA felony charge and 20 years of imprisonment
Get Help from a Lincoln DUI Attorney Today
When you work with a knowledgeable Lincoln DUI lawyer, your attorney can draw on years of experience to build the right defense for your case. To schedule a consultation with an experienced DUI attorney, call Berry Law today.
“The best way to support and defend the Constitution of the United States is through zealously defending the constitutional rights of each individual client.” – John Stevens Berry Sr.