Five Signs that You are at Risk of a DUI Charge in Las Vegas

Drunk driving cases are a fairly common sight in Las Vegas. It’s understandable, considering it’s a big city with a large selection of establishments offering alcohol, and an equally large population of citizens that own vehicles, it’s statistically expected that at least one of these people will be booked for driving while inebriated. Things might be closer to home if you happen to be in the latter category.

There are some things that you yourself may not see unless pointed out by other people; in this case, you might not know that you are actually driving under the influence. If you’re not ready to get dealt with possible jail time and high fees, you have to be informed about possible signs. Here are five signs that you are at risk of a DUI charge in Las Vegas.

Speed Limits

One of the common beliefs people have about drunk drivers is that they have an uninhibited tendency to go beyond maximum speed limits imposed on the road. Indeed, many DUI cases that get highlighted on the news involve the perpetrator going three or four times the maximum speed limit, and end up hurting themselves and other people, or at least causing a high level of damage to public and private property. However, the opposite is often also true: a person driving under the influence may have the tendency to drive way below the maximum speed limit, and even below the minimum speed. If you people point out that you have episodes where you are driving slower than normal, you have to get yourself checked.

Excessive Braking

Have you found yourself using the brake pedal more often lately? If you have, you might want to do a double-check; you might already be at risk of being booked for suspected DUI. Law enforcement would be on the lookout for anyone who hits the brake often, and in some cases, a little too forcefully. Alcohol impairment does heavily affect braking behavior, so law enforcement would be suspicious of anyone who uses their brakes excessively, especially in roads without much vehicle or foot traffic.

Tailgating

As stated earlier, alcohol impairment has a strong effect on a person’s ability to drive. Apart from the slowed reaction times and diminished ability to make informed decisions, a person driving under the influence can have their senses impaired as well. As such, a person may have difficulty hearing oncoming vehicles or even feeling the steering wheel when they are inebriated. More often than not, though, a suspected drunk driver has a tendency to tailgate fellow drivers on the road at a regular basis. Alcohol impairs their vision, making it harder for the driver to determine how far they are from the vehicle ahead and thus leading to this situation. Even if you are just sleepy on the road most of the time, you can still fall under suspicion of DUI if your sleepy episodes are punctuated by excessive tailgating on multiple vehicles.

Straddling Center Lane

Impaired drivers are oftentimes easy to spot because of the behaviors pointed out above. Because of this, many habitual drunk drivers have sought out ways to avoid raising suspicion when they are committing DUI, and straddling the center lane of the road is one of the most common methods. The reasoning is twofold: they can avoid swerving and possibly hitting other vehicles, and they think they can keep attention away from themselves if they stay in the middle of the highway. Keep an eye out on your driving lane habits; chances are you might have been hugging the center lane as well, increasing your chances of getting into a DUI traffic stop.

Demographic Statistics

If you are a young adult male who owns a car in the United States, you have a high chance of being part of DUI statistics in your lifetime. Based on recent NHTSA records, men are more likely to be involved in a drunk driving incident than women, and the usual suspects fall under the 21 to 26 age range. For a more recent record, over 21% of fatal crashes across the country in 2018 involved drunk male drivers, as opposed to only 14% of drunk female drivers for the same period. If you happen to fall under said category, you might want to give yourself a lifestyle check.

You can’t underestimate a potential DUI charge. Just because you are facing a possible drunk driving conviction for the first time doesn’t mean you can be all wily-nily with your driving habits. Gauge yourself and apply the necessary changes if you don’t want to go to prison for DUI. However, if you are already at risk of conviction, remember that there are veteran DUI attorneys in Las Vegas ready to help you out.

Five Excuses People Have Used When Pulled Over for DUI

Dealing with drunk driving in Las Vegas is part and parcel of the daily lives of local law enforcement in and around the city. In a city as big and as bustling as Las Vegas, not a day runs by without at least one or two DUI arrests even on the fringes of town. The large number of entertainment spots offering alcohol is also a commonly-cited factor.

With how often DUI cases happen in and around Las Vegas, one would be curious about the types of drivers that the police end up booking on the regular. With the high number of regular DUI stops, law enforcement is already familiar with similar patterns of people getting caught and trying to get away with it. Let’s look at five excuses people have used when pulled over for DUI.

Sudden Office Call

One of the double-sided aspects of modern workplace standards is that people can work from home if their employer allows such arrangements, but they can still expect to be called into the office for very urgent issues whether they like it or not. The worst part about it is that the call can come at odd hours and sometimes even on days-off. With the pandemic going around, those sudden calls have just increased; either offices need backup staff during crunchtime or someone gets called in because a staff member that volunteered to work on-site called in sick and a pinch-hitter is needed.

Work-related excuses have been around for a while, and the aforementioned pandemic exacerbated these cases considerably. People have been recorded as stating that they run late shifts at work and would sleep in a car close to their workplace after drinking a few glasses before their time, while others claimed that they got a sudden message requesting their presence at the office while they were enjoying a drink at home.

Natal Rush

One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to not be there when their wife is about to give birth. If you happen to be working while your wife is alone at home, the anxiety of them suddenly going into labor without anyone to help them out is palpable.

This excuse is usually invoked for speeding, but people suspected of DUI pull this off as well. The idea is that the police will let them off based on a ‘legitimate’ medical emergency; some have gone so far as to show a picture of their allegedly pregnant spouse to law enforcement.

Lost Out-of-Towners

Las Vegas has a reputation of having high traffic from out-of-towners, whether it’s at the peak of vacation season or during a typical weekend. Of course, the pandemic has put a dampener on those numbers, but people from outside the city and state still come by to party and unwind. Predictably, a number of these people get caught in DUI traffic stops and are possibly booked. Just as often, many of these out-of-towners would claim that they were only lost while looking to drive back to their hotel, sometimes even blaming directions provided by GPS apps.

Only Drinking at Traffic Lights

This one is not based on any case in Las Vegas, but rather an amusing DUI case from Florida. A local man was stopped by law enforcement after a call-in regarding repeated minor collisions at a local fast food drive-through. When the police checked and pointed out that the driver had the hallmarks of driving while inebriated, he allegedly replied that he was not drinking while driving, but rather was only drinking when he reached a traffic light or stop sign.

While this may be an entertaining incident (and thankfully one that did not involve any injuries or major damage), it just goes to show how out-of-touch a truly drunk driver can be when trying to reason their way out of a DUI booking. In this situation, it’s still a surprise that things did not escalate into a felony DUI involving injuries or death, even.

The ‘Designated Driver’ Argument

In group outings, it is the smart move to have someone sit out of all the drinking and act as the designated driver after the party’s over. However, some people do not always follow the rules for designated drivers, and there would be instances where even they would take a sip or two. Understandably, such cases would lead to a series of events where the driver will reason out that they are the designated driver and such have no business being drunk. This is inexcusable behavior because being a designated driver requires someone to be focused and not affected by alcohol. Not to mention, not everyone has the same tolerance for alcohol; you may claim that you’ve only taken two sips, but it may have been enough for your body to be inebriated and you just don’t know it.

Making excuses at a DUI traffic stop only exposes you to even worse consequences in the event that you are convicted. Remember that it is best to deal with a DUI charge in court, when you are assisted by a veteran DUI lawyer with the skill to deal with your case professionally.

Five Simple Pointers to Avoid a Thanksgiving DUI Charge in Las Vegas

November is upon us, and while one of the most stressful periods of the year still has its presence felt all over the country, for the most part things have calmed down. Most people are now looking forward to the coming holidays to unwind and get away from all the stress, at least temporarily. Thanksgiving is first on the list, and despite the Pandemic, people will still find ways to celebrate with family and friends.

Of course, when people want to have fun, they sometimes go overboard. With Thanksgiving approaching, you can still expect people to get tabbed for DUI in Las Vegas, even as early as the day before. Facing a drunk driving charge can put a dampener on the festive mood, but more importantly it can lead to serious personal and legal repercussions down the line. Here are five simple pointers you can follow to avoid a thanksgiving DUI charge in Las Vegas.

Do not Abide by the ‘A Drink an Hour’ Rule

There is this long-standin belief that you can avoid getting drunk easily if you limit your alcohol intake based on an arbitrary setting. The ‘one-drink-an-hour’ rule is one of the most common examples, and one of the most oft-quoted when people try to prove their sobriety, whether to friends or to authorities. Avoid following this ‘rule’ at all costs; alcohol tolerance varies from person to person, and while someone can stay sober after one shot, another person may already get drunk on the scent alone. 

Have a Designated Driver

A hard and fast rule for any group going out on a holiday is to always have someone sober enough to take the wheel when the festivities are over. You cannot overestimate the importance of having a designated driver with you; apart from keeping you away from a trip to a hospital (or a direct ride to the morgue), designated drivers can also handle the conversations when your vehicle is ordered to stop for a DUI check, or ends up in a DUI checkpoint.

Be Aware of Usual Police Stops and DUI Checkpoints

Even if you have a designated driver on hand, the authorities can become a bit more strict if they find out that most of the passengers are a little over the limit. If you do not want to spend time explaining yourselves to the police, you will have to know beforehand where the common DUI checkpoints and stops would happen so you can reroute your way home. Of course, this does not mean you should purposely evade law enforcement when you are within their line of sight; you just want to have some forewarning on where they might be set up.

Get on a Taxi

Sometimes, you can’t find a designated driver to fill in for you when you’re hanging out with family and friends for Thanksgiving. If you really need to be there but you can’t expect to drive sober afterwards, the best thing to do is hail a taxi to take you home, even if the distance is short. Taxi services can be faster and more discreet than regular public transport, though you usually have to cough up a higher fee for the ride. Just remember to have someone sober to accompany you when you can for added safety.

If All Else Fails, Stay the Night

You can’t always expect to have public transport available by the time your Thanksgiving event is over. If you happen to live out-of-town and you’re in no hurry to head home, staying the night getting sobered up in a motel (or a hotel, if you have the funds) or staying over at a friend’s place can minimize the chances of you ending up in a jail and booked for DUI. Las Vegas has many lodgings that offer cheap overnight fees, decent security for your vehicle, and some discounts for holidays and group bookings. If you’ve planned way ahead, you can even book a spot weeks beforehand and you can have a designated sober friend take you all there once you’re done for the night. As for staying over at a friend’s place, remember to arrange things with everybody else; you might not be the only one sleeping over, and there may not be enough space to accommodate everybody.

Thanksgiving is a good time to catch up and celebrate the good life with friends and family in Las Vegas. Of course, it works best if you celebrate responsibly. If things come to a head and you are suddenly facing a Las Vegas DUI charge, however, remember that there are many veteran DUI defense attorneys in town that can assist you and help you avoid conviction.

Circumstantial Evidence and its Effects on Your DUI Case

In all criminal cases, evidence can make or break a person’s chances of avoiding a conviction. Whether it’s a DUI charge in Henderson or a juvenile complaint in Paradise, even the tiniest bit of evidence can decide the result of a trial. It can be as big as multiple independent testimonies from different points of view, or as tiny as a single drop of blood spilled on the crime scene.

For DUI cases, evidence usually revolves around blood alcohol level, field sobriety test results, witness testimony, and the occasional security camera footage. However, there are many instances where items that seem to have no direct relation to the incident at first glance can be used to pin a defendant to the charge. These items are called circumstantial evidence and can have a serious effect on your DUI case in Las Vegas.

Defining Circumstantial Evidence

In brief, circumstantial evidence is any kind of evidence that is not directly taken from the instance of the crime, but can still be used to prove that a defendant has committed said crime. It often includes factors or features that won’t make sense outside of the context of the alleged crime. Unlike direct evidence, circumstantial evidence is not usually a first-hand piece of evidence and can only be surmised by combing through the scene of the alleged crime.

As an example, let’s say you are booked for DUI. If the prosecution wants to convict you on direct evidence alone, they will point to BAC and sobriety test results, as well as first-hand witness testimony, to land you in prison. If they are left with only circumstantial evidence, they will look into things like the strong smell of alcohol in your car, the engine still running during the time the charge took place, the fact that you are still at the driver’s seat when the alleged crime occured, or the vehicle being on the roadside when the authorities get to you.

How It Affects Your Chances

DUI charges rely primarily on confirmed high BAC levels for the prosecution to confirm a defendant’s guilt. However, if they are short on direct evidence, they will often double down on circumstantial evidence to get you. With the circumstances surrounding a DUI case, the prosecution can have many variations of circumstantial evidence to work with.

Despite the common notion that circumstantial evidence is inaccurate at best and fabricated at worst, there have been instances where such evidence has led to convictions. Timothy McVeigh is probably one of the most famous individuals who was convicted in a US court primarily with the help of circumstantial evidence; traces of explosive powder was found on his clothing at the time of his arrest, second-hand witness testimony regarding his rental of a service truck for the crime identified his facial features, and phone records relating to the purchase of dangerous materials further implicated him to his crime. Considering the magnitude of his crime compared to a DUI charge, getting a conviction based on circumstantial evidence alone isn’t too far off from happening with your case.

Defending Against Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence has a major bearing in many cases, but only if the prosecution uses them effectively. There are instances that the prosecution will focus on using circumstantial evidence but forget to make a cohesive narrative based on such circumstantial evidence. In such situations, your DUI defense lawyer can easily see gaps in their narrative and totally invalidate the importance of the evidence they presented.

As a rule of thumb, DUI defense lawyers will insist that the circumstantial evidence presented against their client either has no bearing on the case or is not enough proof to confirm a crime occured. For example, circumstantial testimony can be considered hearsay if the prosecution fails to prove that the statement made was entirely credible. Thorough cross-examination often exposes inconsistencies in the evidence presented, and can be used by defense lawyers to dispel the DUI allegations against the client. All in all, the focus is on ensuring that the circumstantial evidence is either invalidated or prevented from being accepted by the court.

Circumstantial evidence may be secondary to direct evidence in many circumstances, but it can still cause serious implications on your case if you do not handle such evidence well. Always rely on a DUI defense lawyer that knows how to effectively and expertly face charges with circumstantial evidence.

What is Retrograde Extrapolation and How Does It Affect Your Las Vegas DUI Case?

When you are facing a DUI charge in Las Vegas, the prosecution will use every rule in the book to pin you to it, provided they have any reason to get you convicted. They will cite witness statements, security footage, police reports and lab results to ensure that they will win the case. When push comes to shove, they can use unconventional methods to ensure a guilty verdict.

One of the most common tools used by the prosecution to back up a DUI case is the method of retrograde extrapolation. It is one of the most common methods of investigating a DUI case that does not follow the standard procedure of on-the-spot blood alcohol and sobriety checks. Some of you might just be hearing of this term for the first time.

Now would be a good time to learn more about retrograde extrapolation and how it affects your Las Vegas DUI case.

Defining Retrograde Extrapolation

In simple terms, retrograde extrapolation is the estimation of a person’s blood alcohol content before the time that they went through a breathalyzer or blood test. In other words, the authorities will take the results received from your BAC test and attempt to count back to how much higher it was at the time that the person in question was arrested. The method uses a mathematical formula that is standardized across the country.

Retrograde extrapolation is unconventional in the sense that the actual BAC at the time of the arrest is not recorded, but is only inferred based on later test results. It is often used when the person in question refuses to take a breathalyzer test in the field and insists that they go to a proper laboratory for blood testing.

Why It Affects You

As a defendant in a DUI case, you will look into every means that can be used against you and come up with counters that can help win the case for you. You will look out for witnesses to back your case up, solid alibis that can explain why you were in such a condition when you were apprehended, and reasons why there can be a discrepancy in your BAC test results.

All of these factors can be affected by retrograde extrapolation, in a way. If the authorities can confirm that you were driving way above the BAC limit through this method, they can find ways to invalidate any defense you can come up with. If they can back these numbers up with additional evidence from credible sources or experts, you can expect to lose.

How To Deal With It

Forensics deals a lot with numbers and aims to be as precise as possible in order to convict the actual culprit of a crime. The more precise the results, the more solid the case and the greater the chance of a conviction. However, they can never get such numbers all the time, and so the authorities aim for an approximation that is close enough to get a guilty verdict. 

Unfortunately for authorities, retrograde extrapolation has a good chance to be inaccurate. The method often relies on a constant benchmark that authorities apply to all defendants, but in many cases the defendant doesn’t fit the benchmark at all. In many instances, an independent toxicologist can refute the extrapolation results, citing physical,chemical and physiological differences in the defendant’s body, as well as inconsistencies in the testing method itself.

In many DUI cases, retrograde extrapolation can make or break a defendant’s case. Despite instances of inaccuracy, the method is considered reliable thanks to years of refinement, and it has resulted in convictions in the past. Remember to seek the expert help of a DUI lawyer in Las Vegas to help you deal with a case that uses retrograde extrapolation in a bid to convict you.

Review: DUI Statistics Over the Thanksgiving Season

October is almost over, and November is just around the corner. While many of us are anxious about the upcoming elections in two weeks’ time, many of us are also looking forward to all the holidays lined up once the election period is over. In fact, after the election hustle, people will be anxious to unwind during the Thanksgiving weekend afterwards.

Thanksgiving is always a great time to let your hair down and enjoy life, rewarding yourself for all the hard work you’ve been over the past year. Unfortunately, some people tend to go overboard with their celebrations during this time, and end up being a part of the statistics for DUI in Las Vegas. To give you a bird’s eye view of things, let’s review some DUI statistics over the Thanksgiving season.

55 Million

People take advantage of the long Thanksgiving weekend to come home and unwind for an extended period before stepping back into the hustle and bustle of work or school life. Thanksgiving is one of the periods apart from Christmas, Spring Break, or the Fourth of July where a large majority of Americans will be heading home to take five.

It can be daunting to see how many people will be travelling by land or air to spend Thanksgiving with family. Last year, an estimated 55 million people travelled for the Thanksgiving holiday, with a sizable chunk taking to the road. The large influx of homeward revellers exponentially increases the number of potential road accidents, whether through the lack of traffic discipline or through drunk drivers.

23% Increase

People are often used to the narrative that Thanksgiving is where most of the alcohol is consumed during the holiday. However, there has been an increasing trend towards binge-drinking on the eve before the event itself in recent years. The trend, known generally as Blackout Wednesday or Drinksgiving, appears to have started gaining traction at the start of the 2010s and has only continued to grow across the country.

The numbers aren’t low, either. One restaurant software systems provider reported a 23% growth in guest counts for their clients nationwide between 2017 and 2018, from nearly 500,000 in the previous year to over 640,000 individual paying consumers in the latter year. An additional note is that as far as regional numbers go, the West Coast (which includes Nevada) reported a 23% in sales for Blackout Wednesday in the same period. Local law enforcement is now paying particular attention to this period because it has extended the period when impaired drivers clog the roads in Las Vegas.

800 Fatalities

Holiday-related impaired driving is a common refrain we hear when any festivities come around. Often, it involves self-accidents where the drunk driver in question crashes into a road barrier, goes off-road and hits a tree or a rock, or in some rare cases gets thrown off a bridge. A larger number of these accidents involve crashing into other vehicles, or worse, mowing down pedestrians in a busy street.

Over a five-year period between 2013 and 2018, Over 800 crash-induced fatalities were related to impaired drivers. On average, at least one in three drivers were impaired in said incidents, a rather grim picture for DUI statistics. This is also not taking Blackout Wednesday cases into account, which may inflate the numbers in the coming years.

51% Holiday Binge Drinkers

Holidays are always a time when people would unwind and not worry about a care in the world. Some people completely transform into a different person when at home, taking their workmates completely by surprise. Unfortunately this also means they can become a risk to themselves and to other people when they are in holiday mode.

It may surprise you that many people caught for DUI during the Thanksgiving season get charged for the first time in their lives. On average, 51% of people caught and charged with DUI over Thanksgiving testify that they binge-drink more when it’s a holiday or vacation trip, and would be hard-pressed to overdrink when it’s a work week. As stated earlier, some people just tend to go the opposite way when not on the clock, but there are a select few that need special attention to keep people safe.

These numbers are not the end-all, be-all statistics for Thanksgiving DUI in Las Vegas and all across the country, but they should give you a clear picture of how easy it is for you to get charged during the period. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, but remember to do so responsibly and safely. If you are suddenly facing a Las Vegas DUI charge during the Thanksgiving weekend, remember that there are expert DUI attorneys that are ready to give you a hand.

Why Hire A Specialized DUI Attorney in Las Vegas?

When you are charged with DUI crimes in Las Vegas, one of the first things you are expected to do is look for an experienced defense lawyer with a reputation for effectively handling drunk driving cases. However, not everyone may opt for this step, either out of practicality or a lack of foreknowledge regarding lawyers. Some people may have a family lawyer that they can call, while others may go for a general practice attorney.

There are some people who do not see the need to go for a specialized DUI lawyer for their cases. This is understandable, as these people may have not gone into any sort of legal proceedings before, and have no idea what awaits them without the proper legal guidance. Now would be a good time to re-explore why you should hire a specialized DUI attorney when facing DUI charges in Las Vegas.

Trained For the Job

Law school isn’t the end of education for many lawyers. In fact, many attorneys choose to undergo further learning in particular disciplines like personal injury, criminal law, financial cases and the like. For DUI lawyers, this usually includes further study in aspects like field sobriety tests, breathalyzer usage, motoring law regarding inebriated driving, and blood alcohol content. A reliable DUI attorney would have both the necessary knowledge to back up your case, and the certification that ensures he knows what he is saying and doing. These certifications are usually provided by legal organizations specialized in DUI, like the National College for DUI Defense.

Knows the Hoops

Specialized criminal cases can be quite the minefield to navigate, especially for first-timers. You fear that anything you might say can ensure your conviction, and you have no idea how the court operates when handling your case. Specialized DUI attorneys come in handy with these situations because of their experience and training. Many of these lawyers have been involved with these authorities in the past, and they can easily tell if your case can be won handily or with a little more effort. They understand the processes involved with drunk driving cases at varying levels, and can more effectively guide a defendant through his case using this knowledge.

Can Provide More Options

Some people mistakenly think that the only choices when facing a DUI charge are to accept a plea deal or face trial. This is not always the case, and DUI lawyers know it very well. A veteran DUI attorney can look at your case and provide you with other courses of action that can give you a better result than facing jail time or paying the state. Years of handling drunk driving charges has given them insight on familiar aspects that can help get a case dismissed before it goes to trial.

Can Plead Your Case Effectively

DUI charges have a lot of terminologies and aspects that only people with years of experience in the discipline can know by heart. Your chances of a dismissal are dim if your lawyer does not have this innate knowledge. Going for a specialized DUI lawyer means that you are hiring someone who understands the peculiarities of your case, and can thus effectively explain and defend it in court. They know how to refute and counter-refute arguments that can come your way, and they prevent you from making minor mistakes that can destroy your case.

Knows Your Rights Intimately

Above all else, hiring an attorney specialized and experienced in DUI law means you are working with someone who fully understands your rights and how to protect them. Specialized DUI lawyers know how due process works, and will make sure that you receive a proper trial without any gaps. They will protect you against exploits that may be used against you to have you convicted.

Specialized cases need the assistance of well-trained specialists to deal with, and DUI charges are no exception. Always sign up the help of a seasoned DUI lawyer when facing DUI crimes in Las Vegas.

A Checklist for Hiring a DUI Attorney in Las Vegas

DUI charges in Las Vegas are some of the most common crimes committed in the city. Every day at least one or two cases are booked and dealt with, from minor incidents like intoxication-induced overspeeding to more serious situations like a drunk driving hit-and-run. With how common DUI arrests are made in the city, there is a high chance that you or someone close to you will end up facing DUI charges in Las Vegas.

Dealing with a DUI case in the city can be strenuous; thankfully, there are a large number of criminal defense lawyers who provide services in DUI defense that you can choose from. However, not all of these attorneys may meet your needs, and instead of helping you, can possibly put you at greater risk of a conviction. If you are not sure about who to work with, you need to have a checklist for hiring a DUI attorney in Las Vegas.

Legal Background and Experience

One of the first things any employer looks for in prospective hires is overall experience: what kind of jobs the applicant has been through, their overall background, the type of work they are trained to handle, and so on. The same goes for people looking to a DUI lawyer to represent them; you can never be too thorough in looking through a lawyer’s experience and background. Look into how long they’ve been providing DUI defense in the area; check if they provide other kinds of legal representation; assess their average number of clients for a certain period; and so on.

Specialized Skills

Some DUI cases may require someone with unique skills and experience in order to gain a dismissal for the defendant. If you’re facing a DUI charge with particular circumstances that set it apart from a routine case, you’ll need to know if your prospective lawyer can handle them. Look into attorneys who have received specialist training in aspects like breathalyzer operation and field sobriety tests. You might also want to know if the lawyer has received a certification from nationally-recognized DUI law organizations and educational institutions, which offer advanced DUI instruction for lawyers.

Pricing and Legal Fees

Unless you are short on funds and opting to avail of your right to a public defender, one of the other important factors you need to weigh for your prospective DUI lawyer is payment. You can look into comparing costs and types of fees as a matter of course, but you can also check out other factors like payment options, additional fees for particular services, and payment schedules. You can also inquire if the lawyer will require payment for post-trial services and the like.

Style of Case Management

While all DUI lawyers may receive the same kind of training in DUI defense, there are distinct differences in how they handle clients in the long run. For example, you may be talking to one lawyer but somebody else will stand with you in court. Always inquire about how a prospective defense attorney handles their case: talk about representation, who handles what aspects of your case, who handles inquiries outside of hearings, and so on. You may be surprised at how distinct each lawyer handles a defense case. Things can get even more complicated if you’re comparing notes between an independent defender and a larger legal firm.

Their View On Your Case

Not all legal proceedings have an outcome that is set in stone; however, that does not mean you can’t get a forecast of how your case will conclude in the end. You can ask potential lawyers about their impressions regarding your DUI case based on whatever facts are currently available to you. You can query them about factors that can be helpful and detrimental to your case; the need for a possible plea bargaining deal; or the need to go to trial at all. Weighing their answers may help you narrow down an attorney to work with, but remember that their answers are only inferences based on the current state of your charges. Relying on a lawyer with an overly optimistic view of your case may backfire on you in the end, so tread lightly.

Getting a reliable DUI lawyer to represent you in Las Vegas can be tricky as well as complicated, but it is very rewarding when you get things right. With a large selection of Las Vegas defense attorneys to choose from, you are sure to find someone who fits your legal needs.

Reasons Why Domestic Violence Cases May Not Be Reported

Domestic violence in Nevada is one of the state’s more prevalent legal concerns. In 2016 alone, law enforcement received domestic violence-related emergency calls at least 65,026 times. As recently as last year, the state ranked fourth nationwide in terms of domestic violence-related homicides, with many of the victims being women. Despite the relative downward trend in cases, being part of the top five is still a cause for concern among domestic violence advocates in Nevada.

While the numbers can raise some eyebrows, another problem comes into view: domestic violence cases aren’t as well-reported as they should be. The high number of domestic violence-related homicides is reflective of this; rather than seek help, many of these abused partners choose to endure their predicament, putting them at even more risk until it is too late. 

Let’s look at a few reasons why domestic violence cases may not be reported.

Self-Doubt

Domestic abusers are often described as controlling, imposing their will on their partners and always believing that they are in the right and their partner is always in the wrong. It can be anything as simple as constantly nagging on who is calling them, to physically hurting their partner when they do something that the abuser believes is contrary to what they want. In the worst cases, the abuser outright blames their partner for the abuse they are receiving.

A person that has been in such an abusive relationship for so long may eventually lose confidence in their own judgement. They become more guarded, choosing what they say and do, trying to make sure they please their partner. The brewing self-doubt within the victim can discourage them from seeking help from the authorities.

Cultural Norms

American society has put a lot of importance on a stable and whole family. Despite the growing trend of divorcees, single-parent homes, or childless couples, many of the more traditional inidividuals insist on upholding the model American family, with each member playing their traditional roles. This traditionalist approach may discourage abused spouses from filing a domestic violence complaint against their partners if the abuse becomes abusive or near-lethal.

Cultural norms in many places across the world do not hold many domestic violence abusers culpable of crime, even if what they did may result in irreparable damage on the part of the victim. While this is slowly being rectified and dealt with, there are still countries that believe it is a natural part of their culture. There were at least 13 countries that did not decriminalize domestic violence as late as 2017, a sombre sight in the modern era.

For the Kids

Related to the previous point, many abused partners stay in abusive relationships to keep their family stable. In this case, the reason is not always due to cultural or societal norms that they grew up with. For instance, the abuser may have the more stable source of income; leaving the abuser may mean that the children’s future is no longer assured.

In a more dire case, the abuser may have something against the victim that they can use for blackmail. This not only affects the victim, but the children as well; knowing this, the victim chooses to stay. Most domestic violence victims do not realize that children witnessing the abuse have indirectly become domestic abuse victims as well. Furthermore, staying in an abusive relationship ‘for the kids’ puts the children at a greater risk of receiving direct abuse themselves.

Acts of Passion

It is not unheard of for a long-standing couple to suddenly be involved in domestic issues, only for things to normalize. Yet after a period of time, tempers flare up again, entering into a repetitive cycle where things are calm and smooth-sailing with rare interludes of familial disputes. To some, it may look like the typical ‘trouble-in-paradise’ situation driven by excessive emotions; however, things can head in a different direction if said interludes always involve excessive abuse, and the peaceful periods become noticeably shorter.

Some abused partners believe that the abuse they’re experiencing is only temporary, caused by excess tension between them and their partner. They think that their partner just snapped due to a particularly bad day at work or any other form of emotional distress that has been brewing for a long time, and that they only need a one-time release to let it all go, physical or emotional pain notwithstanding. This misguided belief in acts of passion affects both new couples (who may have only seen their partner’s good side during the dating phase) and long-time spouses (who only find out too late about how abusive their partner can be) and can lead to them staying far too long to be healthy.

Family Affairs

One of the strong beliefs of many traditionalists is that family problems stay with the family and are not an issue for outsiders to handle. As such, domestic violence victims tend to avoid discussing their abuse with other people, even their closest friends. In some extreme cases, even close relatives (like siblings or cousins) are deliberately kept out of the loop, either by the victim or the abuser.

This is one of the worst myths that affect reporting of domestic violence cases. By thinking that such issues need only to be talked about between spouses, a proper solution is not introduced into the conversation and the cycle of hurting continues.

Domestic violence is a serious issue that is best addresssed with prompt reporting and continued cooperation on the part of the victim. The only way for the victim to break free is to seek direct help.

How is Cyberstalking Prosecuted in Nevada?

Stalking in Nevada is one of the more common domestic violence-related cases that local law enforcement has to deal with regularly. This trend isn’t surprising; considering that 79% of femicide incidents over the past few years are linked to stalking, police are keen to prevent more severe incidents related to this particular crime. Not to mention that stalking has inflicted severe physical and emotional pain to many victims in the locale.

On top of the trouble of dealing with physical stalkers, the rapid development of technology over the past decades has led to the increasing notoriety of off-hand stalkers who prefer to harass their quarry via a variety of communication devices and tools. From the days of threatening and disturbing letters, stalkers have moved on to scary phone calls and more recently, stalking on social media and other digital accounts.

Cyberstalking is only one facet of stalking as a whole, but it has gained increased attention in recent years because of the growing sophistication in methods used by such stalkers. Nevada courts have set up severely stringent measures to handle cyber-stalkers and punish them for their crimes. Let’s take a look at how cyber-stalking is prosecuted in Nevada.

Defining Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is defined as harassing an individual, group, or organization by means of electronic communication. Methods commonly associated with cyber-stalking include libelous or slanderous messages, defamatory statements sent directly to a victim’s main channels, or disturbing behavior like regularly sending unsolicited pictures of where the victim had been or an overly-detailed description of what they had been doing throughout the day. In most cases, simple but overly-familiar personal messages via email can already count as cyberstalking.

Apart from the aforementioned methods, cyberstalkers also employ more severe ways to abuse their victims online. Backdoor monitoring of their online accounts, outright identity theft, direct denial of service attacks, and vandalism of said accounts are typical of more serious cyberstalkers. Solicitation for sex and blackmailing are typically used by the more depraved individuals, especially towards women. Whatever the method, the general aim of cyberstalkers is the same: to control the way their victims think, act, and feel.

Cyberstalking and The Law

Cyberstalking was a tricky case to prosecute in Nevada for the longest time because it was difficult to determine the measure by which an online act can be considered as cyberstalking. Not to mention, many perpetrators are either anonymous or are hidden behind difficult-to-trace personas that make it difficult for prosecutors to pin a suspect in real life. In many cases, law enforcement had to solicit the assistance of the internet service provider, app developer, or social media network in order to identify the stalker.

As per the current Nevada laws, cyberstalking is classified as a Category C felony, equal in precedence to aggravated stalking. Additionally, it shares the general set of penalties one can face with an aggravated stalking charge, including: a maximum of $10,000 in fines, between one and five years in prison, and other penalties that the court sees fit. Probation is a valid alternative to prison time, provided the court makes that option available for the defendant.

Cyberstalking Crimes and You

The prevalence of the internet in our daily lives means that we have better accessibility to each other than ever before. It also means whatever you say online can be misconstrued as a disparaging remark, or worse, a slanderous message.

You can be accused of cyberstalking for sending a harmless message that the plaintiff mistakenly labeled as disturbing or intrusive. If you happen to be in a legal battle with your spouse, they can claim that you are trying to harass them via digital channels even though you were only trying to communicate civilly. In worse cases, someone can play victim and accuse you of harassing them online, using stolen personal information to frame you, or accusing you because you share online information with their harasser by sheer coincidence.

A defendant facing a cyberstalking case can often counterclaim that they were misidentified. This is the most common defense for cyberstalking cases because of how tricky it is to get precise personas and how several online profiles may share information by chance. If you have enough online knowledge, you can also claim that your account information was stolen and used by another person to harass the plaintiff.

 

Cyberstalking is just one of many innovative crimes in this age of rapidly-evolving information technology. Know the consequences of a Nevada cyberstalking charge so that you know what you are facing when you get charged with it. On top of all this, never forget to discuss your case carefully with a reliable domestic violence attorney who has a handle of how cyberstalking charges work.