When Driving Under the Influence Becomes a matter of Life and Liberty – – DUI Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm or Death.

Accidents involving motor vehicles are a very common occurrence in the Las Vegas Valley.  Most of us have come to accept fender benders on our streets and highways as a way of life and rarely give them a second thought nowadays.  When the accident is alleged to have been caused by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol however, the consequences become much more severe for the person causing the accident.

A 21-year-old Los Angeles woman was severely injured recently and admitted to the hospital in critical condition after being part of a two vehicle accident, allegedly caused by a person driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan police department reported that this accident occurred shortly after 1:00 in the morning on September 21, 2013 in the vicinity of Las Vegas Boulevard and Siren’s Cove Boulevard near the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.

A full summary of the accident can be found here.

According to witnesses and the review of evidence located at the scene, a BMW was turning left from Siren’s Cove Boulevard to northbound Las Vegas Boulevard.  The driver of the BMW, who appears to be from Las Vegas, lost control of his vehicle and struck as which was abiding by traffic laws at a light signal.  All three individuals in the taxi cab were injured and taken to an area hospital.  One passenger in the taxi suffered severe injuries which are considered to be life threatening.

According to Metro Police, the driver of the BMW failed field sobriety tests administered at the scene of the accident.  He was then arrested for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol/DUI and was transported to a local detention center.

While all arrests and convictions for DUI in Las Vegas (and throughout Nevada) are serious, it is important to remember that there are certain scenarios make a “typical DUI” far more severe in the eyes of the law.  Not all DUI crimes are the same and there are several different types of DUI in Nevada.  In the situation outlined above for example, the driver who is under the influence and is the cause of an injury to another driver or a pedestrian, makes the crime for more egregious under Nevada law.

While a typical arrest for a DUI is misdemeanor offense, an arrest for Driving under the Influence resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm or Death is a Felony.  Unlike many other felonies, a DUI causing harm or death carries a MANDATORY PRISON SENTENCE.   Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) 484C.430 outlines the penalties Driving under the Influence Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm or Death.  It states that any driver who is in actual physical control of a vehicle on any public road or highway in Nevada and is the cause of the death of, or substantial bodily harm to another person is guilty of DUI Death/Harm.  This offense is a very serious crime and is categorized as a category “B” felony.  While all felony crimes carry with them the potential for a prison sentence of more than one year, most crimes allow for the person to be punished under “supervised release” or “probation.”  DUI resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm or Death however is different.  A person convicted of this crime must be sentenced to prison and is not eligible for probation.  The sentence is not a light one either.  If a person is convicted they face 2-20 years in Nevada State Prison and a fine of between $2,000.00 and $5,000.00.

If you, or someone you know, has been arrested or charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, or elsewhere in Nevada, you should immediately call an experienced and knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney to help you with these very serious charges.  At the Las Vegas Law Firm of Hofland & Tomsheck, we specialize in the defense of these crimes and the intricate issues that present themselves in these cases.  Attorney Josh Tomsheck, a partner in the firm, is a Nationally Board Certified Criminal Defense Trial Attorney and is a member of the National College for DUI Defense.  Contact us today and allow us to help you with your case right away.