Reducing a DUI Charge to Reckless Driving


NRS 484C  prohibits the State prosecutors from reducing or dismissing DUI charges unless there are specific reasons to do so.  That is where having an excellent defense attorney really pays off.  An experienced DUI attorney may be able to get the States attorney to reduce the charges to reckless driving or possible dismiss the case altogether.  In Las Vegas, and in fact all of  Nevada, there is no distinction between a reckless caused by a charge of DUI (a wet reckless) and an ordinary reckless driving (dry reckless).

A reduction to reckless driving is a win! A reckless is technically a misdemeanor like a DUI, but in reality, there are many advantages to having the reduction.

Reckless Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Theoretically both charges are punishable by a fine and up to 6 months in jail.  The reality is that almost no one does jail time for reckless driving.  Reckless driving has far fewer consequences than  DUI.  Employers usually look at a reckless as a traffic ticket, where a DUI is considered a true misdemeanor crime.

An experienced attorney will try to get a first offense reduced to a reckless. This is accomplished by a careful analysis of the evidence against the accused.  If any type of statutory, due process or constitutional defect can be detected the attorney can gain the leverage necessary to negotiate with the prosecuting attorneys office to reduce the charge.

When can you have your case sealed?

A reckless driving conviction may be sealed two (2) years after the close of the case.  The points on ones drivers license drops off after just one year.  In contrast, a DUI conviction is on your record for a full seven (7) years before it can be sealed.  The DUI can also be used against you to severely enhance the penalty of a second or third charge within 7 years.

Sealing a record does not destroy the record but makes it completely invisible for purposes of a background check of any kind.  Nevada statute provides that if a record is sealed, one may legally state on an employment application that they have never been convicted of a crime.  With a knowledgeable attorney behind you you may put this kind of charge behind you much faster than you think.

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