Nebraska DUI Attorney
Nebraska DUI Law
Nebraska law makes it illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These laws are known as the DUI laws and are in place to help protect people who are using Nebraska’s roadways. When you are arrested and convicted for a DUI offense in Nebraska, you are facing criminal and administrative penalties that have the power to turn your life upside down. Because the consequences of being convicted of driving under the influence are so dire, it is important that you contact a Nebraska DUI lawyer immediately after your arrest so your rights can be preserved and you have the best chance of defending yourself against the charges.
Nebraska DUI Arrests
When you are arrested for a DUI in Nebraska, the arrest will trigger two completely separate cases against you. One is a criminal court case where a prosecutor will attempt to have you convicted of drunk driving and be penalized according to the law. The second is an administrative case where the state will try to suspend your driving privileges. This is called an Administrative License Revocation Hearing and can be an important part of your case. Having a Nebraska DUI attorney represent you during this hearing can help you to save your driving privileges and may also help you during your criminal court case.
Like many states, Nebraska has two theories under which someone who has been charged with DUI can be prosecuted. The first involves the impairment of the driver in question. The prosecutor will use driving habits, failed sobriety tests, and the appearance of the driver to try to prove that the driver was too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle. The second theory involves the “per se” DUI law in Nebraska. Impairment is not the issue in this type of case. This type of case solely involves the chemical test results obtained from a sample given by the defendant. Even if the driver did not smell of alcohol or show any bad driving patterns, they can still be convicted of driving under the influence if the chemical testing reveals a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or greater. If charged with DUI, the driver has the right to a jury trial where the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of driving under the influence. If even one of the jurors does not believe that the defendant was under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt, it will result in a hung jury and the DUI charges may be dismissed.
Administrative Driver’s License Suspension
The Nebraska DMV may suspend the driving privileges of someone who is arrested for driving under the influence in Nebraska. This suspension happens automatically once the arrest has taken place, but you have the option of requesting a hearing in front of the DMV. This request must be made within ten days or you will lose your driving privileges in Nebraska. Make your request as soon as possible after your arrest so that you have a cushion of time to use if a problem should occur. If you wait until the 9th day to make your request, something may go wrong with the phone lines or something else you need to make your request and then you will be in danger of missing the deadline. During the hearing, important information will be considered such as the legality of the arrest or the chemical testing available from the case. The hearing officer presiding over the case will recommend if you should lose your license or have it returned to you. The Director makes the final decision about your driving privileges.
If you lose this hearing, your license will be suspended for 90 days and you will be able to get a restricted work license after 30 days of the suspension. If you have a second or subsequent offense, your license will be suspended for one year and you will not be able to get a work permit or drive for any reason. If you are convicted of DUI, the court will separately impose license suspension penalties. For a first offense, the penalty is 60 days if you are sentenced to probation or 6 months if you have to serve jail time. A second offense will result in a suspension of one year whether you are sentenced to jail time or not. A third offense will result in a one year suspension if you are given probation and a fifteen year suspension if you have to serve jail time. A fourth offense also results in a one year suspension with probation or a fifteen year suspension with jail time. In some of the courts, you may be allowed to drive if you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, but that is up to the court. All of this information makes DUI a very complex case, so it is important that you have a Nebraska DUI attorney to defend you against DUI charges.
Nebraska DUI Criminal Penalties
If you are convicted of a driving under the influence charge, you will face penalties that vary depending on the level of offense and any other specific factors. For a first offense, the minimum penalty is 7 days in jail and a $400 fine. The maximum penalty for a first offense is 60 days of jail time and a $500 fine. For a second DUI offense, the minimum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The maximum penalty for a second DUI offense is 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. For a third offense, the minimum penalty is 9 days in jail and a $600 fine. The maximum penalty for a third DUI offense is one year in jail and a $600 fine.