Tag Archives: Las Vegas DUI Attorney

Hit and Run Crashes on the Rise in Las Vegas

Dangerous city traffic situation

Hit and Run Crashes on the Rise in Las Vegas

Studies show that automobile accidents, specifically those involving fleeing the scene or hit and runs, have been on a steady increase on a national scale for the past few years now. To no surprise, hit and run incidents occurred most often in larger suburban cities. And more often than not, the fleeing suspect did so to evade stiff DUI/DWI charges.

In an effort to boost traffic safety and lower fatalities for motorist and pedestrians, the Nevada legislature was one of the first to propose bills that would make offenders think twice before fleeing the scene of an accident.

In March of 2015 the Nevada State Legislature introduced a bill that called for stiffer penalties on drivers who have left the scene of an automobile accident that resulted in serious bodily injury, property damage and/or death. The bill was passed and went into effect on October 1, 2015 as  NRS 484E.010.

NRS 484E.010 states that if you have been involved in an automobile accident that has resulted in bodily injury, property damage or death:

  • All parties should immediately stop his/her vehicle(s) at the scene of the crash, or as close as safely possible, and remain at the scene of the accident until all measures outlined in NRS 484.030 – Duty to Give Information and Render Aid – have been fulfilled
  • All stops must be made without further hindering traffic

Under this new law, a driver found fleeing the scene of an accident that has caused bodily injury, property damage and/or death will be penalized with a category B felony. Punishments mirror those placed on convicted DUI/DWI offenders and include:

  • a fine of no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000; and a
  • mandatory sentence of two years served in state prison (maximum term set at 15 years)

Prior to the passing of this law, penalties in Nevada for fleeing the scene of an automobile accident resulting in property damage could be as miniscule as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum of six months in jail time.

Las Vegas “Hit and Run”  Cases Shock the Nation

Legislators have a valid purpose for proposing that “hit and run” laws have harsher penalties. Being only two months in to 2016, Las Vegas law enforcement has already responded to several fatal hit and run accidents.

On February 7th, 2016 North Las Vegas Police responded to a fatal hit and run. Witnesses of the event described the suspect as a middle aged man driving a white panel van who had struck an individual attempting to cross the street prior to fleeing the scene. The victim, two year old Evelyn Green, was rushed to North Vista hospital where she later died of her injuries. A suspect has not been identified.

The month prior to the death of Baby Evelyn, Lakeisha Holloway became one of the first individuals to be tried under NRS 484E.010 for a crime she committed in December 2015. Holloway was facing over 70 charges, including fleeing the scene of an accident, for repeatedly driving her 1996 Oldsmobile into the busy Las Vegas strip sidewalk at 30-40 miles per hour with her three year old child present in the vehicle. Holloway’s actions claimed the life of one pedestrian and severely injured nearly 40 others. Rather than stopping, Holloway fled approximately one mile from the scene before pulling over and calling 911. Toxicology reports later revealed that marijuana was found present in Holloway’s blood.

Since her arrest, Holloway has been held without bail at a Las Vegas jail. Holloway’s defense team recently announced that she planned to plead not guilty. She is scheduled to appear in court on February 18th, and if convicted Holloway could face over 1,000 years in prison.

With Las Vegas, Nevada – specifically the strip – being the most toured destination in the U.S. bringing in a record breaking 42 million visitors in 2015 alone, the news of these heinous crimes quickly spread and sparked nationwide outrage against hit and run cases.

Hit and Run Statistics

Statistics from the Nevada Department of Public Safety and Highway Patrol (NHP) released earlier this year shed insight on the rise of Hit and Run accidents within Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety and Transportation, overall traffic accidents resulting in deaths in 2015 increased by nearly 10 percent from the previous year for a total of 321 fatalities. To no surprise, this increase nearly doubled for Clark County at a soaring 18.9 percent (207 fatalities). Of the thousands of hit and run cases reported there were over 700 reported fatal hit and run instances in 2015 (including auto-pedestrian cases).

Though drunken driving fatalities in the Clark County area dropped by nearly 20 percent, studies found that drugs and alcohol are to blame for an overwhelming amount of automobile incidents involving a fleeing party.

Conclusion

If charged with a hit and run or fleeing the scene following an accident, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An individual charged with fleeing the scene may also face related charges, such as DUI or possession of a controlled substance.

Joel Mann is an experience, trial proven criminal defense attorney. He has extensive experience representing individuals facing charges of fleeing the scene and other criminal offenses. Call the Law Office of Joel M. Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a confidential attorney review of your case.

 

Will Forced Blood Draws For DUIs Remain Legal In Nevada?

Sobriety Check

The United States Supreme Court heard argument yesterday regarding whether police need to obtain a warrant before forcing a person to provide blood for a DUI test.  The case involves a Missouri man that was stopped on suspicion of DUI.  In Missouri they allow a person to choose to participate in evidentiary testing, i.e. blood or breath, test for DUIs or lose their license for one year.  In the case before the United States Supreme Court the defendant chose to not have a blood test but the police forced him to provide one anyway.

From the argument it appeared that the Supreme Court Justices were entertaining the idea that police should be required to obtain a warrant before forcing anyone to provide a blood sample.  However, it also appeared that the Justices were not willing to say that it would happen in all DUI tests done.

If the US Supreme Court comes out with a ruling later in the year indicating that a blood test requires a warrant first how would it effect drivers and suspected DUI drivers in Nevada.  This is very difficult to state at this time because the nuances of the Supreme Court’s ruling are not clear, so this is pure speculation…

First you need to look at the current state of the law in Nevada for suspected DUI.  Currently Nevada law allows for the police to do forced blood draws from any person that they suspect is DUI.  Nevada is different from Missouri in that Nevada does not provide a choice for drivers to either submit to the blood test or lose their license, Nevada says that all people must provide a blood or breath test when suspected of DUI.  A driver only gets a choice between which test they take, blood or breath test, when it is believed that it is their first time DUI offense.

If the US Supreme Court says that police need to obtain a warrant before a blood draw, it could stop the way all DUIs are handled in Las Vegas and the State of Nevada.  No longer would it be a given that all people who drive a car are subjecting themselves to the possibility that they will be strapped to a gurney and forced to provide blood.  However, the US Supreme Court could easily state that because Missouri allows for a choice for drivers and the drivers do not choose the test that the police then must obtain a warrant.  If that was the case, Nevada’s laws may not change at all.

My belief is that whatever the US Supreme Court decides this will be a change in how the legal community looks at DUIs and could foster a long series of litigation on the constitutionality of each state’s laws.  For more information on DUI laws in Las Vegas, Nevada go to my webpage.

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