Common Charges Handled Personally By Attorney Ross C. Goodman
Drunk Driving (“DUI”), Medical Marijuana and Prescription Medication Defense to Driving While Impaired (“DWI”) in Las Vegas. Las Vegas DUI Lawyer Ross C. Goodman has substantial training and experience in successfully defending DUI and DWI charges by challenging the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) results. The police must comply with a checklist for the proper administration of the Intoxilyzer 8000 relating to the calibration, preparation of simulator solution and compliance with other regulations which could impact the reliability of the BAC result. Also, it is important to review the chain of custody for a blood test beginning with the nurse who drew the blood to the refrigeration and storage of the blood sample through the chemical analysis performed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Crime Lab.
Ross C. Goodman, Esq. will evaluate your case to identify many of the common issues and mistakes made by police relating to the improper administration of the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFSTs) or by the Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) or search issues relating to a “bad stop” that could allow your case to be reduced to a Reckless Driving.
Attorney Ross C. Goodman has been certified in the administration of SFSTs published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This has resulted in the successful impeachment of these “balancing” tests, and together with developing evidentiary and other witness issues, have contributed to the successful negotiation of hundreds of cases to the reduced charge of Reckless Driving.
It is extremely important that you aggressively defend your first DUI offense because of the enhanced penalties within 7 years for a second DUI offense (a minimum of 10 days in jail) and third DUI offense (a mandatory term of imprisonment). However, clients may be eligible to defer a term of imprisonment in exchange for completing the Serious Offender Program.
The Nevada DMV requires you to request an administrative hearing within 7 days of the Breath Test or Notice from the DMV regarding the blood test results. This allows you to drive with a temporary license pending the DMV hearing. Generally, the DMV imposes a 90 day license suspension for the first DMV conviction, 6 months for the 2nd DUI conviction and a one year suspension for the 3rd DUI conviction.
If someone is from out-of-state, the Nevada DMV may transmit the record to the Out-of-State DMV. In some cases, this does not happen and there is no suspension for an Out-of-State driver. However, the Nevada DMV creates a “Dummy” record in the event the Out-of-State person at a later point applies for a Nevada Driver’s License at which point you have to go through the reinstatement process.
Medical Marijuana Defense
There is no exception for medical marijuana patients to avoid prosecution for DWI in Las Vegas, Nevada even absent any actual evidence of impaired driving if testing shows more than 2 nanograms of marijuana per milliliter or 5 nanograms of marijuana metabolite (a nanogram is a billionth of a gram, and a milliliter is 1/1000th of a liter). This also is true if the person tests positive for Carboxy–Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Carboxy–THC”), a non-impairing metabolite of Cannabis. This is problematic for medical marijuana patients because Hydroxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Hydroxy–THC”) does not exist in the blood for very long and is quickly converted to Carboxy–THC which can remain in a person’s body for as many as twenty-eight to thirty days after the ingestion of marijuana.
Two things to know: (1) this is a stricter standard than exists for cocaine or heroin (50 nanograms per milliliter of blood), methamphetamine (100 nanograms) or LSD (10 nanograms); and (2) medical marijuana is treated differently from prosecutions involving other prescription medications such as Percocet, Lortab or Oxycontin where actual impairment must be proved.
Choice Between the Breathalyzer or Blood Test Under the Implied Consent Statute
Most people should choose the Breathalyzer over a blood test because there are more ways to challenge the Intoxilyzer 8000. Nevada’s implied consent statute, NRS 484C.160(1) provides that through the act of driving a vehicle, the person “shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to an evidentiary test of his or her blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance to determine the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood or breath” if there is reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving while intoxicated. Generally, you may refuse to submit to a blood test under NRS 484C.160(4)(a) if means are reasonably available to perform a breath test. There are certain situations where you do not have the choice of a Breathalyzer such as where it is the second DUI charge, drugs are suspected or an accident occurred.
DUI Causing Death Compared to Vehicular Homicide
The State’s burden of proof is slightly different for each of these offenses. Under NRS 484C.430, a person commits DUI causing death if under the influence of a controlled substance performs an act or neglects a duty imposed by law while driving if performing the act or neglecting the duty is the proximate cause of the death of another person. Instead, a person commits vehicular homicide under NRS 484C.130 if the person drives a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, proximately causes the death of another person while driving, and has been convicted of at least three prior DUI convictions.
Las Vegas Domestic Violence and Battery Charge Defense
A Domestic Violence charge is one of the most common charges we handle generally initiated by a family member, significant other or roommate in the heat-of-the-moment. However, the State continues to prosecute these cases even after the complainant recants. The good news is that often times we get these cases dismissed because of the lack of witness cooperation. In the alternative, we have won Not Guilty verdicts in many of the cases that take to trial. It is critical to aggressively defend these case because the second domestic violence battery conviction within seven years is enhanced starting with a minimum of 10 days in jail and a third domestic violence battery conviction is enhanced to a felony and mandatory term of imprisonment.
Most people are unaware that a domestic violence conviction carries significant collateral consequences. The Lautenberg Amendment prohibits possession of a gun by any individual who has previously been convicted of an offense that qualifies as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” Also, NRS 125C.230(1) sets forth a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the children’s best interest to award custody to a parent who has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the children, the parent, or a person residing with the children.
A misdemeanor domestic battery charge can escalate very easily to a Felony Domestic Battery with Strangulation. Most people are unaware that putting a pillow over someone’s face is considered Strangulation as long as that person’s normal breathing or circulation of the blood is disrupted by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person in a manner that creates a risk of death or substantial bodily harm. The loss of consciousness or injury is not required.
Where a battery results in substantial bodily harm, the battery becomes a felony. Substantial bodily harm is “bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ; or … prolonged physical pain.” Most cases get upgraded based on the victim’s complaint of pain that lasts longer than the pain immediately resulting from the wrongful touching.
Las Vegas Casino Markers Defense
While everyone likes to have fun playing casino games in Las Vegas, just remember that taking credit from the casino or not following some of the games’ rules could land you in jail. First, it is important to understand that all credit is not equal. Contrary to credit that banks extend, unpaid credit from a casino (referred to as a “Unpaid Marker”) can result in a Felony conviction. That is because not paying a Marker upon presentment to your bank is treated the exact same as not having sufficient funds in your bank account when you write a check. In the case of a dishonored Marker, the Casino has the option to refer the matter to the Bad Check Collections Unit (“BCU”) of the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The BCU will send you a Notice giving you a final chance to work out a payment plan within 10 days before referring the case for prosecution.
Like in any criminal case, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted with the intent to defraud. However, unlike most prosecutions, there is a built-in statutory presumption of intent to defraud. Pursuant to NRS 205.132, it is presumed that a person had the intent to defraud the Casino if the Marker is not paid within five (5) days after receiving Notice of Insufficient Funds. Relatedly, most people are surprised to learn that filing Bankruptcy does NOT stop a criminal prosecution even if the casino marker has been discharged — 11 U.S.C. ß 362(b)(1). However, a Casino may be in violation of the automatic stay if you file for Bankruptcy BEFORE the Casino refers the matter to BCU. Ultimately, winning this race to the courthouse may discourage the prosecutor from pursuing criminal charges given the three-year statute of limitations.
The second thing you should be aware of that may result in a felony prosecution is manipulating the outcome or changing a bet on a casino game so as to gain an advantage over other players. For example, increasing a bet by only $5 during a game of blackjack where the first two hands are displayed can result in a felony charge, That can get you 1-6 years in prison and a fine of not more than $10,000.00. Generally, these cases are prosecuted under the Fraudulent Act Statute (NRS 465.070). Contrary to bad Marker cases, the violation of a gaming statute only requires the State to prove general intent. As a consequence, many plausible or innocent explanations — such as not knowing the specific rules of the casino game, making a mistake during play or being drunk — are not available defenses.
On the flip side of the coin, people should know that Casinos have protected themselves against potential lawsuits based on typical disputes such as incorrect pay-outs based on sports wagers, errors by casino dealers or errors due to a malfunctioning slot. Instead, gaming lobbyists have succeeded in limiting any such recourse to the administrative procedures set out by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). The bottom line is remember that the house has stacked the legal deck to always win.
Las Vegas Possession of Drugs
Most tourists come to Las Vegas to party but ultimately get charged with Possession of Controlled Substances after getting caught at one of the Hotel pools or clubs. In many cases, we have successfully found search issues resulting in a dismissal or reduced misdemeanor charge. However, the weight of the drugs dictates whether you will be charged with simple possession of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances for the purpose of sale or trafficking drugs.
Often times, we find issues with an Affidavit supporting the Search Warrant creating difficulties for the prosecution of the case. While the prison sentence escalates significantly between low, mid and high level drug trafficking, we have been successful in getting probation. There are also treatment or diversion programs pursuant to NRS 453.3363 which allows for the dismissal of a possession of controlled substance case.
The large majority of drug overdose deaths involve painkillers such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Methadone and Oxycotin. The human body develops a tolerance to the drug’s effects and over time it’s not unusual for dosage increases as they lose their effectiveness. Many patients get addicted and need more than the prescribing physician allows. As a result, we have seen an increasing number of arrests due to possession of painkillers without a prescription. We have been successful in getting many of these cases reduced to misdemeanors or dismissed based on treatment and other defenses.
Open and Gross Lewdness
The term “lewdness” is defined as any act of a sexual nature which the actor knows is likely to be observed by the victim who would be affronted by the act. These cases often involve the unwanting touching of the breast or buttocks. Most people are surprised to learn that this conduct even while intoxicated or otherwise impaired constitutes a sexual offense requiring someone convicted to register as a sex offender. Likewise, the prosecutor does not need to prove an intent to offend but only that person intended such acts to be offensive to the victim. Fortunately, we have been successful in negotiating these cases to a dismissal or simple misdemeanor which can be sealed in 2 years after the case is closed out.
Charged or Arrested for a Crime in Las Vegas? – Look no further!
If you or a loved one is Arrested or Charged for a crime look no further! Call the Goodman Law Group, P.C. at (702) 383-5088 to schedule an immediate consultation to find out your bail options and potential defenses and strategy to leveraging a favorable result.