Friday, May 30, 2014

What is Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive driving is a serious offense in Nevada that is punishable under NRS 484B.650. The law states that a person commits the crime of aggressive driving if, while continuously driving within the course of 1 mile, they:
  • Speed in a school zone, school crossing zone, work zone, or if the driver’s speeding is the proximate cause of a pedestrian or bicycle accident.
  • Do two or more of the following acts, or do any of the following acts more than once:
    • Fail to obey an official traffic control device;
    • Follow too closely behind another vehicle;
    • Overtake and pass another vehicle by driving on the unpaved portion to the right of the highway;
    • Drive unsafely or improperly on a highway with marked traffic lanes; and/or
    • Fail to yield the right of way.
  • Create an immediate hazard to another vehicle or another person, including both their own passengers and motorists in other vehicles.

Penalties for Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is charged as a misdemeanor offense in Nevada, and the penalties will depend upon whether the defendant has been charged with the offense previously.

First Offense
  • A fine of $250 to $1,000; or
  • A fine and incarceration in county jail for up to 6 months.

Second Offense
  • A fine of $1,000 to $1,500; or
  • A fine and incarceration in county jail for up to 6 months.

Third Offense and Subsequent Offenses
  • A fine of $1,500 to $2,000; or
  • A fine and incarceration in county jail for up to 6 months.

Additional Penalties
  • For the first offense in 2 years, the defendant must pay for and attend a DMV-approved traffic safety course. The court may also suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for up to 30 days.
  • For a second or subsequent offense of aggressive driving within 2 years, the court will revoke the defendant’s driver’s license for 1 year.
  • If the defendant was driving on a suspended or revoked license at the time of the offense, the court will order an additional period of license suspension or revocation.
  • The defendant will receive demerit points on their driving record according to the DMV’s Point System. If the driver successfully completes their traffic safety course, however, the DMV can cancel 3 of the demerit points from their record.
If you are charged with aggressive driving in the Las Vegas area, don’t wait to discuss your defense options with an experienced lawyer. Visit our Traffic Tickets page to learn how De Castroverde Law Group provides smart defense to clients facing serious traffic charges.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Excessive Force Injuries

Police officers, security guards, and bouncers have the often difficult task of keeping people safe and controlling the crowds on the streets of Las Vegas and in the many clubs, casinos, and hotels. Although their job is to protect, sometimes they go too far and use excessive force, harming innocent people.

Excessive force occurs when officers and security personnel use more force than is reasonably needed to subdue or arrest a person. The amount of reasonable force that should be used depends upon the specific circumstances of the incident, including:
  • The seriousness of the person’s alleged offense
  • Whether the person is a direct threat to the safety of others
  • Whether the person is resisting arrest
If the officer or security guard used more force than was necessary against you and caused you to be harmed, you may be able to seek justice under personal injury law.

Examples of Excessive Force

There are many different actions that can qualify as excessive force, depending upon the situation. Some examples of excessive force include:
  • Using physical force on a person who is not resisting or is already in custody
  • Using a weapon against an unarmed person
  • Allowing a police dog to attack a person without need
  • Using pepper spray improperly or without need
  • Improperly restraining a person
  • Tackling a person without need
  • Kicking, choking, or punching a person without need
  • Spitting on a person in custody
Excessive force can lead to soft tissue injuries, broken bones, catastrophic injuries, and even death in the most tragic of circumstances. If you were a victim of excessive force in Las Vegas, it’s important to know that you have legal rights.

We encourage you to contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your case. Our team can evaluate your situation and determine your options to seek compensation for your injuries. Visit our Excessive Force page or call us today to learn more!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Protective Order Violations – What You Need to Know

If you have been served a protective order in Nevada, it is very important that you follow all terms set by the order. Failure to comply with the court order can result in serious criminal penalties, which will depend upon the reason for the protective order being issued in the first place.

Protective Orders for Domestic Violence or Workplace Harassment
Intentionally violating these types of protective orders will result in a misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by:
  • Incarceration in county jail for up to 6 months; and/or
  • Fines up to $1,000

Protective Orders for Stalking or Harassment, Sexual Assault, or Child Abuse
The penalties for intentionally violating these types of orders will vary based upon whether the defendant was served a temporary protective order (lasts up to 30 days) or an extended protective order (lasts up to 1 year).

Violating a temporary protective order against stalking or harassment, sexual assault, or child abuse is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by:
  • Incarceration in county jail for up to 1 year; and/or
  • Fines up to $2,000

Violating an extended protective order against stalking or harassment, sexual assault, or child abuse is a Category C felony in Nevada, punishable by:
  • Incarceration in state prison for 1 to 5 years; and
  • Fines up to $10,000

Possible Defenses

Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, there may be a number of different defenses that can be used to fight allegations that the defendant violated a protective order.
  • Order was not served properly. Nevada law has clear-cut rules dictating how a protective order must be served to an individual. If the restraining order was improperly served to the defendant, their attorney could argue that the defendant is not liable under the law.
  • Defendant did not intend to violate the order. If the defendant unknowingly violated the terms of their protective order – because of a misunderstanding or by accident, for example – the court may dismiss the charges.
  • Defendant was falsely accused. In some cases the person protected by the order lies and claims that the defendant violated the order in some way, hoping to get the defendant into trouble with the court.
  • Prosecution lacks sufficient evidence of guilt. If the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally violated a protective order, then the defendant should be cleared of the charges.
If you are accused of violating any type of protective order in the Las Vegas area, get in touch with our skilled defense lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group as soon as possible.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Protecting Pedestrians

With so many great restaurants, shops, casinos, hotels, and events located within walking distance, there are thousands of pedestrians on the streets of Las Vegas every day. Unfortunately, the more pedestrians there are, the higher the rate of pedestrian accidents

Whether you are a pedestrian or motorist, there are steps you can take to prevent these awful and all too frequent accidents.

Tips for Pedestrians

  • Cross at the corners of streets and use the crosswalks and traffic signals when available; don’t jaywalk.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing at stop signs or in front of cars waiting to turn.
  • Before crossing, make sure you always look to your left, right, and then left again.
  • While crossing the street, stay vigilant in case a motorist does not obey the traffic signal.
  • Avoid distractions like texting or talking on the phone while you are walking.
  • Don’t wear headphones while walking; loud music can prevent you from hearing a honking car.
  • Look carefully before crossing parking lot entrances and driveways, as motorists may not see or expect you to be in their paths.
  • If you are intoxicated, consider hiring a car to safely get you to your destination.

Tips for Drivers

  • Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, even in places where they may be unexpected.
  • Remember that pedestrians have the right of way; stop completely for them at intersections.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Don’t drive while distracted; keep your full attention on the road so that you can see any pedestrians that cross your path.
  • When turning, check twice for pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Look for pedestrians walking out from between parked cars and be prepared to stop.
  • In bright weather, wear sunglasses to avoid glare so that you can see if anyone is in your path.
  • At night and whenever visibility is low, reduce your speed so that you can stop quickly if needed.
  • Slow down and be especially careful when driving through neighborhoods or near schools, bus stops, or parks. Children can be difficult to see and may run into the street without first checking for cars.
If you have been harmed in a pedestrian accident in the Las Vegas area, contact our injury team at De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your legal options.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Challenge Breath and Blood Test Evidence

Contrary to what prosecutors and law enforcement may want you to believe, failing a breath or blood test does not mean that you are guaranteed to be convicted of drunk driving. Although these forms of BAC testing may be more accurate than field sobriety testing, they are not without their flaws.

Below we will cover some of the different defenses that can be used to challenge the breath or blood evidence the prosecution tries to use in your DUI case.

Breath Test Evidence

The results of your breath test could be inaccurate if any of the following factors were involved:
  • The officer was not certified in administering the breath test
  • The breath machine was calibrated incorrectly
  • The breath machine was not properly maintained
  • The breath machine was broken or functioning incorrectly
  • The officer did not observe you for 15 minutes before administering the test to ensure that you did burp or vomit prior to being tested
  • The officer administered the test more than two hours after you were arrested
  • The breath machine picked up alcohol in your mouth, rather than alcohol on your deep lung air
  • You have a physiological condition such as acid reflux or heartburn which caused a false reading

Blood Test Evidence

There are strict regulations that must be followed when a person’s BAC is measured through blood testing. Your results could be erroneous if any of the following occurred:
  • The sample was taken too long after your arrest to give an accurate reading
  • The technician who drew or tested your blood was not properly certified
  • The technician cleaned your skin with an alcohol-based product before drawing your blood
  • Your blood sample was incorrectly labeled
  • Your blood sample was stored incorrectly and the sample was compromised
  • The chain of custody for the sample was broken, during which the sample could have been mixed up or contaminated
If you are facing DUI charges in Las Vegas or Clark County, it’s important that you talk to a lawyer before making any legal decisions. De Castroverde Law Group’s DUI attorneys can evaluate your situation to discover errors made in your case and determine which defenses are available to you. Contact us today to speak to our team!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Prevent Intersection Accidents

Countless intersection accidents occur in Nevada and across the country each day on busy streets and in quiet neighborhoods. Intersection accidents typically involve head-on or T-bone collisions, which often result in catastrophic injuries and extensive property damage.

Intersection accidents are largely preventable, and most are caused by drivers speeding, driving recklessly, driving while distracted, and driving under the influence. Although you cannot predict what other motorists will do, we have provided a number of safety tips that can help you protect yourself and avoid intersection accidents.
  • Obey all traffic lights and traffic signs.
  • Stop completely at all stop signs.
  • Slow down when the light turns yellow; don’t try to beat the light.
  • Don’t assume that other drivers will stop just because of a stop sign or traffic signal.
  • Before passing through an intersection, carefully check both ways for drivers running the light or stop sign. Watch out for drivers speeding through the intersection, trying to beat the light.
  • Don’t hit the gas as soon as the light turns green; make sure it is the light for your lane, so that you don’t accidentally go when the turn arrow changes to green.
  • Don’t speed through intersections. Driving at the designated speed will better equip you to notice and react to unexpected situations, such as another vehicle crossing through your path, a pedestrian crossing the street, or an object in the road.
  • In residential areas, always be on the lookout for children crossing the street.
  • If you are making a left-hand turn, look carefully for vehicles, motorcycles, or bicyclists that are traveling straight down the lane.
  • Always use your signal when turning, and pay attention to other vehicles’ signals.
  • Make sure you use your headlights at dawn, dusk, and night so that you are visible to other drivers.
If you were involved in an intersection accident caused by another driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our team at De Castroverde Law Group to learn how we can assist you with filing a car accident claim.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Meet Our New Attorney: David Menocal

At De Castroverde Law Group, we pride ourselves on providing the people of Las Vegas with caring and effective legal counsel. We have built a team of lawyers who are dedicated to the rights and interests of every client, and we are proud to introduce the newest addition to our staff: Attorney David Menocal.

David graduated cum laude from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he played football on a full scholarship. While attending Furman, he developed a passion for his Cuban roots and was very involved in serving the local Hispanic community. David participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), where he helped prepare income tax forms for Hispanic families with low to moderate incomes. He also interned at the local Red Cross, coordinating various events for the Hispanic community in Greenville.

David obtained invaluable legal experience while at Furman University by clerking for the Steve Henry Law Office, which specializes in criminal defense. David helped Mr. Henry manage his non-profit corporation “Law in Action”. During his service with the non-profit corporation, David used his fluency in Spanish to educate Hispanic inmates at the Greenville County Detention Center about their constitutional rights, and he also assisted the inmates with their early releases from jail.

After graduating from Furman University, David earned his Juris Doctor from the Georgia State College of Law, and he also studied at the University of Nevada – William S. Boyd School of Law. While earning his law degree he gained further experience by clerking at law firms in Atlanta, GA and Orlando, FL.  

David is licensed to practice law by the Nevada Bar and the United States District Court, District of Nevada. He is fluent in Spanish and represents many Spanish-speaking clients in Las Vegas. David is committed to providing outstanding representation to clients in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury litigation, and we are excited to have him join our team at De Castroverde Law Group. 

To learn more about David and our other dedicated attorneys, visit our Firm Overview page!