Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Crime of Reckless Driving

Under NRS 484B.653, reckless driving is categorized as a criminal offense in Nevada that carries harsh penalties. Reckless driving occurs when a person does any of the following:
  • Operates their vehicle in a manner that displays wanton or willful disregard for the safety of the public or property;
  • Drives at high speeds in an unauthorized street race on a public highway or street; or
  • Organizes an unauthorized street race on a public highway or street.

In many cases, reckless driving is a subjective offense that can be charged for a variety of actions, such as:
  • Driving well over the speed limit
  • Cutting off another vehicle and causing a collision
  • Ignoring an officer’s order to stop the vehicle
  • Running traffic lights or signs
  • Striking shoulders and medians while driving

Penalties for Reckless Driving

Although it’s common for drivers to get frustrated while on the road, many people do not realize that driving recklessly can result in criminal charges and penalties. If you are convicted of reckless driving in Nevada, you will receive 8 demerit points on your driver’s license, and additional sentencing will be depend upon whether your offense was charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Misdemeanor Reckless Driving
If your offense did not lead to death or injury, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Your penalties could include up to 6 months in county jail, possible community service, and/or fines. The fines for reckless driving are determined by whether you have previously been convicted of the offense:
  • First offense – fines of $250 to $1,000
  • Second offense – fines of $1,000 to $1,500
  • Third offense – fines of $1,500 to $2,000
Felony Reckless Driving

If your offense was the proximate cause of substantial injury or death to a victim, you will be charged with a Category B felony. Conviction for a Category B felony is punishable by:
  • Incarceration in state prison for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 6 years; and
  • Fines between $2,000 and $5,000. 
A reckless driving charge could have serious impact upon your driver’s license, your finances, and even your freedom, so don’t risk facing this challenge alone. Get an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your team as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Talk to our attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group to learn how we can help you fight a reckless driving charge in Las Vegas.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Keeping Teens Safe Behind the Wheel

The freedom that comes with getting a driver’s license is a dream come true for teenagers, but is often a nightmare for their parents. 

Despite frightening statistics that report that teens are four times more likely to be involved in car accidents than older drivers, there are different steps you can take to keep your child safe and help them prevent collisions on the road.

Consider whether your teen is truly ready to drive.

Having a driver’s license carries a great deal of responsibility, and at sixteen years old, some teenagers aren't ready to handle it. If you don’t think your child is ready, wait another year and then reevaluate things. Your teen may not like having to wait, but you will be doing what’s needed to keep them safe.

Make sure your teen gets lots of practice.

After your teen obtains their learner’s permit, it’s important that they get lots of practice time behind the wheel. When they are first learning, take them to an empty parking lot or quiet street so that they can get familiar with the basics of driving. Once they are more comfortable, consider letting your teen drive when you take them to and from school or when you have errands to run. Don’t let your teen take the driver’s license test until you are confident in their driving abilities. The more practice your child gets, the better they will be at making safe choices on the road.

Have your teen sign a driving contract.

It’s important for your teen to understand that driving is a privilege and that they must be responsible in order to keep this privilege. Create a contract that outlines what requirements your child must meet if they want to continue to drive on their own. Depending on your teen, requirements could include such things as maintaining a certain GPA, staying out of trouble at school, regularly completing household chores, and following family rules. Make sure they understand that if they don’t uphold their end of the contract, they will lose their driving privileges for a certain amount of time.

Remove all distractions.

Distracted driving is a factor in almost all accidents involving teenagers. Set ground rules for your child to help them avoid distractions behind the wheel. For their first six months to year of driving, consider restricting stereo use and only allowing your child to only take family members as passengers. And of course, your child should never use their cell phone while driving. Have them set the volume to silent and keep their phone in the glove box to reduce temptation. Get more info on

Set a driving curfew.

Teens often have trouble focusing on driving at night when they are tired and the darkness makes it more difficult to see. An NHTSA study found that driving after 10 p.m. increased accident risk for teens, so set a curfew that your child must meet if they are driving at night.

Have your teen pay a portion or all of their insurance costs.

Any traffic infraction will dramatically increase a teen driver’s insurance rates. Having your child be responsible for part or all of their insurance costs could motivate them to drive safely and obey the speed limit. Conversely, many insurance companies give better rates to teens that maintain good grades in school, which could also motivate your teen to do better in class so that they won’t have to pay as much.

Be a good example.

Even if you haven’t always been a perfect driver in the past, make the choice now to set a good example for your child. Follow all traffic laws, always wear your seatbelt, don’t drive recklessly or aggressively, don’t use your phone, and never drink and drive.

De Castroverde Law Group is a family-run law firm in Las Vegas, NV. Visit to learn about their outstanding legal services.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Is Hazing a Crime?

As high school and college students head back to campus, many will seek to join clubs, sports teams, fraternities, and sororities. Unfortunately, the start of a new year inevitably brings reports of hazing at schools across the country. 

While some people think of hazing as a harmless prank or long-held tradition, it is actually a criminal offense in the state of Nevada.

The Legal Definition of Hazing

NRS 200.605 defines hazing as any activity in which someone recklessly or intentionally endangers another person’s physical health as part of initiation into a student organization, athletic team, or academic association at a high school, college, or university within the state of Nevada.

The law states that hazing can include all forms of brutal treatment or physical brutality, including:
  • Beating
  • Branding
  • Whipping
  • Forced exercise
  • Exposure to the elements
  • Forced consumption of liquor, drugs, food, or other substances
Many people argue that the alleged victims consent to this treatment; they are not forced to do it. According to Nevada law, however, a victim is considered to have been forced when being affiliated or initiated into the organization, team, or association is conditional upon whether they participate in the activity.

Hazing Penalties

The charges and possible penalties for hazing in Nevada are contingent on whether the victim sustained substantial injury as a result of the hazing.

Hazing Without Substantial Injury
If the victim was not seriously harmed, the hazing offense will be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by:
  • Fines up to $1,000; and/or
  • Incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 6 months.

Hazing With Substantial Injury
If the victim sustained serious injury in the hazing, the offense will be charged as a gross misdemeanor, punishable by:
  • Fines up to $2,000; and/or
  • Incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 1 year.

Hazing Causing Death
If hazing causes the death of a victim, the perpetrator can be charged with involuntary manslaughter or second degree murder, which are both felony offenses in Nevada. Additionally, the victim’s family could file a wrongful death claim in civil court.

Hazing is a serious criminal offense that requires the representation of an experienced defense firm. If you or your loved one is accused of hazing, don’t wait to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Get in touch with the team at De Castroverde Law Group in Las Vegas to learn about your defense options.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one was recently injured in an accident that was caused by another person, you probably have many questions and are unsure of what you need do. The first step you should take is to contact an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case and help you understand your options under personal injury law.

Hiring an injury lawyer to assist with your claim can be extremely important to the outcome of your case. Having a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side can have numerous benefits, and some of the many reasons to hire a personal injury attorney include:

Knowledge of the Law

Personal injury laws can be confusing and complicated, but your attorney has the knowledge and experience needed to determine your rights under the law and what you are legally entitled to.

Protection from the Insurance Companies

Unfortunately, insurance companies are more concerned with their interests than doing what is best for you. They often offer low-ball settlements to accident victims right away, hoping that the victims will accept the offers without question. When you have an attorney on your side, however, you can be confident that you will not be taken advantage of by the insurance companies.


If needed, your attorney can investigate the circumstances that led to your accident and determine who is liable for your injuries and losses.

Negotiation Experience

Your lawyer knows how to skillfully negotiate with insurance companies and other attorneys to make sure that you receive the fair compensation you need.

Courtroom Advocacy

In some situations, personal injury cases cannot be resolved through claims and require a trial in court. Your attorney can present your side of the story to the jury, protect your rights, and advocate for your interests throughout your trial.

Better Settlements

If you work with a lawyer, you will likely receive a much larger settlement than if you try to handle the case on your own. Your lawyer’s focus is on recovering maximum compensation for your injuries, and they have the education, training, and experience needed to accomplish this goal.

Peace of Mind

Going through a legal issue is a lot for anyone to handle on their own, but it’s especially difficult after you have just been injured in a traumatic accident. Your attorney can handle the paperwork, communication with insurance companies, and other aspects of the case while you focus on your recovery and family.

If you have been injured in the Las Vegas area and would like to learn how an attorney can help you achieve the best possible results, get in touch with our dedicated personal injury team at De Castroverde Law Group today!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Driver’s License Suspension in Nevada

The Nevada DMV has the ability to suspend or revoke an individual’s license if they commit certain driving offenses or are convicted of certain crimes. The amount of time that the driver’s license is suspended will depend upon the specific offense and their driving record.

Losing your driver’s license for any amount of time will seriously impact your ability to get to work, take care of your family, and your insurance rates. In light of these consequences, it’s important to discuss your options with a lawyer right away so that you can fight a possible license suspension.

When is a driver’s license suspended?

The Nevada DMV will suspend or revoke your driving privileges if you commit certain offenses. Common types of suspensions include:
  • Point Suspension – you accumulate 12 or more demerit points on your driving record within a 12-month period.
  • DUI – you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or breath, blood or urine tests show that you were driving under the influence.
  • Street Racing – you were involved in an illegal speed contest on a public highway or road.
  • Collision with a Pedestrian or Bicyclist – you caused an accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclist.
  • Failure to Appear – you don’t pay the fine for a traffic ticket on time or do not appear in court when required.
  • Failure to Maintain Auto Insurance – you are convicted of failing to maintain insurance, you have repeatedly failed to have vehicle liability coverage, or you failed to maintain SR-22 insurance after having your license previously suspended or revoked.
  • Failure to Properly Secure a Child – you are cited and convicted three or more times of failing to correctly restrain a child in your vehicle.
  • Child Support – you are in arrears for payments for court-ordered child support.
  • Graffiti – you are convicted of committing a graffiti offense.
  • Drugs and Alcohol – you are a minor and are found guilty of possessing, using, distributing, or selling drugs; or you are found guilty of possessing, drinking, or buying alcohol.
If the Nevada DMV suspends your license, you will be notified of the length of time of your suspension by law enforcement or by certified mail. You will also be notified of whether or not you are entitled to an administrative hearing. To learn more about driver’s license suspensions and revocations, visit the DMV’swebsite.

If you are at risk of having your license suspended in the Las Vegas area, don’t wait to enlist the help of our experienced defense attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group. Contact our team today to discuss your charges and to learn about your possible defense options. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Thunderstorms & Lightning: What You Should Do

Tragedy occurred in Southern California last week when lightning struck at Venice Beach, killing a young man and injuring thirteen others. Although reports of people being struck by lightning may be rare, it’s important to understand the dangers of thunderstorms. 

Keep reading to learn how you can protect yourself from lightning!

Storm Safety Indoors

Despite the shelter provided by homes and other buildings, you could still be in danger during a thunderstorm. You can help keep your family safe by following these guidelines:

Avoid water.
Lightning can travel through the plumbing, so during a storm do not wash dishes or laundry, bathe, shower, or use any of your faucets.

Stay away from windows and doors.
Avoid going near any openings, as they provide less protection from lightning. Close all blinds, curtains, shutters, and shades.

Stay away from concrete.
Avoid concrete floors and do not lean on concrete walls during a thunderstorm, because lightning can pass through the metal bars and wires inside of the concrete.

Don’t use corded phones.
Because lightning can pass through an outlet and into a corded phone, you should only use a cellphone or cordless phone during a storm.

Avoid appliances and electronics.
Lightning can pass through anything that is connected to an electrical outlet, so stay away from computers, gaming systems, stoves, washers, dryers, and anything else that is plugged into the wall. You should also consider buying whole-house surge protectors to protect your electronics and appliances in the event of a power surge.

Storm Safety Outdoors

If you hear thunder while you are outdoors, immediately head for a safe and enclosed shelter, such as a home, office, shopping center, store, or hard-top vehicle. If you are unable to get inside, follow these steps to help avoid being struck by lightning:

Immediately get off any elevated area.
If you are on a hill, mountain ridge or peak, or in a tree, get to lower ground as soon as possible.

Get out of the water immediately.
Water is a strong conductor of electricity, so if you hear thunder while in an ocean, lake, pond, or pool, get on land as soon as possible.

Do not lie down on the ground.
A lightning strike causes currents to pass along the ground’s surface, and you could be seriously hurt if you are lying down. Instead, crouch down with your knees and feet together, tuck your head, and place your hands over your ears. This will make you the smallest possible target while also minimizing your contact with the ground.

Stay away from natural lightning rods.
Don’t seek shelter under isolated trees, sheds, or small structures in open areas. Instead, try to find lower ground, such as a valley or ravine.

Avoid proximity to others.
If you are in a group, everyone should separate and stay at least fifteen feet apart. This space will help reduce the number of injuries if lightning hits the ground.

Stay away from anything made of metal.
Metal is a powerful conductor of electricity, so stay far away from bikes, motorcycles, metal fences, golf clubs and carts, farm equipment, and construction equipment.

Storm Safety in Vehicles

A hard-top vehicle can help protect you during a thunderstorm. If you are driving, safely pull to the side of the road, shut off your engine, and turn on your hazard lights. Then do the following:
  • Keep your windows rolled up
  • Keep your hands folded in your lap
  • Avoid touching anything metal in the vehicle
  • Do not touch the steering wheel, pedals, or radio
  • Do not talk on your cell phone, especially if it’s plugged in
  • Stay on the side of the road with your car off until the storm passes
Although the tips above can help you avoid being struck by lightning, the best way to protect yourself is to pay attention to the weather forecast for your area and be prepared if a thunderstorm is coming your way. If a storm does pass through your area, continue to shelter for at least thirty minutes after the last sound of thunder.

De Castroverde Law Group is a family-run law firm that represents injury and accident victims in the Las Vegas area.