DUI Defense Attorney in Reno, NV

Have you been charged with a DUI? Get Expert Advice from a DUI Defense Attorney in Reno, NV

Understanding your rights and having the right DUI attorney in your corner when charged with a DUI or DWI in Reno is critical. That is why we have put this resource together for you to evaluate.

Why You Should Consider Taking Your DUI to Trial 

First, let me start by saying I have tried over three-hundred DUI cases at trial. As a former City Attorney, I was tasked with prosecuting DUI charges, daily. What I was routinely surprised by was how often defense attorneys would plead their clients… without knowing if I had my case ready for trial. 

DUI convictions require a massive amount of evidence.

What people (and even some attorneys) fail to understand is the massive undertaking required to properly and effectively convict an individual at trial. In Reno, there are two main prosecutorial agencies: (1) The Reno City Attorney’s Office and (2) The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. To be frank, I have a massive amount of respect for both of these agencies. I worked for the City Attorney’s Office as a newly minted attorney and the experience was priceless. It was that experience which showed me what was necessary and required to obtain a DUI conviction in Reno, NV. Let me tell you, it’s a lot. Below, please take a look at the typical DUI timeline that a prosecutor will need to go over and substantiate to obtain a DUI conviction.

The Traffic Stop

The traffic officer who initiated the stop must be available on the date of trial. They will need to testify as to what the basis for the stop and what observations he recalls having. These include whether you had red watery eyes, a smell of alcohol on your breath and lastly whether your speech was slurred.  These observations must be correctly recalled by the initiating officer to move to the next phases of the investigation.  Depending on whether the initiating officer is certified as a DUI specialist determines whether or not there would’ve been the need for an additional officer called to scene.

DUI Specialist

In most cases, a DUI specialist is required.  These are police officers who have been specifically trained to conduct a DUI investigation. The DUI officer is called to scene to perform the DUI field testing. Commonly, these include a walk and turn test, breath testing, horizontal eye tests, and general observations. Ultimately, the DUI specialist determines whether or not there is a basis for an arrest.  Should the DUI specialist fail to appear in court, there is an opportunity to have the case reduced or dismissed.

Blood or Breath Testing

In the event blood or breath is taken after the arrest, the specialist who assisted in the DUI investigation and arrest must be available in court. They must be certified and cross-examined as to their training, experience and any recollection they may have of the case. Should they fail to specifically recall the events or experience, the DUI conviction may be reduced.

dui-lawsWhat This Means at Trial for a DUI Charge

Ultimately, what this means, is the prosecutor has a much tougher job than most realize. In a way, all their stars must line up at trial if they wish to obtain a prosecution. You need to hire a Reno DUI attorney who understands exactly what is required to obtain the best outcome for your case. Call Work Law today, we focus on DUI, Criminal Defense and Family Law in Reno, NV.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Reno, NV you need an experienced DUI Defense Attorney. Call Work Law today.

TPO Lawyer in Reno, NV

Temporary Order of Protection in Nevada

What is a TPO?

 A Temporary Protection Order: a legal court order, which is temporarily put in place, to protect those who are victims of domestic violence. (N.R.S. 33.017)

Domestic Violence: physical, sexual or psychological violence between those, in or previously in, a dating relationship; spousal relationship; blood relationship; parent/minor child relationship; or legal guardian of a minor child. (N.R.S 228.030)

What are the laws governing a TPO?

The laws governing a Temporary Protection Order are in place for any domestic violence relating to the following persons: a spouse or former spouse; any person related by blood or marriage; any person currently or previously involved in a dating relationship; any person whom share a child in common; the minor child of any of those persons; or the persons minor child or any other person who has been appointed custodian or legal guardian of the persons minor child. (N.R.S 33.018)

What acts constitute domestic violence?

 a.) Battery

b.) Assault

c.) Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform.

d.) Sexual assault

e.) A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:

  • Stalking
  • Arson
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny
  • Destruction of private property
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
  • Injuring or killing an animal

f.) False imprisonment

g.) Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.

 (N.R.S. 33.018)

 How do you get a TPO?

 In order for a Temporary Protective Order to be granted, the court must receive satisfactory facts submitted through a verified application, that an act of domestic violence has either previously occurred, or the threat of domestic violence exists. The court may order either the applicant, adverse party, or both, to appear before the court before determining to grant the temporary order of protection. However, a temporary protection order may also be granted to the applicant without notice to the adverse party. This is referred to as an ex parte proceeding. Once the TPO application has been submitted and filed, the court shall rule on the order within (1) judicial day. (N.R.S. 33.020) From the time the TPO is served, it can not last longer than 30 days, unless the judge orders otherwise.(N.R.S. 33.080)

 How do you defend a TPO?

Temporary Protective Orders can be very tricky, and they can cause you to lose many of your rights as a parent/guardian. Additionally, they can have consequences which you may not immediately understand. If a TPO is filed against you, you may have certain rights taken away, such as: not being able to enter your home (even if you own it); you may not be able to enter your children’s school; may not be able to enter the applicants workplace; you may not be able to purchase a firearm; you may have to forfeit your previously purchased firearms; it can prevent you from selling your home; and can even prohibit you from taking your child out of certain jurisdictions.

Why you need a Family & Defense Attorney when seeking or defending a Temporary Protection Order in Reno, NV

It is important to have representation, who will fight for your legal rights, and who has expertise from both sides of the judicial system; prosecution and defense. Mathew Work and Work Law will offer you the best legal counsel in Reno. When it comes to family law, you couldn’t have a better attorney in your corner. Mathew Work’s previous experience as a criminal prosecutor will give you the upper hand in your case and will work diligently to ensure you are represented justly in your case.

Work Law’s Attorneys will make sure you understand your rights and the consequences of a TPO before a restraining order is placed against you. If you find yourself as the defendant in a TPO, do not voluntarily let the order be placed against you. This could potentially have dire consequences. Let Mathew Work and Work Law represent you in family court before many of your rights are forfeited. If you voluntarily allow a TPO to be filed against you, you may be: ordered to leave your home; prohibited from seeing your children; ordered to pay child support; unable to own a firearm; disqualified from future employment and educational opportunities, due to having a restraining order on your record. Work Law will look at the circumstances surrounding the TPO being filed against you and will determine the best defense in your case.




How to File for a Nevada Divorce

Filing For Divorce In Nevada

Divorce in Reno, NVIn order to file for divorce in Nevada, you must live in Nevada for at least six weeks and plan to remain in Nevada before filing for a divorce. If you are in the military or are a resident outside of Nevada you may still file for divorce as long as the defendant/spouse lives in Nevada. Divorces cases may include the following factors: child custody, child support, alimony or spousal support. Other things to consider while filing for divorce is the splitting up of property, finances and other investments. Mathew Work, a Nevada lawyer, can help you file for divorce and help keep your best interests in mind. He and his firm continually rank as one of the best family law and divorce firms in Reno, Nevada.

Ground For Divorce:

There are a few grounds for divorce, no-fault and at fault divorce. In Washoe County, a no-fault divorce is when the wife and husband have lived separated or apart for one year. This does not include cohabitation which is separation but still living in the same house. At the discretion of the court, an absolute decree of divorce may be granted. An at-fault divorce is when one party was considered insane at least two years prior to the commitment of marriage. Corroborating evidence must be presented to the court in order to proceed with an insanity plea.

Alimony In Nevada:

Alimony and child support are on a case to case basis on how much someone has to pay to the other party. Child support can help pay for childcare, insurance, special needs education (e.g. speech or therapy needed to help benefit the child), transportation to visit the other parent and basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. Property and other assets may need to be divided. All these issues must be resolved or agreed upon before a judge signs the Final Decree of Divorce and it is filed placed in the District Court Clerk’s office. A new marriage cannot take place until this is completed. If you are in Need of a Divorce Attorney, please contact Work Law today to speak with Rebecca Carlson or Mathew Work. They both have been voted one of the top five best divorce, family and criminal defense attorneys in Reno.

There are Many Types of Divorce in Nevada

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Joint Petition
  • Marriage Settlement Agreement
  • Spousal and Child Support
  • Asset Retention

When you retain Work Law you will have a dedicated divorce attorney by your side to handle filing your divorce. We approach our clients with compassion and empathy. At Work Law, we always consider our client’s goals first. We then fight for our clients with every legal alternative available.

Get the best defense when charged with a DUI or DWI in Reno, NV

DUI: Driving under the influence. DWI: Driving while impaired (intoxicated).

To many people, this may seem like driving after having any alcoholic beverage is grounds for a DUI. However, this is not the case. In the state of Nevada, a DUI is upheld by illegal BAC (blood alcohol concentration) percentage. This means, although you may have had a drink or two, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are guilty of a DUI. In Nevada, you must have a BAC of .08 or higher, in order to be deemed legally intoxicated. (NRS 484C.020) The arresting officer must prove probable cause in order to make the traffic stop. This could be a broken tail light, erratic driving, swerving or any other behavior the officer deems to be unconventional. If you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, this is not just a traffic violation. It is a criminal offense.

DUIMany people often have the misconception that a DUI is limited to only alcohol. However, a DUI applies to any of the following drugs: amphetamines; cocaine; heroin; methamphetamine; Lysergic acid diethylamide; phencyclidine; and marijuana. (NRS 484C.110)

PROHIBITED SUBSTANCEURINE (nanograms/ml)BLOOD (nanograms/ml)
(a) Amphetamine500100
(b) Cocaine15050
(c) Cocaine metabolite15050
(d) Heroin200050
(e) Heroin metabolite:
(1) Morphine200050
(2) 6-monoacetyl morphine1010
(f) Lysergic acid diethylamide2510
(g) MarijuanaOnly blood2
(h) Marijuana metaboliteOnly blood5
(i) Methamphetamine500100
(j) Phencyclidine2510


In Nevada, a field sobriety test is actually not mandatory. It is an optional test, which you are allowed to deny. However, failing to undergo a field sobriety test is grounds for probable cause, and the officer may administer a breath; blood; or urine sample; in order to determine the drivers state during the traffic stop.  In addition, in Nevada, when you receive a driver’s license, you give “implied consent”. What does this mean? This means, in Nevada if an officer asks for a breath, blood, or urine sample, you are obligated to do so.(NRS 484C.150, 484C.160)

If you refuse to undergo evidentiary testing, the officer will revoke your license and all of your driving privileges and may use “reasonable force” in order to have the test administered by a medical professional. You will then be unable to obtain a license/permit for a minimum of 1 year. This is dependent upon previous DUI and or evidentiary testing refusals in the defendant’s past. (NRS 484C.210) Not only does failure to undergo evidentiary testing carry some hefty consequences, but it can also be used as evidence in court.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, you will want the best representation in Reno. Work Law will work closely with the prosecutor to determine what evidence has been brought forth against you. Upon review of the evidence, Work Law will weigh the options in order to receive the best plea deal possible, or take the case to trial if need be. Mathew Work will use his prior knowledge and expertise in criminal prosecution, to ensure you have exceptional criminal representation in your defense.

Convicted of a DUI or DWI?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need a former criminal prosecutor in your corner. DUI laws are incredibly complex. You have options. Don’t face life-changing charges alone.

Click Link to Schedule for Legal Counsel:

Examples of Child Support Payments In Nevada

NRS 125B.070 establishes the formula for calculating child support obligations in Nevada.  Although seemingly straight forward, there are multiple factors that need to be considered when calculating the amount of a child support order.  Custody arrangements and relative income of the parents are big factors in the determination of child support.

Child support for one child is currently set at 18% of a parents’ gross monthly income, 25% for two children, 29% for three, 31% for four, and another 2% for each additional child.  Id.  However, these percentages are not to exceed the maximum amounts set by the statute unless a deviation from the formula is warranted.  Id.  For example, a child with special needs might require child support in excess of a maximum amount set forth in the statute.  The minimum monthly amount of child support to be awarded is $100.  Id.

Calculation of child support becomes even less straight forward when the parents share joint custody.  The court considers both parents’ income.  If each parent is obligated to pay 25% of their monthly income, the parent with the higher income will end up being the one who pays child support.  However, they will not be ordered to pay the full 25%.  Instead, they will be paying the difference between their 25% portion and the other parent’s 25% portion.  It is important to remember that the maximum cap does not apply until after the difference is calculated in these joint custody situations.

In Nevada, there are penalties added on when a payment is delinquent by a month or more.  When a parent fails to pay child support, the other parent can use an enforcement agency such as the District Attorney’s Family Support Division in their county to help collect the support.  The DA’s office can also help to locate the delinquent parent and even establish paternity if necessary.  Id.  An enforcement agency is usually the most effective way to collect unpaid child support.

Child support orders in Nevada can be reviewed every three years to determine if a modification or an adjustment is needed. However, they can be reviewed sooner if there is a significant change in circumstance of a parent.  If a parent is receiving public assistance, that must be considered before modifying a child support order.  One reason child support laws exist is to reduce the amount of public assistance needed.  Nevertheless, the main reason for child support is ultimately because parents have a legal obligation to provide for and support their children.

  • Brittany Manning

Nevada Alimony Laws

Alimony in Nevada

Alimony is monies paid to a spouse after a divorce or during a legal separation. Nevada is a no-fault state for divorce. This means that the plaintiff does not need to prove fault in the defendant and alimony will not be affected by any misconduct. Alimony is also separate from any property settlements. Only a state court has jurisdiction over a divorce. There is no specific calculator that can be used to determine the amount a spouse will receive. The court will have to determine a fair amount for alimony, taking into consideration a number of conditions prior to making a judgement.

            There are four different types of alimony. The first is temporary maintenance which is paid out during a legal separation until a divorce has been finalized. Temporary maintenance is not automatically issued during divorce proceedings. Instead the spouse seeking the alimony must file a motion for the support. The second is rehabilitative alimony which is paid to the spouse to go through the necessary training or education for a job or profession. This type of alimony is normally paid out to the spouse that was previously the stay-at-home parent. The third type is temporary alimony which will be paid after the divorce has been finalized for a period of time that the judge will determine. The last type is permanent alimony which is paid out until the receiving spouse dies or remarries. 

Per Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 125.150 any imbalances between the plaintiff and defendant’s income and the standard of living the couple has been accustomed to must also be taken into consideration. A judge will also consider a spouse’s need for financial support due to health, training needed to get back into the work force, the career each spouse had prior to the marriage, the age and education of both parties, the ability to pay alimony, and if one spouse helped advance the other’s career.

One of the other conditions a judge will consider, is the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasted less than three years alimony will not be an option. If the marriage lasted between three years and twenty then alimony can be granted for up to half of the time the marriage lasted. If the marriage lasted more than twenty years, then permanent alimony is highly likely. An order for alimony can be modified if there is a 20 percent or higher income change for the paying spouse.

Understanding The Fifth Amendment

Understanding the Fifth Amendment


            We have all heard the expression, “I plead the Fifth”, but what does that really mean? Let’s break it down. The first step in understanding what that means is knowing that it is referring to the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States and part of the Bill of Rights. You may be surprised to know that “pleading the fifth” also only refers to only one portion of this amendment. The fifth amendment has a place in both civil and criminal trials. Let’s take it apart and find out what it’s saying.

            The first line states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger.” This lengthy statement means you can be indicted, or accused of a crime, by the grand jury before any criminal charges have actually been made. This usually occurs when the grand jury determines that there is probable cause that the crime in question has been committed and by the suspect in question.

            Next the fifth amendment says, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” To make this explanation shorter, you are protected against a Double Jeopardy, or having multiple trials for the same crime. A second trial would not be permitted for the same criminal offense whether it be after an acquittal or a conviction.

            Then it goes on to say, “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. Here is the infamous statement that leads to “pleading the fifth”. This portion of the fifth amendment protects against self-incrimination. When being asked questions as a witness in court, a person can use this right if they know that the answer they are thinking about giving may cause them to appear guilty of the crime in question. This statement is also reiterated in the Miranda rights usually read to a criminal when being arrested, although in some places the times to read someone their Miranda rights has changed.

            And lastly the fifth amendment states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without compensation”. This part of the fifth amendment I can explain best by referring to eminent domain. Eminent domain is used when the government takes property for public use but in return the property owner is compensated fairly. Just like eminent domain, the federal government can take private property as long as they compensate the property owner justly.

            There you have a quick run-down of the fifth amendment of the Constitution of the United States. There is obviously more in depth information but at least now you’ll know what your friend means when they tell you they “plead the fifth.


 – Allison McKenzie










Mr. Ryan Strasser, Fifth Amendment LII / Legal Information Institute (2017),

   (last vistited Sep 7, 2018).



Marijuana’s Effect on Drivers and Nevada DUI Laws

Marijuana’s Effect on Drivers and How That Could Lead to a DUI

            Although, Marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, a person can still receive a DUI if they are driving while under the influence of it. An article in Clinical Chemistry, “Cannabis Effects on Driving Skills”, recently did a study in which evidence suggested that smoking marijuana increased swerving between lanes and impaired cognitive function. This can cause accidents and in turn risk the lives of other drivers. Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 484C.110 states that it is unlawful for a person to operate a vehicle if they have a delta 9 THC blood level of two nanograms per milliliter or 11-OH-THC blood level of five nanograms per milliliter.

According to  “Detection Times of Drugs of Abuse in Blood, Urine, and Oral Fluid” THC can stay in a person’s blood for one to two days. The time can go up to 25 days for frequent smokers. Therefore, a driver could receive a DUI even if they are not high while driving. A police officer must first have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or have witnessed a driver committing a traffic violation, such as swerving between lanes. The officer will then pull the driver over and observe them closely. If the driver smells of marijuana or if their pupils are dilated, the officer can arrest the driver and have their blood tested because Nevada law NRS 484C.160 states that a driver has implied consent the moment they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

            See Byars v. State as an example. Here Byars was pulled over for speeding. The Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper smelled marijuana and upon questioning Byars he admitted to having smoked five hours prior. The trooper performed sobriety tests and forced Byars to submit to a blood test. Byars blood test results showed 4.5 nanograms of THC per milliliter found in his blood. Byars argued that the blood test went against his fourth amendment right. The state argued that Byars consented to the blood draw the moment he chose to drive on Nevada roads per NRS 484C.160. It was also ruled to be an extenuating circumstance because waiting for a warrant would have given time for the THC to dissipate from his blood. Byars was convicted of a DUI, which was a misdemeanor and can carry penalties of two days to six months in jail or community service, a fine between $400 and $1000, a three month suspension on their driver’s license, and mandatory DUI school for a first offense.


  • Yuri Morales    







Child Neglect in Nevada

How does one define child abuse in the state of Nevada? The Merriam-Webster definition of neglect is to give little attention and or respect to and or disregard.  Neglect is also defined as to leave undone and unattended to.  Now how is the definition used in correlation to child abuse in the state of Nevada? It is clearly defined under the Nevada Revised Statue 200.508 with the Nevada Revised Statue 193.130 referenced as well.

The NRS 200.508 defines child abuse as a person who cause unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering to a child under the age of 18 and or puts a child in a situation where physical pain and or mental suffering is done to under age child.  There are subsections to the NRS that define the law more in depth and how said penalties are applied for someone in violation of the statute.

It is considered felony child abuse if a minor under the age of 14 is sexually abused and or exploited in a sexual nature. The penalty of said abuse is life with parole and parole can be reached after 15 years being served. Now if it considered a class B felony the penalty for said abuse is 2 years and no more than 20 years.

Now if the mental and or physical harm is not substantial to the child and is a class b felony the terms of penalty now differ if the person has no criminal history of child abuse and is said first offense the person in question will receive a sentence of one year and no more of six years, if said person has a history and criminal record of child neglect the penalty for a class b felony is a minimum of two years and no more than fifteen years.

If a person who is responsible for the welfare of a child and willing knows and or allows the abuse to occur there are penalties for said person. If the child is under the age of 14 and has been sexually abused and or exploited the punishment is life with the possibility of parole after ten years being served.  If the abuse is not of the sexual nature the penalty for said person is a minimum of two years and no more than twenty years.

If the person that knew of the abuse and or allowed the abuse and is not substantial to the child in question can be consider a gross misdemeanor and not a felony as long as the person has no history of said crime. If the person has a history of child abuse of this degree and has not cause substantial harm to the child then the person is guilty of a Class C Felony under NRS 193.130. The time served for a Class C felony is one year and no more than five years with a fine of up to 10,000.00 dollars imposed unless specified differently.  

Jamie Ward

Nevada Community Property Laws

An Overview of Community Property in Nevada

Community property is defined as property owned jointly by a married couple. Nevada law regarding community property is outlined in NRS 123.220-259. These laws allow for a divorce decree to accurately represent how all property should be divided among a couple filing for divorce. Typically property is divided equally among parties, however this is not always the case. Community property may include but is not limited to items such as credit card debt, loans, land and vehicles.

In the absence of written agreements, all property obtained during a marriage is considered community property, with the exception of separate property. Separate property falls in to four categories under NRS 123.130. These are: property owned before marriage, property given as a gift, property acquired through probate and property awarded in a personal injury action. When separate property is comingled with community property the court must find a compelling reason to make an unequal distribution of property.

Occasionally there will be an unequal distribution of property as seen in the case of Wolff v. Wolff. Here Ms. Wolff was originally entitled to a portion of Mr. Wolff’s retirement funds. Because Ms. Wolff was receiving social security benefits the court ordered Mr. Wolff to pay Ms. Wolff her share of spousal support less his retirement funds. In a dissent by the Judge it is stated that the courts “…divide all separate and community property equitably after considering the totality of facts, and this, of course, includes Roberta’s substantial accrued social security benefits that she will reap in the future.”

Further still there are exemptions when a spouse has “wasted” or “secreted” community assets as in Putterman v. Putterman. Here the court finds compelling reason for unequal distribution of community property because Mr. Putterman had “secreted” several thousand dollars which had to be repaid at Ms. Putterman’s expense. The case states that the funds provided by Ms. Putterman “presents the kind of financial misconduct that can form the basis for a finding of compelling reasons for unequal division.”

Under NRS 123.220 community property is defined as “all property… acquired after marriage by either spouse or both spouses, is community property…” Here we can see that there is ample room for interpretation of the law. Because of this it becomes necessary for those experienced in family law matters to oversee not only divorce decrees but also premarital agreements in order to ensure equitable division of community property for all parties.

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