Thursday, May 26, 2016

So, you got a DUI...

Disapproval Squirrel stands in judgment.

Veni Vidi Bibi. I came. I saw. I drank. 

You weren't planning on it. You were planning on a quiet evening at home. Maybe some ice cream and binge-watching some Game of Thrones in your comfy clothes. But no. 

Your friend called. 

You know who I'm talking about. 

That one friend who carefully weaves fun persuasion into a masterfully-crafted, perfectly-worded quasi-guilt trip and can usually talk you into just about anything. 

The next thing you know, one beer turns into 4 and then some dumb*** starts ordering shots. 

It's all fun and games until about 4 hours later and:

If you're not the guy in the striped pants, this is totally not cool.

The only thing worse than a hangover... a hangover in jail...

So what happens now? 

Well, it depends on your unique situation:
  • Is this your first offense? 
  • Was there an accident?
  • Did you take a breath or blood test?
  • Did the officer get the evidentiary test within 2 hours of stopping you?
  • Did you punch the officer at any point during your arrest? (You know who you are.)
But generally speaking, you're going to spend some time in jail. At the bare minimum 12 hours - likely longer, from 2-4 days. 

Your car was probably towed at an exorbitant cost and is, right now, accruing a daily storage fee for every day you haven't retrieved it. 

Once DMV gets notified that you've been arrested for DUI, they are going to suspend your driver's license for at least 90 days. 


Most people don't realize this. Even if your criminal case gets reduced to a reckless driving, or is thrown out altogether, DMV will still punish you. 

If you've been arrested for a DUI, please call Louis Schneider immediately for representation. There are ways to defend you against the charges of DUI! 702-435-2121 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sex Crimes.

Today, Class, we're going to talk about:
In Nevada’s criminal justice system, as in much of American society, sexually-based offenses are considered particularly egregious. Sex crimes carry a stigma that goes beyond that associated with many other crimes. Prison is only the beginning. A sex crime conviction means that for the rest of your life you will need to register as a sex offender wherever you live, and your name, address, photo, and charges may be published on the Internet for the world to see. You may face housing restrictions and limitations on the type of job you can have.


  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery (not what powers your toys...)
  • Statutory sexual seduction
  • Open and gross lewdness
  • Pandering
  • Child pornography
  • Rape
  • Lewd behavior with a minor
  • Sex Crime Differences and Defense

Many people accused of sex crimes find that law enforcement personnel and the community as a whole often assume because you’ve been accused of a sex crime, you’re guilty. The presumption of innocence you’re entitled to often does not extend to the larger community, and your reputation may be shattered, based on an unproved accusation.

Add to that the fact that most sex crimes are committed behind closed doors; charges are often filed on no more evidence than the alleged victim’s word, providing fertile ground for false allegations. We see groundless accusations arising from contentious divorce and child custody battles, fractured relationships, and consensual sex gone wrong.
If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, or if someone has threatened to accuse you, you need to call a lawyer immediately. Defenses are available, including false allegations, lack of proof, and consent.
Louis Schneider is an experienced and aggressive attorney who has handled many sex crime cases. Call our office today at 702-435-2121

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


The wisdom of the Internet says "you can't have 'manslaughter' without 'laughter', but being charged with such a serious crime isn't funny. 

Being charged with and convicted of manslaughter labels you as a killer, even though you never intended to kill anyone. Having a criminal record for manslaughter can result in years of jail time, thousands and thousands of dollars in fines, disruption of your life, and makes finding employment prohibitively difficult, not to mention the social stigma attached to such a label.
Like murder, manslaughter is a type of homicide; however manslaughter is a less serious crime, because it lacks the intent that is required for a murder conviction. Manslaughter differs from murder in that it is killing without malice or premeditation. The crime of manslaughter is broken down into two types in Nevada: voluntary and involuntary.


Voluntary manslaughter in Nevada is when a killing is done in the heat of passion. 
"I'll scramble you! You'll be an omelette when I'm through with you!"
According to the definition in Nevada statutes, voluntary manslaughter is when there is “a serious and highly provoking injury inflicted upon the person killing, sufficient to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, or an attempt by the person killed to commit a serious personal injury on the person killing.”
An example is when a husband walks into his home and finds his wife in flagrante delicto, (Latin makes finding your significant other in bed with someone else sound so fancy!), and in a state of shock and fury and blind rage he kills them both immediately. The maximum prison term for voluntary manslaughter is ten years.
Involuntary Manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter in Nevada is an unintentional killing done in the course of breaking the law, for example, doing this...
If this is you, you don't have the intent to kill someone, you're just an asshole.
The maximum prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter is four years. Is any text message really so important that you're willing to risk trading four years in prison for it?
Vehicular manslaughter, the killing of a human being by means of a motor vehicle without malice or deliberation, is a type of involuntary manslaughter and is often imposed upon drunk or impaired drivers who cause an accident and kill someone else. 
As I've said over and over again in this blog, sometimes good people just make bad decisions. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time. If you or a loved one may be charged in a situation like this, all hope is not lost. Call my office today at 702-435-2121. There are options for your legal defense. 
Blog by Louis C. Schneider, Attorney at Law. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Possession in Nevada

Er... a different kind of possession...
My mother most certainly does NOT!
While the movement to "legalize it" gains steady ground throughout the country, Nevada has historically been very harsh on drug use and possession. In fact, a mere 20 years ago, having one marijuana seed in your pocket would get you a felony.

Things have relaxed a little, but we still boast some very strict enforcement of possession of drugs. 

With the advancement of legalized medical marijuana, I'd like to focus more on "harder" drugs with this blog; however I'd be remiss not to tell you that possession of marijuana IS still illegal here, provided you don't have a valid Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient card. No, your California one is not valid here. No, you cannot "just have some" for personal use. You either have a valid, medically approved permit, or you're risking jail time. End of story on MJ. 

Aside from the aforementioned MJ, all other drug possession in Nevada is more serious with most charges being Felony ones. 

Nevada breaks certain types of substances into "schedules". Like this:

Schedule I drugs include those that are the most dangerous and have a high risk of addiction or dependency and no (recognized) legitimate medical use. Drugs included under this heading include LSD, Ecstasy (MDMA, X, Molly), heroin and mescaline.
Schedule II substances still have a high risk of abuse but may also have legitimate medical uses. These include things like opium, cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines, and amphetamines.
Schedule III drugs are slightly less dangerous than Schedule II substances, but still have a moderate risk of abuse. Schedule III substances include anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine(special k), and some depressants.
Schedule IV drugs have a slight risk of dependency and have very acceptable medical uses. Some Schedule IV drugs are clonazepam, Xanax, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
Schedule V substances have a very low risk of dependency and include things like over-the-counter Tylenol with Codeine.
I should stop here and clarify something that many people don't realize or understand. Nevada has a law stating that if you are in possession of some type of medication that you can only get via a doctor's prescription, you MUST be able to prove that the medication is yours. 
In simple terms, if your friend tosses you a few Oxy's or a handful of Xanax, and you get caught with those pills and you cannot prove that you got those pills legitimately from a doctor, you are, in all likelihood, going to jail on some very serious charges. 
In fact, if you have your own prescription medications and you want to take a few of them with you while leaving the bulk of your pills at home for safety, you may risk the same issue. If a law enforcement officer catches you with some "rogue" prescription medications, and those medications are not in the pharmacy bottle with your name on the label, the officer can very easily arrest you for being in "possession of dangerous drugs without prescription" - NRS 454.316.
As stated, the penalty and charges you face depend on the type of drug you are charged with possessing and the extent of your criminal record.

First and Second Offense:

If it is your first or second drug charge and you are caught with any substance classified as a schedule I, II, III, or IV, you will face Class E felony charges. A class E felony charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year and up to 4 years in prison.

Third Offense:

If this marks the third or greater drug offense for you, and you are charged with possessing any drug listed in Schedule I, II, III, or IV, you will face Class D felony charges. A Class D felony carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year and up to four with a fine reaching $20,000.


Obviously, the amount of drugs you have with you matters a great deal. In fact, there comes a point, legally, where the law basically says: "hey, this person has so much (many?) drugs that he's got to be selling!" This happens at 28 grams for most substances. 
That's right, law enforcement can charge you with Possession with Intent to Sell and/or Drug Trafficking without ever proving you sold drugs to anyone. If you have enough of an illegal drug, the law just assumes that the only reason you had so much was to sell it. 
..but it's personal use!

Transporting a Controlled Substance

Like most people, I'm sure you'd never even consider the notion that you could ever be guilty of transporting a controlled substance, right? Other people do that sort of thing, not me! I'm not a drug mule, you'd say. 

         Every year, here in Las Vegas, we throw this little, humble backyard party and invite a couple close friends... Perhaps you've heard of it.
Electric Begonia or something... with their beeps and boops...

How many people, do you suppose, attend this party from out of state and bring their friend 'Molly' with them? 

Technically this counts as transporting a controlled substance. Oh, and you also can get bonus points for crossing state lines with drugs and get the DEA involved. Especially if you have a lot of Mollies and the law assumes you were transporting a controlled substance across state lines with the intent to sell it

You can go from intending to have a fun weekend in Vegas to some seriously deep shit very quickly. 

Louis! I got caught with drugs! Am I going away?

Well, each case is different, but there are many different strategies an aggressive and experienced attorney such as myself can use to mitigate the damage or, sometimes, even get charges reduced or dismissed. 

If you find yourself in this situation, first of all, don't panic. Second, call me right away at 702-435-2121. We will thoroughly discuss your situation and its unique details and come up with the best possible strategy for your legal defense. 

Call my office today! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Anyone else old enough to remember that Dolly Parton Song?
The intent of this blog is to inform and entertain because we all learn faster and easier when we're having a good time with the material. So, in plain English, I'd like to explain why, sometimes, Divorces cost so much!

Most people quickly answer that Lawyers are evil, money-gobbling creatures, and, sure, some are. But the reality of the situation is that many couples seeking a divorce largely create their own ever-increasing legal bills by disagreeing about literally everything they can. 

What does a divorce look like to a lawyer? Let me see if I can break this down for you:

First, the person who initially files for the divorce (and therefore becomes the Plaintiff) goes to a lawyer and explains his/her situation. The lawyer then drafts a COMPLAINT FOR DIVORCE. (Get it, comPLAINT = PLAINTIFF? That's a neat little mnemonic device.) This complaint spells out the basic reasons why the plaintiff wishes to divorce their spouse and, generally, what they want the court to award them in the divorce: the car, the house, the kids...

...and this lamp...

This complaint gets filed with the court (the court charges about $300.00 just to accept and file this document), and then the complaint gets served on the other party who then becomes the Defendant (because s/he has to DEFEND him/herself against the complaint). This service has to be done a specific way to be valid in the eyes of the court, so most lawyers use a licensed Process Server to accomplish this. A process server will charge anywhere from $70 - $300 to perform this service, depending upon the situation. 

The Defendant then has 20 days to respond to the complaint. Usually this means that the Defendant has to go and hire their own lawyer who then drafts a document called an ANSWER AND COUNTERCLAIM, wherein the Defendant Answers the Plaintiff's Complaint by agreeing or disagreeing with specific parts of it and then makes his or her own Counterclaim For Divorce. Most divorce lawyers in Las Vegas charge between $400 - $600 an hour and these documents can sometimes take half a day to draft, depending upon the number of things the couple wishes to argue about. 

Also, there may be things that need addressed before the parties even come close to agreeing on a final Decree of Divorce. These things frequently take the form of child custody, child support, and the payment of debts that the couple accrued together. Sometimes it has to do with who gets to keep the house since the couple no longer wishes to continue to live together during the divorce proceedings. 

To deal with issues such as these, many times a lawyer will bring the parties before the court by filing a MOTION. There is no one "MOTION", and a motion can be about just about anything. Our office tends to favor something called a MOTION FOR INTERIM ORDERS which is a convenient way to draft a document that basically says "Hey, Judge, these people are in the process of getting a divorce, but right now they really can't agree on some important stuff and we need you to make a ruling on just these few items so the folks can move past these issues they're arguing about."

Once one party files a motion (either party can, but they each remain Plaintiff and Defendant during the entirety of the case. Once you're the Plaintiff, that's your title on every document from then on during the whole case), the other party has a limited time to respond to the motion. A proper response to a MOTION is an OPPOSITION AND COUNTERMOTION

The person filing the Opposition and Countermotion gives reasons why the party filing the Motion shouldn't get what they've asked for and why the judge should rule in their favor instead. These documents can be extremely lengthy. Depending upon the level of complexity of the issue at hand and the number of attached exhibits, I've seen Motions and Oppositions & Countermotions exceed several hundred pages!

Once a Motion is filed, and then an Opposition & Countermotion is filed in response, the person who filed the motion can respond yet again by filing a REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION AND OPPOSITION TO COUNTERMOTION. In this document, the Motion-filer acknowledges what the other party said in the opposition to their motion and reaffirms why the court should still grant their original motion. They also include an Opposition to the Countermotion. 

Are you confused yet?

It basically turns into this, except with a lawyer on each side charging
500 bucks an hour and using a LOT of paper....
Now, you also have to remember that there is really no specified limit to the documents I've been talking about. People can fire motions and oppositions and countermotions and replies and more oppositions back and forth like arrows in any given Lord of the Rings film. 

Once it reaches a certain point of disagreement, the lawyers for each side will often times schedule something called an Evidentiary Hearing. This is basically a mini-trial where, after weeks of preparation (and more documents - I'll talk about those in a second), everyone shows up in court in front of a judge and pleads their evidence. 

Before an Evidentiary Hearing, both lawyers have an open window of time in which to gather evidence, which the court calls "Discovery". A lawyer can send over pages and pages of questions that the other side, by law, has to answer. One form they can take is something called "Interrogatories". There is a limit of 40 interrogatories a lawyer can propound on the other side, and the questions are designed to address specific issues the couple has. They can be anything, and they generally get uncomfortably personal in nature. 

Other types of discovery are "Request for Admissions" in which one side can send over a list of "yes or no" type questions that the other side must answer. These are also very probing questions, depending upon the couple, and it's a way for one side to demand that the other side air all their secrets in open court or risk perjuring themselves if they get caught lying about something. 

Another type of written discovery is called "Requests for Production" and these are extremely time consuming. Picture 20 or 30 requests, each of them stating something like:
  1. Produce your last 6 months of credit card statements, including, but not limited to, any major credit card (American Express, Discover, Visa, MasterCard, etc...) that you have in your name or in the name of your business as well as any store credit cards in your name or under your control (i.e: Kohl's, Victoria Secret, Macy's, Sears, etc...)
  2. Please Produce and identify by Bates Stamp Number your DMV driving record for the past 10 years.
  3. Please provide a records release for all of your criminal records.
You can see how personal and intrusive these can get. Each time we do an evidentiary hearing, we have to put all of the evidence we plan to use at the hearing in a 3-ring binder, and we have to present our evidence to the Court and the opposing lawyer. This means that, in total, we have to make FOUR identical 3 ring binders full of evidence. 

This can all happen well before a final decree of divorce is submitted and signed by the judge. 

So, that is part of the answer to the question that started this entire diatribe, "Why is Divorce So Expensive?" 

Basically, the more you and soon-to-be ex-spouse can agree upon, the cheaper it's going to be for you both to get divorced!

If you need a qualified and experienced Divorce attorney, give us a call. We'll be happy to help you through your divorce without costing you unnecessary money. 702-435-2121