For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced that a defendant in a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) case has received the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison after being convicted of a seventh driving under the influence offense. The prior convictions spanned 19 years and involved misdemeanor and felony convictions in multiple California and Nevada jurisdictions. The sentence ensures that a minimum of 6 years must be served before parole eligibility begins.
Joseph Estrella, 37, from Incline Village, was sentenced on one count of felony Driving Under the Influence in Washoe County District Court by Judge Jerome Polaha. Estrella had previously pled guilty in February to the charge and was sentenced Tuesday to a maximum term of 15 years in prison.
Estrella was pulled over on October 12, 2015, near the intersection of Mays Blvd. and Joyce Lane in Incline Village after a sergeant from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office observed him driving a vehicle with an inoperable brake light. After approaching the vehicle, the sergeant smelled marijuana and Estrella admitted to having smoked it prior to driving. Estrella was arrested and the case was submitted to this office for prosecution. Testing of Estrella’s blood after his arrest detected both marijuana and methamphetamine.
At the sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Adam Cate argued that Estrella’s six prior DUI offenses proved he was incapable of rehabilitation and a danger to the community—citing the recent rash of DUI related fatalities in Washoe County. Estrella’s request for a minimum sentence was denied.