First Time DUI Offenders Decline New Monitoring Program In Palm Beach County
First time DUI offenders are able to minimize the damage, avoid a criminal conviction, steep court fines, possible jail time and other headaches associated with DUI arrest. How?
Prosecutors in Palm Beach County are promoting a new monitoring program where first-time DUI offenders agree to expensive alcohol monitoring devices for three to six months, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge instead of a DUI, paying lower than usual fines, and completing one year of probation. How effective is the programs? Not very. A majority of the first-time DUI offenders declined to participate. According to Chief Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis, just 425 people have signed up since the initiative began June 1. For most of 2013, the office handled about 2,500 DUI cases
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A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can have long-term significant impacts on a person’s life. Everything from employment and rental applications to auto insurance and background checks can be impacted by a criminal conviction on a defendant’s driving record. DUI laws differ from state to state, but a DUI conviction will likely remain on the driving record of a defendant for a minimum of five years.
DUI 1st Offense in Florida
In the state of Florida when arrested for a first offense DUI charge the arresting officer will confiscate the driver’s license and issue the driver what is referred to as a “Notice of Suspension”. This notice will act as the driver’s license for the next 10 days.
NOTE: A person who has been arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Florida only has 10 days from the date of arrest in which to request a hearing with the FLHSMV if they wish to avoid having their driving privileges automatically suspended for the next 6 months. If you hope to have a successful outcome at your hearing it is very important that you contact one of Florida DUI lawyers today to have our lawyers schedule your hearing and represent you at the hearing.
A person convicted of a first offense DUI in court will face a fine amount of $500 to $1,000 for a blood/breath alcohol level of less than .15%. If the person’s BAL was above .15% or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of driving under the influence the fine amount shall be not less than $1,000, and not more than $2,000.
A first offense DUI in Florida will result in a jail sentence of no more than 6 months in jail for a BAL of less than .15%. A BAL of .15% or greater, or with a minor in the vehicle at the time of driving will result in a jail sentence of up to 9 months.
Drivers License Suspension
A first offense DUI will result in the driver’s license being suspended for a minimum period of 180 days (if the driver was unsuccessful at winning their administrative drivers license hearing). If another person was killed or seriously injured as a result of the defendant’s DUI, their license will be revoked for 3-years with no chance of receiving a restricted license during the revocation period.
Before the FLHSMV will issue a restricted license during the suspension period the person must successfully complete the required DUI schooling. If the person waits out their suspension period they will be required to at minimum show proof of enrollment in a state approved DUI school prior to having their license fully reinstated. The driver must complete the DUI schooling within 90 days of having their license reinstated; otherwise their license will be cancelled and will not be reinstated until the person completes the required DUI school.
Can a DUI Remain on a Driving Record Forever?
Some people incorrectly assume that a DUI conviction will automatically be removed from a defendant’s driving record after a certain period of time elapses. Although many states have laws that retain a DUI conviction on a defendant’s driving record only for a set number of years, it is still possible to have a conviction on your criminal record forever.
The expungement procedure is available for the removal of items like prior DUI convictions from driving records. These laws are state-specific. The expungement process begins by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) where the defendant resides. Each DMV will have a defined procedure for how to remove a prior DUI conviction from a driving record. This process can be done pro se (without counsel), but because it is often tedious, frustrating, slow-moving, and complicated, many choose to retain counsel for this purpose.
To learn more about the possible penalties for a DUI in your state and how you may be able to protect yourself, talk to a local DUI lawyer.
DUI Lawyer in Palm Beach County
Skilled and knowledgeable drunk driving defense lawyer Andrew Stine has over 10 years of experience defending clients like you, and is a former public defender and army medic. His life and legal experiences give him an in-depth understanding of DUI charges and militant attention to detail that he can apply to building a strong, comprehensive defense for your area DUI case. To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your drunk driving case in Palm Beach County, call 561.880.4300 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.