Palm Beach County New DUI Program For 1st Time Offenders
For years, local drivers facing a DUI charge for the first time had two options – take their case to trial and try to get acquitted, or take a plea and deal with the expensive consequences of having a DUI conviction permanently on their records.
But now, thanks to a new program Palm Beach County prosecutors have instituted, some first-time DUI offenders are getting the chance to avoid the stigma of a DUI conviction through a 12-month monitoring program that is among the first of its kind in the state. Source
The new diversion program– billed as a practical approach to these kinds of cases– was instituted for newly filed cases in early July. Prosecutors offered the program to parties in previously filed cases during the month of June.
If the accused meets certain conditions, he or she pleads guilty to Reckless Driving, the DUI charge is dropped, and they get 12 months probation. There’s no DUI conviction, or points on the license.
For complete details and video, please see source-CBS12
Florida First Time DUI Conviction and Penalties
DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S. If you drink alcohol and drive you dramatically increase your chance of being in a crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the “Implied Consent Law”. When you sign your drivers license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.
Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.
Fine Schedule s. 316.193(2)(a)-(b), F.S.
- First Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
- Second Conviction: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000, or more than $4,000.
- Third Conviction More than 10 years from second: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000.
- Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not less than $2,000.
Community Service – s. 316.193 (6)(a), F.S.
First Conviction: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.
Probation – s. 316.193 (5)(6), F.S.
First conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.
Imprisonment- s. 316.193 (2)(a) 2, 4(b), (6)(j), F.S.
At court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment.
First Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
It is not illegal to drink and drive in Florida, so long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not over .08 or your normal faculties are not impaired. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we advise our clients to neither blow into a breathalyzer machine nor do a roadside test. Why give evidence to the state if you don’t have to?
If you have submitted to a breathalyzer test and failed, that is not the end of your case. The Intoxilzer 5,000 and Intoxilzer 8,000 breathalyzer machines used to measure BAC in Florida have significant problems. If you have an expert witness and an experienced attorney who can challenge the accuracy of the machine in court, the BAC evidence may be thrown out. DUI/DWI Lawyer Andrew Stine has obtained not-guilty verdicts due to machine failure for clients who have had blood alcohol levels of .229 and .227.
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300. Se habla español.