Not all DUI cases end with a misdemeanor or felony conviction for DUI. If you're involved in a DUI case, understanding your options for defending yourself against DUI charges or alternative outcomes you can seek in court can help you get a better outcome in your case.
To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced DUI attorneys, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.
Alternatives to Jail Time
Many people are surprised to see that even first-time offenders may be penalized by up to six months of jail time for a DUI in Florida.
However, in many cases, judges will not sentence a DUI offender to jail time, especially if it's their first offense. Instead, many courts opt for one of the following penalties:
Enrollment in a Substance Abuse & Defensive Driving Program
For many first-time offenders, the court will offer enrollment in defensive driving and substance abuse programs as an alternative to harsher sentencing.
In most cases, attending a separate defensive driving and DUI treatment program will be required.
In a similar vein, community service is also offered as a common alternative to traditional sentencing for first-time offenders. The standard community service penalty is 50 hours, however, the court may extend that length depending on the details of the case.
Electronic Monitoring & Other Options
In some cases, Electronic Monitoring (EM) is also presented to DUI offenders as an alternative to a jail sentence or fine. Electronic Monitoring involves equipping the offender with an electronic GPS to ensure the court knows where they are at all times. The court may also implement other measures, such as installing an ignition interlock device on the offender's car, to ensure they do not engage in further DUIs.
In almost every case, these alternatives are preferable to sentencing, especially if the guilt of the offender is a foregone conclusion and the DUI offense has already gone on their criminal record. If you're sentenced to jail, you may find yourself unable to keep whatever job you had prior to being sentenced. It will also make other matters, such as keeping yourself up-to-date with rent or other necessities, more challenging. Accepting an alternative sentence from the court can help you maintain a better control over your life.
The court also has the power to revoke an offender's driver's license if they believe doing so would help protect the community from further harm or incidences of drunk driving.
Can My Sentence Get Reduced?
Sometimes, prosecutors in DUI cases will offer to reduce an offender's sentence from a DUI to reckless driving. However, this usually comes with other stipulations which the alleged offender may not want to accept.
Whether you should take a plea deal depends on the circumstances of your case. If you're being offered a plea deal in your DUI dispute, discuss it with your attorney. They'll have the necessary information to determine whether taking a plea deal will serve your best interests.
At the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., our DUI attorneys are ready to help you defend your rights. To schedule a consultation with our team for your DUI, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.