A DUI is a severe offence that can have long-term consequences. DUI offences are strictly enforced in the state of Florida. A person convicted of DUI cannot have their conviction sealed or expunged. That is why hiring a qualified and experienced DUI attorney who will fight your DUI case from the start is critical.
If you are convicted of DUI in FL, the conviction will stay on your driving record for 75 years and your criminal record for life.
Although a DUI conviction cannot be removed from a person’s criminal record, there are specific strategies to avoid having it on your record in the first place. That’s why it’s critical to be proactive & hire an expert DUI lawyer early in the case.
Regrettably, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota countries do not have a DUI diversion program. Yet, each of these countries offers a unique DUI program that might result in a DUI charge being reduced to reckless driving.
The Hillsborough County program is called RIDR (Reduced Impaired Driving Recidivism). The program is DROP in Pinellas and Pasco Counties (DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program). The program is DETER in Manatee and Sarasota counties (Driver Enhanced Treatment Education Rehabilitation).
These programs require a person charged with DUI to complete specific requirements before pleading guilty in exchange for the State Attorney’s Office agreeing to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving. To mitigate their case of reckless driving, the person may have to complete DUI School, and community service hours, install an ignition interlock, and participate in a DUI victim impact panel.
In some situations, these programs allow the accused to gain a stay of adjudication in exchange for pleading guilty to reckless driving. Under Florida law, a stay of adjudication is not a conviction. The benefit of a stay of adjudication is that the person may be able to seal their DUI arrest and case later on.
In most situations, a person who has sealed the record of their arrest and case can lawfully deny ever being arrested. A judge will order that information about the person’s DUI arrest be removed from public records, such as the clerk of court’s webpage and the sheriff’s office arrest history, once a document has been sealed.
However, not all DUI suspects will be eligible for one of these programs. For example, a person with a prior DUI will not qualify for these programs. Furthermore, some counties may not admit a driver to the program if their DUI resulted in an accident or the driver’s blood alcohol level was above a specified limit. If you meet the requirements, an expert DUI lawyer can advise whether one of these programs is an excellent way to resolve your case.
So, if you’re facing a DUI charge, don’t ignore it. You may get the charge reduced, sealed, or expunged with the help of the Florida Criminal Defense Attorney in Miami Gardens. However, in some DUI cases, you may not be able to do either. Again, each DUI case is unique. If you need help handling your Florida DUI charge, call the Lee Law Firm today.
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