December 20, 2017
In many Florida DUI cases, the state attorney may offer a plea deal that may include a period of probation or community service. By agreeing to a plea deal with the prosecutor, you avoid more serious penalties by pleading guilty to your charge and giving up certain rights in your case—including your appeal rights.
Because of Florida’s harsh DUI penalties, plea deals make sense in many cases—especially if you are a first-time offender. If you face prosecution for a DUI in Florida, the St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can review the facts and circumstances of your case and can help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting a plea bargain.
Florida DUI Diversion Programs
Generally speaking, DUI diversion programs cost less than trials and jail and provide offenders with opportunities to rehabilitate themselves and avoid permanent criminal convictions on their records. A criminal conviction can have serious ramifications, preventing an offender from finding and keeping jobs, going to school at reputable colleges or universities, and finding decent places to live. DUI diversion programs can help offenders avoid the black marks of criminal convictions on their records and can help them learn from past mistakes.
Eligibility for Florida DUI Diversion Programs
If you face DUI charges in St. Petersburg, you may be eligible to participate in a First Time DUI Offender Program. Assuming you are eligible, once you enter the program, the court will drop your DUI charge and require you to plead guilty to reckless driving—a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. Finally, the court will place you on probation for a period of 12 months.
Upon successful completion of a First Time DUI Offender Program, your license will not receive any points against it. However, if you fail to successfully complete the program, the court will find you guilty of driving under the influence and likely sentence you to a period of incarceration. You may not be eligible to participate in a DUI diversion program if any of the following is true:
- Your DUI charge also involved a traffic collision
- You had minors or animals in your vehicle at the time of the traffic stop
- You have prior DUIs on your record You already took part in a prior diversion program or are a multiple offender
- Your driver’s license was invalid at the time of your DUI arrest
- You were incarcerated as a result of a prior criminal conviction
- You are facing a felony drug or paraphernalia charge in addition to your DUI charge
Contact a St. Petersburg DUI Defense Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love was charged with a DUI, do not go it alone. The DUI defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can explore all of your legal options and can help you decide whether you should accept a plea deal. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida, DUI defense lawyer, please call us at (727) 269-5300 or contact us online.