First offense allegations of DUI are among the most common criminal cases heard in Delray Beach Courts. For many people, this will be their only interaction with the criminal justice system. Even so, a first DUI case is a criminal matter where a conviction can have devastating consequences for the future.
A Delray Beach first offense DUI Lawyer wants to help. They understand how an arrest can be emotionally and financially draining and intimidating. A Lawyer can work to explain the law and what the Prosecutor needs to prove. One of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can also help to evaluate the evidence in the case, suggest a plan for the future, and take every step necessary to fight for the best possible outcome.
First Offense DUI and the Potential Penalties
A first-offense DUI is exactly what it sounds like. It is a situation where an individual does not have a prior conviction for DUI in Delray Beach, anywhere else in the state, or anywhere else in the country.
To prove DUI, the prosecutor must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that a person was impaired while driving a vehicle. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first is to provide evidence of a blood, urine, or breath test that indicates a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or more. The second is to rely on an arresting officer’s observations of impairment, such as erratic driving or the aroma of alcohol in the car or about the driver. Many Prosecutions use a combination of these ideas, plus other observations to build a case for DUI.
A Delray Beach first offense DUI Lawyer can help to contest this evidence in Court. This is to help people avoid the harsh penalties that accompany a DUI conviction. According to Florida Statute § 316.193, a first conviction for DUI can result in:
- A fine of between $500 and $1000
- The loss of a driver’s license for at least 180 days
- At least six months probation
- Permanent conviction on your criminal and driving record
- Community Service
- Vehicle immobilization
- Educational classes
- Substance abuse evaluations and random urinalysis
- Prohibition of use of alcohol or controlled substances without a prescription
- A possible jail sentence of no more than six months
Hiring a Delray Beach first offense DUI Attorney could help individuals to avoid these unfortunate terms and conditions.
Alternatives to Taking the Case to Court
Avoiding a DUI conviction may not even require a person to take the case to Trial. The State recognizes that many otherwise law-abiding people have the potential to make a single mistake in their lives. If a DUI arrest does not involve damage to people or property and is a person’s first arrest for an incident involving alcohol, the Prosecutor may allow a driver to enroll in a pretrial diversion DUI program.
In this program, a person must complete at least 50 hours of community service, DUI school, the Victim Impact Panel, and install an ignition interlock system on their vehicle. If a driver completes this process within a specified time frame, the prosecutor will recommend that the court place the driver on probation.
This probation will require a person to submit to random alcohol tests as well as to complete additional educational courses and pay fines. The final result of your case will be that you received a reduced charge of reckless driving and were not convicted of any crime that can then be sealed off of your record. A Delray Beach first offense DUI Lawyer could provide more information about the pretrial diversion program and determine whether this is an available option.
Let a Delray Beach First Offense DUI Attorney Take the Lead in the Case
Facing allegations of DUI in Delray Beach can be a frightening and intimidating experience. A conviction has the potential to cost you thousands of dollars, see you lose your right to drive for up to 180 days, and even result in a term in jail. It is critical that you act to protect yourself.
Hiring a Delray Beach first offense DUI Lawyer could help to preserve your future. A Lawyer can provide more information about the state’s DUI laws and potential penalties. They can also work to provide an honest assessment of your case and to recommend a potential course of action. Depending on your needs, this may include pursuing a diversionary program through the county or fighting the charges at trial. Reach out to a Delray Beach first offense DUI Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert today to see how they can help you.