When facing an impaired driving charge, working with an experienced DUI lawyer can positively impact the result of your case. By practicing in the jurisdiction, they have cultivated lasting relationships with local prosecutors and judges. The longer an attorney practices in the jurisdiction, the more opportunities they have to interact with the judge. The benefit of a Ft Lauderdale DUI lawyer is their knowledge of a judge’s nuances and what they have been willing to do in the past and can use that knowledge to obtain the best possible result for their client. An experienced DUI attorney knows what their particular judge can do under the particular circumstances of the case.
Understanding of Judicial Circuits
In Florida, DUIs are handled differently in different counties. Florida is divided into Judicial Circuits. In South Florida, the seventeenth judicial circuit encompasses all of Broward County and the fifteenth judicial circuit encompasses all of Palm Beach County. In other parts of Florida, a judicial circuit may encompass more than one county. Each judicial circuit has its own elected prosecutor (State Attorney) who has discretion with respect to how to prosecute DUI offenses. They might be able to drop a case or have the authority to reduce a DUI to reckless driving. The biggest issue now is that some Judicial Circuits recently started offering diversion programs for first time DUI offenses. An attorney who is not from the local area would not know what that can mean for their client.
Having an understanding of local procedures and rules is an important benefit of a Ft Lauderdale DUI lawyer. As of right now, Palm Beach County offers diversion programs for first time DUI offenders. Broward County, in the Fort Lauderdale area does not. It is one of the few major metropolitan areas in the state of Florida that currently does not offer a DUI diversion program for first time DUI offense. That is an example of the type of nuances and situations that a local lawyer would know that a lawyer coming from outside the jurisdiction may not know. When someone hires an attorney and appears in court with that attorney, they can see who the attorney knows in the courthouse, judges and the prosecutors. That is a great reason or rationale to persuade someone to have a local DUI lawyer.
Accessibility for Diversion Programs
The diversion program is left to the discretion of the elected state attorney in each circuit because it is not a statewide decision. Miami-Dade County, for example, has a diversion program. When someone is charged with a DUI in that county, their outcome can be different from someone who is charged with the same type of DUI in another part of Florida. There are distinctions in a DUI case that a local lawyer can use to their client’s benefit. There may be certain situations such as a diversion program that a person can take advantage of that only a local DUI lawyer or attorney knows about.
Contacting an Attorney
The relationships that attorneys have with prosecutors and judges are crucial. Prosecutors have a lot of discretion in what they can do and they are the ones who make decisions on the charges. The prosecutors have the ability to take the charges back or drop their case. They can reduce charges by being discrete about what they can offer and how they can negotiate their cases.
DUI laws are very lengthy and complex and change very frequently. There are many nuances as to how drunk driving laws are interpreted. The benefit of a Ft Lauderdale DUI lawyer is their experience working in the Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach County, and West Palm Beach areas.