Because of our experience in criminal cases such as DUI defense cases, that present the possibility of a penalty that includes a sentence of imprisonment, our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that while there are strict guidelines regarding terms of imprisonment, there is also some flexibility with the methods of serving time. Subsection s. 316.193 spells out the specified terms of imprisonment associated with violations of the state’s DUI laws. Among the stipulations are:
For a First Conviction of DUI: a term of imprisonment of up to but not more than 6 months; however, if the BAL was .20 or higher or if there was a minor in the vehicle, the term of imprisonment may up to but not more than 9 months.
For a Second Conviction of DUI: a term of imprisonment of up to but not more than 9 months; however, if the BAL was .20 of higher or if there was a minor in the vehicle, the term of imprisonment may be up to but not more than 12 months. Additionally, if the second conviction occurs within 5 years of the first conviction, there shall be a mandatory imprisonment term of at least 10 days. Furthermore, at least 48 hours of the confinement must be consecutive.
For a Third Conviction of DUI: if the third conviction occurs within 10 years of a prior conviction, there shall be a mandatory imprisonment term of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If, on the other hand, the third conviction occurs more than 10 years after a prior DUI conviction, there shall be a mandatory imprisonment term of up to but not more than 12 months.
For a Fourth or Subsequent Conviction of DUI: a term of imprisonment up to but not more than 5 years, according to s. 775.084 of the Florida State Statutes, which details penalties for habitual/violent offenders.
As far as the flexibility in these cases goes, our DUI defense attorneys know that Florida law affords the courts the discretion to allow for sentencing terms to be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program; the time served in these programs may be credited toward the defined term of imprisonment. This is a form of flexibility in the court system that, with competent legal representation, can prove to not only mitigate the harm you experience but also improve your overall wellbeing. The completion of an alcohol or substance abuse treatment program can help you deal with the issues that landed you in court in the first place; you can come out of this situation stronger and more able than you entered it. Additionally, and fortunately, the time that you spend bettering yourself can count toward the time that you would otherwise have to spend in prison.
As former prosecutors, our DUI defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert know how to navigate your case such that the presiding judge approves a stay in a residential treatment program in lieu of a term of imprisonment. We know what tactics work and which do not.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact our experienced DUI defense attorneys. Contact us by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND to schedule a free consultation, during which we can tell you how we can help you avoid imprisonment.