A DUI in West Palm Beach could be heard in one of two Courthouses, either at the Gun Club Courthouse at the Sheriff’s Office or the Main Courthouse in Downtown West Palm Beach. Even if it is a first-time offense, most DUI charges in West Palm Beach are going to be heard in the Main Courthouse in Downtown West Palm Beach.
If you were charged with a first-offense DUI, you should not risk going to Court alone. Even first-time West Palm Beach DUI trials can be overwhelming without a skilled defense lawyer by your side. The attorneys at Leifert & Leifert have extensive experience defending DUI cases, and we could fight on your behalf. Call us as soon as possible to schedule a free case review.
Prosecuting a First-Time DUI Charge
There are different types of first-time DUI charges, and a Prosecutor would handle a case depending on the facts and circumstances. The simplest first-time DUI charge would be someone who is pulled over for speeding or weaving. A case like this would be handled in one particular way. A person could also have a first-time DUI charge involving an accident or injury, however, and Prosecutors may handle these cases more aggressively.
The more cooperative the person is, the fewer people or properties that are involved, and the less aggravating the facts are, then the person’s case would likely be handled one way. If a case involves serious facts, serious injuries, or the person is seriously impaired, that is going to be handled another way. The Prosecutor has discretion in how to handle first-time West Palm Beach DUI trials. Even if it is someone’s first offense, the Prosecutor will adjust their approach based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
How Courts Handle First-Time DUI Offenses
The Courts will treat the DUI charges the same way a Prosecutor will, depending upon the facts and circumstances. They will look at questions such as:
- How aggravating were the circumstances?
- How impaired was the person?
- Was there was an accident?
- Was anyone hurt?
If there was an accident, Judges and Prosecutors could also consider whether or not the person has insurance, if it appears that the person was highly impaired, and whether or not the person is taking steps to address the concern that there may be a substance abuse problem.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Florida has a minimum mandatory sentence for first-time offenders. Judges do not have much discretion to reduce the charge or sentence. A Florida sentence for a first-time DUI is relatively harsh, and it is designed to teach the driver a lesson so that they will not do it again. When first-time West Palm Beach DUI trials end with a guilty verdict, a Judge has to convict and the Judge has to put the person on probation, at a minimum.
The judge must also suspend the person’s driver’s license or a minimum of six months and must impose many other additional penalties that are mandatory by law. The Judge can only go up from there, they cannot go down. The Judge generally only gets involved in the sentence of a DUI if there is Trial and if there is a guilty verdict at Trial. Most DUI sentences are handled by way of a negotiated resolution between someone’s West Palm Beach lawyer and the local West Palm Beach Prosecutor.
Leifert & Leifert Could Help Defend You
If you were charged with a DUI, even a first offense, you could face serious penalties that have a long-lasting impact on your life. At Leifert & Leifert, our lawyers have years of experience defending people in first-time West Palm Beach DUI trials. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin building an effective defense.