Getting charged with a DUI once is a difficult and seriously stressful experience. Being arrested and charged on a 2nd or third offense DUI can land someone in jail for an extended period of time and change their life dramatically.
Some counties in Florida are helping DUI offenders get the treatment they need with a second chance and a path that leads to sobriety. The goal is to reduce the incidents of 2nd or 3rd offense DUI charges in Florida, which are often the result of alcohol addiction problems.
Currently only active in three counties, DUI courts are typically available for multiple time DUI offenders. They seek to give people help rather than simply push them through the court system.
To be eligible for DUI court, a defendant must make their desire known to the judge ahead of time. According to this article from Ocala.com, the DUI court in Marion County provides an opportunity for rehabilitation.
Typically, outside of DUI court, a 2nd DUI conviction can lead to up to 270 days in jail, 1 year of probation, 1 year license suspension, large fines, DUI school, ignition interlock device, and impoundment of the defendant’s car. With DUI court, the penalties are lower but the program is not easy.
With DUI court, particularly in Marion County, offenders will serve a minimum jail sentence, attend counseling and AA meetings, be present at court check-ins, and submit to drug and alcohol screenings. The program allows for very little slip-ups and mistakes and punishes those who violate with a reinstatement of the original potential sentence.
When up against serious criminal charges like multiple DUI offenses, people are justifiably worried about their future. Knowing all of your options and potential outcomes can be relieving as you struggle through such an uncertain time.
While DUI courts aren’t available throughout Florida, they are present and other programs exist for those people who want help. Contacting an experience Florida defense attorney will assist you in knowing where your options lie.
Wondering if there is a DUI court in your county or what types of programs exist to help you serve less jail time? Call today for a consultation on your case and to hear what I can do to potentially help you with your case.