In Cruisin' For A Bruce-in, we ride along with Florida Attorney Bruce Denson as he gives brief explanations on Florida Law and what to do in common legal situations.
Often in the resolution of a criminal case, particularly DUI cases, you'll be required to do some community service hours. A first time DUI requires a completion of 50 hours. So, you need to be prepared to either do those hours or if the judge gives you the option of buying them out, buy them out.
So, sometimes you can buy out the hours and essentially convert the 50 hours you need to do to a $500 fine. You're going to pay 10 an hour to buy those hours out, so, for some people, it makes more sense to just to buy the hours out rather than do the community service. Other people, either it doesn't make financial sense for them to do that, so they simply do the community service hours, or they'd just rather do the community service hours. It's a great way to be involved in your community. Your probation officer will have a list of places where you can do community service. Otherwise, really what the judge wants to see is that it was done at a local non-profit and they're gonna need a document on the non-profit's letterhead showing the date and time you did the hours.
So, for instance, on February 14th, you did five hours at whatever the non-profit was, and then it's signed and it should be notarized by somebody there at the non-profit. Sometimes they're a little liberal on the notary requirement, but I wouldn't plan on that, and if you've got some problems or questions feel free to give me a call. I can give you some ideas on community service hours and some ways to help put this behind you.
I recommend, if you get a DUI, get started on those community service hours or saving your money right away so that you can shorten the length of time that you're on probation. It's good to be proactive on these matters, so don't wait for the last minute. Go ahead and get started on community service hours now. Again, any non-profit, and they can provide documentation of the hours you've worked, should be fine.
Whether you’re planning to work the required hours or buy them out, the important thing is to complete them as quickly as you can. Completion of community service hours is the thing that keeps you on probation the longest. So, the quicker you finish them, the sooner you'll complete your probation.
Keep in mind: Under Florida Law, community service is a requirement for those who receive a DUI, and Failure to meet a monthly quota on completing community service hours can be considered a low-risk violation of probation. Violation of your probation can lead to jail time, additional community service time, and a host of other potential consequences that you don’t want.
So, complete your community service as quickly as you can. You may even terminate your probation early.
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