Arrested for a DUI and Facing Criminal Charges?
You May Qualify for the DUI Diversion Program in Florida.
Have you been arrested for a DUI? The DUI Diversion program in Florida was developed by the state to offer a solution for offenders that eases up on some of the tough penalties of a DUI conviction.
Do you think you may qualify for a Florida DUI pre-trial diversion program? The Denson firm has extensive experience in helping people arrested for DUI and provides free consultations to determine the best legal strategy for your personal situation.
What is a diversion program?
A diversion program allows offenders to avoid criminal penalties and enter rehabilitation instead. For example, the Florida Department of Corrections operates the Felony Pre-trial Intervention (PTI) program for first-time offenders, which allows an alternative for the offender to avoid the court trial process and a potential criminal conviction and related penalties.
Types of DUI Diversion Programs in Pinellas County
There are multiple diversion programs offered in the Pinellas County court system that help people avoid a conviction on their record. These include the PTI, as well as the:
- Misdemeanor Intervention Program (MIP) – for non-traffic-related misdemeanor offenses, avoiding conviction by doing community service, paying court costs and fines, and completing other tasks as appropriate.
- Felony Drug Court Program – focused on rehabilitation and not punishment, successful participation in the program avoids a felony conviction for the offender. It is common for a person to be charged with both a DUI and a Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance offense.
- Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) Program – for those accused of certain misdemeanors, including theft, possession of marijuana, and criminal mischief. The APAD program does not include DUI offenses.
Does Pinellas County Have A DUI Diversion Program?
If you were arrested for DUI and have been wondering, “What is the diversion program in Florida?” or “Do I need a DUI diversion background check?”– under the current laws, DUI diversion programs are not currently available in Pinellas County or for resolution in a special courtroom division. The availability of DUI diversion programs in Florida is different by county, and Pinellas does not include them as an option at this time.
This necessitates the need for a strong defense. Experienced, skilled DUI attorneys have multiple strategies they can draw from depending on your specific situation to aggressively defend their clients to avoid conviction and the associated harsh penalties.
DUI Laws and Penalties in Florida
Florida DUI laws include harsh penalties if you are convicted of driving under the influence. If you are arrested by the police and have a blood alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of .08% or above, you may face the following penalties:
- Fines — from $500 -$1000 (1st conviction) to $2000-$5000 (3rd Conviction)
- Jail Time — from up to 6 months (1st conviction) to up to 12 months (3rd Conviction)
- Driver’s License Suspension
- Impounded Vehicle
- DUI School
- Ignition Interlock
- Community Service
These penalties are subject to increase if there was a minor in the vehicle, if there was a crash involving serious bodily injury, repeat DUI offenses, or manslaughter or vehicular homicide.
Get the Help You Need Today
Since the DUI diversion programs in Florida are not yet available in Pinellas County, it is very important to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible to get a strong defense for the best outcome possible.
Bruce Denson has the comprehensive knowledge to successfully defend DUI charges and offers free consultations for clients who have been arrested for DUI. If you win your case, you preserve your driving privileges and avoid jail time. Get the help you need today and give us a call to schedule a free consultation.