Understanding DUI Probation
Probation plays a significant role in how the State of Florida handles DUI. The probation is there to discourage the driver from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol a second time. It also helps identify those with a serious addiction problem that may be contributing to their bad decisions.
DUI probation is an alternative to adjudicating the case by other means. Typically, those other means include jail time. The probation period, however, is not simply a get out of jail free card. The court will place several requirements on the defendant and the defendant must meet these requirements.
DUI probation for a first-time offense
Probation is standard for first-time offenders who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, you could spend six months in jail after a conviction of simple DUI, so the court considers it a privilege to extend probation to the offender. Florida’s DUI statute requires all those who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to undergo some form of probation.
The probation period lasts 12 months. You will also have to meet with a probation officer on a monthly basis. The probation officer’s job is to ensure that you follow the terms of your probation which may be different in every case. You will have to give the probation officer proof that you are meeting your obligations which could include community service, fines, and drug and alcohol treatment. The probation officer reports this information to the court. So long as you do exactly what the court orders you to do, you can successfully complete your probation and go back to living your normal life.
Violations of probation
If you violate the terms of your probation, there will be a hearing. The hearing is like a mini-trial, but there is no jury. There is only a judge. The judge will determine whether or not the violation was intentional or accidental. If the judge determines that the violation was wilful, you could be charged with a violation of probation which is a separate charge. You could also be sentenced to jail for the probation violation.
You are also required to take DUI classes from certified companies that provide DUI education to those who have violated Florida’s DUI laws. These classes will attempt to convince you that you should never drink and drive at the same time. They will inform you about how alcohol affects your nervous system and reduces your reaction time, and you will hear testimonials from individuals who lost loved ones to drunk driving accidents.
DUI probation is not a fun experience, but it does beat going to jail. You will have several responsibilities foisted upon you and you must complete the terms of your probation or risk going to jail.
Talk to a Port St. Lucie DUI Lawyer Today
Eighmie Law Firm represents the interests of those who have been charged with DUI in Port St. Lucie. Call our Port St. Lucie criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options today.