DUI Process

The information on this website is intended to help alleviate the concern that you have for yourself or loved one going through this unfortunate event. However, it is only intended to provide general information. It is the unique details surrounding your situation that can make the difference in deciding your case’s outcome. An experienced Florida DUI defense attorney can help guide you through this process.

  • DUI Testing: There are two types of tests that are used by law enforcement to determine if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drug. These tests come at different stages of the investigation, and consequently, there are different consequences if you refuse to do them. The two types of tests are Pre-Arrest Field Sobriety Tests, and Post-Arrest Chemical Tests.
  • DUI Trial: A first or second DUI, or a third offense more than 10 years after a prior offense, will be prosecuted in county court as they are misdemeanor offenses. You will have a choice between pleading guilty (or no contest) to the charge, or proceeding to a trial.
  • DUI Penalties: See a chart explaining the penalties associated with receiving a DUI.
  • Pretrial Diversion Programs: Unlike most misdemeanor offenses, criminal traffic offenders, including those charged with DUI, are not eligible for participation in most bay area counties including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties.
  • Deferred Adjudication: In many states, there are deferred adjudication options where you can be sentenced without being convicted of an offense, and upon successful completion of that sentence, the charge can be dismissed, or you can avoid a conviction altogether.
  • Reduction to Reckless Driving: In many cases, the State Attorney and your attorney may both arrive at the same conclusion after thoroughly investigating your case: this case, if it goes to trial, really could go either way.
  • Community Supervision / Probation: Almost every sentence you receive upon your conviction for DUI will include some period of court ordered supervision to guarantee you complete the numerous mandatory sanctions required by Florida Law.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: Florida law requires a person convicted of DUI to, as part of their sentence, have their vehicle impounded or immobilized for a period of time, depending on the particular offense you are convicted of.
  • DUI Record Expunging: Record Expunging is a process where you can, depending on the circumstances, have your public record of your arrest and prosecution destroyed under Florida Law. This can only happen if you are found not guilty of all charges in your case or the State Attorney decides to drop their case against you entirely.
  • Bail Bonds: Anytime a person is arrested for a criminal offense in Florida, they can only be released from jail after being booked by posting a bond. Some types of charges will not be eligible for a bond, either temporarily or until the case is completed.
  • Vehicle Insurance: A DUI conviction carries many consequences. The Court costs and fines, and DUI School alone will set you back over a thousand dollars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there, because that DUI on your driving record will most assuredly send your auto insurance premiums skyrocketing.
  • Driver’s License Procedures: There are two types of license suspensions you may face during a DUI investigation. The first is an administrative suspension, the second is a court ordered suspension.
  • DUI School: If you are convicted of any DUI offense, you will be required to complete a Level I DUI school as part of your sentence.