Fort Myers, FL – In the state of Florida, all DUI charges are criminal. A driver will have a record of the arrest, and the final disposition of the case even if they were acquitted. These cases are normally misdemeanors, as long as there are no aggravating factors such as severe property damage and injuries to other people in the area. If someone is hurt or dies in the drunk driving accident, the suspect may be charged with a felony at the prosecutor’s discretion.
When someone is formally charged and arraigned, they will be given a plea offer immediately. It is important for defendants to first enter a not guilty plea until they have reviewed their case with an attorney. If the defendant is confused at any point during this process, they should ask for legal assistance.
If someone has never had a criminal charge before, they may be eligible for pre-trial diversion in certain parts of Florida. This program is helpful for many people, because the case is dismissed and cannot be refiled after the defendant meets certain conditions. For most people who have been charged before, this is often the most convenient option to deal with a first offense. The case is taken away from the prosecutors and diverted to a separate administrative system. It is imperative for anyone who enters pre-trial diversion to complete these conditions so they can avoid taking a criminal plea deal at a later time.
The services of a defense attorney
Criminal charges have serious consequences that can include fines, probation, substance abuse treatment, and jail time. If the person charged has a job that involves driving or operating machinery, it may be difficult to secure employment after a conviction due to the record that will be present and visible to employers. A person accused of a DUI can also lose their driver’s license for anywhere from a few months to permanently depending on the case. For these reasons, defense lawyers are crucial for anyone who has been charged.
The lawyer can attend all required hearings, file any motions necessary based on the evidence, and either negotiate a plea deal or represent the defendant at trial to conclude the case. If the attorney sees significant problems with the evidence, they may either be able to get the case dropped, reduced, or have certain items excluded from the state’s case.
Local DUI defense in Fort Myers
Michael M. Raheb is an experienced lawyer who assists clients in the Fort Myers area with defending against the state’s charges. Anyone who has been arrested can contact his firm for immediate help.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901