What happens at a DUI sentencing hearing depends on what kind of DUI you have. A DUI could be classified as a misdemeanor, a felony, or an infraction if you are under 21 years of age. Alwayrs, in The State of Florida, you will need to face a judge with your attorney present, or sometimes your attorney can go to court on your behalf. An attorney can go to court on your behalf if you have signed paperwork admitting guilt, typically this happens if you have already agreed on a sentence that was negotiated between your attorney and the prosecution.
If you have been pulled over for a DUI, then it is essential that you get a DUI lawyer to represent you. A DUI is a serious charge, and having the assistance of a DUI defense attorney could have a massive impact on the outcome of your case. This is a conviction that could have life-long implications. Therefore you should not take it lightly. Contact The Ticket Lawyers as soon as people on 855-323-8488.
Once you have been arrested for a DUI, you will be given a court date. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible so that they can explore possible avenues for defense. Common defenses to DUI charges are:
In Florida, your license will initially be suspended. However, you can apply for a license to drive for business purposes only while you await the outcome of your case.
Once you have been convicted of a DUI, you will face sentencing. This is usually done by a judge alone rather than a jury. During this sentencing, the judge will take into account a range of factors to decide what the outcome of your case could be, such as:
If you accept a plea deal, where you admit guilt or plea no contest, then you will immediately face sentencing. However, if your case goes to a full trial, then it could be several weeks or months after the crime was committed.
Punishment for a DUI conviction may include one or all of the following:
Sentencing depends on the crime committed. Several factors will be considered by the judge. In addition to the previously mentioned criteria, a judge may also consider the following when sentencing a DUI conviction:
If the state attorney is unable to reach an agreement, and the client does not want to face a jury trial, then the judge might be able to perform a Pleading Open. You can find out more about Pleas on the Legal Information Institute.
An open plea is where you plead to your charges in the hopes of having your sentence lowered in exchange for an agreement. For example, you may have to do community service or driving classes in order to avoid jail time. This is not always an option, but when possible, it could be a positive way to avoid incarceration. The Judge does not control the charge, only the sentence. Once you have this conviction, you cannot get it removed. The court sometimes will lets you know the parameters ahead of time but pleading Open can be a risky way to resolve your case, especially if you are in front of a hard sentencing Judge.
The sentencing hearing for a misdemeanor is usually a short hearing where the sentence is read following a plea, so long as the accused has had advice from an attorney and knows their constitutional rights.
A no-contest plea will go something like this:
The judge will tell you your charge and your punishment. I.e., Misdemeanor DUI, pay X fine, possible jail time, and this length in driving school.
However, punishments can range from probation, community service, AA meetings, and loss of your license for six to 12 months. Your attorney will help you to get the best possible outcome possible.
A felony is a higher sentence than a misdemeanor and carries heavier sentencing such as prison time, alcohol monitoring, or home detention. Your DUI could be a felony if you have prior offenses, you caused serious injury, or your case involved a death that was caused by your driving.
Usually, before a felony sentencing hearing, we will have a probation report that will recommend a sentence. The judge will then hear from the prosecution about why they think that the punishment is appropriate while we will help you to fight for a lesser sentence. Typically, the judge will find a middle ground depending upon the circumstances of your case.
The sentencing hearing will follow months of investigations and negotiations between the defense attorney and the district attorney. Sometimes, the judge might get involved, other times they will not.
Contact The Ticket Lawyers as soon as possible once you have been arrested for a DUI. There are lots of things you can do to help your case. And an experienced DUI attorney will be able to look at your individual circumstances and will know what course of action to take.
If you have been charged for a DUI for the first time, it can be a scary time. You don’t know what to expect, and you might be concerned about your job and livelihood.
The penalties you will be given for the first time DUI will depend on the individual circumstances of your case, as well as the quality of your representation. However, your punishments are likely to be a suspension of your license, driving safety classes, and fines.
You are unlikely to face jail time for a first offense unless there are aggravating factors. However, if you seriously injured someone or damaged property, then it is a possibility. In fact, you could face up to six months in county jail for a first time DUI.
That is why it is so important to have a criminal defense attorney on your side. Taking the right steps, getting good advice, and presenting yourself well in court can have a huge impact.
As previously discussed, you will not always have to speak to a judge. Furthermore, how much you speak to them will depend on the circumstances of your individual case. The best plan of action is to speak to a DUI defense attorney who will prepare you for court.
Speaking up is sometimes beneficial, so long as you say the right things. Such as:
You should absolutely consult with a well qualified and knowledgeable DUI defense attorney. A DUI is a serious charge which might affect what work you can do. Once convicted, a DUI remains on your record for 75 years. An attorney may be able to lessen your charge, or at the very least, help you to fight for a lower sentence. Get in touch with The Ticket Lawyers today for a free consultation. Call us on 855-323-8488.
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