Alternative Sentencing for DUI
Thomas & Paulk, P.A., our primary concern is to succeed in having our clients' DUI charges
dismissed. However, in cases where this is not possible, we believe in
advocating for more favorable alternatives to a straight jail sentence.
In Florida, the law provides sentencing alternatives for special cases of
DUI and we believe that if this is possible, we must do everything in our
power to keep our client out of a jail cell.
Most DUI convictions, both misdemeanor and felony, are accompanied by time
served in jail to some extent in addition to the other penalties for a
DUI offense. Jail time served is particularly undesirable for individuals
who work in order to earn a living because a jail sentence requires time
spent away from work. Additionally, jail sentences can be emotionally
difficult for both the convicted and their family. If it can be avoided,
it should and a Tampa DUI attorney from Thomas & Paulk, P.A. can help
make sure of it.
Alternatives to Jail
According to Florida Statutes § 316.193(6)(k), judges in court hearings
for DUI offenses are given the ability to order alternative sentences
in order to serve as credit towards jail time. These sentence alternatives
are usually associated with misdemeanor, non-violent DUI convictions where
the defendant has no prior violent criminal record. For jail sentences
that do not succeed 61 days, enrollment in a Day Reporting Program may
be granted as an alternative in some Florida counties. The Day Reporting
Program involves various types of community service work done in exchange
for credit towards a jail sentence.
Low risk offenders may also be eligible for an Electronic Monitoring Program
instead of straight jail time. This allows the individual to continue
working at their regular place of employment for earnings or attend their
place of education while serving the sentence for DUI. Work Release programs
using electronic monitors are favorable both for the individual and the
local community because it allows the person to remain a productive member
instead of sitting in a jail cell. The monitor is worn by the defendant
at all times and is typically associated with travel limits from work
and school back home.
A special alternative utilized by many DUI offenders instead of jail time
is participation in a Residential Drug or Alcohol Treatment program.
This is a favorable alternative for all parties because it addressees the
reality of drug and alcohol addiction in members of society and it also
speaks well of the defendant if they successfully complete the program.
In most cases, completion of a residential treatment program is viewed
positively by the judge and will satisfy all or a large portion of the
potential jail sentence. Other alternatives include house arrest and community
control supervision for some felony cases and comprehensive probation
for misdemeanor violators. Prison sentences may also be served through
"weekend jail", which consists of the individual living life
during the week usual and reporting to a county jail on the weekends.
Achieving Favorable Results
Thomas & Paulk, P.A. believes in doing everything we can to achieve
favorable results for our clients. If we are unable to have your charges
dropped, our next mission will be to negotiate a sentence that fits your
needs and way of life. Because every DUI case is different, there is no
formula by which judges determine eligibility for alternative sentences.
Rather, it is job of your attorney to demonstrate that you deserve a lighter
or alternative sentence to jail. We have been successful on numerous occasions
in receiving such sentences on behalf of our clients, which allowed them
to pay back their dues to society while remaining a valuable part of their
community through their participation in employment and education.
One mistake does not have turn your world upside down and a DUI conviction
does not have to land you in jail. Contact our Tampa DUI lawyer to learn more about the options available.