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.

Option for First-Time DUI Offender

Hillsborough County authorities implemented the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program as an alternative to receiving a DUI charge. This program gives first-time DUI offenders the chance to not only skip jail time but lower their DUI charge to an instance of reckless driving. Additionally, their sentence would not be adjudicated, which means they can mark “NO” to the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” The person charged with a DUI must fulfill a variety of stipulations to cut down their charges.

Therefore, anyone with a first-time DUI charge should contact us to talk about the RIDR program.

Achieving Favorable Results

Thomas & Paulk, P.A. believes in doing everything we can to achieve favorable results. If we are unable to have your charges dropped, our next mission will be to negotiate a favorable sentence. 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. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (813) 321-7323.

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Have You Been Charged with a DUI?

DUI Defense in Florida

At Thomas & Paulk, one of our primary focuses is on the defense of DUI charges. In fact, we are recognized throughout the Tampa area as one of the premier DUI defense law firms. Our team is well-versed in this area of the law and has a wide-expanse of experience in helping our clients fight against such charges.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or your third, you can count on our firm to protect your legal rights. Often, our defense starts with recounting with you how the police officer came to stop you in the first place and how he or she came to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. If the stop was illegal, or the tests were improperly administered, we may be able to argue for the dismissal of that evidence in court, helping your chances of a dropped charge.

If you would like to learn more about how our team can help, contact us today.

  • If you're arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing where you can fight to save your license.

  • A blood alcohol reading of 0.15% or more can warrant an aggravated DUI charge with harsher penalties.

  • Each year, Hillsborough County issues around 4,000 DUI citations. Out of these, more than 3,000 are found guilty.

  • Per Florida's zero-tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who tests positive for any measurable blood alcohol can be charged with DUI.

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