Driving under the influence is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in Florida. In 2021, there were nearly 44,000 drivers in the Sunshine State charged with a DUI.
To address this problem, Florida came up with a DUI diversion program called the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism Initiative (RIDR) to discourage people from doing this again.
Depending on your type of DUI, you could become eligible for this program. You increase your chances of this even further when you have the proper lawyer by your side.
What is this program? Who is eligible? How can a lawyer help you get into a RIDR program in Florida?
Read on for a guide that answers all of those questions and more.
What Is the DUI Diversion Program?
The DUI diversion program is a program that Florida came up with to try to help people charged with a DUI avoid getting charged with it again. Also, it is to educate drivers who are facing this charge about the dangers of driving under the influence.
Hillsborough happens to be one of the only counties in the state that currently offers this type of program. This program directly targets people who are just facing DUI charges.
There are certain requirements that you have to meet to be eligible for this program.
For starters, you can only enter this program if it is your first DUI. If you or a loved one have a past with DUI charges, you are not going to be eligible for the RIDR program this time around.
Then, you have to consider what type of DUI charge that you may be facing. That is because Florida only allows people with certain DUI charges to participate in this program.
The main requirement here is that this is a misdemeanor DUI. If you or a loved one have a felony DUI charge pending, you are not eligible to participate in this program.
Then, you have to account for who was in your vehicle at the time of this DUI. If there was any sort of minor in the vehicle, you lose your eligibility for this program.
Your BAC level can play a role in your eligibility as well. To meet this requirement, your BAC level had to have been under .20.
Review your case and consider talking to a DUI lawyer to see if your case is eligible for this program.
Another important thing you need to know about this program is that there are three different levels that the program offers. This depends on what kind of DUI charge you are facing.
However, there are a few things that apply to each one of the levels mentioned. The first is that if you have prior felony charges, you are not eligible for any of these program levels.
This tends to be reserved for the least serious DUI charges.
The main thing you need here is a BAC level below .15. So, what do you have to do to complete the Level 1 program?
You have to have continuous alcohol monitoring and an ignition interlock alcohol device in your vehicle for at least three months. You will also have to complete 50 hours of community service.
People who enter the Level 2 program are those with a BAC above .15 during their DUI conviction. The main differences are that community service hours increase to 75 and the ignition interlock alcohol device has to be on your vehicle for six months.
Finally, this level is reserved for those who are facing drug charges surrounding their DUI rather than just alcohol.
With this level, people have to complete 50 hours of community service. On top of this, people at this level are required to wear an Abuse Patch for three months to make sure that they are not using drugs.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Now that you have a better understanding of what the RIDR program is, you may be wondering how a lawyer can help you with this. Well, there are a few big ways that they can have an influence with this case.
The first part of this is just having knowledge about this program. Since this is something that is only available in certain parts of Florida, it may not be given that a defendant knows about this program.
A lawyer is likely to have extensive knowledge of this program and what type of clients they have who can end up eligible for this. A lawyer has enough experience to pursue this option on your behalf if you meet the criteria mentioned above.
Also, lawyers can provide you with the legal counsel that you need to get a lighter sentence here. This can be anything from your behavior in court to what you need to confess to, what your options are, why this is the best option for you, and more.
Finally, lawyers can act as your voice when it comes time to talk to a prosecutor and a judge. During a certain point in this proceeding, a lawyer and a prosecutor are likely going to sit down and negotiate what your penalties will be for a DUI.
A lawyer is the person who will vouch for you and provide the best argument as to why you deserve to be part of this program. To take this a step further, your lawyer may even try to get you into the program at a lower level compared to what you may get on your own.
In other words, lawyers tend to be great negotiators. Let one with this talent act on your behalf.
Hire a DUI Lawyer
This is some information that you could use when it comes to the DUI diversion program.
You need to be aware of what criteria you need to meet to even enter this program. Then, get an understanding of what you have to do at each level of the program. Finally, let a lawyer negotiate the right program level for you.
If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, you should talk to a DUI lawyer about your options. Revisión gratuita de su caso from us here.
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