Seminole County First-Time DUI Offender Program

seminole county dui program

Getting arrested for a DUI almost always meant that you would face DUI charges, until now. Seminole County is rolling out a diversion program for first-time offenders arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Currently, this is a test pilot program, and there is no clear idea of how long it will go on or which individuals will have the program as a pursuable option. The county has experimented this program on a few DUI cases and it can easily become more widely available if successful, but only for those who qualify.

How to Qualify for the First-Time DUI Offender Program

The First-Time DUI Offender Program is available for those arrested in Seminole County for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. More specifically, individuals must also meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) below .25
  • DUI did not cause an accident
  • No minor children/animals in the car
  • No priors
  • Must have had a valid DL at the time of the arrest
  • No cases where there was an accompanying charge (like resisting, pot, etc.)

Those who meet these requirements for the program will be slotted into either Tier 1 or Tier 2, each with there own conditions that must be met within a strict time period.

First-Time DUI Offender Program Tiers

The Seminole County First-Time DUI Offender Program has two tiers: Tier 1 is for those who had a BAC level below 0.150, and Tier 2 is for those with BAC levels between 0.150 and 0.250 and breath test refusals. The conditions of each are as follows:

Tier 1

    • Plea of Guilty to Reckless Driving (Alcohol Related) F.S. § 316.192(5) – adjudication withheld
    • Probation for a period of six (6) months, pursuant to F.S. § 948.15
  • CONDITIONS OF PROBATION:
    • $100 Fine; Standard court costs; cost of prosecution and cost of investigation
    • $400 donation to the Kids House of Seminole County
    • Proof of successful completion of DUI School
    • Successful completion of any DUI school recommended alcohol/substance abuse treatment
    • Successful completion of twenty (20) total community service hours at approved location(s)
    • Proof of successful completion of the Victim Awareness Panel or YouImpact online course (www.youimpact.com)
    • No possession or consumption of alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs during probation
    • Random alcohol/drug testing conducted by probation at Defendant’s expense

Tier 2

    • Plea of Guilty to Reckless Driving F.S. $316.192(5) – adjudication withheld
    • Probation for a period of nine (9) months, pursuant to F.S. 948.15
  • CONDITIONS OF PROBATION:
    • $100 Fine; Standard court costs; cost of prosecution and cost of investigation
    • $400 donation to the Kids House of Seminole County
    • Proof of successful completion of DUI School
    • Successful completion of any DUI school recommended alcohol/substance abuse treatment
    • Successful completion of fifty (50) total community service hours at approved location(s)
    • Proof of successful completion of Victim Awareness Panel or YouImpact online course (www.youimpact.com)
    • No possession or consumption of alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs during probation
    • Random alcohol/drug testing conducted by probation at Defendant’s expense
    • Immobilization of Defendant’s vehicle for ten (10) days

Benefits of the First-Time DUI Offender Program

If you successfully complete the program, your charge gets reduced from a DUI to reckless driving which is highly beneficial for multiple reasons. Some of the most considerable advantages of a reckless driving charge over a DUI are as follows:

  • Lower fines and less potential jail time
  • Avoid mandatory driver’s license suspension
  • Fewer points on your driving record
  • Auto insurance rates are unlikely to rise as high as they would for a DUI
  • Less likely to face job termination for reckless driving
  • If you are later convicted of a DUI, you would be deemed a first-time DUI offender, in contrast to you being labeled a repeat offender and facing more severe penalties

Additionally, you avoid a conviction as the court withholds adjudication. Therefore you may be eligible to seal your record. The benefits of record sealing include:

  • Being able to rightfully deny the arrest occurred
  • Your arrest record will not appear on a background check
  • You avoid discovery of the criminal incident by employers, colleges, and universities
  • You protect your public perception

How a Seminole County DUI Lawyer Can Help

The Seminole County First-Time Offender Program offers numerous benefits for those facing DUI charges, but may only be a viable option if you have an experienced DUI attorney who is aware of the program and has the ability to argue to the Prosecutor that you are the RIGHT candidate for the DUI Diversion. The Seminole County DUI defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience and have served as prosecutors on the state and local level. We have experience successfully negotiating on behalf of our clients and can do the same for you to help lessen your DUI to a reckless driving charge.

Everyone deserves a second chance. Get yours by calling us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.