Substantial penalties attach to DUI convictions in Florida. These become more severe with repeated offenses, but even at the ground zero level, the first offense, a driver is looking at jail time, fees, license revocation, vehicle impoundment, possibly having to install an ignition interlock device, probation, community service and driving and substance abuse courses.
DUI Rehabilitation of Offender Program (D.R.O.P.)
There is a path to having the DUI dropped and possibly expunged from one’s record.
D.R.O.P., a supervised, comprehensive, pretrial intervention program, is an alternative available for a subset of first-time, misdemeanor DUI offenders. With successful completion of the program and probation, a plea resolution is entered, and the initial charges are reduced.
Applications for the program must be submitted at or before the second pre-trial hearing.
Even if are accepted into the program, you will need to obtain approval from the judge and prosecutor.
The defendant’s case must be free of complications including but not limited to:
- Blood alcohol concentration cannot exceed 0.150
- No personal injury or significant property damage was incurred in the crash
- No minors in the vehicle
- Neither prior similar offenses nor participation in a similar diversion program
- No absence of a valid driver’s license at the crash
- No commercial driver’s license
This isn’t an easy out. D.R.O.P. is still a heavy lift, but it’s a viable path to penalty reduction. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in this area of the law who can help you sort out your options and guide you to the best possible outcome.