The State of Florida takes DUI charges seriously and a number of penalties can be imposed, including but not limited to jail time, fines, and an alcohol treatment program. In some cases, your defense lawyer may be able to negotiate the reduction of your sentence if you agree to attend an alcohol treatment program. Here’s what to anticipate if you do.
Expect to Undergo an Assessment
Before your sentencing, you can expect to be subjected to comprehensive alcohol and drug assessment by a certified counselor. Your driving record, previous criminal history, blood test results, and other important data will be reviewed in addition to your interview with the counselor.
A Clinician Will Then Make a Treatment Recommendation to the Court
Next, the certified counselor who conducted your initial alcohol assessment will make a treatment recommendation to the judge presiding over your case. This may include what type of treatment program the counselor believes will be the most effective, along with where the treatment center is located and how long the program should last for based on your unique needs.
Expect to Have Mandatory Alcohol and/or Drug Counseling
In almost all cases, the judge will incorporate the certified counselor’s recommendations into your final verdict, meaning that whatever counseling program they have suggested is what you’ll be legally mandated to complete. Depending on how serious your DUI was, the class could last for months or more.
What If You Fail to Comply with Court-Ordered Treatment?
It’s absolutely in your best interest to attend your court-ordered DUI alcohol treatment classes without missing any if you can help it. If you fail to comply, you may find yourself back in court for violating your probation and facing resentencing to a harsher penalty, like jail time if you were able to avoid it initially.
How a Seasoned Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Your Case
Were you pulled over and charged with a DUI in West Palm Beach? Florida takes driving under the influence very seriously and if convicted, you could face lifelong consequences. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced DUI lawyer before offering any kind of statement to law enforcement officers. You have the right to call your attorney as soon as is reasonable after your arrest and is something you should invoke at your earliest opportunity.