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Beyond the fines, potential incarceration, and license suspension, individuals facing a DUI charge in Florida often grapple with job loss, diminished employment opportunities, and soaring insurance premiums. 

Fortunately, with the support of Florida-based dedicated DUI attorneys like those at Fletcher & Fletcher, there exists a pathway to reduce the charge to reckless driving potentially. This can have significant benefits, including avoiding harsh penalties associated with a DUI conviction. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can potentially reduce DUI charges, how often DUI reductions happen, and how a good DUI lawyer in Florida can help.

Factors that Can Reduce a DUI Charge to Reckless Driving in Florida

When prosecutors assess a DUI case in Florida to predict whether it will end in a guilty or not guilty verdict, they scrutinize various factors that might weaken their case.

These factors include:

  • The defendant’s driving, arrest, or conviction history, especially concerning DUI. Having a clean record and no past DUI convictions can improve your chances of a charge reduction.
  • Any voluntary actions the defendant took, such as attending DUI school or using an interlock device.
  • Any doubts about the legality of the traffic stop or arrest.
  • Any concerns about the defendant’s consent to alcohol testing. If your blood alcohol level was only slightly over the legal limit of 0.08%, there’s a chance the charge could be reduced.
  • Any issues with the accuracy or functionality of the testing equipment.

It’s crucial to collaborate with a trustworthy criminal defense attorney to thoroughly investigate these factors and any other aspects of the DUI case. This exploration aims to uncover circumstances that could weaken the DUI charge, potentially convincing the prosecution to reduce or dismiss it.

What Are The Advantages Of A Reduction To Reckless Driving?

If weaknesses are found in a DUI case, the prosecutor might propose reducing the DUI charge to Reckless Driving.

The true benefit of this “reduction” lies in the absence of certain consequences compared to a DUI conviction.

For example, the court may withhold adjudication by pleading for reckless driving. This allows you to seal your criminal record upon completion of probation, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for record sealing. Additionally, there’s no mandatory driver’s license suspension.

Similarly, with a reckless driving plea under Florida law, the court isn’t obligated to impose DUI school, community service hours, fines, or other requirements mandated in a DUI case.

How Often Are DUI Charges Reduced?

The likelihood of DUI charges being reduced to reckless driving varies based on the unique details of each case.

Florida’s law enforcement must adhere to strict protocols when apprehending drivers suspected of DUI. Sometimes, a careful look into the situation finds mistakes that make it hard to prove the charge.

First-time offenders with low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels often see their charges reduced, particularly if they possess a clean driving record.

What Charges Can a DUI Be Reduced To?

Reckless driving means driving in a way that shows you don’t care about people’s safety or property.

Judges don’t often drop DUI charges completely, but they might change or reduce it to:

  • Reckless driving, first offense
  • Reckless driving, if you’ve been convicted before
  • Reckless driving that caused property damage
  • Reckless driving that caused someone to get hurt
  • Reckless driving involving drugs or alcohol, or called a “wet reckless” charge

Reckless driving still has penalties, but they’re usually not as harsh as those for a DUI.

Penalties For A “Wet” Reckless Conviction

The penalties for a wet reckless charge are substantially lower than a DUI. They may include a fine of up to $500.00, a potential jail term of up to 90 days, probation, community service, and the obligation to complete substance abuse education programs and evaluations. Additionally, administrative and license reinstatement fees may apply as part of the process.

How Long Does A Reckless Driving Charge Stay On Your Record?

Similar to a DUI charge in Florida, a reckless driving charge remains on your record for 75 years. However, there’s a crucial distinction between the two: reckless driving charges can be expunged. Expungement and sealing options are accessible only to individuals charged but not convicted of reckless driving.

How an Experienced DUI Attorney Can Help with Reduced Charges

Navigating a DUI charge can feel overwhelming, but having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side can make a significant difference. They’ll work tirelessly to advocate for you, negotiating with prosecutors and presenting evidence to support your case.

More than just legal representation, DUI lawyers ensure your rights are safeguarded throughout the legal proceedings. They’ll also provide valuable guidance, helping you comprehend the potential outcomes of different legal strategies. With their support, you can face the legal process more confidently and clearly.

Contact Fletcher & Fletcher Florida-Based DUI Attorneys Today

If you or someone you care about has been arrested for DUI in Florida area, contact us at Fletcher & Fletcher today! As a husband and wife team, our dedication extends far beyond the office walls. When we commit to a client, we give it our all every step of the way.

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