In Florida, you face some of the harshest consequences if convicted of a DUI. One night on the town could haunt you for the rest of your life and remain on your record long after you have completed your other penalties.
On average, other states will keep a DUI on record for about ten years. Florida keeps a record of your DUI conviction for 75 years. It’s always in your best interest to avoid putting yourself in circumstances that would lead to being arrested. However, if you get charged, here’s how to handle a DUI in Florida going forward.
Can DUI Charges Be Expunged in Florida?
DUI convictions in Florida are everlasting. Once you are convicted, it becomes a permanent part of your record. According to Orlando DUI lawyer Parikh, there are only a few ways to prevent a DUI from being on your record.
With the help of a good attorney, you may be able to get your DUI charges dropped before you are convicted. For example, if there is a lack of evidence to support the prosecution’s claims that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they will have no choice but to drop the charges.
It’s not uncommon for field sobriety tests to be improperly administered. Additionally, the officer that pulled you over needed to have probable cause to stop you. Your attorney could also present evidence showing that you have a medical condition that mimics some of the symptoms of drinking, such as bloodshot eyes, fatigue, and slurred speech.
Being Found Not Guilty
If your DUI case goes to trial, your fate rests with the judge or jury. However, they may look at the evidence and decide you are not guilty. In this case, you wouldn’t have a DUI conviction on your record.
However, accepting a plea bargain for a lesser charge rather than going to trial is an admission of guilt. Even though it is a lesser charge, it will still stay on your criminal record.
Pre-Trial Diversion Program
In some Florida counties, including Orange County, it is possible to attend a pre-trial diversion program to keep a DUI from becoming a part of your record. However, this isn’t always an option, especially if you have previous DUI convictions. If this is your first DUI charge, you have a better chance, but there is no guarantee that you’ll have this option.
Potential participants need to meet specific eligibility requirements. If you are deemed eligible, you must sign a contract promising that you will follow the program’s terms. Once you successfully complete the diversion program, your DUI charges will be dismissed, and you will not have a conviction tarnishing your permanent record.
DUI charges are very complex because they involve criminal and administrative law issues. With the help of an experienced DUI lawyer, you will have someone protecting your rights and helping to keep you from getting a conviction. It’s a good idea to consult a DUI attorney to discover your legal options before moving ahead.
FAQ: DUI in Florida
How long does a DUI stay on my record in Florida?
In Florida, a DUI conviction remains a lasting blemish on your record for an astounding 75 years, casting its shadow over any background checks conducted for employment, housing, or other purposes.
Can I get a DUI expunged from my record in Florida?
In Florida, DUI convictions are not eligible for expungement from your record due to the serious nature of the offense. The state’s legal system maintains a stringent stance on DUI cases, making them ineligible for the typical expungement process that applies to certain other offenses. As a result, a DUI conviction will remain a permanent mark on your record, serving as a reminder of the gravity of the offense in the eyes of the law.
Where can I get more information about DUI laws in Florida?
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has a website with information about DUI laws in Florida. You can also find information about DUI laws by contacting a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense.