We live in a world where getting arrested for driving under the influence is completely avoidable. With ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, getting home safely is an option for everyone, but sometimes we make a lapse in judgment and think we are just fine to drive home. Driving under the influence not only puts yourself and others in danger, but it can be create a major financial hardship and can lead to an unwanted criminal record.
In the moment, getting a DUI may feel like the end of the world, but if you’re a first time offender and haven’t hurt anyone in the process of driving under the influence, then there’s a possibility that you could qualify to be part of Florida’s Back on Track DUI program. The Back on Track program is a non-profit guided program that is in partnership with the State Attorney’s Office that allows first time offenders the ability to avoid having a DUI conviction on their record. Once the program has been completed, the charge will be changed to a reckless driving with a withholding of adjudication, meaning no points are added to your license and the charge becomes one that can potentially be expunged or sealed. The program is handled by The Advocate Program and Court Options, but one’s eligibility is determined by the State Attorney’s Office.
In order to qualify for the Back on Track program there needs to have been no accident, no minors in the car, no one hurt during the time of driving under the influence, no open container in the vehicle, a blood alcohol level lower than 0.25, and the person driving under the influence must be a first time offender with a valid driver’s license.
Once admitted, the person will be put into one of two tiers within the program that will determine the severity and requirements of the program. Participants in both tiers will be required to attend DUI School and a substance abuse evaluation, a court ordered amount of community service, and a victim impact class. The first category or Tier 1 applies to anyone whose blood alcohol level was below 0.15. All others will be placed into Tier 2. Those who are placed in Tier 2 have higher fees to pay, an ignition interlock device, and longer involvement.
Admission to the program isn’t guaranteed, but having the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through the steps of the application process and then the process to seal your record after completion can be a major help in getting back on track (pun intended). Give Russell Spatz a call today at (305) 442-0200 to see how his four decades of experience can help you.