Just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean you’ll be found guilty and incarcerated. Depending on the situation, your prior record, and some help from an attorney, the chances of going to jail may be small. You need to address your DUI arrest head-on, but you may not face a worst-case scenario.
After five years as a prosecutor, Erika Valcarcel started her criminal defense practice. She has prosecuted and defended those accused of DUI. With that knowledge and experience, Attorney Valcarcel will do all she can to keep you out of jail.
How You Might Avoid Jail When Facing a DUI Charge
After going over your case and determining its strengths and weaknesses, Attorney Valcarcel can discuss your best options. Based on her experience, she can tell you what she thinks would be best for you, but you decide what to do.
Avoiding jail time may or may not be realistic. If that’s the only thing you care about, your only option may be taking your case to trial. If you win, the charges will be dismissed. If you lose, you might spend time in jail.
The less severe the circumstances, the more likely your time incarcerated will be short, or you can avoid it entirely. There are many ways you could prevent or limit your time in jail.
1. Effective defenses
The investigation and arrest may have many problems that could lead to a dismissal. After being retained, Attorney Valcarcel will investigate what happened and review the evidence police developed in your case.
- There may not have been a sufficient reason to pull you over
- Tests determining your blood alcohol level were done improperly
- There wasn’t enough evidence to properly arrest you
- You weren’t given Miranda warnings in a timely way, which can exclude statements you made from being used as evidence
The prosecutor may drop the charges, or a judge may dismiss them if there are enough problems with your case.
2. Plea bargain agreement
Despite what you’ve seen on TV and in the movies, very few criminal charges are resolved after a full trial. Nearly all are dismissed, or the defendant and prosecution agree on an outcome. This way, both sides avoid the costs and the “all or nothing” outcome of a trial.
To avoid the chance of an acquittal – especially if the prosecution’s case isn’t strong – the prosecutor may offer to drop more serious charges in exchange for a guilty plea of a lesser charge. This would include a reduced penalty other than jail time.
3. Admit Your Mistake, Hope for a Good Outcome
There are times when not saying anything and not cooperating with the prosecution are the smart things to do. Sometimes they’re not. If you drove while intoxicated and want to admit your mistake, that might be the right thing to do. If you don’t have a record and no one was hurt, a sincere apology and statement to the judge could keep you out of jail.
If you’re a substance abuser, you need to get treatment. If that’s been arranged, it’s worth telling the judge. If the prosecutor agrees jail time’s not appropriate in your case and the judge doesn’t want to add another person in jail while COVID-19 is still an issue, you may get through this situation without jail time. The judge will decide your sentence, so there’s some uncertainty when you take this route.
4. Sarasota DUI Court Program
If this isn’t your first offense, you may qualify for this special court. It’s a complete program of services to help defendants stop abusing substances and prevent additional DUI arrests. You will need to follow a set of rules, and there will be penalties if you do not.
You would plead guilty, and this program would be your probationary supervision. The presiding judge may or may not have you serve time in jail. If that happens, it may be short or in a way that minimally impacts your life – like, you might be able to keep your job.
Public Defenders and Private Attorneys
Public defenders work very hard for their clients, but their resources are limited, and they can have very high caseloads. Another option is to hire a private attorney who can devote significant time to your case.
You shouldn’t go through the criminal justice system by yourself. The prosecution and the court system will take advantage of your ignorance of the law and court proceedings. You should do whatever you can to hire a private attorney.
Turn To Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, PA, for the Assistance You Need
Erika Valcarcel will protect your rights and do all she can to keep you out of jail. We protect our clients’ rights and ensure they’re treated fairly by the criminal justice system. If you have been charged with DUI, turn to us for the aggressive representation you need.View All Blogs