If you're a first-time DUI offender - or, if it's clear that you're likely to be convicted of a first-time DUI offense based on the evidence - then your DUI defense attorney may soon advise you to consider the new First-Time DUI Offender Initiative, in which you can plead down to reckless driving provided that you fulfill all the conditions of the initiative.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's office, which created the program, gives first-time drunk-driving offenders a second chance. Drivers arrested and charged with drunk driving can go through a substance abuse program, as reported by CBS Miami, and must meet the following qualifications:
- The drunk-driving charge must be a first-time offense
- The arrest must not have come out of a drunk driving auto accident
- There must not have been children in the car
- There must not be certain other prior traffic violations on the record, like reckless driving
Like any other new initiatives, the qualifications listed above are not exclusive. There will likely be other things that may disqualify the first-time DUI offender from participating in the program, or items that may be added or removed from the list of qualifications.
But for many of those accused of a first-time drunk-driving offense, successful completion of the program would keep a DUI off their record.
For many of our clients - many of whom are first-time DUI offenders who still have to deal with all the negative consequences of repeat DUI offenders, like the loss of job opportunities - the Miami-Dade First-Time DUI Offender Initiative is likely to be a very good thing.