Even a first-offense DUI carries significant legal repercussions in the State of Florida, including up to six months of jail time, fines, and court costs ranging from $1,000 to $1,500, the suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year, and 50 hours of community service. Additionally, a DUI conviction remains on your driving record for 75 years. Such a criminal record can affect more than just your driving privileges; it can also impact your professional status, ability to maintain your current employment, ability to obtain employment in the future, and your insurance premiums.
As such, individuals facing their first DUI charge may wonder whether or not it is possible to have their pending DUI charge reduced to the less serious offense of reckless driving. This is accomplished in the Pinellas County court system by having an attorney from a DWI defense law firm in Clearwater request to have the prosecutor amend your charge from DUI to reflect the new and less serious offense of reckless driving.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney Skilled in DWI Defense in Clearwater to Get Your DUI Reduced
If you’re looking to have your DUI charge reduced to Reckless Driving, it’s absolutely critical to partner with an attorney who is highly-experienced in DWI defense in Clearwater. First and foremost, he or she will help you to recognize whether or not your case is a good candidate for reduction to reckless driving. No two DUI cases are alike, and not every DUI case will prove to be suited for reduction to reckless driving. At a free consultation with an attorney from The Law Offices at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, we’ll examine various aspects of your case, such as lawfulness of the traffic stop, whether injury is involved, and the legality of the request for a breath test, prior to outlining a plan of action that is designed to thoroughly investigate your case and uncover evidence that may prove beneficial to your defense.
If, after a thorough examination of the evidence, our office determines that your case is a suitable candidate for reduction, then we will prepare detailed correspondence to the case assigned prosecutor in the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office. You can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to reveal every possible weakness in the prosecutor’s case, outline the facts associated with your driving and appearance on video, leverage any applicable case law and legal arguments, and highlight any personal background information that supports the prosecutor’s decision to possibly amend your charge to reckless driving. It’s crucial to note that our correspondence or reduction letter will also serve as a permanent record in support of the case assigned prosecutor to reduce the charge.
Factors in Determining Whether Your DUI Can Be Reduced to Reckless Driving
The prosecutor in your case may examine several factors in determining whether or not to reduce your DUI charge to a charge of reckless driving, including:
- Criminal History: It’s significantly easier to have your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving if this is your first offense and you have an otherwise clean record.
- Constitutional Rights: If the police officer stopped you or requested a breath test without probable cause, arguments that some or all evidence may be subject to suppression can, at times, cause the state to be persuaded to amend the DUI offense to reckless driving.
- Field Sobriety Exercises: If you performed well on field sobriety exercises, this weakens the prosecutor’s case to convict you of a DUI charge.
- Breath Test: Likewise, if you refused a breath test, it will prove more difficult for the state to determine that your normal faculties were, in fact, impaired.
Other factors include how much time elapsed between the time of driving to the time of testing, whether you behaved in a polite and cooperative manner, and whether any alcoholic beverage containers were discovered in your vehicle.
Benefits of Having Your DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving
There are a number of benefits to partnering with an attorney from a DWI defense law firm in Clearwater to have your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving. Not only does a reckless driving conviction not carry the same weight or stigma or a DUI conviction, but your insurance company is less likely to treat your reckless driving charge in the same manner in which they would treat a DUI. You’ll have less to worry about increased insurance premiums, being fired from your place of employment, or jeopardizing your future applications for employment. Last but certainly not least, if your charge is reduced and you are later re-arrested for another DUI offense, you would still be considered a first-time DUI offender. If you’re looking to have your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving and avoid the stigma and severe legal repercussions associated with a DUI charge, contact one of the attorneys at The Law Offices of Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
For a free consultation with a DWI defense law firm in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.