Every state handles driving under the influence (DUI) differently. In some states, a first-time DUI defendant may be able to get away with probation, while in other states, a jail sentence after a first DUI is almost guaranteed, even if it’s short. Sometimes, the legal alternatives vary from county to county.
For instance, here in Miami-Dade County, we have the Back on Track Program for first-time DUI offenders. When a DUI defendant goes through the Back on Track Program, he or she gets to avoid the stigma of a DUI conviction on their record, providing the DUI defendant agrees to:
- Submit to drug testing
- Perform community service
- Take MADD victim impact classes
- Participate in substance abuse counseling or classes
- Pay court-ordered fines and makes certain donations
When someone successfully completes the Back on Track Program, they avoid a DUI conviction, which is huge, specifically because a criminal conviction typically impacts employment opportunities, higher education, professional licenses, and housing.
A criminal conviction can even impact immigration status and child custody, so just about everyone who is facing first-time DUI charges can benefit from the Back on Track Program, but the question is, do all first DUI offenders qualify for the program? I’m afraid the answer is, “no.” The Back on Track Program is not available to all first-time DUI offenders.
Who Does Not Qualify for the Program?
DUI defendants do NOT qualify for DUI diversion if they:
- Have been arrested for DUI before
- Have a prior DUI conviction
- Caused an accident while driving under the influence
- Had a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest
- Had an open container of alcohol in their vehicle
I hope you found this information useful. Whether or not you believe you qualify for the Back on Track Program, I urge you to contact my Miami DUI defense firm to schedule a free case evaluation. As a former prosecutor, I can help you explore all of your legal defenses.