When an individual decides to file a guilty plea to a DUI charge, at first he or she will be required to sign a form confirming waiver of certain constitutional rights pertaining to the case. The individual will lose the right to remain silent as well as the right to a jury trial. The form will likely include information about the potential punishment and other consequences of a guilty plea.
Covering All the Bases
In Fort Lauderdale, the judge will review the disclosures listed in the form openly in the court, while some other judges may avoid placing it on the record. Some judges insist on going over the details of the form openly so that the person who is pleading guilty to a DUI may not return later on to challenge the conviction on the basis that he or she was not adequately informed about the consequences. This does not reflect too well on the system and the judge when people make claims that no one told them what they were signing. The attorneys at William R. Moore Criminal Defense offers some advice to anyone considering a plea to DUI in open court.
Pleading Guilty Means Conviction
Many times the persons who plead guilty remain under a misconception that a guilty plea is different from a conviction. Therefore, it is important to understand that once you plead guilty in a DUI case, you have automatically been convicted of the DUI offense. In the eyes of the law, there is no difference between a guilty plea, no-contest plea or a conviction obtained through a jury trial. The punishment could be a little less though because you have saved the court’s time, hence tax payers. You should be rewarded for that; for admitting you made a mistake opens the door for leiniency from the court.
Once a person has been convicted of DUI through a guilty plea, it becomes very difficult to withdraw the plea later on. There are strong policy considerations against such an action. Therefore, it is usually a prudent idea to consult with a DUI attorney before going ahead with a guilty plea. To speak with a lawyer from William R. Moore Criminal Defense Office, call (954) 523-5333 The attorney will review all the facts of the case and provide pertenent advice whether pleading guilty to the DUI charge is the best option in the given situation.
DUI convictions are regarded as a misdemeanor in Florida. The punishment may include jail time for up to six months as well as imposition of a monetary fine. If a person has been convicted of a DUI offense for the first time, and no personal injury is involved, the actual length of the sentence may be much lesser. The DUI convict in such case may have to serve the minimum prison time ranging between one and three days in most states. The monetary fine may be substantial, and the individual may be required to shell out a significant sum of money to attend a DUI school, which may be a mandatory part of the punishment.
The driver’s license of the DUI convict can be typically suspended for a period of up to one year. However, most of the states permit the individual to drive to and from work as well as drive for the purpose of medical care, particularly on the condition of placing an ignition interlock.
If you or your child have been charged with a crime, contact William R. Moore,which has experienced south Florida criminal defense lawyers with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties. Criminal Defense Attorneys at our law firm handle all types of criminal defense, including DUI, assault, drug possession, and others.
William R. Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys
1 Financial Plaza Suite 2500
Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33394