DUI Charge vs Conviction: Charged with DUI But Not Convicted

Charged with DUI But Not Convicted

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other substances under Florida Statute 316.193, the first thing you need to know is that it is not the same as being convicted. A DUI conviction is a serious offense with severe penalties, but there are also steep evidence requirements for prosecutors. Additionally, arresting officers have strict procedures they must follow to ensure they are not violating anyone’s rights under the law.

Both of these factors have a serious effect on the likelihood of a DUI charge becoming a DUI conviction.

What is a DUI charge?

In simple terms, a DUI charge, like any criminal charge, is a formal accusation by a government agency that you have broken DUI law.

What is a DUI conviction?

A DUI conviction is when that charge is brought before a judge in a court of law and the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty.

Arrested and Charged with DUI But Not Convicted

There are many situations where a DUI charge can be reduced to a lesser charge and some cases where the charge may be dropped entirely. By understanding the process for a DUI conviction and how an attorney can help you fully investigate the circumstances of your DUI charge, you can ensure you are treated fairly and within your legal rights. Avoiding a DUI conviction can mean avoiding large fines, potential jail time, license suspension, increased insurance rates, and reduced employment prospects.

Understanding DUI Charges and the Process for DUI Conviction

To obtain a DUI conviction in court, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the accused crime. Or, the defendant must be so convinced of the DUI charge that they plead guilty.

When reviewing a case file for a DUI charge, prosecutors know how to recognize certain factors that can weaken a case in court. If there is any reasonable doubt after assessing a particular case, a prosecutor may move to reduce the DUI charge to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. Signs of potentially reasonable doubt or other mitigating circumstances for a DUI charge include:

  • Lack of a previous criminal record, particularly for DUI or reckless driving conviction
  • The legality of the traffic stop or DUI checkpoint that resulted in the arrest and charge
  • Inconsistencies between video evidence, police testimony, and witness testimony
  • Concerns around consent for field sobriety testing (FST), search and seizure, and breathalyzer or other blood alcohol content (BAC) testing
  • Errors in the instruction or performance of the FST
  • Inaccuracies in the equipment or procedures around the BAC test, such as a malfunctioning or miscalibrated breathalyzer

Every DUI charge is different, and every defendant deserves a thorough investigation to ensure that the charge is valid and there was not a rights violation or procedural oversight that could render the charge questionable. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, it is in your best interests to find an attorney who will fight for your case and uncover any potential oversights or missteps that could lead to you avoiding a DUI conviction.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help You Reduce a DUI Charge and Potentially Avoid a DUI Conviction

One of the best ways to avoid a DUI conviction is to have an experienced, hard-working, and aggressive defense attorney on your side. The legal system is complex and if you’ve been charged with a DUI, you have not been convicted despite what any law enforcement officers say.

The right DUI defense attorneys should fully understand your legal rights and the restrictions and procedures law enforcement is bound to. Inaccurate FSTs due to poor instructions by officers and illegal traffic stops are just a few examples of circumstances that can lead to reduced charges after a DUI arrest. In any DUI defense case, your lawyer should be working hard to protect your rights so you can receive the fairest possible outcome.

At Clark Hartpence Law, attorney Jeremy Clark was a public defender in the Sixth Judicial Circuit and has a deep understanding of the laws surrounding DUI. With his and our team’s extensive experience, we can respond effectively to the arguments the State uses in DUI cases.

Contact us today at (855) 680-4911 for your free consultation. A DUI charge does not mean a DUI conviction. We’ll work hard to give you the best possible outcome for your case.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.