I've Been Arrested for DUI in Broward County. Now What Do I Do?
July 23, 2021
If you've been arrested for DUI in Broward County, you'll have several options available to you in court. Unfortunately, pre-trial diversion is not one of them, at least not yet. Your arrest would have had to have occurred in either of the counties to the north or south, those being Palm Beach or Miami Dade, to be eligible for that (Pre-trial diversion is great for first-offenders because it's tantamount to a guarantee you would avoid a DUI conviction if you successfully complete the program).
Broward hasn't seen fit to offer that to first-offenders yet. The options that you do have are to plead 'no contest,' which means you aren't admitting or denying the charges, you're just agreeing to resolve the matter without a fight. You would receive the DUI conviction, and your penalties will depend on whether or not you have prior convictions for DUI and the particular facts of your individual case.
Your second option is to defend the case. That means you'd enter a 'not guilty' plea and demand a jury trial. You'd receive the state's evidence for your own review. Then you and your lawyer would be able to determine whether or not a trial is in your best interest. If it is, you'd ask the court for a trial and it would be scheduled. If you decide later that you don't have a good defense, or you don't want to risk the potential for a jail sentence if you're convicted by a jury, you can always change your mind and enter that "no-contest" plea later.
A quality DUI-defense lawyer will be able to explain in more detail. Remember, it's very important that you contact one within the first ten days of your arrest. Some action will need to be taken at DMV within that time in order to protect your driver's license. For more information on this or any other DUI-related topic, see floridaDUIPRO.com.