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Reducing Florida drunk driving to reckless driving

Can I get my Florida drunk driving charge reduced to reckless driving?

Many Florida drivers, who have been arrested for drunk driving, ask about how they can get the drunk driving charge reduced to reckless driving. Drunk driving in Florida is a very serious charge and will remain on your Florida driving record for many years. Drunk driving charges may also carry a social stigma and jeopardize future employment opportunities. Additionally, drivers who are arrested a second time for a drunk driving charge may be considered a first-time offender if their previous DUI arrest was reduced to reckless driving. A drunk driving charge also may not allow you to get your record sealed or expunged. Obviously, there are many benefits to having a drunk driving charge reduced to a reckless driving charge, but what are the benefits for the state or the prosecutor and why would they be willing to make this agreement?

When is the prosecutor willing to lower the drunk driving charges to reckless driving?

  Hiring a drunk driving lawyer can significantly increase your chances of having your drunk driving charge lowered to a reckless driving charge. Drunk driving lawyers are able to investigate your drunk driving arrest and decide if there are issues with the prosecutor’s case. Whether or not your charges may be reduced will depend on what evidence is admissible, the legality of the traffic stop, if the breath test was accurate and performed correctly, whether the breathalyzer machine was calibrated correctly, whether the field sobriety test was performed correctly, if the police report is accurate and the strength of the video evidence. If any of the evidence is questionable or if the strength of the prosecution’s case is low, the prosecutor may be willing to reduce the drunk driving charge to reckless driving. A good drunk driving lawyer will spend time interviewing the driver to make sure they clearly understand the arrest. They will begin to develop a clear defense. Questions they may ask the driver include:
  • Why were you stopped by the police? Did the police have probable cause to make the stop?
  • Were you read your Miranda Rights prior to questioning?
  • How was the Field Sobriety Test performed?
  • Was there an accident or injury?
  • Were there alcoholic beverages in the car?
  • Were you asked to take a blood alcohol content test?
  • What were the blood alcohol content test results?
  • What was the amount of time from when you were stopped to when you took the BAC test?
Generally, the first goal of the DUI lawyer is to have the case dismissed, but if this seems unlikely, the DUI attorney will then begin to look for evidence to have the charges reduced.

What penalties can I expect from a Reckless Driving Charge?

  Many drivers have the misconception that if they get their drunk driving charges reduced to reckless driving they will not have the same penalties or fines. This may not be true. If you are convicted of drunk driving you may have some of the same penalties: suspended license, fees, alcohol evaluation and education classes, and community service. What you won’t have is the stigma of a drunk driving conviction. Employers most likely will not fire you and you may not have difficulty getting future jobs. Additionally, as mentioned above, if you are arrested a second time for drunk driving it will be your first next second drunk driving charge.
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