DUI

Stay Out Of Jail With The Palm Beach County First Time DUI Offender Program

By
Gregory Salnick
on
August 13, 2019

A Florida DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your life and the lives of your family members. You may be facing large fines, legal fees, the loss of your license and possible time in jail. Fortunately, there is one option that can help you avoid a DUI conviction if you are a first time DUI offender.

What Is The Palm Beach County First Time Offender Program?

If you are facing your first DUI charge in West Palm Beach, you may be eligible for a special program designed for people facing their first DUI charges. 

The Palm Beach DUI First Time Offender Program, created by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, offers an alternative to criminal DUI charges for first time DUI offenders. The program is what is known as a “diversion program,” which may help you avoid jail time for a DUI.

There are two tiers to the program. The first tier, or Tier 1, is for first time offenders who were arrested with a blood alcohol level between .08 and .15. The second tier, or Tier 2, is for first time DUI offenders with a blood alcohol level of .15 and .20. Tier 2 is also reserved for first time DUI offenders who refused to take a breathalyzer test.

If you choose to enter into Palm Beach County’s First Time Offender Program, your DUI charges will be dropped. However, you will be required to enter a guilty plea for the charge of Reckless Driving. Reckless Driving is a second degree misdemeanor, and results in a 12 month probation.

Are you eligible for the Palm Beach County First Time Offender Program?

If you have been arrested for a DUI in West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach County First Time Offender Program is available to you only if:


  • This is your first DUI arrest
  • You have a valid driver’s license at the time of your DUI arrest
  • You did not commit an accompanying felony
  • You are not facing possession charges from the arrest
  • You have not been charged with a similar offense
  • You have not served a prior prison sentence


You are not eligible for the Palm Beach First Time Offender Program if:


  • You were in an accident at the time of the DUI arrest
  • You had a blood alcohol level over .20, or
  • If a minor was in your car at the time of the arrest


If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in West Palm Beach, and you are eligible for the Palm Beach County First Time Offender Program, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney about your options prior to your arraignment. 


What Happens After You Enter Into The First Time Offender Program?

Upon entering into the diversion program, you will agree to plead guilty to reckless driving and serve probation for a 12 month period. In addition, you will be required to comply with the conditions of your probation, which depend on which tier you fall into.


Probationary Conditions for Tier 1 of the First Time Offender Program:


  • $250 fine & standard court costs
  • Proof of successful completion of DUI School
  • Successful completion of any DUI school recommended alcohol/substance abuse treatment
  • Successful completion of fifty (50) community service hours at approved location(s)
  • Proof of successful completion of Victim Impact Panel or YouImpact online class
  • Ten (10) day vehicle immobilization
  • Ignition Interlock Alcohol Monitoring for a period of three (3) months
  • No possession or consumption of alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs during probation
  • Random alcohol/drug testing conducted by probation at Defendant’s expense


Probationary Conditions for Tier 2 of the First Time Offender Program:


  • $250 fine & standard court costs 
  • $250 donation to Palm Beach County Victim Services
  • Proof of successful completion of DUI School
  • Successful completion of any DUI school recommended alcohol/substance abuse treatment 
  • Successful completion of seventy-five (75) community service hours at approved location(s)
  • Proof of successful completion of Victim Impact Panel
  • Ten (10) day vehicle immobilization
  • Ignition Interlock Alcohol Monitoring for a period of six (6) months
  • No possession or consumption of alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs during probation
  • Random alcohol/drug testing conducted by probation at Defendant’s expense


Though completing these conditions sounds difficult, there is great incentive for completing the program. If you fail to complete all of the probationary conditions of the Palm Beach County First Time Offender Program, you can face up to 90 days in Palm Beach County jail and a $500 fine.


Is The Palm Beach First Time Offender Program Right For You?

If you have been charged with a DUI in West Palm Beach, you should consult with a West Palm Beach DUI attorney. Deciding whether or not to enter into the county’s diversion program should not be made before exploring all of your options. A West Palm Beach DUI attorney can look at the facts of your case and the circumstances surrounding your arrest to help you achieve the best resolution to your arrest.

Contact the West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at Salnick & Fuchs, P.A. today by using the form below.

Gregory Salnick

Mr. Salnick is a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He began his legal career at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted over 90 jury trials, ranging from DUI to murder, armed robbery and drug trafficking. Mr. Salnick quickly gained a reputation as a tenacious and ethical attorney at law. Mr. Salnick now serves as state and federal criminal defense attorney at Salnick & Fuchs, P.A.

Call Greg Salnick today at
561-471-1000