Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Criminal Lawyers: Getting Sent To Substance Abuse Counseling


All persons convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence) offense shall be placed on a monthly reporting probation, as well as evaluated for substance abuse and psychosocial counseling needs in addition to fines, jail time and other conditions and sanctions. Did you understand that sentence? If not, and you are facing a DUI charge, it is time to talk to Florida defense lawyers for clear advice and the right defense for your crime.

Breaking down that sentence into small bits may make it easier to digest. “All persons convicted of a DUI offense” – this refers to everyone who has been convicted, that is, found guilty of this crime whether by trial or plea agreement. In light of other charges, some Florida defense attorneys will encourage their clients to take a plea to get other, subsequent charges thrown out. Instead of facing four charges for instance, you may agree to plead guilty to DUI and be done with it.

“…shall be placed on a monthly reporting probation…” You will be assigned to a probation officer who will explain all rules and expectations to you. You will have to check in with this officer at least once a month as well as whenever you move, have a change in living arrangements or if you change jobs for any reason.

“…evaluated for substance abuse and psychosocial counseling needs…” When negotiating your release or a plea agreement, many Florida criminal defense lawyers will promise the courts that you will seek help for your drinking, which may include attending Alcoholics Anonymous or other similar programs. You may be ordered to have an assessment to determine why you were drinking and if you are likely to be convicted of this or similar crimes again.

Considering what the fines and potential jail time for even a first offense are like, it would be in your best interest to allow your Florida defense lawyer to make a deal for you, even if it means agreeing to this counseling on your own. If convicted, you will have to go anyway; at least this way it can look like it was your own idea.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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