Delray Beach is a lively city with a vibrant nightlife. There are shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, bars, and clubs that line the infamous Atlantic Avenue. There is such a variety of different things that there’s just about something for everyone, no matter what your taste is. Anyone who has ever been out at night on Atlantic Avenue knows just how congested Atlantic Avenue gets. The more people and congestion, the more of a police presence in the area.
Delray Beach police officers all know that Atlantic Avenue is a nightly hotspot. They routinely conduct traffic stops and call for DUI investigations for anyone leaving Atlantic Avenue that may have been drinking. It is not illegal to drink and drive. If it were illegal to drink and drive, there would not be parking lots outside of bars, and Atlantic Avenue would not be lined with as many clubs and bars. It is only illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol to the extent your normal faculties are impaired or have a breath alcohol level of above .08. Contact a Delray Beach DUI lawyer for help with criminal charges.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF A DUI ARREST IN DELRAY BEACH?
After an arrest for DUI in Delray, the person is transported from Delray Beach to the Palm Beach County Jail, which is located in West Palm Beach on Gun Club Road. As long as the arrest is only for a misdemeanor DUI, the first court date will be at the South Branch Courthouse in Delray Beach on Atlantic Avenue. The Delray Beach Courthouse will continue to handle the DUI case unless the DUI lawyer wants to send the case to the main courthouse in West Palm Beach on Dixie Hwy. The rest of the DUI process is similar to any other DUI in Palm Beach County, depending on whether it is a first, second, third, or fourth or more DUI.
IS IT BETTER IF YOUR DUI CASE IS IN THE DELRAY BEACH COURTHOUSE?
Generally, yes. The Delray Beach Courthouse is a satellite courthouse. The main courthouse is in downtown West Palm Beach. The main courthouse is the only courthouse in Palm Beach County where jury trials occur. The main courthouse is already overwhelmed as the court dockets are clogged with too many cases. The satellite branch courthouses are designed to try to resolve the less severe cases to prevent unnecessary cases from being sent to the main courthouse for jury trials. In order to resolve the less severe cases, there are generally more favorable plea negotiations.
It is advantageous that your case is in the Delray Beach Courthouse because your DUI lawyer can transfer your case to the main courthouse at any time. For example, if your lawyer does not believe that there are fruitful plea negotiations, he can send your case to the main branch, where he can engage in plea negotiations with a new prosecutor at the main branch.
CAN YOU FILE A MOTION TO SUPPRESS YOUR DUI CASE IN THE DELRAY BEACH COURTHOUSE?
Yes. A motion to suppress will be the same in the Delray Beach Courthouse as it will be in the main courthouse. The only difference between the Delray Beach Courthouse and the main West Palm Beach Courthouse is that jury trials only take place in the West Palm Beach Courthouse.
DUI DIVERSION Programs
Yes. The requirements for DUI diversion are the same throughout Palm Beach County. However, there are cases that do not typically qualify for the diversion program, and a skilled DUI lawyer in Delray Beach can get accepted into the program. Yet, as described below, just because your case can get into the DUI diversion program does not mean that it is the right result or the best result for your case.
Should You Accept the DUI Diversion Program if You Get Into It?
It depends. There are a lot of positives about the DUI diversion program, including that you can avoid a DUI conviction by entering the program. However, it may not be the best outcome for your case. The diversion program is designed to resolve DUI cases favorably for first-time offenders. The program is also designed to eliminate bad DUI cases for the prosecution. Meaning it will eliminate cases for the prosecution that they may have a difficult time prevailing at a trial.
Your case may not be winnable for the state at a trial. If this is your situation, then you should continue to fight the case. You may get a better resolution than the offer of the diversion program. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we have successfully fought cases that did not enter the DUI diversion program. We have received better offers than the DUI diversion program by continuing to fight, and we have won cases at trial that did not enter the DUI diversion program.
SHOULD YOU HAVE A TRIAL ON YOUR DUI CASE?
Every DUI case is different, and it depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. This is also where the experience of your Delray Beach drunk driving attorney comes into play. The best DUI lawyers are going to advise their clients as to all their options and the positives and negatives of these options. Likewise, a successful lawyer will explain their thoughts on the chances of prevailing at a trial. However, the ultimate decision of whether to have a trial or a plea is the client’s decision.
SHOULD YOU DO A PLEA TO THE COURT OR A NEGOTIATED PLEA IN YOUR DUI CASE?
A negotiated plea is when the prosecution and the defense work out a plea bargain that both sides agree upon and ask the court to accept it. You will know all the terms and conditions of the plea bargain prior to the court accepting it.
A plea to the court is when you enter a guilty plea. When the plea is entered, the prosecution will put on any evidence for sentencing they have (i.e. restitution for damage from a DUI crash or injuries from the crash) and recommend what they believe the sentence should be to the judge. The defense will then put on any evidence they have (i.e. character witnesses, mitigating circumstances, etc.) and recommend what they believe the sentence should be to the judge. After listening to both the prosecution and the defense, the judge will then decide and impose the sentence they believe is appropriate.
Every judge is different. A Delray Beach DUI attorney that regularly practices and handles cases knows all the judges. Experienced defense lawyers are in a better position to predict the potential outcomes of a DUI case. A lawyer will advise as to your options with a plea to the court and a negotiated plea. The ultimate decision of whether to enter any plea is the client’s decision. Such an important decision requires you to be educated and informed so that you can make the best possible decision. It is the DUI lawyer’s job to put you in this position.
A Delray Beach DUI Lawyer Could Help With License Suspensions
Your license may be suspended for a DUI. You may be eligible for a hardship license depending on the type of suspension and whether this is a first, second, third, or fourth DUI or more. If you are arrested for a DUI, you will only be able to obtain a hardship license from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) office at the Lauderdale Lakes office..
DUI cases are stressful for clients. They are taxing both physically and mentally. We recognize that, and our mission is to ease your anxieties and place you in the best possible position to receive a favorable outcome. If your mind is racing out of control and you do not know what to do, call a Delray Beach DUI Lawyer. Do not continue to torture yourself with your fears of the justice system. Schedule a free consultation to find out how we can achieve justice for you.