Tampa DUI Blog

header photo

Sentences the Judge may Impose Against DUI Convict

DUI ConvictionIf only given the chance to choose what sentence to serve, criminal convicts and Tampa DUI Attorneys for sure would opt for that which involving lighter penalties. But allowing so would constitute “distortion” of the justice system or the rule of law for such duty is primarily the judge’s being the sole arbiter of cases, or sometimes left on the sound discretion of the juries. Whatever decision reached by these authorities is immediately imposable, though may be delayed in instances where the defendant appeals the judgment to the higher court. This action may lead either to the modification of the sentence or retaining the same or reversal of the entire verdict; however, that ought to be predicated on reasonable grounds. Irrespective of such, though, the sentences may only revolve among these alternatives:

 Prison Sentences

There are states having mandatory rule for the judges to impose what is called “determinate sentence” which has fixed term as determined by the judge; an example of that is spending thirty days in jail. In contradiction, an “indeterminate sentence” may also be imposed; following that means the judges have to abide by the minimum and maximum time of imprisonment as specified by the legislature in a particular crime. It should be noted, however, that the latter type is imposed only on offenders who are convicted of felony and sentenced to state prison.

Diversion Programs

For the benefit of first-time criminal offenders, there are diversion programs by which they cannot suffer harsh sentence as the charges can be dropped upon completion. This also means there would be no criminal conviction that could put them on stigmatizing situation. Particularly, the defendants assisted by attorney for dui are directed to participate in rehabilitation or treatment program and dui school tampa; however, that could only be limited to those involved in misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases. Depending on the jurisdiction or community guidelines, though, this could be made available to the accused of domestic violence, traffic-related offenses, and child abuse or neglect.

Probation and Suspended Sentence

Some defendants may also be benefited when the judge imposes a “suspended sentence” as in the case where there are certain obligations or conditions to meet for them to be released from detention. Typically, this is followed when the offense qualifies for probation or the court requires the accused to go through alcohol or drug treatment program. However, this privilege can be revoked when the defendant is proven to have violated the terms of probation; in such case the original sentence can be imposed.


When there are third parties or victims involved in the commission of the offense, the defendant, as part of the sentence, could be obliged to compensate them. This is also called as “restitution” or the payment for the injuries or damages incurred – those can include medical treatments, funeral expenses, and lost property among others. Yet, it is noteworthy that this payment, in most cases, is only considered part of the sentence which may comprise other penalties such as incarceration, probation, and community service.

Community Service

In some cases, DUI defendants are directed to accomplish unpaid community work to repay a debt to society as a consequence of committing the offense. The duration of such community service is dependent on the degree or nature of the crime and other circumstances involved in the case. And similar to restitution, this penalty could only be added to other forms of punishment including fines, miscellaneous alternative sentences, and those mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.

Being a defendant, you cannot choose what sentence to suffer but you can ultimately hire competent attorneys tampa to avoid harsh penalties attached to your DUI case.

Go Back