Probation for DUI - What to expect?
Folks charged with DUI or DWI always want to know what the result or punishment is likely to be. Obviously that question is difficult to answer as it relies on a number of different factors such as: what county did the offense occur in, which number offense was it, how high was the BAC, was there an accident, was anybody injured, how old is the person involved, what is the record of the person involved and many other factors. One thing is for sure though, no matter what the judge decides to do with the person charged, that person can be assured that they will be placed on some form of probation by the judge in addition to whatever the judge deems necessary to deter this type of behavior moving forward.
As far as a normal term of probation is concerned if there is such a thing, it is generally one year supervised probation starting from the date of the sentencing in court; albeit certain judges can be more favorable to a defendant and some can be less favorable. A defendant can be expected to be sentenced to one year supervised probation which will involve him leaving the courthouse and going to check in with a probation agent on that very day. Typically supervised probation involves checking in with a probation agent once a month for 12 months. During that period of time the defendant must stay out of trouble and not incur any other criminal offenses and certainly no other DUI offenses. Incurring another DUI or some other offense could be construed as a violation of the judge’s probation which will land that defendant back in court facing that particular judge. Most judges will be very dissatisfied to see a defendant back in court while they are on probation, in that situation any number of unpleasant things can happen including going to jail for the underlying offense. Even if the judge did not place the defendant in jail for violating his probation the judge could do something as unpleasant as revoking or striking a probation before judgment this position and substituting it for a guilty verdict. This would be most unfortunate because a probation before judgment is not a conviction on the record and there are no points associated with a PBJ however if a PBJ is stricken and substituted for a guilty conviction 12 points will materialize on the defendant’s driving record which will have an impact on the driver’s insurance rates as well as the MBA who will now take action against the defendant driver’s license because they have 12 points.
If a defendant on probation is unlucky enough to be charged with another DUI while they are on probation they can certainly anticipate the judge incarcerating them for some period of time because the judge will be very displeased with the fact they got another charge of the same variety as the first charge. Especially considering the fact that DUI charges always have a threat against the motoring public so they are a serious situation. One of the few redeeming defenses however would be to ask the judge to hold off on any violation of probation hearing until the second DUI criminal case is heard because there is always the chance that the second offense may be one in court and if it is there is a possibility that there would have been no violation of the judge’s probation. That of course is a narrow and tight path to walk but one of the few that are available in that situation. Some judges make it very clear that if there is a subsequent violation while they are still on probation for the first offense that the judge will set a no bail warrant for their arrest meaning that the police will pick them up and let them sit in jail for several days before the judge even hears their side of the story.