What impact does pleading “no contest” to a DUI have on your record/penalties?

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What impact does pleading “no contest” to a DUI have on your record/penalties?

My friend has not been convicted of a DUI, only charged in Pinellas County, Florida. There was “probable cause” to stop her and she had a blood alcohol level of 0.192/0.195. She has completed DUI school and her evaluation. She is currently in an 18 week substance abuse program as per the DMV requirements for an offender with a blood alcohol over 0.15. She is considering pleading “no contest” unless there is a chance that she could plea bargain for a lower charge with the prosecutor.

Asked on April 30, 2009 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

DUIs are taken quite seriously now. You don't mention if this was her first DUI or what her other penalties were.  In many states, even a first DUI will cause you to lose your license for at least 6 months.   If she is in a substance abuse program as required by the DMV, she should continue until completion and pay whatever fines have been imposed. With a DUI, it is unlikely that the charge will be lowered by the prosecutor and a "no contest" plea would be appropriate. Contact a DUI lawyer in Pinellas County, Florida for more information.


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