My girl friend got a DUI, 1st offense ever. 2 mnths into probation she failed her 1st drug test
(pot). What should she expect?
This happened in Palm beach County, FL. Her 1st offense, never a traffic ticket. Like I said, she failed her very 1st drug test on her 3rd of her monthly probation visits when she signed up for a DUI course. Any idea what will happen now? Is it definitely VOP or does her probation officer have the power to decide what happens?
Should she expect jail time, or being arrested?
It's been my experience that the probation officer will violate your girlfriend, but that's not the end of the story. The sentencing judge must still sign off on the VOP warrant, and where I practice in Orange County some of the judges will not issue a "no bond warrant" requiring a jail visit, some simply give a notice to appear in court. Once she's in court, some judges will simply "admonish" her (i.e. give her a warning, and if it ever happens again, you're going to jail!). Some judges will send a note back to probation not to continue with a warrant/vop, but rather require the defendant to attend drug counseling and treatment (in addition to the DUI requirements!). You should call some local attorneys familiar with her judge to discover what to expect from that specific judge.
Please remember, if she is still required to show up for probation, have her continue to show up, even at the risk of being arrested at the probation office. It will be MUCH worse for her if she fails to show up for probation because she "thought" she was already violated.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The probation officer will likely violate your girlfriend for a failed drug test. If she has not been violated yet, I recommend contacting a criminal lawyer in your area to try to get her on the judge's calendar. In my experience, if you are proactive with the violation instead of waiting for the warrant to be issued, the better off you are.
In order for a violation of probation to be sustained, the violation has to be proven willful and substantial. I would recommend that our girlfriend try to complete as many conditions of probation as possible before going back in front of the judge. That way, the failed drug test may seem less important.
If found in violation, the worst thing that can happen on a first DUI is 6 months in jail.
This answer is for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.
While you're girlfriend's lack of criminal history will play a role in the end-result, every jurisdiction treats these matter differently. What happens here in Central Florida and even within the counties here varies from South Florida.
As such, your 1st step should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach County. Hiring an attorney that practices in the area will give you great insight into what she can expect, including what the judge is like and what the prosecutor would be willing to recommend.
Carsten & Ladan, P.A.
Main Office - Orlando
Orlando / Longwood / Kissimmee