D.R.O.P. DUI Diversion in Pasco
If you were arrested for a first-time DUI in Pasco County, FL, on or after June 1, 2021, then you might be eligible to participate in the new diversion program called “DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program” or “D.R.O.P.”
Warning: The D.R.O.P. DUI diversion program has NOTHING to do with the administrative suspension. Keep in mind that you still need to file a demand for a formal review hearing within 10 days of the arrest if you want to challenge the administrative suspension with the DHSMV.
Otherwise, that administrative suspesnion will remain on your driving record for the next 75 years. Call us to find out more during a free consultation – 727-807-6392.
The new diversion program was created by the State Attorney’s Office in the Sixth Judicial Circuit which covers both Pasco County and Pinellas County.
The purpose of the program is to allow for the rapid resolution of first-time DUI offenses while rehabilitating the offender so that no future DUI offenses occur. In Pasco County, FL, DUI cases are prosecuted at both the courthouse in New Port Richey and Dade City.
The State Attorney’s Office in the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Pasco County, FL, still has the ability to evaluate each application on a case by case basis. Unusually bad facts might mean that the offender is not allowed to enter D.R.O.P., even if the person would be otherwise eligible.
For this reason, the State Attorney’s Office has the sole discretion to accept or reject offenders from the DROP program.
To apply for D.R.O.P, an application must be submitted along to the State Attorney’s Office, along with a non-refundable cashier’s check or money order for the non-refundable $50 application fee. The application and application fee must be received by the SAO before the second pretrial hearing.
The eligibility requirements for the DUI Diversion program in Pasco County, FL, include a requirement to complete the following pre-plea conditions:
- complete the M.A.D.D. Victim Impact Panel (VIP);
- complete Level I DUI School; and
- complete twenty (20) community service hours.
After entering the program, you will receive credit from your probation officer for any of the pre-plea conditions already completed.
The benefit of entering the D.R.O.P. diversion program is that the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office will agree to reduce the Reckless Driving under Florida Statute Section 316.192(5) in exchange for a guilty plea. The plea terms include:
- Plea of guilty to Reckless Driving under Florida Statute Section 316.192(5)
- adjudication will be withheld for Tier 1 offenses
- adjudication will not be withheld for Tier 2 offenses
- Probation with conditions based on the Tier Level Assignment.
DROP is not for everyone because you might be able to get a better result by fighting the charges, filing a motion to suppress, a motion to exclude evidence, or a dismiss to dismiss the charges. An experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Pasco County, FL, can help you decide.
Lawyer for the DUI Diversion DROP in Pasco County, FL
After an arrest for a first DUI offense in Pasco County, FL, find an experienced DUI defense attorney. Because the attorneys at Sammis Law Firm focus on DUI defense in Pasco County, FL, we are familiar with the procedures for the DROP DUI Diversion program in Pasco County.
In addition to representation in the criminal case, your DUI defense attorney can help you demand a formal review hearing at the DHSMV within 10 days of your arrest. Demanding a formal review hearing is the ONLYY way to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.
One of the main benefits of entering the DROP program is being eligible to seal the criminal record, but what good does that do you if the driving record shows an administrative suspension for 75 years. To get the best result, you want to WIN the formal review hearing, get the DUI reduced, and seal the record.
When you call us for a free consultation, we can explain the benefits of the DROP diversion program, how to apply, and the best ways to complete the conditions early.
Contact us to learn more about the pros and cons of entering the DROP diversion program. It might be in your best interest to file a demand for a speedy trial, or a motion to suppress or exclude evidence, or a motion to dismiss the charges.
Call us for a free consultation at 813-250-0500.
Eligibility Requirements to Enter the DROP Diversion Program
An attorney can help you determine whether your first DUI case in Pasco County, FL, is eligible for the DROP diversion program. The State Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit has announced that the following types of cases will NOT be eligible:
- having previously participated in a prior traffic-related diversion program;
- having previously committed a similar offense;
- being on any form of supervision (including probation or another diversion program);
- having accompanying or pending felony charges;
- holding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL);
- not having a valid driver’s license at the time of the offense;
- having a minor child in the Defendant’s vehicle at the time of the DUI offense;
- a crash with bodily injury or significant property damage; or
- a breath or blood sample reading over 0.150 B.A.C. (even if the defense attorney can show a lower B.A.C. at the time of driving through extrapolation).
Tier One D.R.O.P. Requirement
The tier one sanctions for the DROP program in Pasco County, FL, apply when the breath or blood test readings are below 0.120. Tier I sanctions also apply when drug impairment is suspected as the basis for the DUI.
The negotiated plea in these cases involves entering a “guilty” plea to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication and probation for six (6) months with no early termination pursuant to Florida Statute Section 948.15.
The special conditions for Tier I DROP cases include six (6) months probation to complete the following special conditions:
- pay $100 fines and any courts costs;
- pay costs of prosecution;
- pay costs of supervision;
- show proof of having already completed DUI school, and if recommended, any alcohol/substance abuse treatment;
- show proof of having already completed the MADD Victim Impact Panel;
- complete the remaining fifty (50) community service hours (and show proof that at least twenty (20) of those hours were already completed before the plea);
- agree to submit to a 10-day vehicle immobilization;
- agree not to consume alcohol/illegal drugs/non-prescribed drugs while on probation;
- agree not to enter bars, clubs, or establishments where alcoholic beverages are primarily served while on probation; and
- agree to submit to mandatory random alcohol/drug testing at Defendant’s expense.
The prosecutor will also agree to allow adjudication to be withheld for Tier 1 offenses. Receiving the withhold of adjudication is important because it might mean you are eligible to seal the criminal history report.
For Tier I, upon successful completion of probation, you will not receive any points against your license since adjudication will be withheld. However, if you fail to successfully complete probation, you could be adjudicated guilty of a probation violation, which carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.
Tier Two D.R.O.P. Requirement
The tier two sanctions for the DROP program in Pasco County, FL, apply when the breath or blood test readings are above between 0.120 and 0.150. Tier II sanctions also apply when the Defendant is accused of refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.
The negotiated plea in these cases involves entering a “guilty” plea to reckless driving with an adjudication of guilt and probation for nine (9) months with no early termination pursuant to Florida Statute Section 948.15.
The special conditions for the Tier II of the DUI DROP Diversion program include nine (6) months probation to complete the following special conditions:
- pay a $250 fine and any court costs;
- pay costs of prosecution;
- pay costs of supervision;
- complete fifty (50) community service hours from an approved provider (and show proof that at least twenty (20) of those hours were already completed before the plea);
- submit to a ten (10) day vehicle immobilization;
- consume no alcohol, illegal drugs, or non-prescribed drugs while on probation;
- agree not to enter any bar, club, or establishment where alcoholic beverages are primarily served while on probation;
- submit to mandatory random alcohol/drug testing at Defendant’s expense.
For Tier II offenses, the court will adjudicate the person guilty of reckless driving (which is still better than a DUI conviction). The adjudication means that you will be convicted of the crime of reckless driving and you will not be eligible to seal or expunge this or any other record in Florida.
For many clients, the new diversion program is a good alternative for a first DUI in Pasco County.
Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm to learn more about the pros and cons of entering the DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (“D.R.O.P.”) in Pinellas County or Pasco County.
Hillsborough County’s DUI Diversion RIDR – Learn more about why the State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County created a diversion program for a first DUI case called RIDR in March of 2018. The differences between DROP and RIDR include the fact that RIDR requires installing an ignition interlock device on the vehicle or wearing a continuous alcohol monitor (CAM) for three (3) or six (6) months. Drivers who blow between .15 and .20 are eligible for Level II RIDR. In RIDR, even a Level II offense is eligible for a withhold of adjudication.
Instructions for the DROP Application in Pasco – Visit the State Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit to find the instructions for entering the new diversion program. Your attorney will help you fill out all of the required paperwork and submit your nonrefundable cashier’s check or money order for $50, made payable to the “State of Florida.” Your application must include your case number and citation number and your full name. If you email the application to DiversionPasco@flsa6.gov, then you must send the $50 application fee via in-person delivery or U.S. Mail. You must also provide the following documents to the SAO:
- DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P.) Application;
- Entry of Plea of Not Guilty;
- Waiver of Speedy Trial; and
- Statement of Prior Record.
Email: DiversionPasco@flsa6.gov Office of Bruce Bartlett, State Attorney
D.R.O.P. Diversion Program
PO Box 17500
Clearwater, FL 33762-0500
State Attorney’s New Port Richey Office
7530 Little Rd., Ste 205
New Port Richey, FL 34654
State Attorney’s Dade City Office
38053 Live Oak Ave., Ste 204
Dade City, FL 33523
This article was last updated on Friday, January 7, 2022.