Driving drunk is an extremely dangerous as well as a severe offense that could leave you dealing with tremendous fines. If you have been apprehended for or arrested for drunk driving in Florida, you have to act promptly to guarantee that your legal rights and privilege to drive is safeguarded. At Frank Schwartz, P.A., we understand that this time around in your life might be tough, but with the representation of a seasoned Miami DUI lawyer, you could possibly acquire a beneficial result for your situation. If you have actually been charged with driving intoxicated (DUI) under the influence of liquor or drugs, you need to seek advice from and maintain us as your Miami DUI attorney right away.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Florida?
Without legal representation, you might be encountering a very difficult, uphill struggle as you try to guard your liberties as well as legal rights. When you deal with our firm, we actively go after only the most amazing possible result for your situation, as well as can develop a personalized approach that is specific to your special circumstance. It is essential to work with a Miami DUI attorney because, without the help of a legal representative, you could be encountering the following fines upon conviction:
First-Time DUI Offense
The penalties for a first-time DUI offense include:
- Jail for at least 6 months
- Minimum fine of $500
- 50 hours of community service
- Vehicle impound for 10 days
- License suspension for up to 1 year
Second-Time DUI Offense
The penalties for a second-time DUI offense include:
- Jail for up to 1 year
- License suspension for 5 years if your previous DUI was within the last 5 years
- Vehicle impound for 30 days
- Ignition interlock device installation in your vehicle
- Fines between $1,000 and $4,000
Third-Time DUI Offense
The penalties for a third-time DUI offense include:
- Jail for up to 12 months
- Vehicle impound for 90 days
- License suspension for up to 10 years if your previous DUI was within the last 10 years
- Ignition interlock device installation
- Third-degree felony charge
When it comes to driving under the influence charges in Florida, no two cases will result in the same outcome. The penalties you could be encountering will differ depending upon your criminal background as well as the specifics of your situation. If you were associated with an injury-causing accident or if there was a minor in the vehicle during the incident, your fines could be enhanced dramatically if you are pronounced guilty. In order to shield yourself, you need to get in touch with a Miami DUI lawyer from Frank Schwartz, P.A., as soon as possible.
When is a DUI a Felony in Florida?
While a first DUI offense in Florida is considered a misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail sentence, a minimum fine, and other penalties, if there are any aggravating circumstances associated with the crime, then a first-time DUI can be punishable by more severe penalties or even be charged as a felony offense.
What is an Aggravated DUI?
The following are several aggravating factors of a Florida DUI:
- High blood alcohol content (BAC) – In order to be arrested for an alcohol-related DUI in Florida, you must have a BAC level of at least .08 percent. However, if your BAC level is a minimum of .15 percent—nearly double the legal limit—you will be charged with an aggravated DUI offense, punishable by a jail sentence of up to nine months, a fine not exceeding $2,000, and driver’s license suspension for one year.
- Minor passenger – If you are arrested for DUI, and there is a child passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle, you might be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor DUI.
- Serious injury – If you are involved in a car accident while under the influence and another person suffers a serious bodily injury, you could be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum prison term of five years, a fine of up to $5,000, and other penalties.
- Death – If you are involved in a crash while under the influence, and another person dies, you could be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and a lifetime driver’s license suspension.
Do you need help avoiding a DUI conviction? Contact Frank Schwartz, P.A. today to discuss your case with our DUI attorney in Miami.
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “NO REFUSAL.”
You have legal rights when confronted by police. When you are stopped, detained, questioned, or arrested, Texas and federal law provides your rights:
- Do not talk. You are not required to answer any questions and may indicate this by saying, “I do not wish to answer any questions.” Only provide your name and address.
- Do not submit to testing. Refuse acceptance of any field sobriety tests. Do not take any tests that involve following a pen with your eyes, walking 9 steps heel-to-toe on a line, or standing on one leg for 30 seconds. Tell them, "I do not wish to do any tests.” Do not submit to a breath or blood test. Police can get a search warrant for that if they need it. Never struggle or physically fight a blood test or searches. Tell them you do not agree to the testing or searching.
- Do not consent to searches. Without a search warrant, do not allow the police to search your home, vehicle, business, hotel room, or any personal location. Only tell the police, “I don’t agree to this search.”
- Exercise your rights to a lawyer. Continue to ask for a lawyer. Reach out to our Miami DUI attorney today!
Possible Consequences of Refusal in Florida
You may use your rights to refuse breath and blood testing. However, this refusal may result in the suspension, of your driver's license. Failing a breath or blood test could also result in suspension and failure of either of these tests could hurt your court case. When it comes to tests by the police, it may be better to refuse than to risk failing a test.
What Defenses Can I Use Against A DUI Charge In Florida?
It’s estimated that in 2018 in Miami-Dade county alone there were over 2,700 DUI arrests made. Of these arrests, there was about a 30% conviction rate. This means that about 70% of the DUI charges were either dropped or dismissed that year. When it comes to beating a DUI in Florida, there are several defenses against DUI charges that you can use:
- Violation of Rights - This type of defense can include anything from being pulled over without a valid reason to being arrested or charged without being read your Miranda Rights.
- Inaccuracy of Field Test or Blood Test - Many law enforcement officers may administer a field sobriety test that could include the use of a breathalyzer; if you can prove that this test or that a blood test that was administered after your arrest were inaccurate, you may have grounds to get the charges dismissed.
- Insufficiency of Evidence - If an officer pulled you over without sufficient evidence that you were operating your vehicle under the influence, or if you can prove that their video evidence or other form of evidence is unreliable, you may be able to beat your DUI charge.
- Lack of Credibility for Arresting Officer - If the arresting officer has a record of making bad arrests or has a disciplinary record, you may be able to prove that they didn’t handle your arrest properly or misinformed you as to your rights when it came to taking a sobriety test.
Can You Seal or Expunge a DUI In Florida?
While you cannot have a DUI conviction removed from your record, in some cases, you may be able to have your DUI charge expunged or have the records sealed. Here’s how to get a DUI charge expunged or sealed in Miami:
- If you were only charged but not convicted, there’s a chance you can have your record cleared
- If you ended up being convicted of a lesser crime, then you may be able to have the DUI charge expunged
- If your case was dismissed, you may be able to have your record expunged
How Long Does a DUI Stay On Your Record in Florida?
In Florida, a DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record for up to 75 years. You will be unable to have a DUI conviction removed from your record. A DUI charge, on the other hand, can potentially be expunged or removed.
Contact Our DUI Lawyer in Miami Today
If you happen to get detained as well as charged with a DUI, it is absolutely important that you work promptly to retain the legal counsel of a helpful lawyer. When you seek assistance from our company, Frank Schwartz, P.A., we could take instant action to ensure that your legal rights are protected, whereas you receive the best outcome for your case.
We are focused on identifying the most efficient way to achieve the most effective result, and we can tenaciously pursue a solid legal defense on your behalf. Get in touch with a Miami DUI attorney such as Frank Schwartz, P.A today if you have issues or questions concerning your situation!
Contact Frank Schwartz, P.A. today to speak with our Miami DUI attorney.
Frank Schwartz is a Miami attorney who concentrates his legal practice in the area of criminal defense. Mr. Schwartz is proud to have established a highly successful and effective criminal defense trial practice in South Florida.