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Although legal representation is not required because this is not a court matter, having an experienced DUI lawyer at your side will most often serve to positively impact the outcome of your hearing. Turn to the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. to help defend your case. We are available 24/7 and have years of experience and are ready to help defend your case!
Miami DUI Attorney Michael Mirer has defended countless South Florida clients against drunk driving and BUI charges and can provide the aggressive and smart advocacy you need before the court.
What is a DUI in Florida?
DUI stands for "driving under the influence." Also commonly referred to as drunk driving or DWI (driving while intoxicated). DUI is a criminal offense, most often charged as a misdemeanor, that involves a driver operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or a combination of the two.
An individual will be charged with drunk driving in Florida if they are pulled over and the officer determines through breath and blood testing or field sobriety testing that they are legally intoxicated.
What is the BAC Limit in Florida?
To be deemed "under the influence" by Florida law, the driver must have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, and/or his or her normal faculties must be impaired as a result of intoxication or drug use.
BAC Limits in Florida Vary for Different Types of Drivers, as Follows:
- Drivers age 21 or older: BAC limit of .08%
- Drivers under the age of 21 (Under 21 DUI): BAC limit of .02%
- Drivers with commercial licenses (Commercial DUI): BAC limit of .04%
Will I Lose My License for a DUI?
Being arrested for DUI and failing or refusing a breath or blood test will result in the commencement of license suspension proceedings by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
DUI and Suspended Licenses
When a driver is arrested for DUI in Florida, he or she will face administrative license suspension proceedings as well as a criminal case in court. License suspension after a DUI arrest is automatic, based on the grounds that the driver either failed or refused a chemical test used to gauge his or her blood alcohol concentration.
If your driver's license has already been suspended due to a drunk driving conviction, a Miami DUI defense attorney can also assist you in seeking a restricted license to drive for limited purposes, such as for employment or education alone.
What Are The Penalties for DUI?
Conviction for driving under the influence will result in serious penalties in Florida. The severity of the consequences will depend upon whether you have multiple DUI offenses on your record, your BAC, and if any aggravating factors were involved in the incident, including injuries to victims or DUI manslaughter.
DUI Penalties Include, but Are Not Limited To, the Following:
- Fines of a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000
- Imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years
- Vehicle impoundment for a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 90 days
- Loss of license for a minimum of 180 days to a maximum of permanent revocation
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device
The following are the maximum penalties which may be imposed upon a conviction for a first or second DUI in Florida:
Penalties for First DUI Offense in Florida:
- Driver's License Revocation - 180-day to 1-year
- Imprisonment - 6 months
- Probation - 1 year
- Community Service - 50 hours, or fine of $10 per hour of community service
- Fine - $500 to $1,000
- Vehicle Impoundment - 10 days
Penalties for Second DUI Offense in Florida (within 5 years):
- Driver's License Revocation - 5 years
- Imprisonment - 9 months
- Mandatory Minimum Imprisonment - 10 days
- Fine - $2,000
- Vehicle Impoundment - 30 days
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a DUI?
Driving under the influence is a serious offense with severe consequences that can extend far beyond the immediate legal penalties. While the short-term repercussions of a DUI, such as fines and license suspension, are well-known, it's essential to also consider the long-term consequences that can have a lasting impact on various aspects of a person's life.
- Criminal Record: One of the most significant long-term consequences of a DUI conviction is the creation of a criminal record. A criminal record can haunt an individual for years or even a lifetime, affecting their ability to secure employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Many employers conduct background checks, and a DUI conviction can lead to rejection or job loss, particularly in industries that prioritize safety or public trust.
- Increased Insurance Costs: After a DUI conviction, insurance premiums are likely to skyrocket. Insurance companies view DUI offenders as high-risk drivers, and they often charge substantially higher rates. These increased costs can persist for several years, making it more expensive to maintain auto insurance coverage.
- Limited Driving Privileges: In many cases, DUI convictions result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. Depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the offense, this suspension can last for months or even years. Without a driver's license, individuals may struggle to commute to work, school, or meet other essential daily responsibilities.
- Ignition Interlock Devices: Some jurisdictions require DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles. These devices require the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the car. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it also serves as a constant reminder of the DUI conviction.
- Strained Relationships: The consequences of a DUI conviction can extend beyond the individual to affect relationships with family and friends. Loved ones may experience disappointment, anger, or concern over the behavior that led to the DUI, which can strain these relationships and erode trust.
- Personal Stigma and Guilt: The guilt and shame associated with a DUI can take a toll on an individual's mental and emotional well-being. Long-term psychological consequences, such as depression and anxiety, can arise from the knowledge of the harm caused and the potential danger posed to oneself and others.
- Employment and Career: A DUI conviction can limit career advancement opportunities. Many professional licenses and certifications require individuals to maintain a clean criminal record. Individuals with DUI convictions may find themselves unable to pursue certain career paths or advance in their current professions.
Under 21 DUI in Florida
A driver who is under the age of 21 faces slightly different procedure and penalties upon a conviction for driving under the influence. Florida law enforcement is authorized to detain an underage driver if law enforcement has probable cause to believe the driver was driving with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.
What Happens When You Get a DUI Under 21:
- Upon detaining the driver, law enforcement has the right to request that the driver submit to a blood or breath test to determine his or her alcohol level.
- An offense of this nature is neither a criminal offense nor a traffic infraction and is punishable by administrative license suspension alone.
- If your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or greater (above the legal limit for adults), you may face criminal charges and the possibility of imprisonment, heavy fines, and having a criminal record.
DHSMV Hearings in Miami
You Only Have 10 Days
The good news is that you have the opportunity to challenge this suspension by requesting a DMV hearing (also referred to as "DHSMV hearing") within 10 days of your arrest. This will be an administrative hearing held to allow a driver to challenge the suspension of his or her license.
- When a driver is arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will confiscate his or her license and give the driver a slip of paper that acts as a citation/notice of suspension.
- This citation actually serves as a temporary driving permit during the 10 day time period that a driver has to request a formal review hearing
- If a driver who was arrested for DUI fails to request a hearing within the 10-day window, the DMV will suspend his or her license without further ado
Failure to schedule your hearing will result in the suspension of your license. This hearing is your only opportunity to fight the automatic suspension of your driver's license. Miami DUI defense lawyer Michael Mirer can represent you at the administrative hearing and advocate on your behalf before the DHSMV.
With the proper resources and experience, a skilled lawyer will be able to determine how to seek the best possible outcome on your behalf. Speak with a DUI attorney in Miami at the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. and learn more about your options. Call (800) 798-0243. Se habla Español.
Challenging DUI Charges
A common misconception associated with DUI charges is that all is lost if you took and allegedly failed a breath or blood test. If you submitted to a breath test or blood test that showed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater, you may feel as though there is no hope in challenging your charges. This is simply not the case.
The same applies if you are facing drunk driving charges in Florida based upon allegedly poor performance on field sobriety tests, something that law enforcement considers indicates that your normal abilities were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. In spite of a failed breath test or field sobriety tests, there are ways that a DUI lawyer in Miami can effectively challenge your charges.
How Our Firm Can Help
It takes a careful and thorough review of every single aspect of your case. This will include the manner in which you were initially pulled over by law enforcement, how field sobriety tests were conducted, the administration of a breath test or blood test and your actual arrest.
It will include all procedural and evidentiary issues related to your charges. Law enforcement must abide by specific guidelines and must not violate your Constitutional rights during this process. A single error or misstep may mean that certain evidence is inadmissible or that your entire case is invalid.
DUI: CHARGES DISMISSED
Client was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence in Miami-Dade County Court. Mr. Mirer conducted a thorough investigation of the case and ultimately took the case to trial, successfully arguing that the police were absolutely wrong in arresting his client for DUI.
Call a Miami DUI Attorney
If you or someone you have has been charged with driving under the influence in Florida, do not fight charges alone. Reach out to an experienced Miami DUI lawyer at the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. for a free case evaluation. We are ready to hear your story.
Contact us if you would like a free consultation regarding your DUI charges in Miami, FL.