Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida is a criminal offense and could be subject to harsh penalties – including fines, community service, probation, vehicle impoundment, loss of driving privileges and even imprisonment – if convicted. To ensure that your rights are protected, consult a South Florida DUI attorney.
Most DUI arrests in Florida occur after a traffic stop or an alcohol-related vehicle accident. If the officer notices that you are driving erratically or disobeying traffic laws, he or she may pull you over on suspicion of DUI in Florida and administer a series of field sobriety tests, used to determine if there is probable cause for a drunk-driving arrest.
After your arrest, the officer may transport you back to the police station for a breathalyzer test; this test is used to determine if you are over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit (.08% for drivers over 21). You will also be booked, fingerprinted, photographed and placed into a holding cell until bail can be arranged. While Florida requires that DUI offenders remain in jail for at least 8 hours after arrest, this may be expedited if you are no longer considered intoxicated or your BAC is less than .05%
If you’re charged a DUI/DWI you need an attorney who is familiar with the drunk driving laws of your state. A lawyer with experience in DUI/DWI cases will know all about your state’s implied consent laws, what the burden of proof is for the arresting officer, what penalties can be negotiated with the judge in the jurisdiction where you were arrested, and what your rights are under the law. A DUI/DWI laywer can even pick apart the roadside sobriety test conclusions and challenge the BAC readings.
What Will It Cost to Retain a DUI Attorney?
The fees charged will vary depending upon:
- Lawyer’s reputation, experience and specialization;
- The factual circumstances increasing the complexity and severity of the case (blood-alcohol level, accident/injuries, speeding, children in car, test refusal, prior criminal record, etc.);
- The time typically devoted by the attorney to a case (discovery of breathalyzer maintenance and calibration records, copies of video/audio recordings; in-person representation at the DMV hearings and court appearances
- The costs covered by the attorney’s fee (blood sample reanalysis by independent lab, consultation with forensic toxicologist on blood/breath tests, costs of subpoena of cop to DMV hearing, DMV hearing transcription, etc.).
DUI Charges and Penalties
When a person gets arrested for DUI in Florida, that person faces the immediate loss of his or her driver’s license. Florida DUI law mandates an immediate suspension for any person who is arrested for DUI and refuses to submit to a breath alcohol test. Florida DUI law also requires an immediate suspension of the driver’s license of any person who submits to a breath alcohol test, and gets a reading of .08 or higher.
License Suspensions for DUI
For those who refuse a breath alcohol test, the immediate suspension is for one year, or eighteen months if the person has refused a breath test before.
For those who are victimized by the machine claiming their breath alcohol level is .08 or higher, the suspension is for six months.
10 Day Rule
Protecting Your Right To Drive- From DUI Attorney Andrew D. Stine
Unless your request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest, you will lose your driver’s license. Even if your license is revoked, we can apply for a hardship license, which is usually immediately granted to you. We have never had a hardship license denied to one of our clients.
It is not illegal to drink and drive in Florida, so long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not over .08 or your normal faculties are not impaired. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we advise our clients to neither blow into a breathalyzer machine nor do a roadside test. Why give evidence to the state if you don’t have to?
If you have submitted to a breathalyzer test and failed, that is not the end of your case. The Intoxilzer 5,000 and Intoxilzer 8,000 breathalyzer machines used to measure BAC in Florida have significant problems. If you have an expert witness and an experienced attorney who can challenge the accuracy of the machine in court, the BAC evidence may be thrown out. DUI/DWI Lawyer Andrew Stine has obtained not-guilty verdicts due to machine failure for clients who have had blood alcohol levels of .229 and .227.
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including:
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.