DUI Charge in Miami? Five Things You Should Know

aggressive criminal defense

Driving under the influence is never a good idea. It places you, your passengers, and other people on the road in considerable danger. Alcohol consumption reduces reaction time, affects depth perception, and increases risk-taking behaviors. Even if you’ve successfully driven while intoxicated before, each time you get behind the wheel you gamble with your own life and the lives of others. Because of this, Florida DUI laws are rigid and carry hefty consequences for those caught driving drunk. If you were charged with a DUI in Florida, here’s what you need to know. 

1: You Only Have 10 Days to Request a Court Hearing 

Florida law allows you 10 days from the date of your arrest to file a request for a hearing with the courts. This allows you time to hire representation. Because DUI and DWI charges are handled in criminal court, a Florida criminal defense lawyer can file your request on your behalf. Doing so can help protect you from large fines, probation, or even jail time. From this initial filing, it may take some time to set a court date, so in the meantime, you can build your defense and prepare. 

 2: Consequences for First Time Offenders 

First-time DUI offenders rarely get a slap on the wrist. Even if you’ve never been charged with a crime before, a judge can pass down serious sentences depending on the severity of your transgression. First time DUI offenders almost always have to pay large fees including court costs, probation fees, and urinalysis fees where ordered. They will also be held financially responsible for any property damages caused by drunk driving, including the medical costs of any injured parties involved. You may also be sentenced to drug and alcohol counseling or community service, which can carry its own fees. 

Monetary consequence aren’t the only thing first time DUI offenders may face. You may have your licensed suspended, or you may be sentenced to jail time or probation. Having a Miami DUI lawyer at your side can remove the more serious sentencing options from the table and protect your freedom. 

3: DUI Convictions Stay on Your Record for 75 Years 

In Florida, DUI and DWI charges can follow you for the rest of your life. With a DUI conviction on your record for up to 75 years, one mistake can affect your employment opportunities, auto insurance rates, housing availability, and federal assistance including school loans.  

Your record may be expunged—but only if your record has been sealed for five year or more and the result of your case is not conviction. Even then, expungement takes an average of 7 months and can be costly. Even then, there’s no way to guarantee your request will be honored. No one’s future shouldn’t be ruined because of momentary thoughtlessness. An experienced Miami DUI lawyer can help ensure that doesn’t happen. 

4: Repeat Offender Consequences 

One of the main drawbacks of the longevity of DUI convictions is that it can influence the course of any future cases you may encounter. This is especially true for people who incur future DUI or DWI charges. A judge may look back five years or more into your record depending on the severity of the charge. For DUI arrests involving third-party property damage or serious bodily injury, a judge may decide to move from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. Other factors may also influence the way your case is handled, such as endangering an accompanying minor or a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or higher. For reference, the national BAC limit is .08 percent. 

Even if your case is not escalated to a felony level offense, the consequences of a second or third time DUI or DWI arrest include: 

  • Fines
  • Longer term license suspension or revocation
  • Vehicle impounding
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock device for monitoring BAC levels while behind the wheel

 5: ALWAYS Hire a Miami DUI Lawyer 

Don’t gamble with your future. Attempting to face DUI charges on your own is unlikely to end in your favor. A Florida criminal defense lawyer specializing in DUI and DWI cases can fight on your behalf to get you the best outcome possible. A Miami DUI lawyer may be able to get your license reinstated, avoid jail time or probation, and minimize fees.  

Let the Law Office of Carlos A. Canet, PA help you. Practicing DUI law since 1983, Carlos ready to use over 30 years of experience to take on your case. Contact our office today to get started.