- DUI Defense
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is one of the most frequent causes of arrest in Florida. In most cases, alleged offenders did not have a specific criminal intent to hurt people or place others at risk, but they can still be charged for having the general intent to break the law because they knowingly consumed alcohol or drugs and knowingly drove motor vehicles.
Not all DUI cases necessarily have to involve driving, as alleged offenders may also be charged with being in “actual physical control” of an automobile—meaning they were in or near a motor vehicle with the key and ability to operate the automobile. While a DUI arrest can be a tremendously embarrassing and stressful experience, it is important to remember that being taken into custody for allegedly drunk driving is not the same as being convicted.
DUI Defense Lawyer in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Were you recently arrested for driving while you were allegedly under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance? Even if you believe that you were legally drunk at the time of your arrest, The Hoffman Firm may still be able to get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Miami who aggressively defends clients in Miami, North Miami, South Miami, Key Biscayne, Aventura, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Opa Locka, and several surrounding areas in Miami-Dade County. Call (305) 249-0090 to receive a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions.
Overview of Drunk Driving Arrests in North Miami
- How many kinds of DUI charges are there in Florida?
- What defenses can lead to criminal charges being thrown out?
- Where can I learn more about drunk driving offenses in Miami-Dade County?
Florida Statute § 316.193 establishes that a person is guilty of DUI if he or she is driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and is either under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired or has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more. When an alleged offender has a BAC of 0.08 or greater, it is commonly referred to as a “per se DUI” because the level of alcohol in the person’s system makes them legally intoxicated—even if that person’s normal faculties do not appear to be impaired.
The 0.08 BAC limit applies to most adult drivers, but the thresholds are lower for certain drivers. For example, commercial drivers in Florida can be charged with DUI if they have BACs of 0.04 or more while minors are considered legally intoxicated when their BACs are 0.02 or higher.
An alleged offender’s BAC is most often determined by a breath test, but blood tests may also be used in certain circumstances. Some of the most common DUI cases that The Hoffman Firm handles include:
- First DUI;
- Second DUI;
- Third DUI;
- Fourth or Subsequent DUI;
- Felony DUI;
- Driving While Impaired by Drugs (DUID);
- Underage DUI;
- DUI with Property Damage;
- DUI with Child Passenger;
- DUI Manslaughter;
- DUI Refusal;
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI);
- DUI with Injury/Serious Injury;
- Commercial Truck DUI;
- Bicycle DUI; and
- Out-of-State DUI.
Many people assume that because they had been drinking alcohol or used some kind of drug before driving, convictions in DUI cases will be automatic. The truth, however, is that there are always a significant number of elements to every drunk or drugged driving case that can lead to criminal charges being significantly reduced or completely dismissed.
A few of the most common defenses in DUI cases include, but are not limited to:
- No Probable Cause — If a police officer did not have a valid reason for the traffic stop that initiated the DUI arrest, then all evidence obtained during the traffic stop can become inadmissible in court.
- Improperly Administered Field Sobriety Tests — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) as consisting of three specific tests: The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the One Leg Stand test, and the Walk and Turn test. These three tests are already flawed and may be challenged, but any use of other non-standardized field sobriety tests (such as reciting the alphabet backwards, the Rhomberg balance test, or the finger-to-nose test) can be inadmissible in court.
- Chemical Test Errors — The administration of any breath or blood tests is subject to numerous requirements. The machine that a breath test is being conducted with must be regularly maintained and properly calibrated. It must also be operated by a licensed individual. Alleged offenders who consumed certain foods, medications, or other products can have inaccurate test results.
- Videos Contradict Officer’s Reported Observations — Authorities typically include many standard observations about alleged DUI offenders in their police reports, including supposed bloodshot eyes and alleged staggering when getting out of a vehicle. Many of these observations can have perfectly reasonable alternative explanations, and some of the supposed actions of alleged offenders can actually be countered by the dashboard or booking room videos of the alleged offender.
- Officer’s Failure to Comply with Implied Consent Law — Before a police office in Florida asks an alleged offender to submit to a chemical test, he or she must read a specific warning before conducting the test. Any failure to read this warning or an improperly issued warning can lead to evidence gained from any testing or any refusal being inadmissible.
DUI Procedures | Miami Dade Office of the State Attorney — The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office makes all documents the state may introduce at a DUI hearing or trial available to alleged offenders in accordance with Rule 3.220(a)(1) of the Florida Rules of the Criminal Procedure. You can find maintenance documents, Miami-Dade County Secondary Inspection sheets, breath logs for Miami-Dade County Intoxilyzer 5000 instruments, repair orders for the Intoxilyzers, Intoxilyzer registration certificates, and certificates of assurance. The website also explains how to obtain documents from the forensic toxicology lab in blood and urine cases.
Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney, 11th Judicial Circuit
E.R. Graham Building
1350 Northwest 12th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws — On this section of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website, you can learn more about DUI penalties in the Sunshine State. In addition to criminal penalties, you can also find information relating to administrative driver’s license suspensions. Elsewhere on this website, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions about DUIs and ignition interlock device requirements.
The Hoffman Firm | DUI Defense Lawyer in Miami, FL
If you have been arrested in Florida for DUI, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm fights to get the most favorable outcomes with the fewest penalties for clients all over Miami-Dade County.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney who represents residents of and visitors to Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Opa-locka, and many other nearby communities. You can have him provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (305) 249-0090 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More
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If you received any kind of traffic violation in the Miami area call The Hoffman Firm today.Find out more