Being charged with driving under the influence commonly referred to as "DUI", can be a life-altering event. A DUI conviction could permanently tarnish a person's record, disqualify them from certain employment opportunities, and make it difficult to provide for their family and meet other important financial obligations.
A DUI arrest could also result in the person's license being suspension, being imposed with hefty fines, and possibly being imprisoned for an extended period of time.
As you can see, being charged with driving under the influence is not a joking matter. When faced with these consequences, a person needs the help and advice from an experienced Miami DUI defense attorney with a proven track record of success.
Miami Attorney for First DUI
If you have been charged with DUI, refused to submit to a chemical test to determine if you were intoxicated, or are at risk of having your driver's license suspended in connection with a DUI offense, do not take your matter lightly. You need an experienced Miami-Dade County defense attorney to assist you throughout the legal process you will be subjected to.
Attorney Evan Hoffman is a former criminal prosecutor and has experience litigating DUI, DUI with property damage, DUI with bodily injury, administrative hearings, license suspensions, license revocation, and various other drug-related offenses.
The Hoffman Firm has successfully represented various clients charged with drug-related crimes in Miami, North Miami Beach, South Miami, Homestead, Hialeah, and various cities within Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Please do not take criminal charges lightly. ContactThe Hoffman Firmat(305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to receive your free initial consultation and have an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney review your case immediately.
Florida First DUI Information Center
- What is DUI
- What is "Zero Tolerance"?
- What if a Person Refuses a Chemical Test?
- What is an Administrative Suspension?
- What are the Penalties for 1st DUI Conviction?
- Additional DUI Resources
Under Florida Statute 316.193, a person has committed the criminal act of driving while intoxicated (DUI) when they are driving or in physical control of a vehicle while their normal faculties have been impaired due to the consumption of a controlled substance or alcohol.
In other words, the prosecution must effectively prove the following:
- The Defendant was driving or in physical control of the vehicle,
- The Defendant's normal faculties were impaired, and
- The Defendant's impairment was caused by consuming a controlled substance, or
- The Defendant's impairment was caused by BAC above the legal limit (0.08 or above).
Law enforcement has aggressively attempted to prosecute underage drinkers that get behind the wheel of automobiles and watercraft after consuming alcohol. To help strengthen law enforcement's effort to arrest these underage drinkers, policymakers created the "Zero Tolerance" law.
Under the Zero Tolerance law, any person under the age of 21 determined to have a BAC of 0.02 or above while they were operating or in control of a vehicle, will automatically have their license suspended for a period of six (6) months.
However, if the person under 21 initially refused to submit to testing to determine their BAC, his or her license will automatically be suspended for a period of one (1) year.
Florida law requires drivers utilizing Florida roadways to take a breath, blood, or urine test if they are arrested for a DUI offense. This is known as "implied consent."
Florida's "Implied Consent" law requires a person that is lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe they have been driving under the influence to take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine their BAC.
Refusal to submit to testing could result in a person having their driver's license immediately suspended and their refusal could be used against them in court. If a person previously refused testing, their subsequent refusal will result in a misdemeanor offense and their license will be suspended again.
A person that refuses and is suspected of being involved in a DUI involving serious bodily injury or death of another person could legally have their blood withdrawn by force if necessary due to the person's refusal to cooperate with testing.
- First Refusal
- License Automatically Suspended for a One (1) year period
- Second Refusal
- License Automatically Suspended for an eighteen (18) month Period, and
- Charged with an additional offense, First Degree Misdemeanor
Refusal by Person under the Age of 21
When a person under the age of 21 refuses to comply with testing to determine their BAC, they will immediately have their license suspended for a period of 6 months if their BAC is proven to be 0.02 or above.
When a person under the age of 21 has previously refused to comply with testing to determine their BAC and their BAC is subsequently determined to be 0.02 or above, they will have their license suspended for a period of one year.
Florida defines an "administrative suspension" as the immediate suspension of person's privilege to drive by the arresting officer commandeering the driver's license and issuing them a 10-day temporary permit.
This occurs when the driver's BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, is determined to be 0.08 or higher, or when the driver refused to submit to chemical testing of his or her breath, urine, or blood.
In Florida, a person that has been arrested for DUI in Florida only has ten (10) days from the date they were arrested to contest the administrative suspension via a formal review hearing.
- License Suspension Periods:
- First DUI :
- License Suspended up to 180 days
- License Suspended for up to one (1) year if driver refused chemical testing
- DUI Serious Bodily Injury:
- License Suspended for a Minimum of Three (3) Years
- DUI Manslaughter:
- License Permanently Revoked
- Possible Reinstatement after 5 years if no prior DUI convictions
Administrative Suspension - Person under 21
Persons under the age of 21 can lawfully be detained by law enforcement and subjected to chemical testing in order to determine their blood alcohol concentration under certain circumstances.
Florida Statute 322.2616 permits law enforcement to detain a person under the age of 21 and request them to submit to testing to determine their BAC if the following requirements are met:
- The Driver is under the age of 21,
- The Driver was driving or in physical control of the vehicle, and
- The law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe the driver has consumed alcohol
- 1st Time Offender – BAC 0.02 or above:
- License immediately suspended for six (6) months
- Refused to submit to breath test, suspension for up to one (1) year
As with most crimes in Florida, the circumstances giving rise to a person's arrest can substantially affect the crime they are charged with and the lofty penalties they will facing.
Some of the factors that could enhance a DUI offense are as follows:
- Property Damage,
- Breath or Blood test registered BAC at 0.15 or above,
- DUI with a Minor in the Vehicle,
- DUI involving Personal Injury,
- DUI involving Serious Bodily Injury to Another, and
- DUI resulting in the Death of Another
DUI with BAC of 0.08 or Above
- Up to six (6) months in Jail,
- Up to a $1,000 fine,
- Ignition Interlock installed for a minimum of six (6) months,
- Mandatory completion of 50 hours of community service,
- Vehicle impounded, and
- Probation up to one (1) year
DUI with BAC of 0.15 or Higher and Minor in the Vehicle
- Up to nine (9) months in Jail,
- Up to $2,000 fine,
- Ignition interlock device for minimum of two (2) years,
- Mandatory completion of Substance Abuse Course,
- Mandatory Psychosocial Evaluation,
- Probation up to one (1) year, and
- Mandatory Monthly Reporting
DUI involving Property Damage or Personal Injury
Any person that causes property damage or personal injury to another person while driving under the influence faces the following consequences:
- First Degree Misdemeanor Conviction,
- Up to $1,000 Fine, and
- Up to one (1) year in Jail
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury to Another
Any person that causes serious bodily injury to another person while driving under the influence faces the following consequences:
- Third Degree Felony Conviction,
- Up to $5,000 fine, and
- Up to 5 years in Prison
Any person that is driving while under the influence and is involved in a vehicular accident which results in the death of another person faces the following consequences:
- Second Degree Felony Conviction,
- Up to $10,000 fine, and
- Up to 15 years in Prison
DUI Manslaughter – Leaving the Scene
A driver that is convicted of DUI Manslaughter that knew or should have reasonably known an accident occurred and failed to give information or render aid faces the following consequences:
- First Degree Felony Conviction,
- Up to $10,000 fine, and
- Up to 30 years in Prison
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles – Visit this website to acquire more information about Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides assistance to local, state, and federal agencies to promote safer highways and effective enforcement of criminal laws on Florida's roadways.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics – Visit this website for more information regarding the Bureau of Transportation Statistic's diligent effort to coordinate and provide a higher standard of data to help create, manage, and share knowledge reliable transportation data to policy makers and the public.
First DUI Lawyer in Miami-Dade County
Attorney Evan Hoffman is a former criminal prosecutor and has extensive experience handling matters involving DUI, DUI with property damage, DUI with bodily injury, administrative hearings, license suspensions, license revocation, and drug-related DUI offenses. The Hoffman Firm has successfully represented various clients charged with drug-related crimes in Miami, North Miami Beach, South Miami, Homestead, Hialeah, and various cities within Miami-Dade County, Florida.
If you have been charged with DUI, refused a chemical test to determine if you were intoxicated, or are at risk of having your driver's license suspended in connection with a DUI offense, do not take your legal situation lightly. You need an experienced Miami-Dade County defense attorney to assist you throughout the legal process you will be subjected to.
Please do not take criminal charges lightly. Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to receive your free initial consultation and have an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney review your case immediately.
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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