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Miami DUI Lawyer
Successfully Defending DUI Charges for Over 35 Years
Getting arrested for DUI in Florida has dreadful impacts, especially upon conviction. The penalties of a criminal record are severe and could have threatening effects on your future by limiting your chances of getting employment, housing, financial aid and access to higher education. While you may be tempted to represent yourself in your DUI case and have the freedom to do so, we strongly urge against that, as it proves to be a mistake for countless people. And not just a little mistake — we’re talking about a mistake that can negatively affect the rest of your life. Miami police officers have publicly embraced a crackdown on impaired drivers by implementing more patrols, increased vigilance during high-risk times such as weekends and holidays, and sobriety checkpoints throughout the city. As a result, drivers often end up on the bad side of the law when suspected of DUI.
Fortunately, Galanter Law, P.A. has got you covered. Our DUI attorney in Miami will champion your best interests and go the extra mile to help win your case. We obtain invaluable knowledge of the legal system, court proceedings, complex laws and powerhouse defense strategies relative to your case, which can help combat your DUI charges. Although it’s easy to waste time feeling overwhelmed and frightened about your accusations, it’s vital to act quickly and retain an experienced DUI lawyer in Miami instead, as time is of the essence.
Understanding Your DUI Charge
In Florida, it is not illegal to drink and drive as long as the driver is not impaired and does not have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above while operating a vehicle. Driving under the influence (DUI) charges can even happen if an impaired person “sobers up” in their parked vehicle or takes a nap to allow the alcohol to wear off. However, it is important to understand that it is not safe to drink and drive.
When an officer pulls over a suspected DUI driver, they will typically ask them to submit to a breath or blood test. What you may not know is that under Florida’s DUI laws, these tests are voluntary. Hence, the single most effective way to avoid failing these tests or exercises is to not take them. You also have the right to remain silent. Do not make any statements to the police or answer their questions, as your words may be admissible against you. Once at the police station, the officer will read your Miranda rights.
Moreover, Florida’s implied consent law requires licensed Florida drivers to submit to a breath or blood test upon the request of a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence. But if you take the test and fail (.08 or higher), the prosecutor will have quantitative proof of your blood-alcohol percentage. Thus, a good DUI defense lawyer will advise you to refuse to take a breath and blood test, requiring the prosecution to prove that you were driving under the influence through other evidence, which is much more difficult.
Every Florida DUI charge involves two cases: Administrative and criminal. Upon refusing to take a breath and/or blood test, your license will be suspended administratively by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. However, you have the right to contest the suspension at a formal review hearing, which must be requested within 10 days of your arrest or else you will miss your opportunity. As such, our Miami DUI attorney will relentlessly advocate for you at all stages of the processes within your formal review hearing and criminal court.
Florida DUI Penalties
In Florida, a DUI conviction carries serious, life-altering penalties that often haunt people for their entire lives.
These consequences include:
- A criminal conviction that will stay on your record for 75 years
- Potential jail time
- Large fines
- Community service
- Vehicle impoundment
- Ignition interlock device installation
- Driver’s license suspension/revocation
- Mandatory DUI school
- Increased insurance rates
- Stigmatization in your community
- The potential loss of your job and future employment prospects
What many people don’t consider is that the costs of a DUI conviction in Florida extend beyond the loss of their driving privileges and meaningful opportunities. Some DUI defendants don’t want to pay for a DUI attorney, naively thinking that they are saving money by representing themselves in court. However, looking at the sheer magnitude of Florida’s DUI penalties and the fact that hiring a DUI attorney maximizes your chances of lowering or dropping your charges, you can’t afford to not hire a DUI lawyer to represent you.
To illustrate this point, here’s a breakdown of some of the costs associated with a DUI conviction in Florida (assuming the defendant was sentenced to six months in county jail):
- Statutorily mandated fine: $500 to $1,000
- Towing and impound fees: $100
- License reinstatement fees: $150
- Level 1, 12-hour DUI school: $250
- Auto insurance premium increase: $3300-$6000
- Substance abuse/psychosocial evaluation and treatment fees: $300 to $500
- Court costs: $500 to $1,000
- Probation supervision fees: $250 to $500
- Blood/breath testing fee: $36
- Option to convert 50 community service hours to hourly fine ($10/hr.): $0 to $500
- State restitution fund contribution: $100
- Alcohol abuse education fund contribution: $50
- Cost of not working during the 6-month incarceration period: $20,172 (assuming defendant’s annual salary is $40,344, which was the average annual salary for an individual in Florida in 2012)
These numbers total to $25,708 to $30,358.
If you’re still not convinced that you need to hire a DUI attorney, consider this point: Even attorneys charged with DUI will typically hire a DUI attorney to represent them in court. With that being said, it is critical to your freedom and future to retain our Miami DUI lawyer who, over the past 35+ years, has established a proven track record for successful outcomes in DUI cases.
How We Can Defend Your DUI Charges
For background, the prosecution must prove the following three elements to convict a person of DUI in Florida:
- The person was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle
- The person was driving while their normal faculties were impaired
- The person was driving with an unlawful breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or greater
The first line of defense in a Miami DUI case is to show that the police officer violated your rights by making an illegal stop, while another strong defense is for you to refuse to submit to blood, breath and field sobriety tests altogether. If the police officer did not allow you to refuse the field sobriety tests, then the evidence from such tests will be suppressed. Many times, police officers are not qualified to administer field sobriety tests in the first place, so the subsequent test results can be meaningless.
One course of action that our Miami DUI attorney will do leading up to your trial is submitting pretrial motions to the judge and ask for some key evidence against you to be thrown out in an attempt to dismiss your DUI charges. If the judge decides not to throw out key evidence, there is still a strong chance that the prosecution will reduce the charges to less severe charges. If the case still goes to court, you have a better chance of being found not guilty with our Miami DUI lawyer on your side.
When you choose to work with Galanter Law, P.A., you will enjoy these advantages:
- Solid Track Record in The Courts
- Excellent Communications Skills
- Solid Reputation
- Reasonable Fees
- Extensive Understanding of the Legal System
- We Can Help You Get Your Driving License Back
Many DUI charges lead to severe penalties, but our goal is to minimize the impacts of your DUI case by working to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. By formulating a compelling and strategic defense on your behalf, our Miami DUI attorney can maximize your chances of avoiding consequences such as jail time, fines and driver’s license suspension. After all, we’ve achieved these favorable results for the past 35+ years.