Do you know what to do if you get charged with a DUI in Miami? So you got pulled over and the officer starts asking questions. How do you respond? Should you submit to a physical or chemical test? If you get arrested, who do you call? What is going to happen? Know the law and how you can fight your Miami DUI charge.
What Does Florida Law Say on Drunk Driving?
Under Florida laws, driving under the influence is a crime. You are considered “under the influence” if your normal faculties are impaired due to the presence of alcohol or drugs while you are in actual physical control of a vehicle. If you take a chemical test and your blood or breath alcohol level result is higher than 0.08 BAC, you will be charged with a DUI in Miami.
DUI convictions in Miami have severe administrative and criminal consequences. Even a first offense can result in a fine between $500 and $1,000, or up to 6 months in prison. Offenders will also be required to complete a substance abuse course and do community service. In most cases, the vehicle is impounded and the driver’s license is suspended or revoked.
The amount of punishment depends on whether you were involved in an accident that caused property damage or physical harm, how much alcohol was in your system during the arrest, whether you were driving with a minor in the vehicle, and how many DUI convictions you have had in the past.
What to Do When You Get Pulled Over
Officers from the Miami Police Department or the Florida Highway Patrol who pull you over will ask you to take a chemical test measuring the alcohol in your breath. If you blow into a breathalyzer, the device will generate a blood alcohol content (BAC) printout. If your BAC is over .08 then you will create the legal presumption of impairment and your license will automatically be suspended. If your BAC is under .08 you can still be arrested and prosecuted under the “impairment” presumption.
Taking a breathalyzer test is the single most important decision you have to make at the moment, without the opportunity to call a lawyer. You cannot be forced to take the test but if you refuse, it creates a presumption of guilt.
The arresting officer will read out to you the Implied Consent law. Florida is an “informed consent” state and by driving, you are assumed to have consented to such testing. A refusal can be considered a misdemeanor and is admissible into evidence in criminal proceedings. Your first refusal could result in a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license.
Once arrested, you will remain in custody until you pass the following conditions:
- You are no longer under the influence or your normal faculties are no longer impaired.
- Your blood or breath alcohol is less than 0.05%.
- You have been in custody for at least 8 hours.
Hire a DUI Lawyer to Deal with a Case Involving DUI in Miami
With a DUI conviction, you won’t be able to drive for months and you’ll have a permanent record. That can severely impact your family, career, and social life. There are at least two ways to fight your DUI case: dispute the arresting officer’s testimony and challenge the legitimacy of a breath or a blood test.
Fortunately, a highly skilled lawyer on DUI in Miami can help defend you against those charges and avoid penalties. Chad Piotrowski is an experienced, highly professional, and tenacious lawyer who will fight for you. Do not hesitate to contact him today.