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Jonathan Blecher, P.A.
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Jonathan Blecher, P.A.
Jonathan Blecher

9150 South Dadeland Boulevard
Suite 1010
Miami FL 33156
877-DRUNK07 or 877-378-6507

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Alt. Phone: (305) 670-1800





Jonathan Blecher, P.A.

CALL 877-378-6507


Jonathan Blecher, Miami DUI Lawyer

Florida has some of the toughest DUI Laws in the United States.

If you have been charged with Florida DUI or any state or federal criminal offense in Florida, the decision about who you hire to represent you is critical.

You will be putting your freedom and your future into the hands of a lawyer whom you may not know anything about. The law firm you choose for your case is probably the most important decision in your life right now.

If you are looking for an experienced and professional Miami DUI Lawyer, Florida DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer consider Jonathan Blecher, Criminal Defense Attorney.

Jonathan Blecher is a Miami DUI Lawyer, Florida DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer based in Miami, Florida. He has defended over 2,500 DUI and suspended license cases since 1982. He knows Florida DUI laws from serving as an Assistant State Attorney, his service on the Florida Bar committee which writes DUI and traffic court rules, and over 25 years of Criminal Law experience.

Please Call: 3053213237

Jonathan Blecher, Miami DUI Lawyer

Qualifications

  • Defended over 2,500 DUI and Suspended License cases
  • Defended thousands of criminal cases
  • Former Miami-Dade County Assistant State Attorney, Prosecuted DUI to Murder Cases, 1981-1984
  • Former Senior Trial Attorney, DUI Defense, Essen & Essen, P.A.
  • Former Member, Florida Bar DUI and Traffic Court Rules Committee
  • Lecturer at Metro-Dade Police Academy, Courtroom Procedure for Police
  • Federal Trial Bar
    • Southern District of Florida
    • Middle District of Florida
    • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1982

Experience

  • Admitted to practice before:
    • the United States Supreme Court
    • the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
    • the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Associate Justice, University of Florida Traffic Court

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, University of Florida, 1978
  • Juris Doctor, University of Florida, 1981

Memberships & Contributions

  • Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Miami
  • Member, Business Network International
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, Florida Bar, Criminal Law Section
  • Member, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Member, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Judge, University of Miami Law School Moot Court and Mock Trial Competitions
  • Member, Florida Blue Key, University of Florida
  • Member, Omicron Delta Kappa, University of Florida
  • Life Member, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity
  • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, 1973
  • National Eagle Scout Association
  • Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America

CALL 877-378-6507

Qualifications

CALL 877-378-6507

Jonathan Blecher, Miami DUI Lawyer

 

  • Defended over 2,500 DUI and Suspended License cases
  • Defended thousands of criminal cases
  • Former Miami-Dade County Assistant State Attorney, Prosecuted DUI to Murder Cases, 1981-1984
  • Former Senior Trial Attorney, DUI Defense, Essen & Essen, P.A.
  • Former Member, Florida Bar DUI and Traffic Court Rules Committee
  • Lecturer at Metro-Dade Police Academy, Courtroom Procedure for Police
  • Federal Trial Bar
    • Southern District of Florida
    • Middle District of Florida
    • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1982

Experience

  • Admitted to practice before:
    • the United States Supreme Court
    • the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
    • the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Associate Justice, University of Florida Traffic Court

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, University of Florida, 1978
  • Juris Doctor, University of Florida, 1981

Memberships & Contributions

  • Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Miami
  • Member, Business Network International
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, Florida Bar, Criminal Law Section
  • Member, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Member, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Judge, University of Miami Law School Moot Court and Mock Trial Competitions
  • Member, Florida Blue Key, University of Florida
  • Member, Omicron Delta Kappa, University of Florida
  • Life Member, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity
  • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, 1973
  • National Eagle Scout Association
  • Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America

Florida DUI Laws

What are Florida DUI Laws 

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This summary was prepared by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and should be used as a reference only. Interested parties should refer to the full text of the Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws before drawing legal conclusions.

Contents

  1. Driving Under the Influence
  2. Fine Schedule
  3. Community Service
  4. Probation
  5. Imprisonment
  6. Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle
  7. Conditions of Release of Persons Arrested for DUI
  8. DUI Misdemeanor Conviction
  9. DUI Felony Conviction
  10. Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide
  11. Driver License Revocation Periods for DUI
  12. Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV)
  13. Alcohol-Related Convictions
  14. Business Purposes Only/Employment Purposes Only Reinstatements
  15. DUI School Requirements
  16. Chemical or Physical Test Provisions
  17. Adjudication and Sentencing
  18. Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
  19. Administrative Suspension of Persons Under the Age of 21
  20. Administrative Suspension Law
  21. Administrative Disqualification Law
  22. Review Hearings for Administrative Suspension and Disqualification



 

DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S.

Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.

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Fine Schedule s. 316.193(2)(a)-(b), F.S.

  • First Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1000. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1000, or more than $2,000.
  • Second Conviction: Not less than $1000, or more than $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
  • Third Conviction Within 10 years: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000. 
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not less than $4,000. A felony.

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Community Service - s. 316.193 (6)(a), F.S.

First Conviction: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.

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Probation - s. 316.193 (5)(6), F.S.

 First conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.

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Imprisonment- s. 316.193 (2)(a) 2, 4(b), (6)(j), F.S.

At court's discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment.

  • First Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
  • Second Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
  • Third Conviction: If third conviction within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If third conviction more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statutues, as habitual/violent offender.

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Impoundment of Immobilization of Vehicle - s. 316.193 (6), F.S.

Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation: First conviction = 10 days; second conviction within 5 years = 30 days; third conviction within 10 years = 90 days. Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration. The court may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicles that are owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.

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Conditions for Release of Persons Arrested for DUI-s. 316.193 (9), F.S.

  • The person is no longer under the influence and;
  • The person's normal faculties are no longer impaired
  • The person's blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or
  • Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.

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DUI Misdemeanor Conviction: (Accident Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury)-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

Any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence is guilty of a First Degree Misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or 1-year imprisonment).

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DUI Felony Conviction: (Repeat Offenders or Accidents Involving Serious Bodily Injury)-s. 316.193 (2),(3) F.S.

  • Any person convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or a fourth or subsequent DUI commits a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment).
  • Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment) or if habitual/violent felony offender as provided in s. 775.084, F.S.

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Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

  • DUI/Manslaughter: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of DUI Manslaughter who knew/should have known accident occurred; and failed to give information or render aid is guilty of a First Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular Homicide: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of vehicular homicide who left the scene of an accident is guilty of a First Degree Felony (nor more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).

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Driver License Revocation Periods for DUI-s. 322.271, F.S. and s. 322.28,F.S.

 A. First Conviction: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

 B. Second Conviction Within 5 Years: Minimum 5 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year. Other 2nd offenders same as "A" above.

 C. Third Conviction Within 10 Years: Minimum 10 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 2 years. Other 3rd offenders same as "A" above; one conviction more than 10 years prior and one within 5 years, same as "B" above.

 D. Fourth Conviction, Regardless of When Prior Convictions Occurred) and Murder with Motor Vehicle: Mandatory permanent revocation. No hardship reinstatement.

 E. DUI Manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation. If no prior DUI related convictions, may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years.

 F. Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions: Minimum 3-year revocation. DUI Serious Bodily Injury having prior DUI conviction is same as "B-D" above.

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Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) – Alcohol-Related Convictions/Disqualifications-s. 322.61, F.S.

  • Persons convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .04 or above or refusing to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration while driving a commercial motor vehicle, driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, or driving a commercial motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year. This is in addition to any provisions of s. 316.193 for DUI convictions.
  • Second or subsequent conviction of any of the above offenses arising out of separate incidents will result in a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
  • There are no provisions for persons disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a hardship (business or employment) license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

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Business Purposes Only/Employment Purposes Only Reinstatements-s. 322.271, F.S. and s. 322.28, F.S.

  • First Conviction: Must complete DUI school, apply to department for hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for up to six months for BAL of .20 or higher, or for two years if BAL is greater than .20.
  • Second Convictions (or more): No hardship license except as provided below. Mandatory ignition interlock device for one year, effective 07/03.
  • Second Conviction Within 5 Years: (5-Year Revocation) May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after one year. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in cancellation of the hardship license). Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for one year or for two years if BAL is greater than .20.
  • Third Conviction Within 10 Years: (10-Year Revocation) May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after two years. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in the cancellation of the hardship license). Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for two years.
  • DUI Manslaughter With No Prior DUI Related Conviction: (Permanent Revocation): May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years have expired from date of revocation or expired from date of term of incarceration provided the following requirements have been met:
    • 1. Has not been arrested for a drug-related offense for at least 5 years prior to the hearing;
    • 2. Has not driven a motor vehicle without a license for at least 5 years prior to the hearing;
    • 3. Has been alcohol and drug-free for at least 5 years prior to the hearing; and
    • 4. Must complete a DUI school and must be supervised under the DUI program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in cancellation of the hardship license).
    • 5. Ignition interlock device required for two years.
  • Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions: (3 Year Revocation): May immediately apply for hardship reinstatement hearing. Must complete DUI school or advanced driver improvement course.

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DUI School Requirements - s. 316.193 F.S., s. 322.271, F.S., s. 322.291, F.S.

  • First Conviction: Must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement. Customers who wait out revocation period before reinstatement need only show proof of enrollment or completion to become re-licensed. If customer enrolls and is reinstated after revocation period expires, failure to complete the DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation; the driver cannot then be re-licensed until DUI school is completed.
  • Second Conviction in 5 Years (5-Year Revocation) or Third Conviction in 10 Years (10-Year Revocation): Customer must complete DUI school following conviction. See requirements in 13C and 13D respectively.
  • DUI Manslaughter With No Prior DUI Related Conviction: (Permanent Revocation): Must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement.
  • Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide: (Minimum 3 year Revocation): See 13F
  • Customers Who Wait Until Revocation Period Expires: Must enroll in DUI school and pass the driver license examinations to be re-licensed. Failure to complete the school within 90 days after such reinstatement will result in cancellation of the license until the school is completed.
  • Reckless Driving: If the court has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical or controlled substances contributed to a violation of reckless driving, the person convicted of reckless driving must complete DUI school if ordered by the court.
  • Treatment: Treatment resulting from a psychosocial evaluation may not be waived without a supporting psychosocial evaluation by a court appointed agency with access to the original evaluation.

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Chemical or Physical Test Provisions (Implied Consent Law)-s. 316.1932, F.S., s. 316.1933, F.S., s. 316.1934, F.S, s. 316.1939, F.S

  • Refusal: Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is admissible as evidence in DUI criminal proceedings. Second or subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Driver License Suspension Periods: First refusal, suspended for 1 year. Second or subsequent refusals, suspended for 18 months.
  • Commercial Driver License Disqualification Periods: First refusal in a commercial motor vehicle, disqualified for 1 year. Second or subsequent refusals in a commercial motor vehicle, disqualified permanently. No hardship reinstatement permitted.
  • Forceful Withdrawal of Blood: If necessary, blood may be withdrawn in DUI cases involving serious bodily injury or death by authorized medical personnel with the use of reasonable force by the arresting officer, even if the driver refuses.
  • Unconscious: Any person who is incapable of refusal by reason of unconsciousness or other mental or physical condition shall be deemed not to have withdrawn his consent to such test. A blood test may be administered whether or not such person is told that his failure to submit to such a blood test will result in the suspension of his privilege to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Portable Alcohol Breath Testing Devices: Authorized by s.322.2616, F.S., for persons under the age of 21. Reading is admissible as evidence in any administrative hearing conducted under s. 322.2616, F.S.

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Adjudication and Sentencing - s. 316.656, F.S., s. 322.2615 F.S.

Penalty to be Imposed by Court: Judges are prohibited from deviating from the administrative suspension/revocation periods mandated by statute. The courts are prohibited from withholding adjudication in DUI cases; or from reducing a DUI charge if the defendant's blood alcohol was .20 or greater.

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Driving While License Suspended or Revoked- s. 322.34, F.S.

Any person whose driver license/privilege is suspended for Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Level, or revoked for DUI, DUI Manslaughter or Vehicular Homicide, or for any other offense ordered by the court and who causes death or serious bodily injury to another person by operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner is guilty of a 3rd degree felony, punishable by both imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both.

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Administrative Suspension of Persons Under the Age of 21 for Driving With an Alcohol Level .02 or Above

Section 322.2616, Florida Statutes, authorizes law enforcement officers having probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is being driven by or is in the actual physical control of a person who is under the age of 21 while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or who has any alcohol level may lawfully detain this person and may request them to submit to a test to determine the alcohol level. This violation is neither a traffic infraction nor a criminal offense, nor does being detained under this statute constitute an arrest.

  • First Suspension for Persons Under the Age of 21 With An Alcohol Level .02 or above: 6 months.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions 1 year.
  • First Suspension for Refusal to Submit to Breath Test: 1 year.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Refusal: 18 months.
  • The suspension is effective immediately. If the breath or blood alcohol level is .05 or higher the suspension shall remain in effect until completion of a substance abuse evaluation and course. The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit effective 12 hours after issuance which is valid for 10 days, provided the driver is otherwise eligible.

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Administrative Suspension Law - s. 322.2615, F.S., s. 316.193, F.S., s. 316.1932, F.S.

  • First Suspension for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.08 or above): 6 months.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.08 or above): 1 year.
  • First Suspension for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine or Blood Test: 1 year.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Refusal: 18 months.
  • The suspension is effective immediately The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit valid for 10 days from the date of arrest, provided the driver is otherwise eligible.

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Administrative Disqualification Law

  • First Disqualification for Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle With an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level (.04 or above): 6 months disqualification
  • Second or Subsequent Disqualification of Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle With an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.04 or above): 1-year disqualification.
  • First Disqualification for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine or Blood Test Arising from the Operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle: 1-year disqualification.
  • Second or Subsequent Disqualification for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine, or Blood Test Arising from the Operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle: permanently disqualified.
  • The disqualification is effective immediately upon refusal of the breath, urine or blood test or determination that the driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or above, while operating or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle. The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit which is valid for 10 days from the date of arrest or disqualification, provided the driver is otherwise eligible. However, the permit does not authorize the operation of a commercial motor vehicle for the first 24 hours of disqualification.

Review Hearings For Administrative Suspensions And Disqualifications

Sections s. 322.2615 and s. 322.64, F.S., authorize the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles upon the request of the driver to conduct formal and informal reviews for the purpose of sustaining, amending or invalidating administrative suspensions and disqualifications. The decisions of the department shall not be considered in any trial for a violation of s. 316.193, F.S., nor shall any written statement submitted by a person in his request for review be admissible into evidence against him in any such trial. The disposition of any related criminal proceedings shall not affect a suspension/disqualification.

Business or Employment Reinstatement:

  • 1.Suspension for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level of .08 or above or Refusal: Must show proof of enrollment in DUI school and apply for an administrative hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. For unlawful alcohol level must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. For first refusal must serve 90 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. No hardship reinstatement for two or more refusals.
  • 2. Suspension - Persons Under Age of 21 Driving With a Breath Alcohol Level of .02 or above: Must complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course before hardship reinstatement. .05 or higher, must complete DUI program prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. Must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement.

Hardship License Prohibited:

  • 1. Florida law prohibits any hardship reinstatement upon 2nd or subsequent suspension for test refusal or if driver has been convicted of (DUI) section 316.193, F.S., two or more times.
  • 2. Persons disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle cannot obtain a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle


Call Miami DUI Lawyer Jonathan Blecher at 305.670.1800 and set up a free consultation to discuss your case. We have over 25 years of experience in handling DUI cases and will put our experience to work for you.

Facts about Florida DUI

Important Facts about Florida DUI Defense

Have you been arrested for DUI?

  • If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida you only have ten days to appeal the administrative suspension of your driver's license
  • A Florida DUI conviction will result in a permanent criminal record
  • A Florida DUI conviction will result in costly fines, lengthy probation, substance abuse classes and a driver's license revocation
  • A Florida DUI conviction may result in higher automobile insurance premiums
  • You need to consult with an experienced Florida DUI lawyer about your legal rights and options

Florida Third DUI Offense is a Felony

Recent changes to Florida's DUI laws have increased the penalties for multiple DUI convictions. In Florida, a third DUI offense within ten years of any prior DUI is a third degree felony. Prior to July of 2002 a third DUI within 10 years was a misdemeanor offense. Some jurisdictions will prosecute these cases as misdemeanors.

Ignition Interlock Devices

An Ignition Interlock Device is a device placed inside a vehicle which requires the driver to breathe into a measuring device before the car will start. If any alcohol is detected on the driver's breath the vehicle will not start.

Any person convicted of a first offense DUI with a BAC over .15, and a second or third DUI offender that intends to obtain a permanent or restricted driver license, will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle at their own expense. The number of DUI convictions determines how long the interlock device must remain in the car. Previous to the new law, Ignition Interlock Devices were only installed in vehicles pursuant to court order. Drivers will now be required to submit proof of the interlock installation to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles before they will be issued a license.

Breath Refusal Law Changes

A second refusal to submit to a breath and/or urine test can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail. The license suspension will remain at 18 months.

How A DUI Conviction May Affect Insurance

If you have ever had a DUI conviction, you must certainly know that the consequences can be both humiliating and expensive. Aside from the fines, attorney fees, and license suspension, there are the more long-term consequences, such as the impact on your car insurance rates and coverage.

If you are convicted of DUI, more often than not, your insurance company will find out and will deal with you in one of two ways. Typically, your rates will go up, sometimes substantially, or the company will simply cancel your policy. If your insurance company raises your premiums but keeps you as an insured, you will likely be labeled a "high-risk driver." Most states require the insurance company to provide DHSMV with an SR-22 Proof of Insurance Certificate, which removes your license suspension by providing the state with proof that you are insured.

The catch is that not all insurance companies offer SR-22 policies. So your policy may be non-renewed or cancelled simply because the company can no longer provide insurance for you. In some states, insurers can't cut you off in the middle of the policy term, so be sure to check on the laws where you live.

Another less-likely scenario is that your insurance company doesn't find out about your DUI because, for whatever reason, it slips through the cracks. Occasionally, your insurer will not raise your rates or cancel you if you've been a long time insured with no other blemishes on your record. But this is also pretty unlikely.

 

Call Miami DUI Lawyer Jonathan Blecher at 305.670.1800 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over 25 years of experience in handling DUI cases and will put our experience to work for you.

CALL 877-378-6507

Winning DUI Cases

Roadside Sobriety ExercisesIn addition to breath test results, prosecutors will attempt to prove a DUI arrestee’s normal faculties were impaired by showing performance on the roadside sobriety exercises.

Don't be fooled. No matter how agile, the odds of you someone passing these exercises is bad. These tests are designed for failure. People who have had nothing to drink fail these tests.

Each will not only test your physical ability but also your mental abilities. Imagine yourself walking the plank while at the same time being required to remember the names of the 13 Original Colonies and you will have some understanding of what it is like to undergo the Standard Field Sobriety Exercises.

For example, during the “Walk-and-Turn” exercise the driver is instructed to stand in a ready stance with heel touching his toe and hands at sides. He must remain in this position during the instructions. Then, he is then instructed to walk nine steps touching heel to toe on each and counting aloud each step. At the end of nine steps the driver is instructed to make a turn consisting of four small steps, then proceed to take nine steps back to the start, again touching heel to toe with his hands at his sides.

This isn’t easy. There are over eight ways to show a sign of impairment on each step. And with eighteen steps and one turn that number of chances to fail is 145. You only get one chance to get something wrong. Two "cues" will constitute a failure of that test. So, if you raise your hands from your sides over six (6) inches on the first step that is one mistake.

If you raise your hands one more time, or even if you fail to put them down on your second step, that's two cues and you fail.

Think back to grade school. If you scored 143 out of 145 that would be a 98% and you would probably get the highest grade in that class. A 98% on the walk-and-turn test is an F.

This scenario is very similar on all other Roadside Sobriety Exercises. Each has a variety of instructions and actions. Each one is designed to make you fail and provide further evidence for the police to use against you.

If you have been asked to exit your vehicle the officer believes he has enough evidence already to arrest you for DUI. Therefore, taking these exercises and even passing them will not ensure that you will be going home. It is to your advantage to refuse these exercises. They are not mandatory and your license will not be suspended for a refusal. Ask the officer if they are voluntary, which they are. When he says “Yes.”, which he will 95% of the time, your refusal cannot be used against you.

BREATH ALCOHOL AT TIME OF DRIVING: RETROGRADE EXTRAPOLATION

The state must prove your blood alcohol content at the time you were driving. Your breath reading an hour or two later is not what proves you guilty of DUI. Your breath test results at the time you were driving are what are important. Your breath test results at the time you were driving had a lot to do with how much you weigh, your metabolism, what you ate, how much you ate, when you ate, what you drank, how much you drank, when you started and when you stopped drinking.

In order for the state to prove that you were over the .08 legal limit at the time you were driving, they will have to “extrapolate”, or estimate, what your breath alcohol reading was at the time you were first stopped


NON COMPLIANCE WITH FDLE RULES

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement enacts rules that law enforcement must follow before and after administering any breath, blood or urine test. If police fail to follow any of these very specific rules an experienced Miami DUI Lawyer can file a motion to suppress the breath reading based on non-compliance with FDLE rules.


THE CONFUSION DOCTRINE

If an officer mixes up the order in which he reads Miranda rights and Implied Consent Warnings, you may win a Motion to Suppress the evidence of a breath test, or a refusal to submit to a breath test.


MIRANDA RIGHTS

What are Miranda Rights? The United States and Florida Constitutions proscribe that a person has the absolute constitutional right to remain silent and not incriminate himself or provide evidence against him. That is, a person does not have to say or do anything that may implicate him in a crime.

A police officer must read you these Miranda Rights in every DUI where the police intend to question you.. If a person chooses to exercise this constitutional right to remain silent, their silence cannot be used against them. This is called exercising your “Miranda Rights”.


IMPLIED CONSENT WARNINGS

Implied Consent warnings are generally read to a person before administering any breath, blood or urine test. Implied Consent warnings advise an arrested person that if she or he fails to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, they will lose their license for a year for a first refusal and any refusal can be used against them in court. Sometimes in a DUI a police officer may read a person their “Miranda Rights,” before “Implied Consent.” If this happens, an attorney can file a motion to suppress for violating the confusion doctrine.

Further, in many cases the officers do not have sufficient probable cause to request blood or urine tests. Yet, they often request them. Any refusal to submit to those tests may be inadmissible in court.


VIOLATION OF THE TWENTY MINUTE OBSERVATION PERIOD

FDLE rules require that an officer observe you for twenty minutes prior to administering a breath test. The reason behind this rule is to make reasonably certain that the arrestee does not regurgitate, throw up, burp, or have anything in his mouth or throat prior to administering the breath test.

Anything in a person’s mouth immediately prior to a breath test can cause a false reading. For example if a person takes a swig of vodka, does not swallow and just spits it out. The breathalyzer may give a false high reading for up to 20 minutes. This is called mouth alcohol. Although the machine has a mouth alcohol detector, often the machine will give a false breath reading.

If the officer failed to observe you for those 20 minutes prior to the testing your breath test results can be suppressed. For example, many officers like to count the time they took to transport you to the station as part of the 20 minutes.


ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL

The state must prove you were in actual physical control. You do not have to be driving the car to be charged with DUI. Being asleep in a parked vehicle can be a basis for a DUI prosecution. We can challenge this type of case and have done so with great success.

Did you have an accident? If you were not inside your vehicle when the police arrived it may be impossible for the state to prove you were driving. Many times the state cannot secure the attendance of these witnesses and very often those that do appear cannot identify the Defendant in court.


MOTION TO EXCLUDE HGN (eye test)

One of the road tests the officer administered to you before you were arrested was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (H.G.N.). Florida Law requires that “There must be a confirmatory blood, breath, or urine test before H.G.N. evidence is admissible.” Cropper v. State, 11th Judicial Circuit, Case # 98-436 AC, Lower Case # 431701 X, Opinion filed February 29, 2000, citing Bowen v. State, 24 Fla. L. Weekly D2709 (3d DCA1999); Faries v. State, 711 So. 2d 597 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998).

What that means is if you didn’t blow, the HGN test the officer gave you at the side of the road may be inadmissible in court.


MOTION TO SUPPRESS BLOOD TEST RESULTS

blood testFlorida law and the Constitution of the United States prohibit the police from taking your blood for a DUI investigation unless there has been a death or serious bodily injury and reasonable cause to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.

Florida Statute Section 316.1933 reads:

“...if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle driven by or in the actual physical control of a person under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substances has caused the death or serious bodily injury of a human being, such person shall submit, upon request of a law enforcement officer, to a test of the person’s blood...”

If the State cannot show that there was probable cause that there was a death or serious bodily injury the blood draw is inadmissible.


ILLEGAL STOP OF YOUR VEHICLE

Before an officer can stop an individual he must have "founded" or reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. Fla. Stat. 901.151(2). A "mere" or bare suspicion will not suffice. State v. Beja , 451 So.2d 882 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984). In order to stop an automobile and to request ID from its occupants, it is required that the officer have a founded or reasonable suspicion which requires further investigation. Lewis v. State , 337 So.2d 1031 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1976).

Any evidence obtained by virtue of an illegal seizure in violation of Florida Statute 901.151(2) and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment's of the Constitution of the United States is suppressible.


DUI Cases Can Be Won

An Experienced DUI Lawyer will be as creative as possible to help you win your DUI case. Here are some examples of how our creativity can work for you.

 

Case History #1

Facts:

Client was asleep in her car in a parking lot. The keys were in the ignition, the car was running and in park. Police officers woke her up, smelled alcohol on her breath, observed her mumble when she spoke and had difficulty with her balance. When the officers asked her to submit to roadside sobriety tests, she refused and was arrested. She refused the breath test.

Creativity:

In order to prove DUI, Florida law requires the state to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that someone was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired. “Actual physical control” is defined as being in or on a vehicle AND having the present capability to operate the vehicle. Because she was asleep in the car, there was no way she could have had the capability to operate the vehicle.

Result:

NO DUI CONVICTION

 

Case History #2

Facts:

Client and friend parked on grassy area off Old Cutler Road in South Miami-Dade. A police officer drove up alongside their car and alleged in his reports that he smelled the sweet odor of marijuana from their car, though he didn’t observe any marijuana. Client tells us he was smoking a clove cigarette. The officer also alleges that the car was parked on the bike path which my client denied.

Creativity:

We confronted the officer in court with several packages of clove cigarettes. He admitted that the smell was consistent with the sweet aroma of marijuana and that might have been what he smelled. We also presented photos of the car in the same spot as well as live testimony from witnesses who observed the car not on the bike path the night of the arrest.

Result:

NO DUI CONVICTION

 

Case History #3

Facts:

Client is a young man, 21 years old, 5’10”, and a very slim 130 pounds. He was arrested on the Rickenbacker Causeway near Key Biscayne. The police officer had the client perform Roadside Sobriety Exercises on the causeway. Client advised us that the wind was gusting, perhaps 20-30 miles an hour and his performance on the exercises was poor as a result.

Creativity:

We obtained Wind Gust Recording Charts from the United States National Climatic Data Center, in Asheville, N.C. which established the gusting wind conditions at that specific location. We established that the test conditions that night were unfair, tainted and the results of the tests could not be used as evidence.

Result:

NO DUI CONVICTION

 

Call Miami DUI Attorney Jonathan Blecher at 305.670.1800 and set up a free consultation to discuss your case. We have over 25 years of experience in handling DUI cases and will put our experience to work for you.

CALL 877-378-6507

Important Facts

Important Facts about Florida DUI Defense

Have you been arrested for DUI?

  • If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida you only have ten days to appeal the administrative suspension of your driver's license
  • A Florida DUI conviction will result in a permanent criminal record
  • A Florida DUI conviction will result in costly fines, lengthy probation, substance abuse classes and a driver's license revocation
  • A Florida DUI conviction may result in higher automobile insurance premiums
  • You need to consult with an experienced Florida DUI lawyer about your legal rights and options

Florida Third DUI Offense is a Felony

Recent changes to Florida's DUI laws have increased the penalties for multiple DUI convictions. In Florida, a third DUI offense within ten years of any prior DUI is a third degree felony. Prior to July of 2002 a third DUI within 10 years was a misdemeanor offense. Some jurisdictions will prosecute these cases as misdemeanors.

Ignition Interlock Devices

An Ignition Interlock Device is a device placed inside a vehicle which requires the driver to breathe into a measuring device before the car will start. If any alcohol is detected on the driver's breath the vehicle will not start.

Any person convicted of a first offense DUI with a BAC over .15, and a second or third DUI offender that intends to obtain a permanent or restricted driver license, will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle at their own expense. The number of DUI convictions determines how long the interlock device must remain in the car. Previous to the new law, Ignition Interlock Devices were only installed in vehicles pursuant to court order. Drivers will now be required to submit proof of the interlock installation to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles before they will be issued a license.

Breath Refusal Law Changes

A second refusal to submit to a breath and/or urine test can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail. The license suspension will remain at 18 months.

How A DUI Conviction May Affect Insurance

If you have ever had a DUI conviction, you must certainly know that the consequences can be both humiliating and expensive. Aside from the fines, attorney fees, and license suspension, there are the more long-term consequences, such as the impact on your car insurance rates and coverage.

If you are convicted of DUI, more often than not, your insurance company will find out and will deal with you in one of two ways. Typically, your rates will go up, sometimes substantially, or the company will simply cancel your policy. If your insurance company raises your premiums but keeps you as an insured, you will likely be labeled a "high-risk driver." Most states require the insurance company to provide DHSMV with an SR-22 Proof of Insurance Certificate, which removes your license suspension by providing the state with proof that you are insured.

car insuranceThe catch is that not all insurance companies offer SR-22 policies. So your policy may be non-renewed or cancelled simply because the company can no longer provide insurance for you. In some states, insurers can't cut you off in the middle of the policy term, so be sure to check on the laws where you live.

Another less-likely scenario is that your insurance company doesn't find out about your DUI because, for whatever reason, it slips through the cracks. Occasionally, your insurer will not raise your rates or cancel you if you've been a long time insured with no other blemishes on your record. But this is also pretty unlikely.

 

Call Miami DUI Lawyer Jonathan Blecher at 305.670.1800 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over 25 years of experience in handling DUI cases and will put our experience to work for you.

CALL 877-378-6507

What to do if you are stopped

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR DUI

Stopped for DUIIf you read newspapers or watch the nightly news you know that DUI is a well-publicized crime.

Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan and Carmelo Anthony have either been arrested, going to rehab, or going to jail because of DUI convictions.

With public pressure and intense legislation aimed at DUI, the possibility of beating a DUI charge may seem remote. If you are concerned about being pulled over and charged with a DUI, or have already been charged, a conviction does not have to be in your future.

You can take steps to prevent an arrest and to lessen the chances of losing your DUI case if you are arrested.

Get a Designated Driver

Before you even go out for a drink get a designated driver or have the phone number to a local cab company on your cell phone. Bars and restaurants will always call a cab for you.

Being proactive and using your head can save lives as well as save you money in the long run.

Have Your Driving Documents Readily Available

FL Driver LicenseIf you drink and then choose to drive, it is very important to have your driving documents (driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance) ready and accessible. One sign of intoxication commonly reported by police is that the defendant fumbled through his wallet or else had trouble finding his documentation. This can be eliminated if you just keep your documents in one place at all times, with no other clutter to confuse you or get in the way. The best place to keep these documents is in your wallet behind your license.

Do Not Incriminate Yourself

It's a natural reaction to try and talk your way out of a police stop, whether it is a traffic ticket or a potential arrest. But, one of the least helpful things to do is give the officer evidence which could be used against you. It is a good idea to always be courteous, but don't be over-eager to help the police do their job.

All that is required of any citizen is to provide a correct name if asked, and to provide all driving documentation. No other communication with the police officer is required by law. If the officer asks you if you know why you were pulled over, you need not respond. In fact, you can just say “No.” or shrug your shoulders and wait for the officer to run your driver license.

Another normal, yet unhelpful reaction is to minimize the amount that you may have had to drink while admitting that you had anything to drink, no matter how small the amount. An admission that you had been drinking, even "a couple" can and will be used against you in numerous ways. First, it can give the officer cause to ask you to do roadside sobriety exercises and/or to arrest you if any other sign of intoxication is present and observed. This admission will also be used against you in court.

The following tips also detail ways in which not to incriminate yourself. However, given their importance they deserve their own headings.

Don't Help the Police Gather Evidence Against You

In addition to breath test results, prosecutors will attempt to prove a DUI arrestee's normal faculties were impaired by showing performance on the roadside sobriety exercises.

Don't be fooled. No matter how agile, the odds of you someone passing these exercises is bad. These tests are designed for failure. People who have had nothing to drink fail these tests.

Each will test not only test your physical ability but also your mental abilities. Imagine yourself walking the plank while at the same time being required to remember the names of the 13 Original Colonies and you will have some understanding of what it is like to undergo the Standard Field Sobriety Exercises.

For example, during the "Walk-and-Turn" exercise the driver is instructed to stand in a ready stance with heel touching his toe and hands at sides. He must remain in this position during the instructions. Then, he is then instructed to walk nine steps touching heel to toe on each and counting aloud each step. At the end of nine steps the driver is instructed to make a turn consisting of four small steps, then proceed to take nine steps back to the start, again touching heel to toe with his hands at his sides.

This isn't easy. There are over eight ways to show a sign of impairment on each step. And with eighteen steps and one turn that number of chances to fail is 145. You only get one chance to get something wrong. Two "cues" will constitute a failure of that test. So, if you raise your hands from your sides over six (6) inches on the first step that is one mistake. If you raise your hands one more time, or even if you fail to put them down on your second step, that's two cues and you fail.

Think back to grade school. If you scored 143 out of 145 that would be a 98% and you would probably get the highest grade in that class. A 98% on the walk-and-turn test is an F.

This scenario is very similar on all other Roadside Sobriety Exercises. Each entails a variety of instructions and actions. Each one is intended to make you fail and provide further evidence for the police to use against you.

If you have been asked to exit your vehicle the officer believes he has enough evidence already to arrest you for DUI. Therefore, taking these exercises and even passing them will not ensure that you will be going home. It is to your advantage to refuse these exercises. They are not mandatory and your license will not be suspended for a refusal. Ask the officer if they are voluntary, which they are. When he says "Yes.", which he will 95% of the time, your refusal cannot be used against you.

DON'T TAKE THAT BREATH TEST

breath testDon't roll the dice and hope that you didn't have enough to put you over .08. If you are thinking twice about the test, you probably should not take it. Just know that a refusal will have some penalties. Every state has "Implied Consent" laws, meaning that every licensed driver agrees to undergo chemical testing if asked by a police officer. In Florida, a refusal will result in a twelve (12) month suspension of driving privileges for a first refusal and eighteen (18) months for a second refusal from a prior DUI arrest. We can fight this suspension with DHSMV. Be very aware, however, that in addition to the longer suspension period, a second refusal to submit to a breath, blood or urine test can be charged as a criminal traffic misdemeanor.

 

CALL AN EXPERIENCED DUI ATTORNEY

DUI law is a very technical and complicated set of laws and statutes. It takes an experienced DUI attorney to see all the issues in each case.

Call Miami DUI Attorney Jonathan Blecher at 305.670.1800 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over 25 years of experience in handling DUI cases and will put our experience to work for you.

CALL 877-378-6507

Our Location

Remember, the hiring of a criminal defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you may ever make.

CALL 877-378-6507

Please call our office or mobile phone so we can schedule an appointment to discuss your case.

Our first consultation is always without charge and without obligation.



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Miami, FL 33156


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