Experienced and Respected Criminal Defense
Main Office:
6099 Stirling Road
Suite 217
Davie, FL 33314
954-791-3939
Broward Office:
1327 SE 2nd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale
Florida 33316
954-760-9911
Miami Dade Office:
By Appointment Only

Miami, FL
305-567-1211

DUI

One of the most common criminal charges filed in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and Miami Dade County is Driving Under the Influence, or “DUI.” South Florida is saturated with establishments that serve alcoholic beverages at various hours of the day and night, and consequently, there is more opportunity for people to drive motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Police officers are mindful of this, and as a result, they are aggressive in spotting instances of Florida drivers driving while intoxicated, especially in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and Miami Dade County.

The penalty for DUI in Florida is a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500 for the first conviction, and/or imprisonment from 0-6 months for the first conviction. To prove the criminal offense of Driving Under the Influence, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle, and that while driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, the criminal suspect was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired, or had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. “Vehicle” is any device, in, upon or by which any person or property is, or may be, transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. “Normal faculties” include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives. “Actual physical control of a vehicle” means the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he or she is actually operating the vehicle at the time. “Alcoholic beverages” are considered to be substances of any kind and description which contain alcohol. If the jury finds from the evidence that the criminal suspect had a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.05 or less, the jury shall presume that the criminal suspect was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. If the jury finds from the evidence that the criminal suspect had a blood or breath alcohol level in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08, the jury may consider that evidence with other competent evidence in determining whether the criminal suspect was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. If the jury finds from the evidence that the criminal suspect had a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or more, that evidence would be sufficient by itself to establish that the criminal suspect was under the influence of alcohol to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. However, such evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence demonstrating that the criminal suspect was not under the influence to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. These presumptions may be considered along with any other evidence presented in deciding whether the criminal suspect was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. It is a defense to the charge of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence if at the time of the alleged offense the vehicle was inoperable. However, it is not a defense if, while impaired, the criminal suspect drove or was in actual physical control of the vehicle before it became inoperable. Therefore, if the jury is not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the vehicle was operable at the time of the alleged offense, the jury should find the criminal suspect not guilty. However, if the jury is convinced that the vehicle was operable at the time of the alleged offense, then the jury should find the criminal suspect guilty if all the other elements of the charge have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Hiring a criminal defense attorney can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a lesser sentence than the maximum statutorily-authorized sentence. If you have been charged with DUI, call a criminal defense attorney to discuss how to proceed. Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett has been practicing in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County since 1991. Hassett and Associates, P.A. has vast experience in representing Florida drivers who have been charged with the criminal offense of DUI. You can call 24 hours per day seven days per week for an immediate free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney to discuss your case.

Disclaimer

The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Florida Statues obtained from Online Sunshine, www.leg.state.fl.us, the official site of the Florida Legislature. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.

If you have been charged as an Accessory After the Fact or a Principal in the First Degree to a criminal offense in Broward or Miami-Dade County, call Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett.