Please Note: Izquerido Law Firm remains open and available to serve you and meet your criminal defense, DUI defense and Federal Crimes attorney needs during the COVID-19 crisis. We can meet with clients, existing or new, in person, over the phone or with your preferred video-chat application. Please call our office at 305-707-7345 to discuss your options.

Get Started With Answers to Common DUI Questions

Many of those charged with a DUI have never had a run-in with the law before. They may have many questions about the charges, the process, the consequences and life after the charge. To help get started and ease some of the worry, we’ve compiled answers to many of most frequently asked questions here.

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  • Will I Look Guilty If I Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

    It is perfectly normal to think this way and this is a question that almost every client that is under investigation asks during our initial strategy session.  Learning that you are under criminal investigation or that the police want to speak with you is nerve-racking and downright scary. You may even think that it’s best to just go ahead and speak with police so that this nightmare can end.  To be honest, there may even be some truth to the fact that police or a prosecutor may think twice about you wanting to have an attorney present before you speak with them. However, you can get yourself into trouble (or even more trouble) if you go ahead and speak with them without having an attorney in your corner.
      
    I know, you’re probably wondering, ‘what if I’m innocent?’ or ‘won’t they know I’m guilty?’ Keep in mind that if they want to talk to you, they already think you’re guilty or may be involved somehow. Ask yourself this question: “Would I rather have them think I’m guilty and make sure my rights are protected or do I gamble and give them evidence they can use against me?”
     

    It’s Your Constitutional Right

    All of us have the constitutional right to not be forced to be a witness against ourselves (right against self-incrimination) and the right to counsel, meaning you can refuse to speak to police altogether or have an attorney present while speaking with police.  The police officers, detectives or agents that contact you and the prosecutor involved in the case know this and most will not hold your desire to speak with a lawyer against you.  If you end up getting arrested and become the subject of a case, they cannot use your silence against you.  And I’d be willing to bet that most police officers and prosecutors that found themselves in your shoes would opt for a lawyer before speaking.
      

    Police Interrogation Tactics

    Remember, police are trained in interrogation tactics and know how to get you to say certain things that could help their case.  They can also lie to you in order to get you to say certain things.  Basically, only they know where they’re trying to take an investigation or what their ultimate conclusion is.  This means they can get you there by getting you to say certain things without you even knowing and all while you think you’re answering in a way that will make you look 100% innocent.
      
    Every search you consent to, or every statement you give police before protecting yourself by hiring a criminal defense attorney that will protect your rights makes your case that much more difficult.  It’s more difficult to get rid of evidence the police have already obtained because you cooperated with them before hiring a criminal defense lawyer than it is to not give them additional evidence in the first place. 

    Do You Find Yourself In Need Of A Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer?

    If you've recently found yourself in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami you should contact me as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me online or to call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You can also request my free book "The Ultimate Guide To Fighting Criminal Charges In Florida", a detailed download discussing the myths, rumors and hearsay often associated with criminal charges, what to expect from your criminal court proceedings and important steps you must take to battle your charges.

  • Can I be charged with drunk boating in Florida?

    Man Drinking Alcohol While Driving a BoatWhat’s a day on the water without a beer or two? Many Miami boaters feel this way, but this thinking can get them into trouble. Just like on dry land, operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs is illegal and the consequences can be serious if you are caught. Just because you were ticketed on the water doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the charge seriously. Understand the charges you are facing and contact an experienced boating under the influence (BUI) attorney if you are arrested.

    What Is Boating Under the Influence?

    Florida’s waterways are patrolled by both local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard. They have the authority to stop your boat and board it if they suspect that you are driving while intoxicated. The statute prohibiting drunk boating is similar to the one prohibiting drunk driving. Under Florida Statute 327.35, if you are operating a vessel and:

    • are under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substance to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired
    • have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood
    • have a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath

    It’s important to note that, under the statute, you can be charged with a BUI if the police decide that your “normal faculties are impaired,” even if you don’t have a BAC of .08 or higher.

    Why Do You Need a Lawyer?

    The penalties for a drunk boating conviction are similar to those for a drunk driving conviction. You face fines and jail time if you are found guilty. If you cause a crash and someone is injured or killed, you face felony charges. An arrest for boating under the influence should be treated just like a DUI. Call attorney Danny Izquierdo to discuss your defense options as soon as possible after you are ticketed. It might be possible to get the charges reduced or dropped, or to argue for a lighter sentence given your unique circumstances. Don’t leave your fate to chance. Call the Izquierdo Law Firm today.

     

  • Can I be charged with DUI if I have a prescription for medical marijuana?

    Miami DUI Marijuana Defense Lawyer Izquierdo Law FirmThe fact that marijuana is now legal for some people in Florida might cloud the issue of driving under the influence, but it shouldn’t. The reality is that if a police officer believes your ability to safely operate a vehicle has been impaired by any substance—legal or not—you can be charged with driving under the influence. However, it can be more difficult for a prosecutor to make his case against you if you have been smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, so you should contact a DUI defense attorney when you are arrested.

    Marijuana Laws in Florida

    In March of 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation to make the use of marijuana for medical purposes legal, two years after voters approved a constitutional amendment. In January of 2020, legislation was introduced in the Florida House and Senate to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults over the age of 21, so it’s possible that marijuana will be legal for everyone in the next few years. However, even if marijuana becomes legal for recreational use, you would still be breaking the law if you drive after smoking it. While some states have set legal limits for the amount of THC you can have in your blood—similar to alcohol BAC—Florida has not. The legal standard here is that you are “under the influence or affected” by THC.

    Defending a DUI for Medical Marijuana

    If you were charged with DUI, tested positive for any amount of THC, and have a prescription for medical marijuana, an experienced DUI defense attorney might be able to defend you against the charge. If we can make the case that your ability to operate your vehicle was not impaired, you could avoid a DUI conviction. To make the case, we would seek evidence from traffic cameras or eyewitnesses that you were not driving erratically.

    However, if your use of marijuana was not legal, it will be much harder to fight the charge. Much like a driver under the age of 21 who has a small amount of alcohol in his system, you could be charged with a DUI even if your driving ability was not impaired.

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • What happens if I Get Caught Driving for a Purpose Not Allowed or Covered by my "Business Purpose Only" Restriction?

    If you are driving with a Business Purposes Only license, you likely already have some problems on your hands.  The last thing you want to do is complicate that by being caught driving for a purpose that is not allowed by your restriction.  If you are stopped and the officer believes you are driving for a purpose that is not covered by your restriction, they can issue a Uniform Traffic Citation for a violation of section 322.16(5) of the Florida Statutes.  They can also physically arrest you and take you to jail as this violation is a second-degree misdemeanor. 

    Any time you are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor you are facing up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.  You can also be sentenced to six months’ probation.  If this happens to you, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can take your hardship license away or add time to the revocation or suspension period in addition to adding restrictions. 

    If your driving privileges were suspended because of a DUI arrest, you are jeopardizing your future and risking a lot of further and possibly unnecessary consequences.  If you have been admitted to the Back on Track Program a new-law violation can result in being bounced out from the program.  If your DUI case is still open in criminal court (whether you are in Back on Track or still fighting your charge), it can further complicate things as the State Attorney’s Office is extremely strict when it comes to driving on a suspended license or a hardship license as a result of a DUI revocation.  The standard offer to resolve your case will likely be 10 days in jail and a plea to DUI.  Remember, a DUI conviction can never be erased from your record.  It will follow you for life.   Lastly, if you are currently on probation or serving your DUI sentence, this will be considered a new-law violation as well as a violation of probation. 

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • What Does "Business Purpose Only" Mean for my Driver's License?

    When you are issued a “Business Purposes Only” permit, you are allowed to drive for any purpose necessary to “maintain livelihood.” This type of license operates under Restriction C.  The restriction is limited to driving:

    • To and from work
    • School or educational purposes
    • Necessary on-the-job driving
    • To go to church, or
    • To see a doctor or medical reasons.

    When you are driving with a Business Purposes Only license, it is important to keep driving to a minimum and ONLY for the purposes outlined above and in section 322.271 of the Florida Statutes.  If there was ever a time to err on the side of caution, this is it.  Drive only when absolutely necessary.  Meaning if you can have someone take you to church or to the doctor, do it.  If you can car pool when driving to school, take advantage of it.  If you can use public transportation or it’s feasible to take Uber or Lyft to work, I would definitely consider it.  I always advise my clients to do this and if you happen to work at a job that requires you are present at off-hours such as a server, bartender, nurse, security guard, I always recommend that you have your work schedule and paystubs handy so that you can dispel any suspicions should you be stopped.

    Just because you are driving for a valid purpose under your restricted license does not mean that the police officer that stopped you will agree.  It’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when driving with a hardship license.   The consequences are if you are caught driving with a suspended license are severe.

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • What is a Hardship License for "Business Purpose Only"?

    Living in Miami it can seem like all is lost after your license is suspended, revoked or canceled.  However, you may still qualify for a restricted license that allows driving for certain purposes.  You need to be aware that no hardship restriction can be added to a Commercial Driver License (CDL). 

    Therefore, anyone who seeks a hardship reinstatement of their driver’s license, must obtain a Class E license.  The Class E license can include one of two restrictions: C Restriction or D Restriction.

    Restriction C is known as a “Business Purposes Only” license which allows you to drive for the limited purpose that is “necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and medical purposes.”  See Florida Statutes, § 322.271(1)(c).

    Restriction D is known as “Employment Purposes Only” and that a driving privilege that is limited to driving to and from work or any necessary on-the-job driving.

    Violating any of the above restrictions results in a Misdemeanor of the Second Degree and you will lose your driving privilege for the rest of the suspension/revocation period. 

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • What must be proven to convict me of DUI?

    To convict you of driving under the influence in Florida under section 316.193(1), Florida Statutes, the prosecutor must prove every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The prosecutor MUST be able to prove:

    1. You drove or were in actual physical control of a vehicle.
    2. While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, you
    • were under the influence of [alcoholic beverages] [a chemical substance] [a controlled substance] to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.
    • had a [blood] [breath]-alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per [100 milliliters of blood] [210 liters of breath].

    Actual physical control of a vehicle means you are physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether you are actually operating the vehicle at the time.

    According to Florida’s standard jury instructions, 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.”

    What happens if there is a blood/breath reading in my case?

    When the jury hears evidence of a blood/breath reading, Florida law has various presumptions (these presumptions may be overcome with other evidence that you either were, or were not, under the influence:

    • Reading below a .05 - If you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .05 and below the jury is to presume that you were not under the influence.
    • Reading more than .05 but below .08 - When a jury finds that you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and had a blood or breath-alcohol reading above a .05 but below a .08 there is no presumption either way that you were, or were not under the influence. In this case the jury will consider other evidence to determine whether you were under the influence to the point that your normal faculties were impaired.
    • Reading of .08 or more - This evidence alone is enough to find that you were under the influence at the time of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle. Note: this evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence that you were NOT under the influence to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.

    What if I failed the roadside sobriety tests or blew over the legal limit?

    There may still be defenses available in your case. DUI law is very complex and has many layers. Don’t assume that because you were stopped, arrested, did not perform to standards on the roadside sobriety exercises and blew over the legal limit of .08 that all is lost. Before you go to court and plead guilty to the charge of DUI, you should seek the experience and counsel of a DUI lawyer in Miami to discuss your case, potential defenses and options.

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • Is DUI a felony?

    DUI is usually a misdemeanor with extremely serious consequences, fines, penalties and even the possibility of jail time. However, those consequences are ratcheted up when your DUI carries with it certain factors or aggravators that will make it a felony.

    There are two ways your DUI can become a felony:

    1. This is not your first DUI and you have multiple convictions:

    • Third DUI within 10 years of the second conviction
      • Mandatory 30 days in jail
      • Third-degree felony, maximum sentence of 5 years in prison
      • $2,000 — $5,000 fine
      • 10-year driver’s license revocation
    • Fourth or subsequent conviction
      • Maximum prison sentence of 5 years
      • Permanent driver’s license revocation with no possibility of hardship reinstatement
      • Minimum $2,000 fine

    2. Aggravating factors such as serious bodily injury or death:

    • Cause serious bodily injury
      • Third-degree felony
      • Maximum 5 years in prison
      • $5,000 fine (max)
      • Minimum 3-year revocation
    • DUI Manslaughter
      • Second-degree felony
      • Maximum 15 years in prison
      • $10,000 fine (max)
      • Mandatory permanent revocation, may be eligible for hardship reinstatement in 5 years if no prior related DUI convictions
    • DUI Manslaughter and Leaving the Scene
      • First-degree felony
      • $10,000 fine (max)
      • 30 years in prison

    If you or someone you love is being charged with a felony, do not wait. Enlist the services of a Miami DUI attorney that will fight for your rights and leave no stone unturned in his defense. 

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

  • What is the difference between DUI and DWI?

    People often ask the difference between DUI and DWI. In Florida, drunk driving laws are classified under DUI, or driving under the influence. While it is quite common to confuse the two acronyms, the answer depends on the laws in the state in which you are in. States define and identify drunk and/or driving under the influence of drugs (or controlled substances) differently. DUI is driving under the influence, the way Florida classifies it. DWI, driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired is commonly used in other states, such as Texas.

    DUI is a very serious crime in Florida. The state has some of the toughest DUI laws of anywhere in the country and anyone suspected driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is charged under Florida DUI Statute, §316.193. In Florida, the term DWI is not used in the statutes. If you are looking for more information, read my FREE consumer guide: “ It’s Not Just A Traffic Ticket: A Six-Pack of Questions That Can Cause a Hangover after a DUI Arrest”. This FREE book provides information on how to hire a DUI lawyer in Florida and answers the six questions making your head hurt.

    Each state identifies the offense differently by using either DUI or DWI. Some states may apply both DUI and DWI to their laws, while some others have statutes that apply operating under the influence (OUI).

    No matter, the terminology used, most states have serious consequences for driving while under the influence. Florida has some of the harshest DUI laws in the nation. Consequences in Florida, even for a first offense can include jail, probation, mandatory license suspension, vehicle immobilization or impoundment, ignition interlock. In addition, a DUI conviction can never be erased from your criminal history meaning that will not only impact and increase your insurance premiums but can also jeopardize your job, professional license, ability to obtain scholarships, get a loan or obtain security clearances.

    If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, you need to act quickly because you actually two problems, not just one. Florida immediately suspends your driver’s license if you were over the legal limit of .08 or if you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. You only have 10 days from the date of arrest to request a formal review hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. If eligible, you may also request to waive formal or informal review and attempt to obtain a restricted permit that allows you to drive for “Business Purpose Only.”

    Either way, you need to enlist the services of a DUI lawyer that focuses their practice on the defense of drunk driving cases and can help navigate both sides of a DUI. I welcome the opportunity to see you for a confidential consultation to discuss your case, goals and potential defenses.

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • Do I need a lawyer?

    While you don’t NEED a lawyer do anything, you SHOULD go speak to one and see how they can help you defend yourself against your DUI arrest. Before you speak to ANY lawyer about your DUI educate yourself by reading my FREE consumer guide: “It’s Not Just A Traffic Ticket.” This FREE book provides information on how to hire a DUI lawyer in Florida and answers a six pack of questions that can cause a hangover after a DUI arrest. BEWARE: this valuable information is not popular among so-called “DUI” lawyers looking to take your hard-earned money and simply plea you guilty.

    By seeking the help of a Miami DUI defense attorney, you may be able to build a defense to the charge of DUI and better your current circumstances avoid many of the harsh penalties associated with DUI in Florida.

    What questions should I ask a lawyer before I hire them?

    • Who will be handling my case?
    • How much experience do you have handling DUI cases?
    • Are you a former prosecutor or public defender?
    • Have you been disciplined by the state bar?
    • What are the costs of legal fees, investigators, experts, depositions, transcripts?
    • What can I expect the final outcome of my case to be?

    What does a DUI lawyer in Miami cost?

    There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to legal fees charged by attorneys to defend your DUI. Criminal defense, and particularly DUI defense, seems to have some of the largest discrepancies or ranges in fees charged by lawyers. The typical range for a DUI lawyer can be anywhere from $800 to $10,000 for a first DUI.

    A general rule of thumb, however, is that the “plea mills” or the “dump truck” lawyers tend to charge unreasonably low fees because they rely on having a volume practice and the amount of work they will put in on your behalf. These lawyers usually go to court a couple of times and convince you to take a plea without really exploring options that are available to you or actually fighting your case. Remember: it’s tough to offer excellent service, high quality of work AND a low price. If you are shopping solely on price you will most likely sacrifice one of the other two qualities—if not both!

    Beware, there are some terrible DUI lawyers charging extremely high legal fees and some good DUI attorneys charging their clients much more reasonable fees. Price alone should not be the only determining factor to consider when making your decision on who to hire to defend your DUI.

    Most good DUI lawyers that focus primarily on DUI defense will charge anywhere between $4,000 and $10,000 (some even more). The better DUI lawyers charge fees that are reasonable for the amount of work they do, because properly fighting a DUI charge requires a lot of work.

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.