Skip to Content
Mitchell & West, LLC Mitchell & West, LLC
Call Today For Personalized Legal Solutions 305-783-3301
Facing DUI Charges? Protecting Your Rights Through a Personalized Approach

Miami, Florida DUI Charges Legal Counsel

What Does Driving Under the Influence Mean?

In Florida, drivers can be charged with DUI for operating a vehicle while impaired due to alcohol or drugs. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08% is considered impaired, commercial drivers are restricted to .04%, and drivers under the age of 21 cannot have a BAC of more than .02%.

Law enforcement often uses standardized field sobriety tests (SFST) in an attempt to gauge a suspect's level of inebriation. However, the most reliable of these tests has been found by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to be accurate in determining a BAC of over .10 percent only 76% of the time.

While SFSTs exist for the attempted detection of alcohol, other drugs such as prescription medication or controlled substances do not have a set amount determining impairment. It is up to the prosecution to prove impairment in each case. These tests are highly subject and our attorneys can work to limit their impact against you in court.

Following a DUI charge it is important that you contact the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) immediately. Following a DUI charged you have 10 days to request a hearing in order to challenge your license suspension.

Questions about your case? Check out our DUI faqs blog.

DUI Penalties in Florida

In Florida, cases of driving under the influence (DUI) are very serious and those who are found guilty can face punishments including time in jail, costly fines, and license suspension. The potential consequences of a DUI can complicate your life for years to come and may even affect where you are able to live and work.

According to Florida Statutes section 316.193, charges and penalties can increase in severity depending on factors such as:

  • Number of prior DUI convictions
  • Exceptionally high BAC levels
  • Involvement of child passengers
  • If serious bodily injury occurred

A DUI can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the crime. Typically, DUI can be charged as a felony in cases where (1) serious bodily harm or death occurred, (2) this is the third DUI offense within 10 years, or (3) the defendant has 4 or more DUI convictions.

Typical penalties for a DUI include:

  • 1st Offense - Up to $1k in fines (up to $2k if there was a minor in the vehicle or the driver had a BAC higher than .14), up to 6 months imprisonment (up to 9 months if there was a minor in the vehicle or the driver had a BAC higher than .14), 10 day vehicle impoundment, & up to 1 year license suspension.
  • 2nd Offense - Up to $2k in fines (up to $4k if there was a minor in the vehicle or the driver had a BAC higher than .14), up to 9 months imprisonment (up to 1 year if there was a minor in the vehicle or the driver had a BAC higher than .14), 30 day vehicle impoundment, & up to 5 year license suspension.
  • 3rd Offense - Up to $5k in fines (no less than $4k if there was a minor in the vehicle or the driver had a BAC higher than .14), up to 1 year imprisonment, 90 day vehicle impoundment, & up to 10 year license suspension.
  • 4th Offense - Not less than $2k in fines (no less than $4k if there was a minor in the vehicle or the driver had a BAC higher than .14), up to 5 years imprisonment, & lifetime license suspension.

Florida has a “look-back” period of five years, if you are convicted of a second DUI more than 5 years after a first offense punishments decrease. This includes minimum jail sentences, fine, & license suspension will be similar to those of a first offense.

Additionally, in Florida, you may request for a hardship license after a specific amount of time has passed following your DUI conviction. This will allow you to operate a vehicle for medical, professional, legal, & educational purposes only.

Experienced Miami-Dade County DUI Attorneys

The severity of DUI charges demands the attention of a skilled and knowledgeable legal team. Our Miami DUI attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience protecting the rights of our clients and are ready to fight for you. When your reputation and freedom are on the line, look no further than Mitchell & West LLC, and rest assured that your case is in experienced hands.

Start building your defense today. Schedule a free consultation and discover the legal options available to you.


  • Recognized by Super Lawyers®

    Less than 5% of Florida attorneys are included on the Super Lawyers® List. It takes significant experience, results, and a strong reputation to pass the rigorous, patented selection process.

  • Dedicated to the Community

    In addition to providing sterling legal representation, including pro bono services to indigent clients, we strive to be active in the local community through volunteering, stewardship, and civic involvement.

  • Trial-Tested Advocacy

    We are true trial lawyers, ready for any and all courtroom litigation challenges. No matter how complex your case may be, we have the resources, experience, and insight to protect and fight for your rights.

  • Known for Personalized Service
    We understand that each case is unique, and every client deserves individualized attention. We are committed to providing one-on-one counsel and creating legal strategies tailored to your specific needs.