Miami DUI Defense Lawyers
In Florida, a DUI conviction can mean fines, jail time, and up to a one-year loss of driving privileges—and that’s just for a “standard” first-time offense. For professionals, a DUI can lead to licensing action as well; and, since DUIs are not eligible for expungement, a drunk driving arrest can truly impact the rest of your life.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Miami, you are facing the potential for severe consequences. Under Florida law, all DUI offenses carry the potential for jail or prison time, and a repeat offender charged with “aggravated” DUI (i.e. DUI with a BAC of 0.15% or above) could be facing a felony conviction and up to 10 years behind bars. However, even if you are able to avoid incarceration, a DUI conviction can still impact all aspects of your personal and professional life; and, in order to avoid a lifetime of undesirable effects, you need to hire an experienced defense attorney.
Miami DUI Defense Attorneys for Licensed Professionals, Public Figures, Politicians, and Other High-Profile and High-Net-Worth Individuals
At Oberheiden, P.C., our defense attorneys bring extensive experience to representing individuals charged with DUI in Miami. While we represent all types of clients, we have particular experience defending physicians, pharmacists, and other licensed professionals. We also represent many public figures, politicians, and other high-profile and high-net-worth individuals who stand to lose a great deal if they are convicted of drunk driving in open court; and, as a result, we are particularly sensitive to the unique demands of defending this type of clientele.
When you contact us about your DUI, we will begin working on your case immediately. We will make contact with the police investigators and Miami-Dade County prosecutors handling your case, and we will work quickly to attempt to secure a quick and discrete resolution. We will also advise you regarding the steps you need to take (and mistakes you need to avoid) in order to present yourself in the best light possible. Frequently, these efforts will yield an efficient and desirable result. However, if it is ultimately in your best interests to go to trial, then we will fight vigorously to protect you against a “guilty” verdict in court.
Dedicated and Aggressive Legal Representation at All Stages of DUI Cases in Miami, FL
There are several stages in a DUI case in Miami-Dade County. The initial stages move quickly, though it could be months between the date of your arrest and the date of your trial. Once you engage Oberheiden, P.C. to represent you, our defense attorneys will begin advocating aggressively on your behalf, and we will seize all available opportunities at every stage to secure a favorable resolution.
Here is what you can expect when you choose Oberheiden, P.C.’s defense team for your DUI case in Miami:
- Traffic Stop and Arrest – If you are on the side of the road, we encourage you to call us immediately at 214-469-9009. One of our attorneys will walk you through what you should and shouldn’t do while dealing with the police and what to do after you are arrested.
- Booking – Once you are arrested for DUI in Miami, the police will bring you in for booking. At this stage, you have the right to remain silent, and you should not say anything other than to provide your contact information, state that you are exercising your constitutional rights, and request to speak with an attorney. At this stage, our attorneys can deal with the police on your behalf and ensure that you are not unnecessarily put at risk for prosecution.
- First Appearance and Bail – Once you are booked, you can request bail. This will allow you to go home while your case is pending. If you do not post bail, then you will quickly be scheduled for your “first appearance,” during which the judge will review the state’s evidence of probable cause and determine if you will need to post bond or if you will be permitted supervised release or a release on your own recognizance. You can – and should – have legal representation when dealing with bail and at your first appearance, and we can work quickly to advise and defend you at this stage if necessary.
- Arraignment – The next stage is your arraignment. During your arraignment, the judge will read the charge (or charges) against you and ask you to enter a plea. If you plead “guilty,” you will be sentenced before you leave the courtroom. If you plead “not guilty,” your case will be scheduled for a pre-trial conference. If we are representing you at this stage, our attorneys will file a Notice of Appearance, and this will signify to the court that you are entering a “not guilty” plea.
- Administrative Review Hearing – This is important: In addition to dealing with your court case, you also need to separately request what is known as an Administrative Review Hearing. This is a hearing before the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), and is your only chance to get your license back while your court case is pending.
- Preliminary Hearings – Preliminary hearings are our first opportunity to have your case formally dismissed prior to trial (without you entering into a plea bargain). During these hearings, our defense attorneys will raise questions about the admissibility and sufficiency of the state’s evidence, and we will present any other available arguments for having your charge (or charges) dismissed.
- Pre-Trial Practice and Negotiations – In addition to representing you at any preliminary hearings, our attorneys will engage in various other pre-trial defense tactics as well. Among other things, this will generally include negotiating with the prosecution to convince them to either (i) drop your charge(s), (ii) reduce your charge(s), or (iii) agree to a favorable sentence (generally one that keeps you out of jail).
- Trial – If necessary, our attorneys will argue your case at trial. We will present a comprehensive and strategic defense designed to convince the jury that the prosecutors have not met their burden of proof.
- Sentencing – If, despite our best efforts, the jury still sides with the prosecution, then we will shift our focus to limiting your sentence to the greatest extent possible. Although Florida has fairly stringent sentencing guidelines in DUI cases, there are still measures our attorneys can utilize to mitigate the consequences of your conviction.
- Appeal and Post-Conviction – Finally, if you are convicted (or if you have already been convicted with representation from another law firm), we will assess all available grounds for challenging your conviction and sentence on appeal and/or in post-conviction proceedings. Appeals and post-conviction proceedings involve unique arguments and procedures, and it is imperative to have skilled legal counsel at this stage.
Note: The foregoing summary assumes that you have been charged with DUI under Florida state law (the vast majority of DUI cases are tried at the state level). If you have been charged with a federal drunk driving-related crime, your case will be very different, and we recommend that you contact us immediately to discuss your defense.
FAQs: Defense Strategies, Possible Sentences, and Other Consequences in Florida DUI Cases
Q: What are some potential defenses to DUI charges in Miami?
There are numerous potential defenses to DUI charges in Miami. This includes evidentiary defenses (i.e. inadequate evidence to meet the state’s burden of proof), alternate explanations for your BAC or erratic driving behavior (i.e. mouthwash, antibiotics, stress, or another health condition), and constitutional defenses (i.e. violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures). As your defense counsel, we will explore all available options for protecting you against a guilty verdict at trial.
Q: Can you defend me if I was driving drunk?
Yes. While some defense strategies focus on challenging the arresting officer’s conclusion that you were impaired or intoxicated, there are various ways our attorneys may be able to defend you regardless of whether or not you were drunk at the time of your arrest.
Q: What are the penalties for driving under the influence in Florida?
As mentioned above, the statutory penalties for DUI in Florida are severe. The FLHSMV’s website provides an overview of Florida’s DUI penalties as well as the penalties for other drunk driving-related offenses (i.e. implied consent violations, DUI manslaughter, and vehicular homicide).
Q: What are the other potential consequences of a DUI conviction?
In addition to any criminal sentence imposed, a DUI conviction can have various other unfavorable consequences as well. Our attorneys are sensitive to these types of concerns; and, from reputational harm to professional licensing action, we can utilize our experience to minimize the damage resulting from your DUI arrest to the greatest extent possible.
Contact Oberheiden, P.C. for a Free and Confidential DUI Case Assessment
If you have been arrested for DUI in Miami, FL, you need experienced legal representation, and we encourage you to contact us immediately to discuss your case in confidence. We have attorneys available 24/7, so call 214-469-9009 or tell us how to reach you online now.