Can I Be Un-Arrested for a Florida DUI?

By Jonathan Blecher on April 7, 2016

Since 1982, I have defended over 3,000 suspended license and DUI cases, so I can honestly say that nothing surprises me anymore. For this post, I am going to discuss something that is highly rare, but possible. It has to do with what some would call being “un-arrested” for driving under the influence.

Let’s say that Joe was arrested on suspicion of DUI and taken down to the station where he blew way below the .08% legal limit. So now Joe’s wondering, “Was I not arrested, but just detained?”

After all, he was given paperwork and the officer who arrested him brought him back to the scene and let Joe drive off into the sunset. Such arrests are usually posted on the police blotter, but Joe can’t find any record of his arrest.

Joe’s case did not go past the arraignment, it was dismissed. The question is, was Joe arrested then un-arrested after he blew below the legal limit?

I Have Seen This in My Career

I have been handling DUIs for more than 30 years and I have seen this happen twice in my career as a DUI defense lawyer practicing in Miami. Once, it happened to an adult and the second time it happened to a minor.

In the case of a minor, the juvenile jail will not take traffic arrests. So, what usually happens in these situations is the cops hand the teenager back to his or her parents. If the arresting officer is new and inexperienced, working in a small municipality, or working in a precinct that’s far away from the jail, the officer may issue a promise to appear (PTA).

Also, the DUI suspect may have lucked out. Perhaps something more pressing came up and the officer was called out to something more important. Since the blood alcohol level (BAL) was extremely low, the officer may just decide to PTA the DUI suspect.

This scenario sounds odd to most suspects, including less experienced DUI attorneys, but it is possible and I have seen it happen.

If you’re facing DUI charges in Miami, contact me at Jonathan Blecher, P.A. for a free case evaluation. I am a former Florida prosecutor who’s worked on the Florida Bar DUI and Traffic Rules Committee. I am confident that I can provide you with the best DUI defense representation available hands down.

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