Miami DUI Lawyer

Jonathan B. Blecher, P.A. - your fight is our fight

Whether you’ve been charged with your first DUI offense or have been convicted of DUI, you need to take the matter seriously. Even a single DUI conviction can lead to jail, probation, fines, a driver’s license suspension, and more. 

Jonathan Blecher is a Miami DUI lawyer with over four decades of legal experience. Contact our office in Miami, FL, to discuss your drunk driving charges.

Florida DUI Law 

In the state of Florida, you are considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) if you are in active physical control of your vehicle and you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater. You are considered to be drunk driving, even if your vehicle was stopped at the time. If you have a BAC reading of .15 or higher, there are enhanced penalties. Drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle also subjects the driver to higher penalties. 

Florida DUI Penalties 

If you have prior DUI convictions, the penalties increase. The following penalties are for DUI convictions without aggravating circumstances, such as a BAC of .15 or higher, a minor in the vehicle, or causing an accident with injuries.

First Conviction

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • $500 to $1,000 in fines
  • 180 days to one year driver’s license revocation
  • One year probation
  • 50 hours of community service
  • 10-day vehicle impoundment

Second Conviction

  • Up to nine months in county jail 
  • $1,000 to $2,000 in fines
  • 180 days to one year driver’s license revocation
  • Ignition Interlock Device for two years

If the second conviction occurred within five years of the first:

  • Minimum ten days in jail, but with the possibility of up to nine months
  • Five-year license revocation
  • 30-day vehicle impoundment 

Third Conviction

  • Up to 12 months in county jail 
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • 180 days to one year driver’s license revocation
  • Ignition Interlock Device for two years

If the third conviction occurs within ten years of the first conviction, it is a felony charge. The penalties can include the following:

  • Minimum of 30 days in jail but up to five years in prison 
  • 90-day vehicle impoundment
  • 10-year driver’s license revocation

A fourth drunk driving arrest is considered a felony DUI, regardless of the time between prior convictions. 

How a DUI Investigation Works

A successful DUI defense often comes down to being able to detect police errors during their investigation. As a DUI defense lawyer, Jonathan Blecher looks at all phases of the investigation and reviews the supporting documentation. If there is a mistake that can be exploited to his client’s advantage, DUI attorney Blecher will find it. 

The Stop

The police can’t just stop you on a hunch. They must have a legally valid reason for the stop and must document that reason. Valid reasons for stops include:

  • A traffic violation
  • An equipment violations
  • Investigating an accident
  • A sanctioned DUI checkpoint
  • The vehicle or driver matched a BOLO description
  • The driving pattern matched that of an intoxicated person (i.e. Wide turns, sudden stops, drifting within the lane, etc.)

Physical Observations 

The police must be able to describe any behaviors or indicators that convinced them that the driver was drunk. Some of these include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Red or puffy skin
  • Slurred speech
  • Uneven stance or gait
  • Sweating
  • The odor of an alcoholic beverage
  • Lack of fine motor skills
  • Incoherence
  • Disheveled appearance

If the police fail to indicate these types of indicators, a DUI attorney can press them on why they would assume that the driver was drunk at the time of the arrest.

Field Sobriety Exercises 

Under Florida DUI law, field sobriety exercises are voluntary. In most DUI cases, it’s better if the driver refuses to participate in them since even sober individuals can have difficulty performing roadside tests. Additionally, the police video record these exercises for presentation in court. 

The DUI exercises are as follows:

  • Walk-and-Turn – The driver is asked to take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn, and walk back. 
  • One-Leg Stand – The driver is asked to raise either leg six inches off the ground and count from 1001 to 1030 without using their arms for balance. 
  • Finger-to-Nose – The driver is asked to stand with their head back, and eyes closed, touching their nose with their index finger on whichever hand the officer calls out. 
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) – The driver has to follow the tip of a pen or fingertip with their eyes. The eyes will begin to flutter at the corners if the subject has been drinking. 

Arrest and Implied Consent Warning

At this point, the officer will make an arrest. If you refuse field sobriety exercises, they will have to make their decision based on the earlier phases of the investigation. If they arrest you, they will recite the implied consent warning.

This is a reminder that as a condition of receiving your license or driving on the Florida roadways, that you agree to provide a breath or urine sample or both. If you refuse, your license will be suspended for one year for the first refusal and 18 months for the second. 


If you agree to take a breath test, the police will transport you to a blood alcohol testing unit. They will observe you for twenty minutes and then require two samples. In some cases, they will also ask for urine. This is to detect other controlled substances that will not appear in a breath sample. 

It’s important to note that a simple mistake by the police is not always sufficient to base a DUI defense around. It merely means that a top-tier DUI defense lawyer, like Jonathan Blecher, may be able to get that piece of evidence dismissed.

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

Attorney Jonathan Blecher has successfully defended hundreds of clients against DUI charges. He has extensive experience in all stages of the criminal justice process. Despite the fact that DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, they are incredibly complicated.

Because he has reviewed so many Miami DUI cases, attorney Blecher is adept at detecting police errors and prosecutorial flaws in drunk driving investigations. Attorney Blecher also represents clients in the following areas and many others:

Photo of a Lawyer Checking Documents

Miami DUI Frequently Asked Questions 

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about Florida DUI Law. 

Is my license suspended after the DUI Arrest?

The suspension is not immediate. Your license will be confiscated, but your DUI ticket will serve as a temporary license prior to your DL hearing.

How long does a DUI stay on your record?

A DUI conviction remains on your record permanently and cannot ever be sealed or expunged. For the purpose of enhanced penalties for multiple DUIs, it can remain relevant for five years for a second conviction, ten years for a third conviction, and permanently for a fourth conviction.

Can I contest a DUI without a lawyer?

You can try, but trying to mount a cogent DUI defense requires knowledge of the law and legal experience. It’s definitely in your best interest to hire a Miami criminal defense attorney immediately.

When does a DUI count as a felony?

If you’ve had two prior convictions within the past ten years or three prior convictions, you will be charged with a DUI felony. Additionally, if you were involved in an accident that was your fault, and another party was injured, it’s a third-degree felony. 

If you’ve been charged with DUI, you need to take the matter seriously. Contact Miami DUI Lawyer Jonathan Blecher today!