Thousands beat DUI charges in Miami, Fort Lauderdale each year

The holiday season is upon us and law enforcement will be out in force looking for drunk drivers and conducting sobriety checkpoints. The Miami DUI Defense Lawyers at Brakat Law want you to know that we are here to assist you through the holidays.

Being charged with drunk driving can be a difficult an uncertain time. Do not complicate matters by failing to fight to retain your right to drive and to keep your driving record clean. Lawmakers continue to increase the penalties for drunk driving and having a conviction on your record is a good way to be stopped and cited again.

Many DUI charges are beatable. Many first offenses can be negotiated down to a lesser charge if there are significant legal or factual issues. In fact, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports only about half of the 63,019 DUI charges filed in Florida last year resulted in a guilty verdict at year’s end.

Still, more than 172 motorists were charged with drunk driving every day last year. And, with the cost estimated at $10,000 or more, including lost wages, jail time, increased insurance premiums and fines and court costs, speaking to a lawyer can help protect your freedom, your independence and your livelihood.

Another hidden cost of a DUI conviction is the long-term consequences of being convicted. You can be required to disclose the conviction on job applications and other paperwork for years to come. You may be prevented from holding certain jobs or receiving certain forms of government aid. And you may run into legal problems, either through probation or as a result of being cited for driving on a revoked or suspended license — more than 214,000 of such charges were filed last year and many of those defendants had their license taken away as the result of a drunk driving conviction.

The requirements of probation can haunt defendants long after conviction and can even result in more legal trouble than the underlying charge. It is worth noting that all of Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles stem from probation violations as a result of a pair of drunk driving charges back in 2007.

2009 DUI citations issued:

Florida Highway Patrol: 9,818

City Police: 27,032

Sheriff’s Offices: 25,338

DUI arrests in Broward County in 2009:

FHP: 335

City Police: 1,778

Sheriff: 2,483

Other: 366

Total: 4,962

Found guilty: 1,408

Miami-Dade DUI arrests in 2009:

FHP: 570

City Police:5,342

Sheriff: 0

Other: 43

Total: 5,955

Convictions: 2,703