South Beach is known around the world as a nightlife hotspot, but unfortunately, it’s also a hotspot for DUIs. Given that Florida has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, if you’ve been arrested for a DUI on South Beach, then it’s highly advisable that you hire an experienced South Beach DUI attorney.
Some DUI defendants don’t want to pay for a DUI attorney, naively thinking that they are “saving money” by representing themselves in court. However, when you look at the sheer magnitude and high costs of Florida’s DUI penalties coupled with the fact that hiring a DUI attorney gives you the best shot at getting your charges reduced or even dropped, you can’t afford not to hire a DUI lawyer to represent you.
Costs of a DUI in Florida
To illustrate this point, here’s a breakdown of some of the costs associated with a DUI conviction in Florida (assuming the defendant was sentenced to six months in county jail):
- Statutorily mandated fine: $500 – $1,000
- Towing and impound fees: $100
- License reinstatement fess: $150
- Level 1, 12-hour DUI school: $250
- Auto insurance premium increase: $3300-$6000
- Substance abuse/psychosocial evaluation and treatment fees: $300 – $500
- Court costs: $500 – $1,000
- Probation supervision fees: $250 – $500
- Blood/breath testing fee: $36
- Option to convert 50 community service hours to hourly fine ($10/hr.): $0 – $500
- State restitution fund contribution: $100
- Alcohol abuse education fund contribution: $50
- Cost of not working during 6-month incarceration period: $20,172 (assuming defendant’s annual salary is $40,344, which was the average annual salary for an individual in Florida in 2012)[i]
TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $25,708 – $30,358
(Note: In the case of repeated DUI convictions, a DUI conviction with a BAC of .15 or higher, a DUI conviction where the defendant is under 21, a DUI conviction where a minor was in the vehicle, or a conviction for a DUI resulting in serious bodily injury or death, you can expect these costs/penalties to substantially increase from the figures listed above.)
Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer in South Beach such as Yale Galanter or one of his partners at the Miami criminal defense law firm of Galanter Law can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your DUI case and can actually save you money in the long run. In Florida, DUI is an extremely serious charge; as such, you need someone who is intimately familiar with Florida’s complicated DUI laws and nuanced court proceedings to be by your side and look after your best interests. While hiring a DUI attorney is going to cost you money upfront, the cost is well worth it because it will dramatically increase your chances of having your charges reduced and penalties minimized or, in the best case scenario, having your charges dismissed altogether. The stakes are too high for you to represent yourself. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI on South Beach or anywhere in South Florida, contact us immediately—we can help you!
Gehrke-White, Donna. “Income Grows 3.2% in Florida in 2012.” Sun Sentinel. N.p., 1 Jun. 2013. Web. 05 May 2013.