In Florida alone, up to 70,000 people get arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) every year. In fact, Florida has the third highest number of annual DUI arrests in the United States (after Texas and California).
So if you are driving a vehicle in Cooper City or elsewhere across Florida, and you do drink every once in a while (though we certainly hope that you would never get behind the wheel of your vehicle drunk), then you might want to learn more about what happens after you get arrested for DUI in Florida.
Today, we invited our Cooper City car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman to outline the protocol that police officers and authorities have to follow after arresting you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Florida.
What happens after a DUI arrest in Florida?
After your arrest at the scene of a car accident in Cooper City or elsewhere in Florida, the first thing that you can expect is being placed into a police vehicle (and being told “Watch your head,” as you are getting into the backseat of a police car), and taken to the nearest police station or jail. Typically, police officers at the police station will take your photograph – the so-called mug shot – and take your fingerprints.
Police officers can hold you in jail or police station for up to eight hours until they believe that you are no longer drunk (or, in other words, impaired). If you are being held for more than eight hours and you have not been charged with any offense, it may be a violation of your rights. In that case, contact a car accident attorney in Cooper City immediately.
Typically, people who are arrested on suspicion of driving drunk in Cooper City and elsewhere in Florida will walk out of the police station or jail with a court date for the initial hearing of the DUI charges against them. However, not all people know for sure whether or not they are going to charge with an offense upon their release from jail after the arrest, which brings us to: “How many days, weeks, months, or years do authorities have to charge you with an offense after a DUI arrest in Florida?”
Statute of limitations for DUI charges in Florida
There are certain time limits for DUI charges that Florida authorities must comply with when charging impaired drivers with a crime. In other words, there is the statute of limitations for filing a criminal claim against you. That means there is a specific amount of time in which you can expect to receive charges and a summons to court in your mail.
Many people tend to think that they are out of trouble if they do not receive charges or a summons to the court upon their release from jail or police station after a DUI arrest in Florida. But that is simply not true. There is a high chance that you will still receive charges or a summons in the mail many months or years after your arrest. That is why it is highly advised to speak to a Cooper City car accident attorney after your DUI arrest to be prepared for any outcome.
These are the time limits that apply to DUI charges in Cooper City and elsewhere in Florida:
- First-degree misdemeanor: 2 years
- Felonies (excluding first-degree): 3 years
- First-degree felonies: 4 years
- Felonies that caused the death of another person: no time limit
DUI charges after an arrest in Florida
Our Cooper City car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman explains that a DUI charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Which one it is going to depend on quite a few factors, including but not limited to the existence of prior DUI convictions on your driving record, whether or not the car accident caused severe or catastrophic injuries or death, and other factors. Do keep in mind that the State of Florida is very strict about DUI charges, which is why a conviction of a DUI remains on your driving record for 75 years.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Cooper City or elsewhere in Florida, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our best DUI car accident attorneys in Florida. Contact the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman for a free case evaluation today. Call our offices at 954-438-1000 or fill out this contact form.