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Arrested for DUI in Miami

Arrested for DUI in Miami

Posted By Parks & Braxton, PA || 4-Aug-2016


Typically, the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act applies to money as well as vehicles that were seized as a result of an arrest related to drugs. Certainly there are a variety of items that can be seized. However, recently I received a call from a client who had his vehicle seized as a result of an arrest for driving under the influence.

The question is, under what circumstances may an agency seize a vehicle as a result of arresting an intoxicated driver. When an individual is arrested for DUI, and that same individual has either three prior convictions for the same offense or has two prior DUI convictions and at least one of them occurred within the past ten years, the individual could be facing a felony. I use the term “could” because ultimately the State Attorney’s Office makes the ultimate decision whether to charge someone with a felony or a misdemeanor. Nonetheless, the Courts have concluded that the commission of a felony DUI fits within the definition of using a contraband article in the commission of a felony. As it relates to a DUI offense, there is a statute that makes the seizure of a vehicle lawful even under the circumstance when the individual is not facing a felony charge. Specifically, under Florida Statute 932.701(9)(a) as we as 322.34(9)(a) a motor vehicle that is being driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs is subject to seizure if at the time of the offense, the person’s driver license is suspended or revoked as a result of a prior conviction for DUI. If this has happened to you, you should contact a DUI Lawyer in Miami, FL


Ultimately, the seizing agency must provide notice of the forfeiture. If the owner of the motor vehicle challenges the seizure, a hearing to determine probable cause will be held within ten days from the date of the objection. In certain circumstances, because of the value of the motor vehicle the forfeiture violates the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. The question is whether the forfeiture of the motor vehicle was overly disproportionate to the maximum fine that can be imposed. For example, a case in Florida determined that it was in violation of the Excessive Fines Clause to allow the seizure of a vehicle that was worth $20,000.00 when the maximum fine was $5,000.00. Another Florida Court ruled that a vehicle seized as a result of a felony DUI did not violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment when the car was valued at $17,000.00 and the maximum fine was $5,000.00. Ultimately, under certain circumstances vehicles can lawfully be seized as a result of an arrest for DUI, if this happens its always best to consult with a DUI Lawyer in Miami, FL. If your property was seized as a result of a criminal violation, feel free to call Parks & Braxton at (305) 655­ 2900.

Categories: Zimmerman Case, DUI