If you are charged with one of the following alcohol crimes Miami attorneys can help you navigate the legal system for the best outcome. Alcohol crimes are taken seriously in Miami; however, due to the subjective nature of some of the tests involved in certain crimes, it’s wise to contact your attorney if you have been charged with any alcohol crime, even a seemingly minor one.
Minor in Possession
With the exception of minor individuals who are employed in a restaurant or bar, it is illegal for a minor under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol. A first offense of minor in possession is a second degree misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 60 days in jail. A second offense is a first degree misdemeanor and can result in up to a year in jail. Because minor in possession charges can leave a young person with a serious record, this is one of the alcohol crimes Miami attorneys should be consulted about from the moment the arrest is made.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the most serious Miami alcohol crimes. Although driving under the influence is a third degree misdemeanor, the penalties for this offense are very serious and may include a possible jail or prison term, hefty fines, probation, community service, license suspension and mandatory alcohol treatment.
Driving under the influence in the state of Florida means that you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Under Florida law, a police officer can pull you over if he or she suspects you are driving under the influence. Field sobriety tests will likely be used to determine whether your BAC is over the legal limit; tests are based on the physical ability to balance or to concentrate. These tests are often subjective; even breathalyzer tests can be inaccurate.
One of the more common Miami alcohol crimes is disorderly intoxication, a misdemeanor. Law enforcement officials will often detain revelers who appear intoxicated or who are causing any kind of public disturbance. Because the nature of this crime leaves a great deal to the subjective perception of the responding officer, there are many different reasons one might end up with a charge of disorderly intoxication. These include urinating in public, arguing, harassment, generally being loud or creating some kind of scene. Often, it’s the fact that the suspect argues with or is disrespectful to the officer that they end up with this charge.
Other alcohol legislation makes it a misdemeanor to drink alcohol in front of any store or to have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. While an open container is a noncriminal violation, it may lead to a DUI investigation. Due to the inexact nature of alcohol crimes, it’s always best to contact your attorney immediately if you have been arrested for any crime involving alcohol.