When a New York driver gets arrested for DUI in Florida, it’s an unusual situation.
The system, and many lawyers, will push you to take a plea deal. That deal might make sense for Florida drivers, but maybe not for you.
Most deals will be reported back to New York. Any DUI conviction in another state will get your NY license revoked for six months or longer under NY Vehicle & Traffic Law 1193 (subsection (2)(b)(8)). After the revocation period is over you have to apply to get your license back and they might say no. This is worse than the low-level DWAI conviction in New York, where you’re only suspended for three months and you get your license back by paying a $25 fee.
Often the only way to get a fair result is to fight your case. Out-of-state drivers have a big advantage over in-state drivers when it comes to fighting a DUI. You will probably lose your ability to drive in Florida while you’re fighting your case. This a big deal for Florida drivers, but usually not important to drivers from New York or other states.
NY drivers with a commercial drivers license (CDL) face even longer revocation periods in New York for a DUI conviction in Florida. One catch – according to New York law your CDL is supposed to be revoked in NY if you refuse a chemical test in another state. So if you refused in Florida you might get revoked at home anyway. However, we have yet to see a NY CDL holder lose his license in this way, so we suspect the DMVs don’t talk to each other enough for that to happen.
You will not have to come down for most of the court appearances. The only time your lawyer might really need you is for trial, if a trial is necessary. Often simply by fighting a case, we are able to get a better deal that doesn’t count as a DWI in New York and protects your NY license. But if that doesn’t work out trial is an option. The consequences of losing a trial are generally similar to the deals that are offered, though of course there are risks whenever you take a case to trial.
Based in Boca Raton, we are within an hour’s drive of most courts in South Florida – Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The main courthouses are in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, but there are several other courthouses.
Call us at 888-733-5299, or learn more on our Palm Beach DUI website.
Warren Redlich is an attorney who handles DWI and DWAI cases in New York and DUI cases in Florida.