Meltzer and Bell, PA remains committed to the people of South Florida during this very difficult time. Please know that we are open and will remain so 24 hours a day, seven days a week to those in our community who need our help.

Out of State DUI

Driving under the influence is illegal across the nation, but different state jurisdictions handle DUI charges differently. So, when an out-of-state visitor comes to Florida and is unexpectedly arrested it can be confusing on what the process will look like. Without the right planning however it can include juggling DUI charges while spending exceedingly high travel costs just so you can resolve your case in Florida.

Being charged with an out of state DUI may mean you will be required to book multiple return flights and miss countless days of work for court appearances. In addition, it’s a mistake to assume that what happens in Florida will not follow them back home, but this could not be further from the truth. Possible employers can be able to see your criminal charges in Florida if you were convicted of driving under the influence. It could affect your ability to get employment, loans or housing. 

Fort Lauderdale Attorneys for Out of State DUIs in Florida

If you were charged with DUI in South Florida but live in another state, it could be in your best interest to be represented by legal counsel such as Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. The out-of-state DUI attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. help clients who are not Florida residents achieve the most favorable outcomes to their drunk driving cases without making unnecessary and costly trips. 

Let our firm evaluate your case by calling (561) 557-8686 right now to set up a free, confidential consultation. We will sit with you to discuss your case in further detail. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. handles these types of cases in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, St. Lucie County, Martin County, and Broward County.

Overview of Out of State DUIs in FL

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Penalties for Driving Under the Influence While Visiting Florida

The crime of driving under the influence can result in harsh penalties that can have a huge impact on your life. You will still face criminal charges for DUI even if you are not a resident of Florida. The penalties for the crime include expensive fines you must pay out of pocket as well as a term of imprisonment. If you are from another state, then you may find yourself being shoved back and forth between your home state and Florida to resolve your case. 

The following are the penalties for a visitor DUI in Florida. 

  • First Offense
    • Jail sentence of up to six months;
    • Fine between $500 and $1,000;
    • 50 hours of required community service;
    • 10-day vehicle impoundment;
    • Completion of DUI school; and
    • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device. 
  • Second Offense
    • Jail sentence of up to nine months;
    • Fine between $1,000 and $2,000;
    • 50 hours of required community service;
    • 30-day vehicle impoundment;
    • Completion of DUI school; and
    • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device.
  • Third Offense
    • Up to five years in prison;
    • Fine up to $5,000;
    • 50 hours of required community service;
    • 90-day vehicle impoundment;
    • Completion of DUI school; and
    • Mandatory ignition interlock device for up to two years. 

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Popular Tourist Destinations in Florida

Whether its bars or nightclubs, South Florida is world-renowned for its nightlife. This makes it understandable that many tourists partake in evenings involving alcoholic beverages while they are on vacation. Unfortunately, that can lead to driving under the influence charges.

There are several notable attractions in the area that are hot spots for visitors. A few examples of these popular tourist locations include:

Broward County

Miami-Dade County

Palm Beach County

Aruba Beach Café
Bahia Cabana
Beach Place
Bull Market
The Dive Bar
Elbo Room
Greenbrier Restaurant & Bar
Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge
Mai-Kai Restaurant
Tap 42

Ball & Chain
Brick House
Blackbird Ordinary
Finka Table & Tap
Haven Lounge
Lou's Beer Garden
Mac's Club Deuce
The Rum Line

The Backyard
The Blue Anchor Pub
Boston's On The Beach
E.R. Bradley's Saloon
Old Key Lime House
Panama Hatties
Roxy’s Pub
Square Grouper Tiki Bar
Sweetwater Bar and Gril

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Options for Out of State DUI Charges in Florida

The consequences associated with driving under the influence are nothing to laugh about. However, when the offender is from out of state the process to resolve the case can be confusing. If you don’t make arrangements beforehand, then you could be paying multiple flights to and from the state of Florida just to complete your case plus your sentencing conditions may include the requirement of performing community service in Florida for a certain number of hours.

This means you will find yourself with huge travel bills and an extraordinary amount of stress. Thankfully, you do have some options. Hiring legal representation can give you the insight into your criminal charges as well as give you some information on legal avenues you can pursue. Your attorney can utilize their skills so you can limit your trips back and forth between Florida and your home state. They may even get your case dismissed before trial so you will only have to travel to Florida one or two times.

Skilled attorneys can utilize several legal options to help minimize your trips to Florida, save money and ensure you don’t miss too much work. Some possible options your attorney could pursue, but are not limited to: 

  • Plea in Absentia – The prosecutor may be willing to reduce charges for a lighter sentence if you do plea bargaining. In this case, you could be able to enter a plea in absentia if your DUI was a misdemeanor. This is where your attorney enters your plea on your behalf.
  • Probation Transfers – The ultimate goal of your attorney is to get your charges reduced or dismissed without a probation sentence. When this is unavoidable, however, they can help set up your probation term to your home state through the Interstate of Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS).
  • Diversion Program – You may be able to participate in a diversion program if you qualify. You will follow a set of terms and conditions to avoid incarceration in Florida. If the diversion program is available in your state or can be conducted online, then your attorney can champion for the judge to allow you to do either.
  • Dismissed Charges – The ultimate goal is to get your DUI charges completely dismissed. If your charges are dismissed, you won’t be forced to travel to and from Florida and avoid the statutory penalties. Your attorney can contest the DUI stop, collect evidence and file motions to get your charges dismissed.

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Additional Resources 

ICAOS – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Corrections to learn more about Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. Find out how the Interstate Compact works, how to apply and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Florida DUI Laws – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida state laws and legislation. Find more information surrounding driving under the influence, the aggravating factors for a DUI and other motor vehicle-related offenses. 

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Out of State DUI Defense Lawyer in Florida

Were you arrested for DUI in South Florida but live in another state? Working with legal representation based in the Sunshine State can minimize the stress and penalties you face in Florida as well as your home state.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fights on behalf of people who were charged with drunk driving in cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and many other communities in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County. We will discuss your case with you and evaluate your legal options when you call (561) 557-8686 today to for a free consultation.

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Client Testimonials for Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Client Testimonials
  • ...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.

  • I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!

  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

  • I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!

  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

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Client Testimonials