Responding to Boating Under the Influence Charges in Miami
Florida’s climate allows boaters the year-round ability to enjoy time on the water. While picnicking and sipping a drink offshore can be fun as a passenger, drivers must remain cautious of law enforcement’s spontaneous checks to ensure they’re able to operate the vessel safely. If you are charged with a BUI, however, you have time to fight your case and work towards avoiding a conviction.
What Do I Do When I’ve Been Arrested?
If you’ve been arrested for a BUI, the first critical step is to enlist the help of an attorney with experience handling these charges, such as Armando J. Hernandez. Having legal defense and representation is important, but it’s essential to ensure that your lawyer is intimately familiar with the laws and penalties surrounding BUI to afford you a good chance at fighting the charge.
After contacting our lawyer, your focus will be on getting released from jail by posting bond. Successfully posting bond means you can stay at home and maintain communication with our attorney easier while we prepare for your trial.
When the time for your trial arrives, our lawyer will accompany you and provide aggressive defense to fight the charge.
What Are the Penalties for BUI?
Like DUI, BUI penalties become more severe with each subsequent charge. Disregarding any aggravating factors that could render the punishments more severe, BUI convictions are punishable by:
- Up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500 for a first offense
- Up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for a second offense
For subsequent arrests, BUI can be charged as a felony, incurring potentially years in prison.
How Are BUIs Different from DUIs?
BUIs and the laws surrounding them include significant differentiating factors compared to DUIs. BUIs are different from DUIs for reasons including:
- Even if your boat is sitting idle on the water while you enjoy a drink, you can be charged with a BUI. If you are deemed to be the person in charge, you must remain sober while at sea.
- Law enforcement officials do not need to suspect intoxication to stop and board your boat.
- Those charged with BUIs may refuse blood or urine tests and, since they do not have a boating license, they will be subject to a $500 fine for a first-time refusal, rather than loss of license. Upon future refusals, refusal is subject to a first-degree misdemeanor charge.
BUIs are distinct from DUIs, but they are no more pleasant. If you or a loved one have been charged with a BUI in Miami, contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez for professional and adept representation.