What to Do After a DUI Arrest in Florida

Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences.  


If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI in the state of Florida, it is critical to know what to do next and understand the details of Florida law.  


Our attorneys outline all of the steps you should take after a DUI arrest, including understanding your rights under Florida law, finding legal representation, and navigating the court system. 



Handling a DUI Arrest in the Sunshine State 


Being arrested for drunk driving can be a terrifying experience because drunk driving charges are sometimes the first and only legal run-ins that many people will ever have.


Being arrested for a DUI charge in Florida is  

not something that should be taken lightly. 


It might be challenging to know where to turn or who to trust when facing the prospect of high penalties, jail time, and a prolonged license suspension. It’s important to understand the arrest procedure so you can better prepare for what will happen to protect yourself.


If possible, take some time before making any decisions so that you have time to think things over properly with an experienced lawyer’s guidance. 


Step #1. The Arrest 


During a DUI traffic stop, it is in your best interest to remain calm and polite with the arresting officer. Being aggressive or argumentative will just make things worse.

You do not need to speak or provide any other information other than your: 


  • Name 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Proof of insurance 
  • Vehicle registration  



Remember that Miranda warnings extend to DUI arrests, 

 so stay quiet and don’t incriminate yourself.  



If the officer asks you where you are headed, where you came from, or whether or not you have been drinking, you are NOT required by law to respond. Anything you say can and will be used against you later, so it is best to stay quiet.   


The office may ask you to perform roadside field sobriety tests or take a breathalyzer test if they suspect that you are intoxicated. 


These tests, which are known as preliminary alcohol screens (PAS), are solely used to assist the officer in determining if they have sufficient grounds to initiate an arrest. These tests are fully optional, and you are NOT obligated to take them if you have not yet been arrested.


Step #2. Being Booked 


If an officer has decided they have enough evidence for an arrest, they will: 


  • Tell you that you are being arrested for DUI  
  • Place you in handcuffs 
  • Read you your Miranda rights 
  • Take you to the local county jail for processing  


When you arrive at the jail, a breath, blood, or urine test will be required to determine the level of alcohol in your system.


Under Florida’s implied consent law, you must consent to any chemical test that an officer requests when you are lawfully arrested. Refusing a chemical test can result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, or even longer if you have a history of refusals.


After you have submitted these tests, you will be booked and held in custody for at least eight hours.  


Step #3. The Bond Process 


Once you have been held for eight hours, or your BAC level has dropped below 0.05%, you will be released. If this is your first time driving under the influence, you will likely be allowed to leave without having to post bond.  


DUI bonds will vary in price depending on the circumstances of your arrest.  


Step #4. Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney  


After being released, you must hire a skilled DUI lawyer who can defend your interests and lessen the likelihood of a conviction. Our attorneys at Stechschulte Nell have successfully defended countless accused clients accused of drunk driving around the Tampa Bay area, and we can use our extensive legal experience to fight for a reduction or dismissal of the charges you face.


Further, we can help you set up a DMV administrative license suspension hearing and possibly a hardship license depending on your circumstances.  


What You Can Do After a DUI Arrest  


Set yourself up for success with these last few tips from our skilled lawyers.  


Start a Case Folder  


Success in court depends on being well-organized. Hold onto your original DUI citation as well as any court notifications and paperwork from your attorney.


In addition:  


  • Gather any receipts, and print out all social media posts, text messages, and pictures from the night of your arrest. Our attorneys will sift through everything to look for anything that can support your defense.


  • Witness testimony can be beneficial to your case.  Make a note of everyone you spoke to or were with on the night of the arrest, along with their names and phone numbers.


  • Record whatever you can recall and/or acquire evidence for. No matter how unimportant a piece of information may seem, document it and let your attorney decide if it will aid your case. Cases are often won and lost in the details.


Set All Social Media Accounts to Private  


Any of your posts, tweets, and photos on social media can and will be used against you in court during your case.  


Set all your social accounts to private and DO NOT post anything about alcohol. Also, avoid discussing your case in a public setting. It’s preferable to keep oneself out of the public eye since lawyers search social media for any damning information they can use against you in court.


Don’t Obsess Over It  


We know that it is easier said than done, but don’t let your legal case consume your headspace. Rest assured that we will be fighting for your rights every step of the way! 


Read More > Under Arrest for a DUI? Keep Cool! 


Florida DUI Defense  


Even though a DUI arrest is likely one of the most stressful events in your life, you can find peace of mind knowing that your case is being handled by a knowledgeable attorney who will fight for your best outcome.  


With hundreds of positive outcomes for our clients, our lawyers at Stechschulte Nell Law will help mitigate the charges against you so you can get back to living your life.  


Contact us for a DUI case review today at 813-280-1244. We are ready to defend your case.  


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