South Florida DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing a criminal charge or even a criminal investigation is a daunting experience. You should not take any chances in this situation. Choose a lawyer who is personally invested in the outcome of your case. Our Broward County criminal lawyer, Russell D. Bernstein will communicate with you directly and use all of his skills and experience to produce the best possible results under the circumstances. Our dedicated staff recognize that an accusation or conviction could change your life. From speeding tickets to felony charges, we handle each case with compassion and care.

Criminal Defense

Crimes are usually charged as either misdemeanors, which are less serious, or felonies, which are more serious. All crimes need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Still, in most cases, a prosecutor will not pursue criminal charges unless they have sufficient evidence to think that they have a good chance of winning. A felony or misdemeanor conviction can result in a term of incarceration, fines, a driver’s license suspension, probation, or a requirement that you complete substance abuse or domestic violence education and treatment. Certain crimes carry a mandatory minimum sentence. Subsequent convictions can result in harsher penalties, making it especially critical to consult a criminal lawyer in Broward County promptly.


Driving under the influence (DUI) is taken seriously by Florida prosecutors. You can be convicted of DUI in Florida if you are in actual physical control of a car while under the influence, meaning that you are deprived of your full possession of normal faculties. You can be convicted of a per se DUI if you have a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. In Florida, drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI must agree to a chemical test of their urine, blood, or breath in order to decide whether they are under the influence. This is an implied consent law, and a driver who refuses to take the test can face a year’s license revocation.

Traffic Tickets

Traffic tickets can be inconvenient, and they can also have more cumbersome consequences, such as a long license suspension, fines, and even incarceration. You can receive a traffic ticket for driving on a suspended license, speeding, racing, road rage, a failure to yield, reckless driving, rear-ending, an improper U-turn, following too closely, a red light violation, a hit and run, or fleeing and eluding. In Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles uses a point system. If you accumulate 12 points in one year, your license will be suspended for 30 days. If you have gotten 18 points in an 18-month period, you will face a three-month suspension. If you have gotten 24 points in 36 months, you will face a one-year suspension.

Suspended Licenses

If you knowingly drive on a suspended license, you may face more serious criminal consequences than you realize. Three suspended license convictions within five years can result in a classification as a habitual traffic offender. Someone classified as a habitual traffic offender cannot get a hardship license until after a year has passed from the most recent conviction. There are defenses that a Broward County criminal attorney potentially can raise to this charge. For example, perhaps the driver did not know of the suspension or cancellation, perhaps the driver was not driving on a public highway, or perhaps the vehicle was not a motor vehicle for the purposes of the driver’s license law.

Probation Violations

In Florida, a probation violation happens when a criminal defendant violates the terms of probation that are part of their sentence. Common probation violations include being arrested for a new crime, failing to complete a drug diversion or treatment program, failing to follow financial duties, or failing to meet with the probation officer at the appointed times without a legitimate excuse. If you have been charged with a probation violation, the consequences could be serious. Generally, to be convicted of a crime, a defendant needs to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard. The standard for probation violation cases is the lower standard of preponderance of the evidence. Lower courts have broad discretion to determine the consequences for probation violations.

Expungement and Record Sealing

A criminal record carries a substantial stigma. It can haunt you in connection with finding a job, renting a home, applying to colleges or graduate schools, and trying to get a professional license. There are tools that can be used to reduce or remove that stigma. If you are eligible to get an expungement, our Broward County criminal lawyer can help you get your record clean. If you are eligible for record sealing, information about your arrest or criminal charges can be put under very restricted access.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes in Florida may involve cocaine, marijuana, meth, crack cocaine, Xanax, and other illegal substances. These drug charges can involve possession, possessing with intent to sell, manufacturing, delivery, and selling. Trafficking is a particularly serious drug crime, and it can be charged if you are caught with more than a threshold amount of a specific drug. For example, you can be charged with hydrocodone trafficking if the amount of hydrocodone involved is 14 grams or more. Drug trafficking can result in a mandatory minimum sentence, which means that the judge has no discretion.

Assault and Battery

Assault and battery are separate crimes in Florida. Assault involves a threat of immediate force that creates a fear of imminent harm. It can be charged even if there was no physical contact between the victim and the perpetrator. Battery involves an unwelcome touching of another person, and often it results in injuries. There are different kinds of battery. Aggravated battery, for instance, can involve a defendant’s intent to inflict a serious bodily injury on a victim.

Domestic Violence

In Florida, domestic violence involves any crime that results in death or physical injury to a family or household member by another family or household member. The crime could involve assault, aggravated assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, kidnapping, stalking, aggravated stalking, or false imprisonment. Domestic violence may arise out of an everyday situation that has spiraled out of control. Sometimes it is difficult for the police to figure out who is at fault for domestic violence. It is important to retain an attorney who can explain your version of what happened to a judge or jury.

Consult an Experienced Criminal Attorney in Broward County

If you are charged with a crime in Florida, you can face serious penalties. A conviction can result in a criminal record. Your future may be changed irrevocably. Our firm provides excellent legal services at reasonable rates for a wide range of criminal charges, including DUI, domestic violence, and drug crimes. Russell D. Bernstein has offices in Coral Springs, Weston, Hallandale, Boca Raton, North Miami, and Jacksonville, from which he represents people throughout the state of Florida. Contact us at 954-752-2010 or via our online form.

Client Reviews

I had an accident on 3/29 and explained all the details to Attorney Russell D Bernstein and he was able to get me a very favorable outcome in court so I would definitely recommend him! Great Attorney!

- Gabriel

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