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Fighting Driving Under the Influence Charges

An individual is considered drunk if his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or high. In Florida, driving und the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal under Florida code § 316.193 and punishable by a fines, probation and incarceration. Your first DUI conviction is punishable by a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $1,000. If you are convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .15% or higher, you may be charged up to $2,000.

Your third DUI conviction is punishable by no less than $2,000. If convicted of DUI with an extremely high BAL, you may have to pay more than $4,000. The presence of a minor in the vehicle may affect the severity of your fine, too. After your fourth conviction, you will be charged no less than $2,000. Additionally, first conviction DUI is punishable by 50 house of mandatory community service and for every hour of community services required, you may have to pay an additional $10 fine. If convicted of your first DUI, you may be sentenced to a one year probationary period as well.

In Florida, DUI is a serious crime with serious consequences. Thankfully, you are entitled to a strong defense against your charges. The Tampa DUI lawyers at Taracks Gomez & Rickman are skilled to take on the challenge of your defense. After your first conviction, you may be sentenced to six months in jail. If convicted of driving with a BAL higher than .15%, you may be sentenced to nine months of incarceration instead. Second DUI convictions are punishable by nine months in jail. Extremely high BAL convictions or a third DUI conviction may result in one year of incarceration. Fourth and subsequent convictions are punishable by no more than five years in prison. More serious DUI-related crimes are punishable by longer periods of incarceration and exorbitant fines.

Felony DUI: Manslaughter & Vehicular Homicide

Felony DUI may be punished by a $5,000 fine and five years in prison. Felony DUI is a serious conviction and is usually the result of aggravated circumstances. For instance, if you are convicted of multiple DUIs with extremely high BALs in a short amount of time, you may be charged with felony DUI. The presence of a child in the car or serious bodily injury may affect whether your case is charged as a felony. Vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide are two of the most serious DUI charges you can face.

If convicted of DUI manslaughter, you may be subject to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in prison. Vehicular homicide is considered as second degree felony and punishable by 15 years of incarceration, too. If you are charged and convicted of vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of the accident, you may be subject to a $10,000 fine and 30 years of imprisonment. These are serious penalties, but they may not be penalties that you have to face. With the help of a skilled Tampa DUI defense attorney on your side, you may be able to get your charges dismissed completely, or lessened significantly.

Types of DUI Cases Taracks Gomez & Rickman Handles

If you were pulled over by law enforcement and charged with DUI, your next moves can greatly influence the outcome of your case. If you immediately contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer to defend you, the likelihood of a better case outcome can be greatly increased. Our legal team has extensive experience and familiarity with defending all types of DUI offenses, including the following:

Just like operating a motor vehicle, it is illegal to operate any type of watercraft while under the influence of alcohol over the legal amount of 0.08 percent.

Underage DUI
Florida is a "zero tolerance" state when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Those under the age of 21 that are found to have a BAC of more than .02 will be arrested for DUI and could risk losing their license.

DHSMV Hearing
Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is responsible for suspending licenses. After a DUI arrest, you only have a matter of days in which you can request this administrative hearing in which you can fight to get your driving privileges restored.

Multiple DUI
Upon a second conviction, your penalties will increase. A second DUI conviction in Florida can cause your fines to increase to $2,000 and a third DUI conviction can result in a mandatory 30 day prison sentence or up to one year if it was the third conviction within a ten year period.

Felony DUI
A felony DUI conviction can result in a $5,000 fine, up to five years in prison and other serious penalties. Typically, this charge is reserved for those whose DUI caused injury, death or this was their second or subsequent offense.

DUI Manslaughter
Manslaughter and vehicular homicide penalties are listed out in the Florida Statutes § 316.193. Depending on the exact circumstances, this could be a first or second degree felony.

DUI with Drugs
It is difficult to prove that a person was under the influence of drugs to the extent that it impaired their driving. There may be a strong defense for you if you were arrested for DUI & drugs, especially if it involved prescription drug use.

DUI with Injury
This crime can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony per Florida Statute 316.193(3) and 316.193(2). Those arrested for DUI with simple personal injury can face a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 or one year imprisonment. Those arrested for DUI with serious bodily injury will be facing a third degree felony punishable by up to $5,000 and up to five years imprisonment.

Vehicular Manslaughter
According to Florida Statute 316.193(3), vehicular homicide and manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by up to $10,000 and up to 15 years imprisonment. Aggravating factors such as leaving the scene can bump the penalties up to a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment.

The "10 Day Rule" & Administrative Penalties

When arrested for a DUI in Tampa, you have only 10 days in which to request a formal review request related to the suspension of your drivers' license. If you do not act, you will be restricted from driving, in many cases for 6 months. License suspension and revocation are administrative penalties, rather than criminal penalties, and therefore they will be handled in an administrative hearing. The administrative hearing is distinct from the criminal hearing and will only evaluate whether or not your license should be suspended. If you fail to request this hearing within ten days of receiving your notice of suspension, then you forego your right to contest the suspension/revocation. As of July 1, 2013, first DUI offenders may not have to suffer suspension for any period if they prove that they are required to drive to get to work or school. Talk to a Tampa DUI attorney at our firm for more information.

DUI Defenses

Our legal team will thoroughly analyze all aspects of your case such as the arrest procedure, testing and testing devices used as there are frequently errors that, when identified, could result in a reduction (to a lesser charge such as "reckless driving") or dismissal of your drunk driving charges. Taracks Gomez & Rickman Tampa DUI attorneys can ask some of the following questions regarding your case:

  • Was the traffic stop lawful / warranted?
  • Was proper procedure used when administering the chemical test?
  • Is the type or brand of breath testing machine used known for error?
  • Were you informed of your rights as well as the consequences of refusing a chemical test?
  • Were there outside factors that could have contributed to a false reading? These factors can include diabetes, certain types of food and even mouth piercings.
  • What was the time of chemical testing comparative to the time of driving?

Contacting a DUI Attorney in Tampa, FL

When the arrest has been incorrect with regard to procedures, or there have been errors in testing, our legal team will fight for a case dismissal. We have state of the art breath testing devices with which to verify results. One of our lead Tampa DUI attorneys is a Certified Breath Test Operator and can easily identify and challenge errors in the testing device or administration of the test. If you want to defend your DUI case, contact a Tampa DUI attorney from our firm at once so that your defense case can be immediately initiated and the necessary actions taken to fight for your freedom, your license and your future. Call 813-289-4357 today for a free evaluation of your case.

Tampa Office (Main)
3210 West Cypress Street
Tampa, FL 33607
Local: (888) 874-2911

Brandon Office
410 South Ware Blvd.
Suite 1203
Tampa, FL. 33619

Pinellas Office
10300 49th Street North
Suite 211
Clearwater, FL. 33762