Why Choosing Taracks & Associates Matters
- 50 Years of Combined Legal Experience
- Former Prosecutors Fight for You
- Handling Cases in State & Federal Court
- Free Initial Case Consultations
- Focused on Results-Oriented Counsel
- Highly Recommended by Past Clients
“Barry Helped Save My Career and with the Results He Made it Happen.”
– Anton, Former Client
Serving our clients has been at the core of our practice since our firm began. In fact, our firm is known by and large for our passion for protecting the best interests of our clients. Handling every single case with equal amounts of skill and compassion has been our cornerstone since 1989 and we continue to practice in the same vein today.
I've been arrested for DUI. What's the first thing I should do?
After an arrest, you have the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney. We suggest that you use both these rights. Be careful not to admit any sort of guilt. You also do not have to answer any questions until you procure an attorney's services. After a DUI arrest, we encourage you to contact a Tampa DUI lawyer from Taracks & Associates.
If I have access to a public defender, why hire your firm?
Florida's Public Defender's Office has many attorneys who are available to represent clients that either cannot afford it or are otherwise unable to hire their own lawyer. There is a major disadvantage in utilizing a public defender. These attorneys typically have very large caseloads, leaving them little time to get to know you and your case. With our firm, we take the time to get to know each client individually. We intentionally keep our caseload small so that we can dedicate more time and attention to our clients.
Do I have to submit to the field sobriety tests?
No. You do not have to submit to the standardized field sobriety tests. You do, however, have to submit to the chemical tests. It is important to know the difference between the two. Field sobriety tests are administered at the traffic stop, so typically on the side of the road by a law enforcement officer. Field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn test and the one-leg stand. In some jurisdictions, officers also carry portable breath testing devices for field sobriety testing, but these are not the chemical tests. Only after a lawful arrest are you required to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood or urine). Refusal will warrant automatic license suspension.
How accurate are breath testing machines?
Like any electronic device, breath testing machines are subject to error. They are subject to human error and they are subject to mechanical error. These machines inherently have a margin of error that could show a BAC that is off by fractions of a percentage. Breath testing machines, if administered incorrectly, could also give false readings. Our firm may be able to get a DUI charge dropped by proving the test was administered improperly or because that particular breath test model has proven to be faulty in the past.
Is the maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) different for truckers?
Yes. Truck drivers are federally regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA recently passed a rule that truckers could be arrested, charged and even convicted of DUI for having a blood alcohol content of .04 percent or higher while the maximum BAC for all other drivers is .08 percent.
Should I accept a plea bargain?
This will depend on your particular case and how good your chances are of getting your charges dismissed. Only enter into a plea bargain after careful discussion with your lawyer. The prosecution often offers plea bargains (or "plea deals") in order to end the criminal court process more quickly by getting the defendant to agree to plead guilty. In exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecution will offer a reduced sentence or lesser charges.
What are the benefits of getting my DUI reduced to Reckless Driving?
Reckless Driving does not carry any of the aforementioned minimum mandatory sanctions associated with a DUI conviction. Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a "withhold" of adjudication with regards to an amended charge of reckless driving, which may make you eligible for a sealing or expunction of your record. This would also result in removal of your mug-shot from the Sheriff's Office website. Reckless Driving removes the stigma associated with DUI and will not require you to carry the increased auto insurance (SR-22/SR-44) associated with a DUI conviction. Essentially, Reckless Driving is Florida's answer to a "reduced" DUI.
Can I get my DUI conviction expunged?
In some instances, yes. Only those who meet the qualification standards can get their DUI charges expunged or "sealed" from their criminal records. Certain charges may be expunged and others may not be expunged. Review § 943.0585 to learn whether or not you qualify.
If I'm convicted and my license is suspended, can I get a hardship license?
Yes, but not always. If this is your first DUI conviction, you may apply for a hardship license before your revocation period expires. You may be subject to fees and DUI school before you can qualify though. You can still apply for a hardship license after a second DUI offense within five years of your first, but a third or subsequent DUI offense will disqualify you from this option.