Why You Need a Tampa DUI Lawyer to Look At Your Case
Dedicated DUI Defense Attorney
Being charged with a DUI is a very serious crime that you should not treat lightly. You will want an experienced DUI lawyer on your side fighting for you. Taking on the case yourself and going against a difficult prosecutor on your own is not a smart choice. DUI Tampa attorneys know the right ways to defend these cases. Some of the ways that a DUI lawyer can help you include:
- Meeting with you to discuss your case and ways that they can help
- Negotiating with prosecutors to lessen the charges against you and to find alternatives to jail
- Making sure that every legal document is correctly filled out and on time
- Understanding how the court system works, a process that can be overwhelming without a lawyer beside you
- Understanding when to keep quiet and when to discuss the details of the case with the prosecutors
- Challenging any of the violations that may have been against your constitutional rights
- Getting your DUI conviction expunged. This is very important so the case will not follow you around everywhere you go, especially when applying for jobs.
After a DUI arrest, you may feel horrible about the choices you made and you may be depressed or anxious about the future. It is at this point that you should realize that you should have a Tampa DUI attorney on your side. Don’t let the post-arrest blues cloud your thinking. Call Taracks & Associates today at 813-281-2897 for a free consultation.
What Are the DUI Penalties in Florida?
If you are convicted of DUI, certain minimum mandatory sanctions are required by law. We will use the best DUI defense strategy and fight to have your DUI dismissed, either through a technical or procedural error made by law enforcement or by obtaining a “not guilty” verdict from a jury, should your case go to trial.
Possible penalties for a DUI in Tampa can include:
- Extensive fines
- Community service
- DUI school/treatment
- License suspension
- Vehicle impound
- Ignition interlock device (IID).
Another option that your lawyer for DUI may employ is to have the prosecutor reduce your DUI to a lesser charge of reckless driving. This change reduces the stigma often associated with a DUI. It removes the chance of having a DUI conviction on your record, which can hamper your career prospects, especially if you are in an industry that requires driving. Additionally, you will avoid some of the mandatory penalties associated with DUI and may not have to carry high-risk auto insurance with this reduced charge. If you face drunk driving charges, speak with a Tampa DUI lawyer from Taracks & Associates today!
Why Choose Us as Your DUI Lawyer in Tampa?
Choosing the right lawyer is a stressful time, but it can make a big difference in your case. Take the time to look for a skilled lawyer who has a positive reputation in the community. Our Tampa DUI attorney has successfully gotten DUIs reduced to reckless driving in the Tampa Bay area. With over 30 years of experience, our firm is prepared to defend you against the DUI charge and fight the suspension of your license. We will help you understand the DUI process and explain the likely outcome of your case based on our experience. We also offer convenient payment plans if your case qualifies.
Seven Reasons to Choose Barry Taracks:
- He has been helping clients with their legal challenges for over 30 years.
- He has a proven record of winning. See our case results.
- He has helped more than 10,000 people.
- He has handled 185 jury trials.
- He brings the experience of a former prosecutor.
- He comes highly recommended by peers and past clients.
- He offers free initial consultations.
Our Tampa DUI attorney at Taracks & Associates has over three decades of experience fighting DUI and drunk driving-related offenses. We understand you may feel alone or may have a lot of questions. Our team can help you navigate your case as it progresses. Don’t put your future at risk; call us for help today at (813) 281-2897.
What Are Some Possible Defenses When Challenging a DUI?
After a DUI arrest, you may think that you don’t have any valid defense for your actions. But that may not be true. A knowledgeable and veteran Tampa DUI attorney knows all of the possible defenses that can be used to either get certain evidence thrown out or, possibly, the entire case dismissed. Some defenses for challenging a DUI arrest are:
- There was no reason to stop you – When a police officer pulls someone over, there has to be a valid reason to do so. They must witness a traffic infraction or have reasonable suspicion to think you are driving while under the influence.
- No evidence that you were impaired – The police need reasonable doubt to prove that you were impaired when they pulled you over. If there is little evidence of that (if you pass a sobriety test, for example), we can ask that the case be tossed.
- Not in control of the vehicle – Sometimes the police will arrest you for DUI if you are sleeping in your vehicle to sober up. We can argue that you were not in actual control of your vehicle when you were arrested.
- The roadblock was illegal – A written set of guidelines is necessary before police can set up a roadblock. Part of these guidelines addresses how they will decide which vehicles they are going to stop. The police department must prove that guidelines were in place for the roadblock, or the judge can dismiss the case.
- The field sobriety test was given improperly – Police officers who ask for a field sobriety test sometimes explain the test wrong or they perform it incorrectly. If the test was done improperly, it may be a cause for dismissal.
There are many reasons for a case to be thrown out due to the way the police pulled you over. You have rights, and our Tampa DUI lawyers will make sure that your rights were taken into consideration when you were pulled over.
What Is My Best DUI Defense Strategy?
You may instead opt to challenge the license suspension entirely. Your attorney will set a hearing with the DMV, and if the officer is unable to prove the necessary elements, your license will be reinstated. While the appeal is pending, you will be able to drive on a hardship license.
Reputable DUI lawyers in Tampa will employ the best DUI defense strategy for your case. They can advise you on whether it’s in your best interests to waive the appeal or go forward with an appeal. Your DUI attorney in Tampa is dedicated to protecting your rights and interests. They’ll explain the hearing process.
No matter whether you choose to waive the hearing or appeal the suspension, you must act quickly, starting with hiring a DUI defense lawyer in Tampa experienced in these matters.
Should you fail to take action within ten days, your license will automatically be suspended for 90 days for a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test or 30 days for a sample that notes that you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08% in Florida.
License Suspension and DMV Hearings in Tampa
YOU NEED A DUI DEFENSE LAWYER IN TAMPA TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
Did you know that you have only ten days from the date of your arrest to take action regarding your driver’s license before an automatic suspension goes into effect? Hiring the right lawyer for DUI, one who employs the right DUI defense strategies, can help you retain your license and your freedom. For example, if this is your first DUI arrest, you have the option to waive your right to an appeal. This way, you may obtain a hardship license that will allow you to drive for work, religious, school, or medical purposes, or “for any reason necessary to maintain your livelihood.”
The hardship license is in place for one year from the date of your arrest. If you provided a sample and your blood-alcohol level was over 0.08 (the legal limit in Florida), then the hardship license will be in place for a period of six months from the date of arrest. In order to obtain the hardship license, it’s important to note that you must waive your right to appeal and enroll in DUI school within the first ten days.
Your DUI attorney in Tampa can explain how the hardship license process works and what you can expect from DUI school. They will make sure you understand the license’s limitations so that you’re compliant with the regulations.
What is Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism?
Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) is a program developed by the State Attorney’s Office; the goal is to reduce impaired driving with enhanced sanctions on first-time, non-aggravated DUI offenders. This program allows you to take a plea deal if certain requirements are met.
In order to be eligible for the RIDR program, the DUI offense must have taken place after March 1, 2018. Some of the requirements include:
- The charge must be a misdemeanor.
- You did not crash your car, resulting in the arrest.
- There was no minor in the car at the time of the arrest.
- Your BAC must have been below .20.
- You have no prior DUI charges on your record.
- You can’t be currently on probation.
If you are eligible for the program, the State Attorney will assign you a level of sanction, depending on how severe the case is. The sanction levels are between I and III.
- Level I – BAC is .15 or below.
- Level II – BAC is above .15 or you refused a breath test.
- Level III – A drug-related DUI.
Before you can enter a plea, you must complete sanctions first. All of those eligible must complete the recommended treatment, which includes DUI school, attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel, do 10 community service hours, and remain crime free. In addition, those in Levels I and II must have an ignition device installed. Level III must use a PharmCheck Drugs and Abuse Patch.
Once the sanctions are completed, the following plea deal will be offered:
- Charge of reckless driving
- 12 months of probation
- Court costs
- Ten-day vehicle immobilization
- Completion of DUI school
- Your arrest record may be sealed.
In addition, there are further pleas, depending on your sanctions level:
- Level I – 50 hours of community service and 3 months of ignition interlock alcohol monitoring.
- Level II – 75 hours of community service and 6 months of ignition interlock alcohol monitoring.
- Level III – 50 hours of community service and wear a PharmCheck Drugs and Abuse Patch for 3 months.
If you think you are eligible for the RIDR program, you should contact a Tampa DUI lawyer to discuss your options. Going through the RIDR program can go a long way to getting back on the road with your license intact.
First-Time DUI Penalties in Florida
When most people think of DUI charges, they think of being pulled over on a lonely road, blowing into a breathalyzer, and being arrested. While that certainly can occur, the truth is that a DUI charge can happen in many different ways, and the details of your case may dictate your potential penalties — and your defense options.
Florida assesses the following penalties for a first-time DUI with a BAC under .15%:
- $500 fine plus court costs
- 50 community service hours
- DUI school and any required treatment
- Ten-day vehicle impound
- Six-month license suspension.
For a first-time DUI with a BAC over .15%, the following penalties may be incurred:
- $1,000 fine plus court costs
- 50 community service hours
- DUI school and any required treatment
- Ten-day vehicle impound
- Six-month license suspension
- Six-month vehicle ignition interlock device.
If you have a second or third DUI, the penalties can get significantly harsher. For example, within five years of the first conviction, a second DUI carries a mandatory ten days in jail and a mandatory five-year license revocation. While our DUI defense lawyer in Tampa can help you in these situations, you may still face strong penalties for more than one DUI.
DUI and Serious Accidents
Sometimes, your DUI charge isn’t just from being pulled over and failing a breathalyzer. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents can cause significant harm to the people involved, including severe injury or even death. These are considered felony DUI charges, and they are very serious. If you’ve been involved in an accident where another person was hurt, you need a qualified criminal defense attorney.
DUI AND SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
According to Florida state law, if you are involved in an accident that causes property damage or personal injury, you will be guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. This could result in a $1,000 fine or one year in prison. An accident involving serious bodily injury will result in a third-degree felony ($5,000 fine and five years in prison).
If you caused serious bodily injury to another person, you might not just face criminal charges but a potential lawsuit in civil court. Hiring the right lawyer can help you mitigate the penalties associated with DUI and serious bodily injury.
Should a defendant kill another human or an unborn child while operating a vehicle under the influence, they will be guilty of having committed DUI manslaughter. This is an extremely serious charge. The penalties are severe, and the long-term consequences that will stem from a successful conviction are not something that should be taken lightly.
Make sure you hire a Tampa DUI manslaughter lawyer from Taracks & Associates as soon as possible. DUI with manslaughter is a serious charge and can result in up to fifteen years in prison, as will a conviction for vehicular manslaughter, which also carries penalties of a possible fine of $10,000. You cannot afford to take a chance on your future if you’ve been charged with DUI manslaughter. This is a felony offense, with penalties that include a minimum of four years of incarceration and could lead to a complete loss of driving privileges.
FAQs About DUIs in Tampa
OUR DUI DEFENSE LAWYER IN TAMPA HAS ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS
After a DUI, you might naturally have questions for DUI lawyers in Tampa. Here are some of the most common questions our clients ask:
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 consult with an attorney. We suggest that you use both of these rights. Be careful not to admit any sort of guilt, even if you think you’re in the wrong. You also do not have to answer any questions until you hire an attorney. Your lawyer will speak on your behalf or tell you when to respond. After a DUI arrest, we encourage you to contact a Tampa DUI lawyer from Taracks & Associates at (813) 281-2897.
DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT TO THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS?
While you don’t have to submit to field sobriety tests, such as touching your nose or walking in a straight line, you do have to submit to chemical tests. Field sobriety tests may be part of a traffic stop when an officer suspects that you may be driving under the influence. If you are arrested for DUI, you must submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine). Refusal will warrant automatic license suspension. Regardless of the test results, you should always retain services from a DUI attorney in Tampa.
IF I PLAN TO PLEAD GUILTY AND TAKE THE HARDSHIP LICENSE, DO I NEED DUI LAWYERS IN TAMPA?
Even if you are guilty of a DUI, hiring an attorney can help reduce possible criminal penalties from the DUI charge. A criminal defense attorney is your advocate and is there to equalize the balance of power through DUI defense strategies for people who have been arrested for a crime. They protect your rights and may be able to help you move forward with your life.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING MY DUI REDUCED TO RECKLESS DRIVING?
Reckless driving does not carry any of the 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 removing your mugshot from the Sheriff’s Office website. Reckless driving eliminates the stigma associated with DUI and will not require you to carry the increased auto insurance (SR-22/SR-44) related to a DUI conviction. Essentially, reckless driving is Florida’s answer to a “reduced” DUI.
IF I HAVE ACCESS TO A PUBLIC DEFENDER, WHY HIRE YOUR FIRM?
Florida’s Public Defender’s Office has many attorneys available to represent clients who either cannot afford it or are otherwise unable to hire their own lawyer. There is a significant 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 Tampa DUI attorneys, we take the time to get to know each client individually. We intentionally keep our caseload small to dedicate more time and attention to our clients. Your lawyer for a DUI may be the only person who can help protect your future and your rights.
You may have other questions that we haven’t covered, so we urge you to book a free consultation with a DUI lawyer at Taracks & Associates to discuss your circumstances and how to protect your interests. You can reach our team at (813) 281-2897.
- Helping Clients with Their Legal Challenges for over 30 Years
- More than 10,000 People Helped
- 185 Jury Trials Handled
- The Experience of a Former Prosecutor
- Highly Recommended by Peers & Past Clients
- Free Initial Consultations
Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer in Tampa
A DUI charge can significantly impact your life. Choosing the right Tampa DUI lawyer, one with experience aggressively fighting DUI charges on their clients’ behalf, can help you protect your future.
“Who is the best DUI lawyer in Tampa?” is hard to answer. Obviously, one with a track record of successfully defending their clients is important. Still, there are a few characteristics that you should look for when you’re sitting down with a potential lawyer for DUI for your free consultation.
We recently sat down with a Tampa DUI lawyer and Former State Prosecutor for Hillsborough County, Tav Gomez, to discuss the characteristics that you should look for in your Tampa DUI attorney.
“First,” Mr. Gomez says, “you should focus on experience. It is important to hire an attorney who knows the law as well as the criminal justice system. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will know the judges and prosecutors as well as his way around the courthouse. This will be extremely helpful in helping to fight your case, including negotiations with the state attorney’s office and trial preparation if necessary.”
It is also essential that your Tampa DUI lawyer knows and understands the law. “Our system of justice is built upon statutes and precedent — what has happened in similar cases before. It is important that you hire an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer who is up to date on changes in the law. An experienced Tampa DUI attorney will have handled hundreds or thousands of DUI cases and will be able to compare and contrast your particular case to holdings of similar cases in your jurisdiction,” says Mr. Gomez.
If you have been arrested for DUI, all hope is not lost. Our firm’s goal is to help you avoid a DUI conviction. Call us at (813) 281-2897 and request your free and confidential consultation with our highly experienced Tampa DUI lawyer.
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Let Our Tampa DUI Lawyer Work For You! Call (813) 281-2897 Now
Choosing the right lawyer is a stressful time. It can often times make a big difference in your case. Take time and look for an experienced lawyer who has a positive reputation in the community. Our Tampa DUI attorney has had great success in getting DUI’s reduced to Reckless Driving in the Tampa Bay area. With over 30 years of experience, our firm is prepared to defend you against the DUI charge and fight the suspension of your license. We will help you understand the process and explain what the likely outcome of your case will be based on our experience. We also offer convenient payment plans if your case qualifies.