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 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.
Quality Representation Matters in Your Tampa DUI Case
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.
Get an Aggressive Tampa DUI Defense with Taracks & Associates
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) 990-0599.
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.
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:
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) 990-0599.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Like any electronic device, breath-testing machines are subject to human and 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 Tampa DUI lawyer may be able to get a drunk driving charge dropped by proving the test was administered improperly or showing evidence that the particular device has proven to be faulty in the past.
This is unique to each situation, so ensure that you talk to your lawyer first. A good plea bargain will depend on your particular case and how good your chances are of getting your charges dismissed. The prosecution often offers plea bargains (or “plea deals”) to end the criminal court process more quickly by getting the defendant to agree to plead guilty. The prosecution will offer a reduced sentence or lesser charges in exchange for a guilty plea.
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.
This device is similar to the breathalyzer unit that the police use to determine your BAC. It attaches to your vehicle, and you must blow into it to turn the car on. If you have been drinking, then the device detects your BAC and will not allow you to start or continue operating the vehicle.
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. 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.
Whether you can get car insurance after a DUI depends on your insurance carrier. If they continue to sell you coverage, your rates will likely go up. Some insurance companies specialize in providing insurance for people who have received a DUI conviction, but the rates will likely be higher.
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) 990-0599.
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 DUI and 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.