Tampa DUI Lawyer

Tampa Attorney Representation Since 1978

An arrest for a charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can have a significant impact on your life. Representation by an experienced trial attorney is crucial in defending your case and protecting your rights.

Legal Limit

The legal limit in Florida is 0.08. What this mean is if the Defendant had breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher he or she is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol. However, a breath test result over the legal limit does not automatically mean that you will not be able to successfuly defend a charge of DUI. Many other factors have to be considered when defending a charge of DUI. For example, the arresting officer may not have had sufficient probable cause to arrest the driver, the officer may not have administered the field sobriety exercises properly, the breath test machine may not have been properly maintained, or there may exist some other grounds to suppress the evidence. There are many possible defenses that an experienced trial attorney will look for to weaken the State's case.

Actual Physical Control

It is also possible to be arrested for DUI when you were not even driving. A classic example of this situation is when an arrest occurs when a Defendant is merely sitting in driver's seat of the vehicle with the key in the ignition. Although it is most commonly known as driving under the influence, Florida law actually also penalizes one who is in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. There are many possible defenses to a charge of DUI while in "actual physical control" that our experienced attorneys will explore in your case.

10 day Warning/Rule

If you refused to take a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DUI in Florida, or if the results of your breath test were .08% blood-alcohol or above, your license will be suspended unless a written demand for an administrative hearing is filed within 10 days after arrest. You only have ten days from the date of your arrest to have your attorney request the Formal Review Hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles so don’t delay. In requesting this hearing, we will, in most cases, be able to obtain a hardship license for you which will carry you beyond the ten initial days following your arrest. And, if we prevail at the hearing, you may not experience any interruption in your ability to drive whatsoever!

Frequently asked questions for DUI

Q: The officer did not read my rights. Does that mean my case will be dismissed?

A: Not likely. The failure to advise you of your rights affects your statements, not physical evidence like breath or blood tests.

Q. Does the DMV administrative formal review hearing have any bearing on the criminal hearing?

A. No. They are two independent and separate proceedings. However, having your lawyer attend the DMV hearing can help your attorney prepare for your criminal case.

Q. Why was my license taken away after my arrest? When will I get it back?

A. Under Florida law, your license can be administratively suspended for refusal to take a breath, blood or urine test or for a breath test result of .08 or greater. The length of this suspension can be from six to eighteen months.

Q. Will I be sentenced to jail?

A: On a first offense, probably not. On second or later offenses, the possibility of jail time becomes a more likely scenario.

Q: If I'm convicted, how long will the DUI remain on my driving record? On my criminal record?

A: A DUI conviction is on both your driving and criminal records for life.

Q: Can my case be reduced to reckless driving?

A: Possibly. The specific facts of your case and your driving history will help us determine if your case can possibly be reduced to reckless driving.

This is a very time-sensitive issue. You should consult an attorney immediately if you find yourself in this position.

If you have been convicted of a DUI, contact your Tampa Criminal Defense Law Firm at 813-223-5775.