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DUI Defense Attorney in Tampa Bay – Tampa DUI Lawyer

An Experienced Tampa DUI Lawyer “Fighting for You!”

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL Y TENEMOS PLANES DE PAGOS

DUI:    Protect your rights;   protect your future;   level the playing field.

Each year, more people are arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County than any other county in Florida.[1]

The ten day rule: the effects of a DUI arrest are immediate and serious; contact an experienced once you have been arrested.

Protecting yourself from a DUI begins as soon as you are arrested and requires navigating through both the criminal court system and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV.)[2]

Your license is suspended from the moment you are arrested and could remain suspended for six months or more even if you are never convicted, and even if it is your first offense.[3]

You only have ten days from your arrest to request a hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to challenge this suspension, otherwise you lose this opportunity.

Protect your rights—contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested for DUI.

DUI penalties: the consequences of being found guilty or ‘pleading out’ are significant; speak to a qualified attorney before you go to court.

If you are convicted or plead guilty to DUI, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, the Judge must, by law, place you on probation, impose a fine and court costs, order you to pay for, attend, and complete DUI school, and have your vehicle immobilized.

In more serious cases, the charge could be upgraded to a felony, exposing you to a longer term of probation or possibly even prison.  The Judge could require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device, or you could face a lifetime revocation of your driver’s license.

A DUI conviction carries certain mandatory minimum sanctions, and the penalties are enhanced in several circumstances: property damage, personal injury, a minor in the vehicle, prior DUI offenses in or out of state.  Although certain penalties are mandatory, the consequences could be much worse if you are not prepared.  For instance, you could be sentenced to up to six months in jail for your first DUI, nine months to a year for your second, or up to five years for your third.

Protect your future—an experienced attorney can identify any possible defenses and help minimize the potential consequences.

Sample Defense—DUI Roadblock:

DUI roadblocks are a common tool used by law enforcement.

In fact, a list of planned DUI enforcement activities in Hillsborough County is posted online by the Sheriff’s Office.  (link: http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/DUI-Enforcement.aspx)

By law, officers must create a detailed written plan of each DUI roadblock before the roadblock is conducted.

The roadblock must follow the written plan, to the letter, or the evidence against you must be thrown out, typically resulting in the case being dismissed

For example, in Guy v. State, 993 So. 2d 77 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008), the evidence against Mr. Guy was suppressed because the DUI roadblock ended just twenty minutes earlier than the time listed in the written guidelines.

The Supreme Court of Florida has warned that:

The requirement of written guidelines is not merely a formality.  Rather, it is the method this Court and others have chosen to ensure that the police do not act with unbridled discretion in exercising the power to stop and restrain citizens who have manifested no conduct that would otherwise justify an intrusion on a citizen’s liberty…  Law enforcement was placed on notice by our holding in Jones that the stopping and detaining of a citizen is a serious matter that requires particularized advance planning and direction and strict compliance thereafter.[4]

Level the playing field—the prosecutor’s office employs a team of trained and seasoned attorneys, investigators, and law enforcement officers working to deprive you of your freedom.

Arm yourself with a trained and seasoned defense attorney before going to court.

DUI Links:

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) (http://www.flhsmv.gov/)

The REAL Cost of a DUI (http://spacecoast.floridaweekly.com/news/2012-05-17/Top_News/THE_REAL_COST_of_a_DUI.html)


[1] Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  Crime in Florida (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) Florida uniform crime report [Computer program]. Tallahassee, FL; available at: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/FSAC/Data—Statistics-%281%29/UCR-Arrest-Data/UCR-Arrest-Data.aspx

[2] Your license is immediately suspended when you are arrested for DUI and your blood or breath alcohol level is above 0.08 or you refuse to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test or a urine test.  At the time of arrest, you are issued a ten day driving permit, if you are otherwise eligible to drive.

[3] Fla. Stat. § 322.2615

(1) (a) A law enforcement officer or correctional officer shall…suspend the driving privilege of a person who is driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and who has an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, or of a person who has refused to submit to a urine test or a test of his or her breath-alcohol or blood-alcohol level. The officer shall take the person’s driver’s license and issue the person a 10-day temporary permit if the person is otherwise eligible for the driving privilege and shall issue the person a notice of suspension…

(b)  2. The suspension period shall commence on the date of issuance of the notice of suspension.

3. The driver may request a formal or informal review of the suspension by the department within 10 days

after the date of issuance of the notice of suspension.

4. The temporary permit issued at the time of suspension expires at midnight of the 10th day following the

date of issuance of the notice of suspension.

[4] Campbell v. State, 679 So. 2d 1168, 1172 (Fla. 1996), citing State v. Jones, 483 So. 2d 433 (Fla. 1986).

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