DUI in Tampa: Myths vs. Reality

A DUI charge can be extremely frightening. Having a DUI on your record does have serious life-altering consequences including potential jail time, having a permanent criminal record, and possibly difficulty finding employment or even housing. 

If you have been charged with a DUI you may feel an extreme amount of anxiety, confusion, and hopelessness. And while DUI charges are serious, they are not as hopeless as you may think. 

When it comes to DUIs, there are a lot of misconceptions. Our attorneys at Stechschulte Nell have put together a list of myths versus reality when it comes to DUIs in Tampa Bay. 

7 Common DUI Myths Explained 

Myth: I was not driving impaired from alcohol, but from medications that were prescribed to me by my doctor. I cannot be charged with a DUI from prescription medication impairment. 

RealityYes, you can be charged and convicted of a DUI from prescription drug impairment. The question is not whether you were taking illegal drugs or not, but whether the drugs were affecting your ability to drive. Make sure to talk with your doctor and read all warning labels before you decide to drive.  

Myth: The judge will find me guilty because I was arrested for drunk driving.  

Reality: Just because you are accused of a DUI, does not mean a conviction. Most people assume if you are arrested you must have done something wrong. But one of the great things about the American legal system is that you have every right to fairness, justice, and protection.  

Make sure to hire a DUI lawyer, like our experienced ones at Stechschulte Nell to represent you so you have top-rated defense attorneys on your side. 

Myth: If I am charged with a DUI, I will be punished to the maximum extent allowable by law. 

Reality: With a seasoned DUI criminal defense lawyer representing you; your counsel will look at every aspect of the case and find any legal “holes” that will aid to in giving you the best outcome and possibly result in reduced charges or even dismissal.  

For example, if your lawyer can raise challenges such as the police officer not having reasonable grounds to stop you or your field sobriety test was improperly administered, there is a good chance that the Prosecutor will be willing to enter a plea bargain, rather than bringing the DUI case to trial. 

Related > It’s My First DUI. Do I qualify for Tampa’s RIDR Program? 

MythBreathalyzers are 100% accurate. 

Reality: The only way to get a 100% accurate reading of your BAC is through a blood test. Since most police officers use Breathalyzer results as evidence in court, it is imperative to have a lawyer to show that breathalyzers are not as exact or as trustworthy as presumed. 

MythI can’t be arrested on a DUI charge for having less than a 0.08% BAC. 

Reality: Most people believe that you cannot be arrested in Florida for having less than a 0.08% BAC. In reality, Florida law states that you can be charged with a DUI if you are “under the influence of alcoholic beverages (…) to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.”  

Minors (aged 17 years or younger) with a BAC of .02% or more may be charged with DUI in Florida and face a 6-month license suspension for a first-time offense. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI and your BAC was less than 0.08%, contact Stechschulte Nell law now for a free consultation. 

Myth: I should cooperate with the arresting police officer as much as possible. 

Reality: While you do want to be cooperative during a stop or checkpoint, it does not mean you have to answer the police officer’s questions. You have the right to remain silent, and can assert your 5th amendment rights at any time. Especially if you are facing more serious felony DUI charges. 

Call an experienced DUI attorney and we can help you during any potential police interviews that may later be used as evidence against you in court.  

Myth: I cannot challenge my Breathalyzer reading in court. 

Reality: Remember: breathalyzers are not 100% accurate. Blood alcohol content can vary from person to person. Plus, external factors can influence the results.  

Charged with DUI? Call Stechschulte Nell 

Another common DUI myth is that any attorney can represent you. As with your health, you’ll want to seek the counsel of a specialized lawyer for your specific criminal charge. You want your lawyer to have all the necessary knowledge and experience when it comes to fighting your DUI charge. 

A DUI conviction will stay on your record for 75 years. If you have been charged with a DUI, schedule a free consultation with Stechschulte Nell in Tampa, FL immediately. You have limited time to get your license back and to refute the charges.  

Our board-certified lawyer sees you as a person, not as a criminal, and will be by your side the entire time. Call 813-280-1244 or request a free case review.  

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