Driving under the influence is not just a traffic infraction but is also a serious crime. Under Florida law, both the criminal court system and the DMV can impose sanctions and penalties if you are found guilty of DUI. These penalties can include the suspension or loss of your driver’s license, incarceration, fines, DUI school, the installation of an ignition interlock device, community service, probation and a host of other consequences.
In Florida, you can be charged with a DUI crime if your blood alcohol content is at or above .08 or if you are driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or other substances that affect your ability to drive safely. Higher blood alcohol levels (.15% or more) can result in an enhanced DUI charge with stiffer penalties. It is also a criminal act to refuse to take a blood alcohol content test when you are asked to do so by law enforcement when driving a vehicle in the state of Florida.
If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated, you need to consult an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A Tampa DUI defense attorney may be able to help you raise defenses to DUI or plead guilty to lesser charges so you can avoid some of the more serious consequences of a DUI conviction. We could also increase the chances you retain driving privileges.
At Stechschulte Nell, our Tampa criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented many clients facing DUI charges, including repeat DUI offenders and those accused of DUI manslaughter.
Contact us today to learn how we can put our legal experience to work for you.
Tampa DUI Penalties
There are a variety of different penalties imposed for Tampa DUI crimes depending upon the nature of your offense. Some examples include the following:
First Time DUI Offense
You face probation and a 6 to 12-month driver’s license suspension. You may also qualify for Hillsborough County’s RIDR DUI diversion program. Call an experienced DUI lawyer to learn more about the RIDR program.
Second DUI Offense
You face a mandatory 10-day jail sentence if your previous DUI conviction occurred within 5 years of your most recent DUI arrest. You also face a five-year driver’s license suspension.
Third DUI Offense
The prosecutor can upgrade your DUI charges to a 3rd degree felony. Unlike most 3rd degree Felony arrests, if you are convicted of this type of DUI you are not eligible for a Withhold of Adjudication. This means that you will be classified as a convicted felon and certain rights will be restricted such as your ability to vote and possess a firearm.
As an experienced Tampa DUI attorney, Ben Stechschulte has successfully challenged the State’s evidence and had Felony DUI charges reduced to misdemeanors. In order to prove their case, the prosecutor must present certified documents and/or convictions of your prior DUI arrests/convictions. We can challenge this evidence and demand that your felony charges be reduced.
Call our Experienced Criminal Defense Firm
Drunk driving charges are serious and can stay on your record for a long time. More than that, depending on the specifics of your case, you may face driver license loss or suspension, loss of job and income for commercial drivers, and even jail time. Don’t wait! Contact a veteran DUI defense attorney to help you mitigate your risk following a DUI arrest.
Stechschulte Nell law firm understands that your arrest was likely unexpected. Therefore, we conveniently accept all forms of payment including cash, check, debit and credit cards and we can also provide a payment plan to help ease the burden. Call us now for a free case review or to speak with a top-rated defense attorney.