Driving under the influence is a serious crime with serious implications. Under Florida law, 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 BAC levels (.15% or more) can result in an enhanced DUI charge with even stiffer penalties. For this reason, it is critical to consult an experienced DUI attorney immediately.
DUI Penalties in Tampa, FL
Both the Florida criminal court system and DMV can impose sanctions and penalties if you are found guilty of DUI. These penalties can include:
- Suspension or loss of your driver’s license
- DUI school
- The installation of an ignition interlock device
- Community service
To Hire or Not to Hire a DUI Lawyer?
To protect both your future and your livelihood, it is in your best interest to invest in a qualified DUI attorney who will raise defenses to your DUI or plead guilty to lesser charges so you can avoid more serious consequences of a DUI conviction. Stechschulte Nell offers extensive experience in representing DUI cases.
First DUI and the RIDR Program
For a first time DUI, you may be eligible for Hillsborough County’s DUI diversion program: RIDR. The program was intended to aggressively target and reduce drunk driving in Tampa Bay by imposing enhanced penalties for first-time, non-aggravated DUI offenses. Bear in mind anyone with a recorded BAC of .20 or more isn’t eligible for this program.
If you need a DUI school, for first-time DUI offenders, this diversion program may be your best option to avoid a drunk driving conviction. As we’re experienced with these cases, you can get affordable DUI representation RIDR eligible cases. We offer payment plans and can structure based upon what you can afford. Before you enroll in a DUI school, call us now to find out if your unique case qualifies for the program.
To learn if the RIDR DUI diversion program is a fit for your case, please contact our former Prosecutor, Ben Stechschulte. Our seasoned Tampa defense firm is available 24/7 – call 813-280-1244 now.
DUI Case Fee Structures
Outside of a flat-rate representation for the RIDR DUI diversion program, there are generally two types of fee structures DUI attorneys use to charge clients. These include hourly (billed on a specified hourly basis) or a flat rate (a fee that covers the entire course of your representation). The decided upon fee structure will depend on the complexity of the case.
DUI Case Cost Range
A DUI charge can range anywhere from a first-time offense misdemeanor to a felony DUI for cases like vehicular homicide. A general rule of thumb – the more complex the case, the more time the DUI attorney will have to invest in your defense. For example, if you intend to simply negotiate a plea bargain, the attorney fees will cost an average of $2,500. On average, subsequent DUI arrests (RIDR ineligible, 2nd, 3rd or more ) these cases average $3,500 for seasoned representation from our former prosecutor.
On the other hand, if the DUI is a felony and goes to trial, rates range anywhere from $3,500 to $25,000, depending on the level of the offense.
Charged with a DUI? Contact Stechschulte Nell at 813-280-1244 for a DUI case review.
Pre-Trial and Post-Trial Services
Should your case go to trial, your attorney will likely charge a flat fee to provide pre-trial legal assistance and then an additional flat fee to defend your case in court. The average nationwide cost for attorney’s fees for DUI is $1,500 to $4,000. Again, a misdemeanor charge will generally cost a lot less than a felony charge and rates vary by city.
Affordable DUI Defense Lawyer
At Stechschulte Nell, we understand that you weren’t expecting to be arrested for drunk driving. Therefore, cost is an understandable consideration when it comes to hiring a DUI attorney. Our South Tampa defense team offers a free case review to all potential DUI clients.
When you meet with us to discuss your case, we will answer any questions you may have about the DUI charges and go over estimated costs and available payment plan options. Call our Tampa based criminal defense law firm — 813-280-1244 — to schedule a free DUI case review.