Several people get pulled over and tested for DUIs. Whether it’s due to swerving in the road or simply violating a basic traffic law, there is a lengthy process that goes into testing the driver’s sobriety.
Highway safety is extremely important to Tampa’s law enforcement. So DUIs are a huge focus for Tampa’s police these days. When they pull you over, there are several steps you must take to prove your coherence.
You may be asked to get out of your car, walk in a straight line, or the officer could check your pupils with a flashlight. Whatever the case may be, we understand that the entire process is stressful, frustrating, and at times, embarrassing.
We know that this is a difficult time. We want to prepare you with all of the information you need to face these allegations head on.
Penalties for drinking and driving are extremely harsh in the state of Florida. To avoid injury and death, Tampa law enforcement officials are cracking down on driving under the influence (DUI).
What constitutes a DUI in the state of Florida? According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by the impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of 0.08% or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.”
To be convicted, the prosecution must prove that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit at the time you were driving. The investigation takes time so there is often a delay between when you were driving and when you received a chemical test.
Florida law states that the results are admissible proof of BAC if the test was taken within a “reasonable time” after you were pulled over by Hillsborough County police officers. What counts as reasonable? Well, it really depends on the case.
Your first DUI comes at a great cost to your wallet and your living convenience. You could face up to one year of license revocation in addition to a fine, DUI program, and ignition interlock device. You may be able to qualify for a hardship license, which will allow you to commute to and from work, the doctor’s office, school, and church.
If this is your second DUI offense, you could lose your license for up to five years. You’ll still have to take a DUI program, pay the fine, and an ignition interlock device is mandatory. Fines can be up to $2,000 for a BAC of 0.15% or higher. You could also face jail time.
Let’s talk about how to contest your charges.
In Florida, there is a provision that may help you get the sentence reduced. Known as the “wet reckless,” this plea deal could help you bargain for a lesser punishment.
Florida is one of the few states that offer a clause for reckless driving involving drugs or alcohol. Be advised that this is a provision that is best used for specific criminal cases may or may not be applicable to your specific DUI case.
There are several factors that go into Tampa law enforcement’s DUI charge. We need all the facts to be able to defend you in court. What was your blood alcohol level at the time of the incident? Were you put in a position where you felt you needed to drive? Is this your first offense? Was anyone hurt? Did you sustain any injuries? How did the Tampa law enforcement act when they pulled you over?
Denman Pearlman’s criminal defense attorneys need to know the answers to these questions and more in order to build your case. What kind of charges do we take on?
First Time DUI
DUI With Serious Bodily Injury
DUI Under 21
DUI With Property Damage
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
Commercial Vehicle DUI
If you are under the legal drinking age, your BAC allowance is much lower. You must have a BAC of 0.02% or less. A first offender usually gets a suspended license for six months. In addition, if you get caught with a BAC of 0.05% or more, you will have to complete a substance abuse program before you get your license back.
Jail time is a real possibility with all DUI offenses. Law enforcement takes this type of criminal case very seriously. First time offenders are the least likely to get a sentence. However, the minimum jail sentence for your second offense is 10 days and for your third offense, the minimum is one month.
How long do your DUIs stay on record? The short answer is for life. However, there are a few loopholes when it comes to determining jail time. If it’s been more than five years since your first offense, you may be able to get the same punishment as you did before. However, two offenses in the same five years constitute a harsher punishment. Similar scenarios apply for more DUI offenses. If you have had two DUIs in the past 10 years, and your third DUI is 11 years past your first DUI, then your third may count as a second offense. All of these scenarios are really dependent on your case and the severity of your previous offenses.
Denmon Pearlman’s Tampa DUI attorneys have handled thousands of Tampa DUI cases. Our criminal defense attorneys were recognized for their aggressive methodologies. When it comes to a criminal charge, you want the aggressive attorneys on your side.
We will fight to block out unnecessary evidence to get you a lesser punishment. We’ve filed motions to dismiss charges and block out evidence such as video, breathalyzer results, and more. Our criminal defense attorneys will do everything in their power to make sure you only go to trial if it is absolutely necessary.
Three of our lawyers have been named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers for Criminal Defense in the state of Florida. Two more have been recognized in the Top 40 Under 40 list by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
Denmon Pearlman’s Tampa DUI attorneys know how to earn reduced or dismissed charges in the courtroom. Let us help you get back on your feet.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get ahead of your DUI charges and find a criminal defense attorney that can help you fight. Reach out to our Tampa office today and schedule your free 60-minute consultation. Call (813) 554-3232 for more information.