DUI Lawyer Tampa
If you or someone you know has been arrested for Driving Under the Influence, it’s important to speak with a Tampa DUI Lawyer right away. First, know this: you are not alone. It’s estimated that around 43,900 people were arrested for DUI in 2017. While the total number of DUI arrests across the entire state has seen a downward trend over the past few years, Hillsborough County still leads the state in injuries and fatalities as the result of driving under the influence, according to a Fox 13 News report. The crime of D.U.I. affects people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, and from all income levels.
"As most people know, a DUI is much more than just a traffic ticket. It is a very serious criminal offense that can have lifelong consequences."
The penalties associated with the crime of DUI have seen a steady increase over the past 20 years as society has recognized the dangers of impaired drivers. Even a first-time offender faces severe minimum penalties. This means that if you are unable to have the charges dropped or reduced, the judge has no choice but to sentence you to the minimum penalties.
DUI Attorney Tampa: Consequences
No Withhold of Adjudication:
The Florida legislature (in Florida Statues section 316.656) has specifically made it illegal to receive a withhold of adjudication for the charge of DUI. Apparently, they singled out the crime of DUI for just this purpose. For those that aren’t legal experts, this means (in a nutshell) that your D.U.I. case will stay on your record for life, unless you can get it dropped, dismissed, or reduced, and you are otherwise eligible to seal or expunge your record. For more details, see our Expungement & Sealing page. Now, more than ever, it is important to retain an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer.
Under Florida Statute 316.193, if you are arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence, and it is your first offense—assuming you are unable to get the case dropped or reduced—you will be facing harsh minimum sentence requirements. This means that if you are found guilty, the judge has no choice but to sentence you to these requirements as established by law. They cannot lawfully give you less.
First time D.U.I. Penalties:
- 6 months to 1 year of probation. (Roughly $60 per month in costs.)
- Attendance at DUI school. ($231)
- 50 hours of community service.
- Impoundment of your vehicle for 10 days.
- $500 fine plus court costs. (This ends up costing over a thousand dollars.)
- 6-month driver’s license suspension
If the DUI case involves an accident or a blood-alcohol-concentration greater than .15, the penalties will be enhanced.
DUI Lawyer Tampa: Defenses to DUI
Most of my clients initially want to know if it’s possible to get the charges dropped, or reduced. It certainly is possible, but depends on several factors. For starters, getting a case dropped requires either a prosecutor to drop the charges, or for a judge to dismiss the case. Each requires a different approach.
Getting a prosecutor to drop or reduce charges is a negotiated process. Often, a skilled Tampa criminal attorney will investigate a case thoroughly and then convince a prosecutor to drop or reduce the charges by pointing out all of the weaknesses in their case. On the other hand, getting a judge to dismiss the charges is often done through legal maneuvering with the court. Typically pre-trial motions are used, like a motion to suppress evidence. A motion to suppress evidence is a legal challenge raised by a defense attorney, that asks a judge to dismiss evidence that was obtained in violation of a defendant’s rights. Another tool in the defense lawyer’s arsenal, is a motion to dismiss. This is a legal challenge that asserts that, even if everything the prosecutor alleges is true, there is not sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with a crime, and the charges should therefore be dropped.
Specific D.U.I. Defenses:
Any criminal case can have numerous defenses. A skilled attorney will exploit any and all defenses and leverage them into an overall strategy.
Here are just a few possible defenses:
- No reasonable suspicion to initiate a D.U.I. arrest.
- No probable cause to initiate traffic stop
- No probable cause to arrest for D.U.I.
- The breath test failed to comply with administrative standards
- Lack of actual physical control of the vehicle
- Insufficient evidence of impairment
- Unreliable test results
- Breath test results inadmissible
- DUI checkpoint failed to adhere to legal standards
Now, more than ever, it is important to retain an experienced and aggressive Tampa DUI Lawyer. Contact the Law Office of William B. Wynne at (813) 532-5057 for experienced advice and aggressive representation. Consultations are free of charge. We fight hard to protect the rights of our clients, and to avoid the harsh consequences associated with these charges.