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What Happens if I’m Classified as a Habitual Traffic Offender?

Mistakes happen, and you may have gotten some traffic tickets for what seemed like little mistakes at the time. But those little mistakes added up. Now, you’re about to be classified as a habitual traffic offender.

Unfortunately, that can impact not only your driving record, but also your future. Because of this, it’s important not to accept the charges. You need to fight your ticket now to protect your license and driving privileges. Continue reading to learn more about the possible penalties for habitual traffic offenders. 

You Could Lose Your Florida Drivers License

If you’ve been  convicted of multiple major traffic violations within five years, you’re in danger of being deemed a habitual traffic offender. Certain violations, such as driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence (DUI),  or leaving the scene of a car accident, can add up fast—three of these violations within a five-year period will leave you designated as a habitual traffic offender. 

If this happens, your Florida drivers license could be revoked for a period of five years. It’s not just about your license, either. Being labeled a habitual offender can affect future cases if you’re pulled over again, and the stigma may linger. But, there’s good news: You have options.  

Defending Your Drivers License in Tampa 

If you’re in danger of being labeled a habitual traffic offender, you need to defend yourself in court to protect your license. Another conviction on your record could be the end of your drivers license. Consider enlisting the help of a traffic ticket lawyer to defend your case. 

Your traffic ticket lawyer in Tampa can help you gather evidence that shows you are not guilty of a crime. For example, let’s say you were accused of using your vehicle in a felony case. Your lawyer may try to prove you were not in possession of the car and that you couldn’t have been present at the crime scene. Your traffic ticket lawyer may also be able to negotiate with the State to have your charge dismissed or amended to a different charge that won’t affect your license.

The details of your defense will depend on your case. Your lawyer can determine the best approach to your defense to help you save your license. 

Fight a Habitual Traffic Offender Designation with a Tampa Traffic Ticket Lawyer

If you’re on the brink of being labeled a habitual traffic offender, you need to take action now to deal with your case. Your lawyer from Hersem Law can help you gather evidence, represent you in court, and fight to protect your license. 

Ready to work with a Tampa traffic ticket attorney? We offer free strategy sessions about your case so you know what we can offer before you choose to work with us. Call 813-251-7291 or fill out the online form below to schedule your session. 

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Do Warrants Show Up on a Background Check in Florida?

Job-hunting and opening accounts is stressful enough. Your employment, housing, or finances may be on the line if something comes up on your background check. Worse, you may be a little worried because a warrant may show on your background check. 

Your future is at risk, but you have options. If you have an active warrant in Tampa, make sure you’re taking the right steps to make sure that warrant doesn’t affect your future. 

Warrants on Your Background Check 

When someone performs a background check, that check could review several different databases. That may mean your credit history, or your criminal record. Information on past arrests, trials, and convictions are stored in databases, and these records can be requested by employers, landlords, and other people who could affect your future. 

Unless this information is expunged from your record, meaning it’s removed, that person can see anything on your record. That may include active warrants for your arrest in Tampa or beyond. 

Background Check Services May Not Always Have It Right

The problem is, information on past or active warrants gathered from databases may not be accurate. While Tampa warrants are public, that information from databases may be outdated, inaccurate, or confusing for your potential employer. They may see that you were arrested and choose not to hire you, no matter what the charges were. 

That leaves you without a job, which puts financial stress on top of the stress of your warrant. Now, you may have lost a major job opportunity over that warrant. 

Dealing with Your Florida Warrant Now, Not Later

Even if you haven’t lost your job opportunity, you may need to seek out help with your warrant now, rather than waiting. Taking a chance on your future isn’t worth it when you have a chance to deal with the warrant now. 

Whether it’s an arrest warrant, search warrant, or bench warrant, your Tampa defense lawyer from Hersem Law can help you face that warrant. They can sometimes even communicate with the police to arrange a discreet arrest and booking. That way, you can settle the warrant quickly and discreetly, including taking your case to court, if needed to resolve the matter. 

Talk to a Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer about Your Warrant

Dealing with a warrant is already a major stressor. You have responsibilities, and you likely don’t want the trouble of an arrest on top of that. Worse, you may be hunting for a job, which can be difficult because of the background check stage. The good news is, your lawyer from Hersem Law can help you deal with your warrant. 

Handling your warrant now, so you don’t have to worry about it during your job hunt or apartment search, can take that stress off your mind. Even better, your criminal defense lawyer at Hersem Law may have the tools you need for a dismissal. 

Ready to begin working with a Tampa criminal defense lawyer? You have a chance to start with a free strategy session about your case. Call 813-251-7291, or fill out the following online contact form. 

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Can You Get a DUI on a Scooter in Florida?

An electric scooter can be a handy way to travel around and avoid Tampa’s traffic. For some people, these dockless scooters even seem like an easy way to avoid a driving under the influence, or DUI, charge. 

Here’s the problem with that idea: You can, in fact, get a DUI on a scooter in Florida. Check out why you could be arrested for a DUI, even on a scooter, and what penalties you could face if you don’t fight your charge with the help of a Tampa DUI attorney at Hersem Law. 

You Can Get a DUI on Any Vehicle

First, why can you get a DUI for a scooter? It’s not a car, after all, and the damage a scooter can do is typically much less than that of a car. The issue is that Florida’s definition of what counts as a “vehicle” is broad. 

A vehicle is seen as anything that can be used to transport someone or something from one place to another. That means all scooters, bicycles, riding lawn mowers, and other vehicles. 

Because of this, if you’re drunk while in control of any vehicle type, you could be arrested for a DUI. That includes those scooters you see on sidewalks and at intersections.

Penalties for a Florida DUI on a Scooter

If you were charged with a DUI in Florida, no matter what vehicle you happened to be using, you could face severe penalties that could affect your future, financially and otherwise. For example, your license could be suspended, depending on the details of your case. However, your license isn’t the only thing at stake. 

First, you might face fines, which could get expensive fast, if you’re convicted. Your insurance company could also see your conviction and use that against you. Your insurance rates may be raised, which makes it difficult or impossible to maintain your insurance coverage. 

You could even face jail time for a DUI. That’s why it’s so important to contact a qualified DUI lawyer at Hersem Law—no matter the circumstances or what kind of vehicle you were driving when you were arrested.

Contact a Hersem Law Attorney After a Scooter DUI

In Florida, you can just as easily be arrested for a DUI on a scooter as you would be for a DUI in a car. Unfortunately, that means you might have already been arrested, and now you may be worried about your options to fight back and beat that charge. 

If you’re concerned about a DUI conviction because you were accused of riding a scooter drunk, you need to call a DUI lawyer at Hersem Law. We can help you understand the charges, build a defense, and defend yourself against a conviction. 

Ready to get started? Reach out to schedule a free strategy session with our Tampa DUI defense law firm by calling 813-251-7291 or by filling out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.

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Should I Get a Lawyer for My First DUI?

When you’re pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Tampa, you may be thinking, “Never again.” You’re not planning on getting in such trouble again, so you might be wondering whether it’s worth it to fight your charges. It was just once, after all—how bad could it really be? 

If you don’t fight your DUI charge, the truth is it could be really bad. First, you’ll have to make a difficult decision with your administrative suspension, and you’ll want an expert to help with that side of your case. (To learn your options for keeping your driver’s license after a DUI charge, click here.) Then, of course, you’ll have to handle the criminal side of your case.

If you’re questioning whether you should get a DUI lawyer for your first offense, it’s important to consider the penalties and how your future could be affected. Calling a Hersem Law DUI lawyer could save you from loads of stress and some hefty criminal punishments.

Even a First DUI Can Be Serious

Whether it’s your first DUI charge or your fourth, a DUI is a serious charge. Drunk driving is a well-known cause of auto-related injuries and deaths, of course. That’s why the prosecution will take your case seriously, even for a first-time arrest. 

Penalties for a DUI

When you’re accused of a first-time DUI, it’s important to consider exactly how a conviction might affect your life before you go to court. Choosing to accept a conviction could lead to major penalties that could affect you for years to come. 

For example, the financial penalties are harsh even for a first-time DUI. If you’re convicted, your fines will be at least $500 (topping out at $1,000), plus you’ll have court costs and the costs of the additional conditions of your sentence on top of that. That adds up to thousands of dollars!

In Florida, standard first-time DUI offenses don’t carry a mandatory jail sentence, but you could still be sentenced to up to six months in jail. And that could turn into nine months if you’re facing enhanced charges.

Also keep in mind the future effects of having a criminal record. Your employment, housing, and other opportunities could be affected if you don’t fight your charge with the help of an experienced Tampa attorney from Hersem Law. 

How Your DUI Lawyer Can Help

Of course, preventing a DUI conviction  isn’t easy. You may not have the resources or experience you need to build a strong defense on your own. Luckily, your Hersem Law DUI lawyer can help with that.

If you’ve been accused of drinking and driving, your DUI attorney from our firm can defend you in court and fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. 

Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer About Your First DUI

Even a first DUI conviction can do a lot of damage. You can’t simply rely on the judge going easy on you. Instead of expecting lower penalties and hoping for the best, contact a lawyer from Hersem Law

After a DUI charge, contact legal help as soon as possible. You can get started with our firm by taking advantage of our free strategy sessions, during which we can discuss your options to fight a DUI conviction. When you’re ready to talk to a DUI lawyer at Hersem Law, give us a call at 813-251-7291 or fill out the following online contact form.

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Is There a Diversion Program for DUIs in Florida?

A diversion program allows offenders to enter rehabilitation and avoid criminal penalties. For those who have been charged with a DUI in Florida, a diversion program probably sounds like a great alternative to a possible conviction, which can include fines, loss of your driver’s license, and even time behind bars.

But is there a diversion program for DUIs in Florida? Residents of most Florida counties will be disappointed to find that the answer to that question is typically no. However, if you live in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, the answer is more confusing.

A typical Diversion Program allows you to leave the criminal justice system, at least temporarily, in order to complete certain conditions. If you do all that is asked of you, then the State will dismiss your charge.  

Hillsborough hasn’t gone that far with DUI cases yet but, in March of 2018, the State Attorney’s Office introduced a program called Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR). While the RIDR program doesn’t end in a dismissal of your charge, it does provide you with a no-risk way of getting your charge reduced to a Reckless Driving, which can be a wonderful option for many people facing a DUI charge.

What Is RIDR?

RIDR seeks to reduce DUI offenders’ likelihood of reoffending and keep our roads safer by reducing drunk driving. The program allows offenders to have their DUI charge reduced to reckless driving—a much less serious charge—if they complete typical first-time DUI punishments, as well as some “voluntary” additional conditions like the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. A huge benefit to this program is that the State Attorney will also recommend a Withhold of Adjudication as part of the sentence. This decision is ultimately up to the Judge but, if granted, it will allow most offenders to have their record sealed after their case is closed.

Eligibility for RIDR

This program is for first-time DUI offenders in Hillsborough County, Florida. However, it’s important to remember that eligibility for the program is determined on a case-by-case basis. While this means that no one is guaranteed entry into the program, a few conditions will automatically disqualify you:

  • If you were charged with DUI in connection with an auto accident that led to property damage or injuries
  • If you blew over .20 (blood alcohol content) at the time of your stop
  • If there was a minor in the car at the time of the arrest
  • If you are already participating in another pre-trial intervention program

DUI cases that fall outside of the above categories may be eligible for the RIDR program, but eligibility is no guarantee of acceptance. That’s why it will benefit you greatly to have an attorney from Hersem Law negotiating to get you into this program (if that is how you would like to resolve your case).

Contact a DUI Lawyer at Hersem Law

If you have been charged with drunk driving anywhere in Hillsborough County, you have options when it comes to fighting your DUI charge. You can hire a Tampa DUI lawyer at Hersem Law to fight your charge directly, or you can work with Hersem Law to try to enter the RIDR DUI diversion program.

No matter the route you think you might choose, it’s important to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney at Hersem Law as soon as possible after your DUI charge. To get in touch with us and schedule a free strategy session, give us a call at 813-251-7291 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.