Tampa DUI Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, reach out to a Tampa drunk driving lawyer for help beating the charge.
Being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is serious in Tampa, Florida. There’s no room to laugh it off or wait for the problem to go away. You could face several harsh penalties. The moment you’re charged with DUI, it’s already time to start fighting back to preserve your freedom.
Speak with a Tampa DUI lawyer at Hersem Law for help getting your charges dropped or reduced. You’ve been put in a serious, embarrassing situation, but all you have to do to get legal help is call our firm.
Penalties for a DUI in Tampa
It might be your first DUI offense, and it might be your first offense ever. You might even feel that you were guilty or that you don’t stand a chance against a Tampa police officer’s word. Unfortunately, thinking about your DUI case that way could lead to serious consequences that affect you for years.
Even if it’s your first offense, the penalties for DUIs in Tampa are serious. For a first offense, if you choose not to fight back and get your charges reduced or dropped, you’ll be facing at least $500 in fines plus court costs, and the additional conditions of your sentence will cost substantially more. While there is no mandatory jail sentence for a first DUI offense, the judge could sentence you to up to six months in jail, and enhanced charges could land you in jail for nine months or even a full year.
Because your charges are driving-related, a conviction can affect your license and vehicle. If you’re charged with a DUI, you can expect to have your license suspended. That means you’ll need to find alternate transportation, such as public transportation or family and friends. But there are ways to keep your license fully intact or at least get a hardship license so you can drive for business purposes.
Florida also has an ignition interlock requirement for certain DUI offenses. That means your vehicle may be fitted with a sobriety testing device. You’ll need to blow into the device for your vehicle to start. This can be expensive and embarrassing.
Long-Term DUI Consequences Will Haunt You
Unfortunately, the consequences for an intoxicated driving offense don’t end after you’ve paid your fines and served any required time in jail. While a misdemeanor might not seem as serious as a felony, it can still haunt you throughout your life in Tampa.
For example, your insurance will likely be affected. You can expect an increase in your insurance premiums—even if you didn’t cause an accident. That means more expenses over time, and that can add up to thousands over the years.
If you’re convicted, your housing and family life can be affected. Many apartments, banks, and employers require background checks for applicants, and a DUI conviction could show up there. If you have children, a felony charge can affect whether you receive custody in a divorce.
Don’t underestimate the effects of a drunk driving conviction. Fortunately, you can get help from a DUI defense attorney to get those charges dropped or reduced and protect your future. And the first step to beating your drunk driving charge will be to build a solid defense.
Defenses for DUI Charges in Tampa
To avoid the serious consequences of a DUI conviction, you’ll need a proper defense. Your DUI attorney in Tampa will review the details of your case and tailor a strong defense to your situation.
In some cases, your DUI defense might include admitting that you were drinking at the time but proving that you shouldn’t be found guilty of a crime. This is called an “affirmative defense.” Essentially, you’ll need to show that you were trying to avoid a worse situation, that you were under duress, or that you were entrapped or involuntarily intoxicated.
Your lawyer might dispute the tools used to determine how much you drank. Breathalyzer tests aren’t always accurate, and if they’re administered improperly, you might get skewed results. Your lawyer may call expert witnesses if we believe you were tested improperly.
Choosing the right DUI defense, however, will depend on your situation. You’ll need to discuss your unique case with a qualified lawyer who can help you determine the best approach.
Do I Need a Top-Rated Lawyer for My DUI Defense?
You might be thinking, however, that you’re either already guilty or that you don’t need that much help. Unfortunately, that line of thinking can leave you in debt and without a license—or worse, in jail.
When you’re accused of a crime, don’t go it alone. Whether you’re trying to manage your course load at the University of Tampa or simply trying to do your best at work every day, you have enough to worry about without overwhelming yourself with a legal case. Our firm will focus on your DUI defense while you focus on your daily life.
But what about public defenders in Tampa? While these lawyers can be helpful, they can’t give you the same personal attention your private DUI defense attorney can give. They often have many cases at once, meaning you might not get the attention you need. They also don’t participate in the administrative side of your case. You’ll want to be sure that you get the defense you need to leave your DUI charge in the rearview mirror.
Tampa DUI FAQ
When you’re charged with a DUI, you likely feel overwhelmed by the initial shock, the arrest, and the task of building your defense. You probably also have plenty of questions, and you need answers before your trial begins.
Our DUI lawyer can give you the answers you need before you get started. For the answers to a few common questions we receive, see below.
What is a “wet reckless” plea bargain in DUI cases?
Even if it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to get your DUI charge dropped, it could still be reduced. “Wet reckless” is a type of plea bargain that reduces your DUI charge to a reckless driving charge.
What is the legal alcohol limit for driving in Florida?
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to drive in Florida will depend on your age and role. For example, a person under age twenty-one will be presumed to be under the influence if their BAC is above 0.02 percent, while those over twenty-one can be charged for a BAC over 0.08 percent for that presumption. If you’re a commercial driver, your legal limit will fall in between the two extremes at 0.04 percent.
Talk to a Tampa DUI Attorney
When you’ve been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, you’re probably going to need some help beating the resulting DUI charge. It’s tough to deal with the fear and worry that come with a DUI arrest. At Hersem Law, we understand how difficult situations like this feel when you don’t have help.
That’s why it’s important to seek legal help for your DUI charge as soon as possible. You only have ten days to challenge the administrative suspension of your license, and you’ll need someone who understands how the consequences of DUI convictions can haunt you and how you’ll need to fight back. An experienced attorney can make sure you have everything you need to fight your charge and win.
Don’t hesitate to speak to a DUI lawyer before you plead guilty or not guilty. We offer strategy sessions for those who need help with a DUI charge. We’ll discuss what your best line of defense is and how we can fight for you.
An arrest is already embarrassing, but a conviction can damage your quality of life for years to come. Fortunately, a Tampa DUI lawyer at our firm can stop that damage and get your life back on track. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, reach out by calling 813-251-7291 or by filling out the online contact form below.