Tampa DUI Lawyer
Regardless of where you live in Florida or in the United States, driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is against the law. However, because the consequences for a DUI crime vary on a state-by-state basis, if you are charged with a DUI in Tampa, working with a Tampa DUI lawyer familiar in Florida law is strongly recommended. At the law offices of de Beaubien, Simmons, Knight, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP, our Tampa DUI lawyers are prepared to advocate for you.
What Constitutes a DUI Offense in Florida?
In order to be convicted of a DUI charge in Tampa, the prosecution must prove that:
- The defendant had consumed alcohol, drugs, or other chemical substances prior to operating a motor vehicle; and
- The defendant was had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or above while operating a motor vehicle; or
- The substances impaired the normal faculties of the individual, and the individual was operating a motor vehicle during the time of impairment.
Under the law, then, a person may be convicted of a DUI even if they are not alcohol-impaired (they could be drug-impaired), and may be convicted even if the prosecution does not have proof of a BAC of .08 or above – the prosecution need merely offer proof of impairment that affected the normal faculties of the defendant.
Penalties for DUI in Tampa
If you are convicted of a DUI in Tampa, you will face serious penalties. To be sure, at the very least, you will face a fine of at least $500, but not more than $1,000, for a first-time conviction. A first-time conviction can also result in incarceration for up to six months’ time, as well as impoundment of the vehicle for up to 10 days, and a license revocation period of between six months and one year.
A second conviction is more harshly penalized, and the penalties for a third or subsequent conviction are even more serious. In fact, a fourth conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to five years.
You Have Legal Options
If you are charged with a DUI in Tampa, it is important to know that you have options. A charge does not equate to a conviction, and when you work with a skilled Tampa DUI lawyer, you improve your chances of mitigating a conviction or the harshest of sentences. We are prepared to help you understand available defenses and plea bargain options.
At our law offices, you will find lawyers with more than 50 years’ experience who care about clients’ cases, and are dedicated to working hard to protect our clients’ best interests. If you have been charged with a DUI, our Tampa DUI lawyers are ready to start working on your case today. For your initial consultation, please call our law firm directly or send us a message today.