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DUI Information Center

Help from Experienced DUI Lawyers in Tampa

An arrest for driving under the influence can be a frightening experience. Most people are not fully aware of their legal rights in these matters and may say or do something that negatively impacts their case in an attempt to cooperate with law enforcement. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by an overly aggressive law enforcement officer. Exercise your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel and contact a Tampa DUI attorney to find out how you can challenge drunk driving charges to avoid imprisonment, fines and the loss of your driver's license.

When you are able to obtain accurate information related to a legal matter, you will be better prepared to face it. This principle applies in situations involving DUI arrests and charges. We created this website to help drivers in Tampa and throughout Florida get information regarding the many different issues that are relevant specifically to drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs.

We have highlighted some of the topics covered by this site below:

Why Hire an Attorney?
There are a number of benefits to involving a legal professional if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving. In addition to finding information on this site about this topic, you can see how we can help with your particular case by contacting our firm and undergoing a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

BUI Defense
Just as the driver of a car or truck may face DUI charges, a boat operator may face BUI charges. Our firm handles boating under the influence cases for clients in the Tampa area and stands ready to assist you.

If you are a commercial driver and are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, your livelihood may be on the line. You rely on your commercial driver’s license for work, and, when you involve a lawyer from our firm to handle your case, we will do everything we can to protect your driving privileges and freedom.

DMV Hearings
In Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will automatically launch license suspension proceedings if you are arrested for DUI and fail or refuse a breath test or blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. Our firm helps clients at administrative license suspension hearings to challenge the suspension of their driving privileges.

DUI Accidents
If you stand accused of causing an auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may face felony charges and harsh penalties if someone was injured. In these situations, it is all the more important to work with an experienced Tampa lawyer.

DUI Defense
Our firm provides aggressive defense representation to clients facing all types of drunk driving–related charges and is ready to fight for you. We take care to create legal strategies based on a client’s unique needs and work tirelessly to seek the best possible result.

DUI Manslaughter
When a driver in Tampa is accused of causing a fatal car accident while driving under the influence, he or she may face manslaughter charges. DUI manslaughter is a felony offense, and a conviction may result in time in state prison as well as other penalties. Make sure you involve an attorney who can help you challenge these charges.

DUI Penalties
The penalties for DUI will vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but a driver may face license suspension, fines, imprisonment in prison or jail, community service, mandatory DUI school, and more. Due to the severity of these penalties, it is important to involve a legal professional who can help you avoid these.

Felony DUI
Most standard DUI cases in Tampa are charged as misdemeanors. When certain circumstances exist, however, a driver may face felony charges. This may apply if the driver is accused of causing a car accident that injures or kills another person or if the driver has multiple prior convictions on his or her record.

Fight Your Drunk Driving Case
It may seem that there is no way to successfully fight your drunk driving charges if you failed a breath test or field sobriety test. However, there are different ways that an attorney can challenge the evidence against you to help you avoid a conviction.

BAC Testing
The police will use a breath or blood test and field sobriety tests to build evidence against a driver suspected of drunk driving. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge BAC testing, and an experienced lawyer will know the right approach.

Challenging Evidence
Even when there is a good deal of evidence against you, a professional experienced in challenging drunk driving charges may be able to get involved and prove that it should not hold up in court.

Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests gauge a driver’s balance, coordination, and ability to follow instructions. The Walk and Turn, One-Leg Stand and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus may be administered after a driver is pulled over to determine whether his or her abilities are impaired by alcohol.

Breath Test
The breath test is typically the foundation upon which the prosecuting attorney’s case will be built. If a driver takes a breathalyzer and shows a result of 0.08% or greater, he or she will likely face charges. Even if a driver is accused of failing a breath test, there are ways to challenge the test’s validity.

Unlawful Police Stops
To lawfully pull a driver over to the side of the road, a police officer must establish probable cause. Typically, this is a violated traffic law or other behavior that indicates that the driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you were unlawfully stopped, this may impact the outcome of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions
If you were arrested in Tampa, you probably have a number of questions about your options and your legal rights at this point. We can answer your questions and address your concerns to help you get started in the right direction.

Multiple Offenses
A driver who has one or more prior convictions on his or her record will face increased penalties for a subsequent violation. A longer term of imprisonment and license suspension may apply, as well as higher fines and the possibility of felony penalties.

No Refusal Program
When a Florida driver signs to receive his or her license, there is a clause that states that he or she must submit to chemical testing to determine his or her blood alcohol level if the driver is lawfully arrested. This means that failing a breath or blood test may result in license suspension and other penalties.

Out-of-State DUIs
If you are an out-of-state driver arrested for drunk driving in the Tampa area, you need a local attorney to handle your case. These matters have the potential to be complex because you reside in another state. With our experience and skill, however, we may be able to help you avoid having to return for court proceedings as we seek a positive result on your behalf.

Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is somewhat of a catch-all offense related to driving in a negligent or dangerous manner. Though it is most often associated with excessive speeding, a driver may have charges reduced to the lesser offense of reckless driving.

Underage DUI
A driver who is under the age of 21 may not operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system. If an underage driver is found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or greater, he or she may face license suspension for 6 months. Enhanced penalties may apply for a second-time offender or a driver with a higher blood alcohol concentration.

Your Rights
As a driver, you have certain rights if you are faced with charges. One of these is the right to an attorney. At our firm, we are committed to protecting all of our clients’ rights in order to seek the best result possible in criminal court and at their DHSMV hearing.

You can learn more about your unique charges by undergoing a confidential consultation with a professional at our law firm. We recommend this course of action as a first step to receiving the legal help you need. Contact a Tampa DUI lawyer at our firm today to discuss your charges.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law
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