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DUI » DUI Defense » The Two Branches of a DUI Case

About the Two Branches of a DUI Case

Our Tampa DUI Defense Attorneys Can Handle Both

If you were to look at a DUI case as a tree, it would have two main branches from which a number of other smaller branches would stem. These two branches are the DMV hearing and the criminal case. Working with an attorney who is competent in handling both of these matters is crucial if you would like to reach the best possible outcome in your DUI case. At Thomas & Paulk, you will find that we are knowledgeable not only in representing clients in criminal court proceedings but that we understand the ins and outs of administrative license proceedings handled by the Florida DHSMV. When you work with our firm, you will experience the benefit of having our qualified team by your side through every part of both branches of your drunk driving case. We represent drivers in Tampa and throughout Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas in Florida. If you would like to learn more about our services, we welcome you to call our offices for a free case evaluation: (813) 321-7323.

The First Branch: DMV Hearing

While most Tampa drivers are distinctly aware of the fact that a DUI arrest may result in criminal charges and therefore criminal court proceedings, they may have less information about the administrative proceedings initiated by the DHSMV to suspend their driver's license based on a failed or refused breath or blood test after a DUI arrest. A DHSMV hearing, often referred to as a DMV hearing, is held in relation to the suspension of a driver's license.

In Florida, a driver has only 10 days from the date of his or her arrest to request a hearing. This hearing is a driver's only opportunity of challenging and possibly avoiding administrative license suspension in conjunction with a lawful DUI arrest and refused or failed breath or blood test. In addition to scheduling your DMV hearing for you, our firm can represent you at your hearing to seek a positive outcome.

This hearing is similar in format to court proceedings, but it is presided over by a hearing officer who acts as prosecutor and judge. You will have an opportunity to present your side of the story along with evidence. By properly preparing your case and presenting it in a clear and thoughtful manner, we can help you seek an optimal result.

The Second Branch: Criminal Case

Because driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense, a person arrested for this crime will face charges in criminal court. A lawyer will be particularly important in this branch of a DUI case. You may be offered a plea bargain by the prosecuting attorney. Your lawyer can review this offer to determine whether it is truly in your best interests or if you will be better off fighting your charges.

In spite of the fact that the arresting officer may have told you that you failed a breath test and field sobriety tests, there are ways that your lawyer may be able to challenge any evidence and the officer's testimony against you. Your lawyer can help you during every step of your case, even helping you get released from custody after your arrest.

Looking for a lawyer who can handle both branches of your DUI case? Contact a Tampa DUI attorney.

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