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Drinking and driving is a serious offense and something we should all avoid whenever possible. However, sometimes we make mistakes and we need the help of a Tampa DUI lawyer. Facing a drinking and driving offense without a lawyer on your side can quickly turn into your worst nightmare. If you need an attorney, we can help.

Since most DUI cases are not as easy to handle as they may appear, good defense attorney can give you a little peace of mind. With the help of a DUI lawyer in Tampa, you will know what to expect and when to expect it. Hiring the right attorney makes all the difference. You should fully understand the possible penalties, which your attorney will explain to you completely.

Facing a Drunk Driving Conviction With a Tampa DUI Attorney

The state of Florida takes offenses involving alcohol very seriously and the penalties won’t include just a slap on the wrist. Accidents resulting from a DUI often come with serious injuries and even deaths. Due to the dangers associated with drinking and driving, the consequences are very still. With the right Tampa DUI attorney, you may face lesser charges.

Your First Tampa DUI

  • First Steps For a DUI in Tampa

The first DUI in Tampa, Florida comes with many consequences including community service, probation, large fines and possible jail time. Assuming you didn’t cause an accident, any injuries or damage to property, the charges may include:

  • A fine of $500 to $1,000
  • Potentially one-year probation
  • Community services up to 50 hours (Serving the actual time can be avoided by paying an additional fine of $10 per hour assigned.)
  • Jail time ranging from eight-hours to six months
  • Driver’s license revocation from 6 to 12 months
  • Mandatory DUI school with a Level I twelve hour class
  • Your vehicle will be impounded and potentially immobilized

If a minor is in the car with you or your blood alcohol level is .15 or higher, you can face up to nine months in jail, a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 and longer community service. Those receiving their first DUI offense may be able to receive a hardship driver’s license for business or work purposes. DUI school must be completed first and FR-44 insurance is required with a $115 administrative free and a $60 reinstatement fee.

Multiple offenses come with stronger penalties. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in the past and become arrested again, your need for a DUI attorney in Tampa for your case is vital. The protection a defense attorney can provide can lessen the blow of the consequences you face.

Your Second DUI

The consequences of a second DUI in Tampa can vary, depending on how long it’s been since your first conviction. If the second conviction happens within five years of your first DUI offense, you may face the following:

  • Jail time – minimum of 10 days and up to nine months (If a minor was in the vehicle or your BAL is .15 or higher, you can face up to a one-year in jail.)
  • Fines ranging from $1,000 up to $2,000 (Fines are doubled if your BAL is .15 or higher or you have a minor in the vehicle.)
  • One-year of probation
  • A minimum of 50 hours community service or an additional fine of $10 per hour of community service
  • A minimum license revocation period of five years with no possibility of a hardship reinstatement for the first year
  • Vehicle impoundment of at least 30 days

After the first year, you may apply for a hardship reinstatement upon completion of DUI School. You must also remain in a supervised DUI program throughout the rest of the revocation period. Any missed treatment will result in the cancellation of your hardship driver’s license. You must also show that you haven’t consumed any alcohol in the past year and an ignition interlock device must be installed on your vehicle.

If your second DUI conviction happens five years after your first conviction, it’s usually treated like a first offense. However, you may face larger fines, more jail time and a mandatory ignition interlock device for one year. Even though the minimum penalties may be the same as your first offense, the prosecutor could ask for more jail time and larger penalties. Make sure you hire one of the best Tampa DUI lawyers if you’re facing your second DUI charge.

Your Third DUI

In Tampa, if you find yourself facing a potential third DUI, the penalties can be very severe. You will need the help of top Tampa DUI attorneys if you expect to avoid the maximum penalties.

Prosecutors often seek the harshest punishment, especially if your prior convictions were in the past ten years. If your last DUI conviction happened more than ten years ago, you may face the following:

  • Required jail time up to 12 months and at least 30 days
  • Up to one-year probation
  • Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000
  • Minimum driver’s license revocation of 180 days and a maximum of one-year
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device
  • Court ordered DUI School with Level II classes
  • Vehicle impoundment up to 90-days after incarceration

If your third conviction happens within ten-years of your last conviction, you face severe felony DUI penalties including:

  • Mandatory jail time of 30 days
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Vehicle impoundment of 90 days
  • Up to ten-year driver’s license revocation with no chance of a hardship reinstatement for the first two years
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device
  • Completion of DUI School

When Facing a Charge, Get a Tampa DUI Law Firm

The state of Florida has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under 21 years of age. If you’re under 21 and driving with a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher, you automatically lose your driver’s license for six-months. It only takes one drink to reach a .02 BAL. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to hire one of the DUI attorneys in Tampa to handle your case.

Keep in mind, these penalties are considered the minimum requirements used in a Tampa DUI conviction. If you cause an accident, injure someone, cause property damage or cause a death, you will face multiple charges including more jail time and stiffer penalties. Anytime you face a DUI charge, a Tampa DUI lawyer can make sure you have the best defense possible.

Facing this charge alone and pleading “guilty” will often lead to harsh penalties including more jail time. DUI cases are taken very serious in Florida and you won’t just walk out of the courtroom with a small fine. If you’ve been arrested and you face potential conviction of a DUI, you need a skilled Tampa DUI attorney for your defense.