The Clock Has Already Started Ticking You Have Only a Few Days to Save Your Livelihood.

10 Days to Act After a Tampa DUI Arrest

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DUI arrests can be complicated. Immediately following an arrest, you will be faced with two separate cases: the criminal case and the administrative case. While the criminal case is serious enough, it is the administrative case that requires immediate action on your behalf. If you do not act immediately, you could lose your driving privileges. You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to schedule a DMV hearing to keep your license.

Because this hearing determines if you’re allowed to drive, it is extremely important that you contact a Tampa DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The attorneys at Thomas & Paulk have handled thousands of cases like this before, helping our clients keep their licenses for months prior to their DUI trial. If you have school or a job, this is not an opportunity you can ignore.

The Importance of Hiring a DUI Lawyer

The 10-day rule is one of many reasons you should move quickly to involve an attorney if you or someone you know was arrested for driving under the influence. Under this rule, waiting too long to schedule your DMV hearing may mean that you will lose your license, something that may have a serious impact on your employment, education, and day-to-day quality of life.

The outcome of this case does not reflect the eventual outcome of your criminal case. For example, if the DHSMV allows you to keep your license, you’re still at risk of getting convicted. Similarly, if the DHSMV takes away your license, it does not mean that you won’t win your criminal case. However, the evidence used at the hearing is admissible in court.

A DUI attorney can immediately schedule your license suspension hearing. After scheduling your hearing, your attorney can start building a case to protect your future. If your license is suspended after the DMV hearing and you are later acquitted or your case is dismissed, your driving privileges will be restored. Due to the importance of both proceedings, it is important that you receive high-quality legal representation as soon as possible.

Make sure you act before the 10-day rule expires and you are unable to challenge your license suspension. Our lawyers are skilled in handling both aspects of drunk driving cases for clients throughout Tampa, in Hillsborough County, and throughout South Florida. We can help you with your DMV hearing and can protect your rights in your criminal case.

At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., we’ve successfully handled thousands of cases. We have the knowledge necessary to handle both the criminal and administrative sides of your case. Call today to learn more.

Act Immediately to Save Your License

In Florida, if you have been pulled over and refused to take a blood, breath, or urine test or had a BAL over 0.08%, your driver's license will be automatically suspended. It will stay that way unless you request a formal hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The purpose of this DMV hearing will be to challenge the suspension. The process of the formal hearing is explained under Florida Statute §322.2615. It will be held by a hearing officer who works at the DHSMV; it is very similar to the informal hearing, except that an informal hearing will allow for the inclusion of witness testimonials and evidence.

Just because this hearing, along with the criminal hearing, will address your driving privileges, however, does not mean that they are interconnected. In fact, it is just the opposite - they are completely independent of one another. While the criminal case deals with the question of your guilty, the DHSMV hearing is actually an administrative process that deals only with the issue of your right to drive. It has nothing to do with whether or not your performed a criminal act - it only has to do with the circumstances of your arrest.

Questions that will be asked and answered during the formal hearing include:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to think you were under the influence?
  • Did the officer lawfully place you under arrest?
  • Did you drive the vehicle with a BAL over 0.08 percent?

If you refused to BAL tests, the following questions will be asked:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to think you were under the influence?
  • Did the officer lawfully place you under arrest?
  • Were you told that failure to submit would result in license suspension?
  • Did you refuse to submit after being requested by the officer?

Our Videos

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving cases may or many not require a formal trial. We discuss what most can expect in terms of the process and duration of their DUI case.

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Our Victories

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    We were able to file a motion to dismiss the case based on the fact that our client’s right to a speedy trial was violated. The State Attorney agreed that our motion was valid and all charges were dropped.

  • Dropped to Reckless Driving Second DUI
  • Dropped to Reckless Driving DUI, BAC Over 0.15
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  • No Criminal Conviction DUI and Obstructing or Opposing an Officer
  • Dropped to Reckless Driving DUI
  • Dropped to Reckless Driving Second DUI
  • All Charges Dropped DUI
  • Dropped to Reckless Driving DUI

DUI Defense in Florida

At Thomas & Paulk, one of our primary focuses is on the defense of DUI charges. In fact, we are recognized throughout the Tampa area as one of the premier DUI defense law firms. Our team is well-versed in this area of the law and has a wide-expanse of experience in helping our clients fight against such charges.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or your third, you can count on our firm to have the experience to protect your legal rights. Often, our defense starts with recounting with you how the police officer came to stop you in the first place and how he or she came to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. If the stop was illegal, or the tests were improperly administered, we may be able to argue for the dismissal of that evidence in court, helping your chances of a dropped charge.

The important thing is that you act quickly. Criminal cases involving charges of drinking and driving are serious and they can move fast. You cannot afford to wait or ignore your charges. You need a legal professional on your side who truly understands what you're facing so that they can offer you experience counsel and sound advice. To learn more about how a lawyer like this can assist with your case, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Call our Tampa DUI defense attorneys at Thomas & Paulk today to schedule an initial consultation. This is a completely free, confidential appointment for you to tell us your side of the story.

  • If you're arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing where you can fight to save your license.
  • A blood alcohol reading of 0.15% or more can warrant an aggravated DUI charge with harsher penalties.
  • Each year, Hillsborough County issues around 4,000 DUI citations. Out of these, more than 3,000 are found guilty.
  • Per Florida's zero-tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who tests positive for any measurable blood alcohol can be charged with DUI.