Defending DUI in Tampa, Florida

Our Tampa DUI attorneys are both former prosecutors who have handled thousands of cases. We have the experience necessary to defend your case.

Tampa Aggravated DUI Defense Attorneys

Certain DUI offenses constitute a heavier sentence because of the presence of aggravating factors. While many of these aggravating factors can lead to conviction of felony DUI, there are also factors that occur in misdemeanor DUIs that can intensify the penalties. Aggravated misdemeanor DUI is the midway between a simple DUI charge and a felony DUI charge.

Qualities of Aggravated DUI

One way that a DUI charge may be considered aggravated relates to the actual BAC level recorded at the time of the arrest. If a person being suspected of DUI takes a test that reveals his or her blood alcohol content to be 0.15 or higher, the misdemeanor charge can be elevated from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.

Another factor that leads to indication of aggravated DUI is whether it was a DUI with property damage. This can either be someone's home or someone's car who was involved in a non-injury accident with the driver charged. This will also lead to first degree misdemeanor. DUI with a presence of a minor passenger can still be classified as a first degree misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony, if the charge is a first offense DUI.

Finally, some DUI with injury cases can still be processed as a misdemeanor but will be categorized as aggravated DUI and first degree misdemeanor so long as the injuries are not serious. If the prosecuting agency determines that the injuries of the other person are serious, the DUI charge is subject to be elevated to felony DUI.

Aggravated DUI Penalties

Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism

According to the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program, some people charged with first-offense aggravated DUIs qualify for the RIDR program, and other aggravated DUIs do not.

The following aggravated DUIs are typically not eligible for the RIDR program:

Therefore, the only aggravated DUI circumstance that qualifies for the RIDR program is blowing between a 0.15 to 0.20 blood alcohol content (BAC). If a driver blows between a 0.15 to 0.20 and joins the RIDR program, he or she will be considered a sanction level 2 participant. As a sanction level 2 participant, the charged will have to complete more stipulations to receive their DUI charge demotion. If you have any questions about this, contact us to get the answers you need.

First & Second-Degree Misdemeanors

While aggravated DUI is a misdemeanor, the difference between being called with a first degree misdemeanor and second degree misdemeanor is significant in terms of penalties. For a first degree misdemeanor, the minimum fines for conviction are increased to $1,000 for the first conviction, $2,000 for the second and $4,000 for the third or any subsequent convictions. Jail time served is given at a minimum of nine months for a first degree misdemeanor DUI and that minimum is increased to one year if the conviction is repeated. Aggravated DUI conviction will also result in an extended period of mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device at the driver's expense. The minimum requirement for such a device is six months for the first aggravated DUI conviction and at least two years for a second conviction. License suspension, probation and mandatory course participation are also included in a sentence for first degree misdemeanor DUI.

Defend Against an Aggravated DUI in Tampa

If you are facing a first degree misdemeanor charge for DUI, there is still the possibility of reducing the charge back down to second degree or having the charge dismissed altogether. The best way to increase your chances to achieve this is by hiring a Tampa DUI attorney to defend your case. The attorneys at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. have extensive knowledge of Florida laws and the science behind charging someone with DUI. Using this knowledge, we have succeeded in reduced sentences and dismissal of aggravated DUI for numerous clients!

Call (813) 321-7323 to get started on your defense today!

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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.

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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.