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 Multiple DUI Defense Lawyers

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According to the National Department of Transportation, about one-third of all DUI arrests are for repeat offenders. Because DUI offenders are common in Florida, the state has taken precautions to punish repeat violations severely. If you have been charged with multiple DUIs within 10 years of your first DUI conviction, you will face exponentially harsher penalties. With each subsequent DUI, you will be faced with more severe consequences.

For a second DUI, you will face punishments such as fines of $1,000, along with up to 9 months imprisonment and a 30-day impoundment of your vehicle. If you are charged with a third DUI within 10 years, you will be faced with a third-degree DUI felony and be at risk of fines up to $5,000 and 5 years' imprisonment, along with 90-day vehicle immobilization.

These consequences can be devastating and should not be treated lightly; if you are at risk of a second, third, or even fourth DUI conviction, it is imperative that you secure the legal aid of an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer. By working closely with an attorney familiar with this area of the law, you can begin to build your defense from the foundation up. Whether looking into faulty BAC tests, or whether you are questioning whether or not there was even reasonable cause for the traffic stop, we will fight to protect you.

Consequences of Multiple DUI

Second DUI Conviction

If convicted of a second DUI, you may face a number of penalties. However, with a skilled attorney at your side, the chance that you will face maximum penalties is much lower. There is a possibility to bargain for fewer charges, get your charges dropped, or get acquitted by a jury.

Penalties for second DUI with BAC between 0.08 and 0.15 percent:

  • $1,000 to $2,000 in fines
  • Up to 9 months in jail
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Minimum 5-year driver's license revocation

Third DUI Conviction

The penalties for a third DUI offense may include:

  • Fine of more than $2,000 and less than $5,000
  • Imprisonment of a minimum of 30 days
  • Impoundment of Vehicle for 90 days
  • Driver License Revocation for a minimum of 10 years
  • Mandatory completion of DUI Level II Class

Fourth DUI Offense

The consequences of a fourth DUI conviction in Florida are harsh. When a driver has three prior convictions for drunk driving-related offenses on their record, he or she may face felony charges for the fourth offense.

The penalties for a fourth DUI offense may include:

  • Felony charges for the fourth offense
  • Up to 5 years in state prison
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Deportation for non-U.S. citizens
  • Probable revocation of driving privileges

Other Penalties for DUI with Prior Convictions

In addition to legal penalties, many individuals convicted of DUI face problems outside of the courtroom, including social ostracism, job loss, limited future opportunities, strained personal relationships, and damaged reputations.

Other penalties that may be imposed include the following:

  • Community service
  • Higher insurance rates
  • Attendance in DUI school
  • Possible deportation of non-U.S. citizens

DUI Level II Classes

After being convicted for drunk driving, a driver will be required to participate in a Florida Licensed DUI Program.

The purpose of these classes is to educate offenders about the dangers of driving under the influence. The DUI classes are also required to acquire a license following an administrative suspension. For first-time offenders, they will be allowed to participate in a Level 1 Class (12 hours), but for someone with prior convictions, they will need to enroll in Level II Class (21 hours).

Hardship License in Florida

One of the most difficult things to face following an arrest is the possibility of having your license suspended by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). This is especially true for repeat offenders. In fact, in the state of Florida, having a second offense within five years of your first will result in a five-year suspension. A third within ten years will result in a ten-year suspension.

This, however, does not mean that you will not be allowed to ever drive during your suspension. In some cases, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license. This will allow you to drive to places that you are required to go, e.g. to work, school, church and the doctor. This is also known as a provisional driver's license and is split into two separate categories for business and employment.

Why Hire a DUI Lawyer?

With a previous DUI conviction, the odds are stacked against you in a court of law without the proper defense on your side. The criminal courts will be especially harsh if you were still under probation from the last conviction, and a jury will be less inclined to side in favor of the defense if the defendant is not prepared to fight for their future. Our attorneys know how to make sure your previous convictions don’t affect your current case, increasing your chances of success. At Thomas & Paulk, we are compassionate toward those who need aggressive defense in the face of criminal charges. We have seen firsthand the impact of the consequences of multiple DUI convictions on the lives of defendants, and we are completely devoted to ensuring that our clients are defended as thoroughly and fairly as possible.

If you choose to work with our firm, you can breathe easier knowing your future is in trustworthy hands. Call (813) 321-7323 today!

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
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  • 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.