Strong Defense Against DUI Charges

You may think there is no chance of avoiding conviction or penalties if you failed your BAC tests—but this is far from true. A legal professional who understands the inner workings of DUI cases will be able to determine exactly how to build a strong defense on your behalf. Regardless of how infallible the evidence against you may seem, law enforcementdoes make mistakes, and capitalizing on those mistakes could be key to dismantling the case. A lawyer can investigate your case and recognize opportunities to get your charges dismissed or your charges reduced.

An effective defense may be built by challenging the following:

  • The arresting officer’s testimony regarding your driving behavior or performance on field sobriety tests can be challenged.
  • The outcome of a breathalyzer may be challenged on the basis that the device was not properly calibrated.
  • The lawfulness of your arrest or the initial police stop may be questioned.

These are just a few examples of the strategy your attorney may be able to employ in order to seek a positive outcome to your case. This may apply in criminal court proceedings and at your DHSMV hearing to protect your driver’s license.

How to Choose the Right DUI Defense Attorney

A criminal conviction of a drunk driving charge is severe. Even for first-time offenders, the penalties can include potential jail time for up to 6 months, fines up to $1,000, and license suspension from 6 months to 1 year. As tempting as it may be to sweep the consequences under the rug, these penalties can affect you in many areas. You need to do everything you can to protect your future. A good lawyer can help you do so.

Why Is Hiring a High-Quality Lawyer Important?

Every DUI case is unique and there are a variety of ways to challenge DUI charges. However, to have a successful outcome for your DUI case, you will need the help of an attorney. When you are looking for a qualified attorney, the single most important things you can do is to take your time to do research. Don’t just accept an attorney at face value. Every lawyer out there is trying to get your business, but you also need to ensure that the attorney you choose will put your interest’s first and has the qualifications to deliver the best possible results.

Some questions to ask an attorney during an interview:

  • How many years of actual legal experience do you have?
  • How many DUI cases have you handled before? Can you give examples?
  • Briefly, can you explain how you would handle my case?
  • How will I be involved during the proceedings?
  • What will you do to keep me informed and involved?
  • What will our fee arrangement be? How much can I expect to pay?

Asking these questions will help you decided which attorney can help you every step of the way during your DUI case.

The Cost of a Tampa DUI Attorney

One of the main concerns for DUI offenders is how much it will cost them to hire a lawyer. Most people recognize the benefits of having experienced legal representation on their side, but some people chose to find a lawyer who offers the “lowest-price” in hopes to save money. Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize is that while they might save a little money at first, they are risking the outcome of their case.

There’s a saying around courthouses: “There’s nothing more expensive than a cheap lawyer.”

Being convicted of a DUI is not a cheap ordeal. Not taking into consideration penalties like jail time, it is important to recognize just how much it could cost you to be convicted. Take for example simple fees. DUI can result in penalties that start at $500 to $5,000. Under Florida Statutes §316.193 (2012), fines depend on a variety of factors, including your BAC when pulled over, as well as any prior convictions.

For a DUI with a BAC of 0.08 percent, the initial fine schedule is the following:

  • First Conviction: $500 to $1,000
  • Second Conviction: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Third Violation: $2,000 to $5,000
  • Fourth Violation: Minimum of $2,000

For someone with a BAC over 0.15 percent, the fine schedule is the following:

  • First Conviction: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Second Conviction: $2,000 to $4,000
  • Third Violation: Minimum of $4,000

Other DUI Costs Aside from Fines

Most people think fines are the only financial impact a DUI will have, but this is only the starting point. Other costs not taken into consideration includes to get a car back after it has been impounded. Depending on how long the car was there, it can cost $200 or more. If the car has been immobilized between 10 to 30 days, it will cost $10 a day; therefore, if you had a car immobilized for 30 days, it could cost $300.

Another cost that has financial impacts is mandatory installation of the ignition interlock device (IID). For those with prior convictions or those with high BAC, the court may require an IID. This can cost $200 for the installation alone and $75 a month for regular maintenance and calibration. As the IID can be required anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. DUI charges can also greatly affect the cost of insurance. For 3 years after a conviction, you will need to get FR-44 insurance with increased coverage; this will have the requirements of maximum coverage. In most cases, insurance with full coverage will cost two or even three times the cost of the pre-DUI policy.

None of this takes into account the cost of traveling to court, lost work time, and the opportunity cost of having your time and energy taken up by court. Combined with fines, losing a DUI case or pleading guilty is often far more expensive than the cost of a good attorney.

Work with Thomas & Paulk DUI Defense Attorneys

If you have been arrested for an alcohol-offense, we encourage you to get the involvement of our legal team to learn how we can fight for you. Our attorneys have both handled over 7,000 criminal cases, providing them with an in-depth understanding of criminal law rooted in experience. Beyond this, both attorneys bring over two decades of combined experience. We are well-known for our experience in this area of the law. We are tough advocates for the rights of our clients and will go above and beyond in our efforts to help them seek the best future that they deserve. Read through our case results to see the countless victories that we have obtained over the years. If you would like to meet with our firm to discuss your case, just contact us today by calling or taking advantage of our online case evaluation form.

Contact a Tampa DUI defense lawyer from our firm for a free case review: (813) 321-7323!

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Have You Been Charged with a 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.

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