Florida DUI Defense

DUI charges have the potential to change your life. You may lose your license, face jail time and fines, and more. That is why you must stand and fight with Florida DUI lawyers who have what it takes to win.

Florida DUI Attorneys

Protect Yourself. Fight the Charges. 

A DUI arrest is a life-changing event that strikes without warning. Maybe you were on your way home from a dinner with friends or from a company party. One moment you were minding your own business, and the next, you were in handcuffs being read your rights.

It doesn’t end there. DUI proceedings can take months, involve multiple stages, and could leave you stranded without a license in the meantime. The best thing to do is speak with a Florida DUI lawyer. Thomas & Paulk is one of Florida’s premier DUI defense law firms. Our  firm has handled more than 7,000 criminal cases in Tampa and throughout the state. 

We’ve helped countless people across Florida avoid jail time, reduce their charges, or get their DUI cases dismissed altogether.

Our Florida DUI defense firm:

  • Has tried hundreds of cases
  • Is available 24 hours a day
  • Has experience as prosecutors and defenders
  • Offers free, confidential consultations

You Need Quality Florida DUI Lawyers

While the law is the same for everyone, how the law is practiced depends on who’s representing you. The skill, experience, and relationships your attorney has built could mean the difference between a year in jail or a clean record and a few weeks of DUI school. Is being able to drive yourself around or sleep in your own bed worth hiring the best attorney?

So how do you know if an attorney is worth the time or money? What you’re looking for is more than just book learning. You’re looking for real experience. Has your attorney handled DUI cases before? What’s their track record? What do past clients have to say about them? What can you expect when working with this attorney?

People turn to Thomas & Paulk because we’ve handled thousands of cases before, including hundreds of jury and non-jury trials. Hundreds of our cases involved DUI charges, which means we know what it takes to get our clients the outcomes they deserve. 

Attorneys Jeff Paulk and Jeff Thomas have advocated from both sides of the courtroom, as prosecutors and defenders. Our ability to prepare and try cases isn’t theoretical; we’ve earned it from hours of hands-on work.

Call (813) 221-4200 for a free consultation. Protect your future.

Hard-Hitting DUI Defense

With more than 40 years of combined experience, our Florida DUI lawyers at Thomas & Paulk know how to effectively protect drivers in the face of drunk driving charges. We know the law and the science behind DUI charges and aren't afraid to fight for the best outcome.

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Understanding Florida DUI Charges

The Impact of Getting a Florida DUI Conviction 

Without an attorney protecting your rights, it is far more likely that you’ll end up convicted. Even if it’s your first DUI offense, don’t be fooled—a DUI conviction can have massive consequences. Even if the prosecutor offers you a plea deal, that’s still a conviction. Always consult with an attorney. Avoiding a conviction should be your number one priority.

Here’s what you may be facing if you’re convicted:

  • Potential deportation. Green card holders may lose their privileges if they’re convicted. Drug-related DUI or felony DUI can both result in removal proceedings.
  • Difficulty with international travel. Looking forward to a trip outside the states? Other countries may not admit you if you have a DUI conviction on your record.
  • Keeping a job. Florida is an at-will employment state. If your boss wants to fire you once they find out that you have been convicted for DUI, they’re legally able to do so.
  • Finding a career. Some professional licenses are impossible to acquire for people with criminal convictions on their record. A DUI conviction could affect your career.
  • Getting an education. Some colleges have admission policies that make it difficult for even the best students to get in if they have a criminal conviction.
  • Parenting your kids. Multiple DUIs or a single drug DUI can affect custody. Even if this is your first DUI, family law judges have broad discretion to determine custody.
  • Getting a loan. The financial cost of a DUI (fines, DUI school fees, installation of an Ignition Interlock Device) can cause your credit usage to rise, ultimately affecting your credit score. Failure to pay a court-ordered fine would also damage your credit.

These consequences would apply in addition to the standard DUI penalties you’d face as a result of a conviction in Florida.

Little-Known Facts About Florida DUI Charges

If you’ve never been arrested before, your understanding of DUI is likely filled with misconceptions from TV or movies. Florida law is mainly comprised of elements that people have never heard before. Our Florida DUI lawyers want to clear up some misconceptions.

Here’s what people get wrong about Florida DUI law:

  • Refusing to take a chemical DUI test is a crime. If you have a Florida driver's license, you’ve consented to take a chemical DUI test. Refusal is a misdemeanor, which means even if you’re found not guilty of DUI, your license will still be suspended.
  • You can get a DUI without actually driving. In Florida, drunk drivers are forbidden from having “actual physical control” of any vehicle. Even if you’re pulled over, asleep in the backseat, or don’t have the keys in your pocket, you could be arrested for DUI.
  • You don’t need to blow a 0.08 to get a DUI. Even if you’re under the legal BAC, an officer can arrest you if you have consumed alcohol or drugs and you appear impaired. It’s the officer’s word against yours, which is why it’s vital to get a good lawyer.
  • Most people can’t get a public defender. If your personal property exceeds just $2,500 in value, you won’t qualify for a public defender. That means most people choose to hire a lawyer of their own or face the prosecutor unprotected.

Now that you understand our DUI laws a little better, you might see why we believe hiring an attorney is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.