Tampa DUI Attorney

Tampa DUI Attorney

DUI arrests are all too common in the Tampa area, and the penalties are severe. Hillsborough County has more DUI arrests than any other county in Florida. And Florida has some of the harshest punishment for driving under the influence in the country, including jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension. There are also consequences of a DUI conviction for other aspects of your life, such as employment, education, and professional licenses. If you are facing DUI charges in the Tampa area, you absolutely need the best Tampa DUI attorney you can find.

This is where Marc A. Joseph, P.A. can provide your best chance of successfully fighting DUI charges. A seasoned criminal attorney with vast experience defending DUI cases, Marc Joseph also is intimately familiar with the Tampa area courts. Mr. Joseph has the legal knowledge and skill to review all the legal options of a person charged with DUI, along with the drive and focus to get the best possible result for his client. If you are arrested for DUI in the Tampa area, Marc. A. Joseph is the Tampa DUI lawyer you need to call.

Florida DUI Law Basics

A person has committed the violation of DUI in Florida if they drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit: .08% for most drivers, .04% for commercial drivers, and .02% for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21. If a Florida police officer pulls you over with probable cause to believe you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer can request you take a blood, breath, or urine test for alcohol. Florida is an “implied consent” state, which means Florida drivers give their implied consent to such alcohol tests when they obtain their license. If the driver refuses, their license is automatically suspended for 12 months for first-time DUI offenders, 18 months for second or third-time offenders. In addition, the driver refusing the test can still be prosecuted for DUI, and their refusal to take the test can be used against them in court.

Once a person is charged with DUI, they must deal with two main issues: (1) restrictions or suspensions on their Florida driver’s license by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and (2) the criminal court system, which can impose penalties of jail time, monetary fines, and more.

The Effect of a DUI on Your Florida Driver’s License

If a Florida driver is arrested for DUI with a BAC above the legal limit, their license is automatically suspended through an administrative suspension by the DHSMV. The administrative suspension time is six months for first-time DUIs, one year for second-time or subsequent DUIs. You only have 10 days after your arrest to demand a formal review hearing by the DHSMV to contest your suspension. If your Tampa DUI attorney, makes a successful argument at this hearing, your suspension may be overturned. Also within ten days of your arrest, you may request a “hardship permit”, which is a permit issued to drivers allowing them to drive to work, school, and religious events. And if you are ultimately convicted of a DUI, you will face an additional drivers license suspension beyond the administrative suspension.

The DUI Criminal Process

The DUI criminal charges will differ depending on whether any property damage resulted from the DUI, or whether anybody was injured or killed. The driver can be charged with aggravated DUI if their BAL is .15% or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, which increases the potential jail time and fine amount. And there are higher penalties for second and third-time DUIs. First-time and second-time DUIs are generally charged as misdemeanors.

The stages of a DUI case are as follows:

  • First appearance
  • Arraignment: The hearing where you plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty.
  • Status hearings
  • Evidentiary hearings: If your attorney files motions to suppress evidence or dismiss your case.
  • Pretrial conferences
  • Trial: Either (1) jury trial or (2) bench trial by the judge.

An aggressive and knowledgeable Tampa DUI lawyer is essential during the criminal process. An attorney can challenge numerous parts of the DUI case, including whether you were lawfully stopped by the police, problems with the breath test, and whether or not you were actually impaired by alcohol. If your DUI case needs to be taken to trial, you could have expert testimony to cast doubt on the results of a blood, breath or urine test. Fighting the case with a superior Tampa DUI lawyer at your side could result in dismissal of the case before trial. Or you could agree to a plea deal and have your charges reduced to reckless driving. The details of the plea deal will also need to be negotiated, and this is where an experienced Tampa DUI attorney will be perfect to leverage his relationships with local prosecutors and judges.

Overview of Expertise

DUIs are one of the most common crimes in the Tampa area, and Marc A. Joseph has the experience as a criminal attorney to expertly defend Tampa DUI charges. A person facing DUI charges will want an attorney that is extremely knowledgeable about DUI law and can advise on all the potential risks and penalties. That person will also want a Tampa DUI lawyer who is familiar with the local courts in the Tampa area, having a better feel for the various prosecutors and judges that could handle your case. Marc A. Joseph is both of these ideal attorneys, with the expertise, knowledge, and experience with DUI cases, and his familiarity with the local courts. If you are arrested for DUI in the Tampa area, Marc A. Joseph is the Tampa DUI attorney that can help you when you need it most.

Contact Tampa DUI Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. Today for a Free Consultation

If you have been arrested for a DUI in the Tampa area, you can call Marc A. Joseph immediately for expert legal representation. As part of his free consultation, Mr. Joseph will analyze the facts of your DUI and help you assess the best options going forward, avoiding jail time if possible. Call (813) 234-6374 today to schedule your free consultation with Tampa DUI attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A.

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