Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

DUI Lawyers in the Tampa Bay Area

Florida Law Advisers, P.A. has a team of attorneys dedicated to defending drivers accused of DUI in the Tampa Bay Area. Our team of Tampa DUI attorneys can defend clients in all types of DUI cases, as well as scheduling and representing our clients at Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle hearings.A DUI conviction can result in devastating consequences for the driver. A Florida DUI conviction can lead to: license suspension or revocation, hefty fines, mandated counseling, higher insurance premiums, ignition interlock device installation, and a lengthy prison sentence. If you have been arrested for a DUI you should schedule a free consultation with one of our DUI attorneys in Tampa right away. Our team of Tampa DUI lawyers will sift through every detail of your case to develop a comprehensive strategy to attack the charges against you.

The first thing anyone should do after a DUI arrest in Florida is contact an experienced DUI attorney for legal advice. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) will enact an automatic suspension of your license starting ten days immediately after the DUI arrest. The FHSMV suspension will be independent of any criminal action by the State Attorney’s Office. The driver must file an appeal with the FHSMV within 10 days of the arrest to contest the automatic suspension. A Tampa DUI attorney at Florida Legal Advisers, P.A. can file an appeal with the FHSMV on your behalf and may be able to get you a temporary driver’s license that will allow you to drive for up to 42 days while your challenge with the FHSMV is pending. At the FHSMV hearing, a DUI attorney can challenge the legality of the suspension and fight to have your driver’s license fully reinstated.

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Getting Evidence Against You Thrown Out of Court

In many cases our Tampa DUI attorneys are able to file motions to suppress evidence that may otherwise be used to incriminate our clients. If a motion to suppress is granted, the evidence against the defendant will be inadmissible in court. For instance, if there are grounds to support a motion to suppress the initial traffic stop, anything obtained by the officer after your car was stopped will be inadmissible at trial. If the officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, that may be grounds to support a motion to suppress. At Florida Law Advisers, P.A., our DUI attorneys know exactly what is required to constitute a valid traffic stop and can identify a potential traffic stop that was invalid. It is important that you hire an experienced DUI lawyer in Tampa who can recognize and exploit any possible grounds for a motion to suppress evidence against you from being brought into trial. A successful motion to suppress can be the difference between being found guilty and having the charges against you dropped.

Challenging the Breathalyzer or Blood Test Results in a Florida DUI Case

Breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests are two of the most commonly used methods for determining if a person was driving under the influence of alcohol. A breathalyzer test measures the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath by using an electronic device called the Intoxilyzer 8000.

Read more about Breathalyzer Tests in Florida

Was Your Field Sobriety Test Proper?

Field sobriety tests are the exercises police officers in the Tampa Bay Area use to evaluate whether a person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For instance, a commonly used field sobriety test is called the One-Leg Stand. The One-Leg Stand requires that the driver stand on one foot with the other foot raised 6 inches of the ground without wobbling or losing their balance. Florida DUI law requires that the police officer follows specific

Read more about Field Sobriety Tests

Blood Alcohol Tests

Blood alcohol tests are less common than breath tests; however, they can be a crucial piece of evidence for prosecutors to rely on in DUI cases. Blood alcohol tests are commonly used by law enforcement after an auto accident that police believe was caused by drunk driving. A blood alcohol test directly measures the blood alcohol concentration of a driver. This test is done by drawing two blood samples from the driver, mixing it with a preservative, and then sending the samples to a crime lab, as well as an independent lab, for analysis. Blood alcohol tests are more reliable than breathalyzer tests;

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Defending Charges of Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs

Drivers do not need to be under the influence of alcohol to be convicted of a DUI, Florida DUI law only requires that the driver be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of impairing substances. These impairing substances include illegal drugs, prescription medication, alcohol, and even over the counter medication. DUI charges based on drug use can be.

Read more about Drug Based DUI’s

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Under Florida statute §316.1932, drivers are required to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test, if requested by a police officer, after being arrested for DUI. Refusing to participate in the chemical blood alcohol test could result in your driver’s license being suspended for up to 18 months as well as other criminal penalties. However, not all refusals will result in a license suspension. First, the police officer must follow strict guidelines when ordering a driver to participate in a chemical blood alcohol test.

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Boating Under the Influence

Florida leads the nation in the annual number of fatal boating accidents. Approximately 33% of all boating accidents occur due to alcohol or drugs, and in more than 50% of those cases, the individual either fell overboard or capsized the boat. Florida has attempted to alleviate the harm that operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause by enacting a series of strict Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws.

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DUI With a Commercial Driver License (CDL)

If you operate a commercial vehicle, such as a bus, taxi, truck, or limousine, for a living and have been arrested for a DUI it is crucial that you contact a Tampa DUI attorney. Being convicted of a DUI can result in your commercial driver’s license being suspended or terminated, placing you career in grave jeopardy and significantly effecting your ability to earn a living. If you have been arrested for a DUI you should always contact a Tampa DUI lawyer for advice, especially if you operate a commercial vehicle. The laws for commercial drivers are a lot more strict and the consequences of an arrest can be more severe than they are for residential drivers.

Read more about a Commercial Driver License DUI

DMV Court Hearings

If you have been arrested for DUI, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for at least 6 months by the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). You must contest the license suspension and file for a hearing with the DHSMV within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not file for a hearing within 10 days of the arrest you will lose your opportunity to contest the suspension. Therefore, it is important that you contact a Tampa DUI attorney immediately after being arrested for DUI.

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Driving With a Suspended Driver License

If you have been arrested for DUI, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for at least 6 months by the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).  You must contest the license suspension and file for a hearing with the DHSMV within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not file for a hearing within 10 days of the arrest you will lose your opportunity to contest the suspension. If you choose to drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled you may be criminally charged under Florida Statute §322.34 and face severe penalties. If you are arrested for driving without a valid license you should contact a Tampa suspended license defense attorney right away. Speaking with a lawyer experienced in these matters may help you beat the charges and get your driver’s license reinstated.

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DUI Checkpoints

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that police have probable cause before stopping and searching a vehicle. Probable cause means that the police have specific evidence indicating a violation of the law has occurred before stopping and searching a vehicle. However, DUI checkpoints are an exception to this rule. Florida courts have ruled that stops at DUI checkpoints are valid, despite lacking probable cause.

Read more about DUI Checkpoints in Florida

DUI Counseling

Under Florida DUI law (Florida Statute 322.291), if your license is suspended for drunk driving or you are convicted of DUI you may be required to complete a substance abuse education course (DUI school). At Florida law advisers, P.A., we take a comprehensive approach to defending clients. We assist our clients in all aspects of a DUI case, including helping our clients complete the required substance abuse education course. Below is some of the general information you may need regarding DUI school. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact us to speak with a Tampa DUI attorney for individualized advice based on the specific facts of your case.

Read more about DUI Counseling in Florida.

DUI Manslaugther

Under Florida DUI law, you may be guilty of DUI manslaughter if you drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cause a car accident that results in the death of an innocent person. The death of the innocent person does not have to occur immediately after the accident. If a person is injured in the accident and then later dies from the injures, the defendant may be charged with DUI manslaughter.

Read more about DUI Manslaughter in Florida.

Penalties for DUI in Florida

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in Florida. If convicted of DUI you can be subjected to harsh penalties that create a devastating impact on your life. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a Tampa DUI attorney at our firm right away. An attorney at our firm can help you fight the charges by developing a comprehensive legal strategy based on the specific facts of your case. Our attorneys have years of experience helping clients overcome DUI charges, and may be able to use their skill and experience to get the charges against you dropped. For answers to your questions or to begin preparing for your defense, contact us today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

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DUI Probation in Florida

When you are convicted of DUI, you may be placed on probation as part of your sentence. Probation is certainly better than serving time in jail; however, probation is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. You could face harsh penalties if you violate your probation. If you have violated the conditions of your probation, contact a Tampa DUI attorney right away. There may be an outstanding bench warrant issued for your arrest. A Tampa DUI lawyer can provide legal counsel and help minimize the effects of violating your probation.

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The DUI Process in Florida

Being arrested and charged with DUI can be a very frightening experience. DUI convictions can result in imprisonment, hefty fines, and other penalties. If you have been arrested for DUI you probably have a lot of questions about the trial process, penalties you may face, and how you can defend the charges. At Florida Law Advisers, P.A., we understand the stress and uncertainty you may be feeling. We will help you understand how the legal process works and aggressively fight the charges against you.

Read more about the DUI Process in Florida

DUI With Injuries

DUI is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly, especially if there was an accident involving either property damage or bodily injury to a third person. In addition to DUI charges, the driver may also be liable for property damage or personal injuries that were caused by the accident. If you have been charged with a DUI that has caused either property damage or bodily injury, you should contact a Tampa DUI attorney for legal advice right away.

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DUI Expungement From Records

Criminal records are public records; any member of the public may request a copy of another person’s criminal record. Even arrests without convictions may show up on your criminal record and be made available to the public. Having a criminal record could prevent you from getting a job, license, scholarship, or loan that you may need. Fortunately, Florida statute §934.0585 allows for certain criminal records to be expunged. If your criminal record is expunged, when people search your criminal record there will be nothing for them to find.

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Felony DUI

Under Florida DUI law, most DUI arrests will be charged as a misdemeanor. However, a number of factors may escalate the charge to a felony DUI. A felony DUI will result in more severe penalties for the driver than a misdemeanor DUI. A misdemeanor DUI should not be taken lightly – it can still result in significant penalties, if convicted. Therefore, if you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor DUI, you should contact a Tampa DUI attorney to help protect your rights and fight the charges against you.

Read more about Felony DUI in Florida

First Time DUI Offenses

DUI’s do not just happen to criminals – anyone can get arrested for DUI. If you go to a party or dinner and have a few drinks, you could be stopped by the police on your way home and arrested for DUI. At Florida Law Advisers, P.A., our Tampa DUI attorneys have years of experience defending clients who have never faced criminal charges before, but are now facing DUI charges. We understand that you probably have a lot of questions and are nervous about the potential consequences you may be facing if convicted. Florida Law Advisers, P.A. is here to help, and we will not only aggressively fight to get the charges against you dropped. We will also keep you well-informed throughout the entire legal process and answer any questions you may have.

Read more about DUI for the First Time

DUI Hardship Driver Licenses in Florida

If you have been arrested for DUI or refused to take a breathalyzer test, your driver’s license may automatically be suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The length of the suspension will vary based on the circumstances of your arrest and whether or not you have prior breathalyzer test refusals or DUI convictions on your record. If your license has been suspended, a Tampa DUI attorney at our firm may be able to get you a hardship license. A hardship license will allow you to legally operate a vehicle despite your license suspension from the DHSMV.

Read more about DUI Hardship Licenses

Ignition Interlock Devices

In many DUI convictions, the court will require the driver to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in each vehicle owned by the driver. The device measures the amount of alcohol in one’s breath and will prevent the car from starting if alcohol is detected. The device can be an inconvenience and a big expense for drivers. If you have been arrested for DUI, you should always consult a Tampa DUI lawyer for legal advice. A skilled Tampa DUI attorney is experienced with these laws and can develop a legal strategy to defend against the DUI charges.

Read more about Ignition Interlock Devices.

Illegal Traffic Stops

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that police have probable cause before stopping and searching a vehicle. Probable cause requires more than just a hunch; police must have specific evidence indicating a violation of the law has occurred. Simply leaving a bar and taking control of a vehicle is not enough evidence on its own to establish probable cause of DUI. There must be evidence sufficient to create probable cause that the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Law enforcement frequently rely on the following factors to establish probable cause of DUI.

Read more about Illegal Traffic Stops in Florida.

Out of State DUI

Florida, like most other states in the country, is part of the Drivers License Compact (Florida Statute 322.44). Under this compact, all member states must communicate any traffic violation or DUI conviction to the National Driver Register, a national database of violation records. Therefore, if you are Florida resident and you are found guilty of a DUI in Georgia, Florida will be notified of the DUI conviction through the National Driver Register and may impose penalties in addition to those enforced under Georgia law. Conversely, if you are convicted of a DUI in Florida and you are a resident of another state, Florida will notify your home state through the National Driver Register of your DUI conviction. Under this scenario, both Florida and your home state may enforce penalties for your DUI conviction in Florida. In essence, the DLC acts to notify state governments of DUI convictions and allows all states with jurisdiction to separately punish the driver for a DUI conviction.

Read more about Out of State DUI

Repeat DUI Offenders

If you have been arrested for DUI, you should hire competent legal counsel, especially if you have prior DUI convictions. Florida DUI law takes a tough stance on drivers with multiple DUI’s. The penalties for drivers with prior DUI convictions will be more harsh than the penalties for first time offenders. Fortunately, a skilled Tampa DUI lawyer can raise defenses to the accusations and try to get the charges against you dropped. At Florida Law Advisers, P.A. our team of skilled DUI attorneys have years of experience representing clients with prior DUI convictions. We carefully scrutinize every detail of a case to identify any potential errors by police, violations of constitutional rights, mishandling of evidence, or sloppy police work we can use to help our clients. We know how much our clients have at stake in DUI cases, and we work diligently to aggressively defend our clients.

Read more about Repeat DUI Offenders in Florida

Underage DUI in Florida

Florida DUI law has a “no tolerance” policy for individuals under the age of 21 who drive while under the influence of alcohol. The legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers under 21 is only 0.02%. This limit is substantially more stringent than it is for drivers over the age of 21. The legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers over 21 is 0.08%, which is 4 times the limit for drivers under 21. If you or your child is under 21 and has been arrested for DUI, you should contact a Tampa DUI attorney right away. The penalties for a driver under 21 operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or higher can include license suspension, probation, fines, court costs, community service, incarceration, and increased insurance premiums.

Read more about Underage DUI

Vehicle Impoundment

If you are arrested for DUI in the Tampa Bay area, your vehicle may be impounded by law enforcement officials. The impoundment of your vehicle will be in addition to any other penalty enforced under Florida DUI law. If you depend on your vehicle for transportation or employment, the impoundment can create serious consequences in your life. Fortunately, a Tampa DUI lawyer may be able to get your vehicle impoundment waived by the court and allow you to continue operating your vehicle with little delay.

Read more about Vehicle Impoundment in Florida.

Hire A Tampa DUI Lawyer, Don’t Rely On A Public Defender

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important that you hire a Tampa DUI lawyer right away and not rely on a public defender being appointed to you. A public defender in a DUI case is not appointed until your arraignment, which may not be scheduled for more than 60 days after your arrest. Waiting until arraignment to get legal representation can have a harmful impact on your ability to defend your DUI case. For instance, our Tampa DUI lawyers are sometimes able to persuade the State Prosecutor from  filing charges against our clients. If you wait for the date of your arraignment with the court to get legal counsel, the opportunity to prevent your case from being filed will not be available because formal charges will have already been brought against you by that time. Furthermore, if you do not meet the financial requirements for a public defender, you will not have one appointed to you. At that point, you would have to hire a private DUI lawyer for your legal representation. Your eligibility for a public defender will not be determined by the judge until the arraignment, and at that point the delay may limit the effectiveness of the DUI attorney you hire.

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