Even though most DUI’s are classified as the least serious misdemeanor offense, all DUI’s carry hefty consequences that can have a huge impact on your life. There are important steps to take after a DUI arrest, and an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer can guide you through them.
The Two Main Processes of a Tampa FL DUI
As a Tampa DUI lawyer with several years of experience, the process after a DUI arrest and the necessary steps an individual must take to protect their interests is very familiar. For the majority of my clients facing a DUI however, it is a frightening and completely foreign situation.
The first thing I explain to my clients is that there are two main processes. One involves the Department of Motor Vehicles and impacts your right to drive. The other involves the courts and impacts your freedom, as well as your right to drive, and more.
Can a Tampa DUI Lawyer Help You Keep Your License?
The first of the two DUI processes is the possible administrative suspension of your license through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). If you submit to a breath, urine or blood test and the alcohol content is above the legal limit your license may be suspended for a period of six months. If you refuse to submit to any of the above referenced tests, your license may be suspended for a period of twelve months. There is hope however, as your Tampa DUI lawyer may request a formal review hearing challenging the suspension of your license. If your attorney makes a successful argument at the hearing, the suspension may be overturned and your license returned.
Tampa DUI Criminal Charges & Defense
The second process is the criminal charge of DUI. If it is a first DUI or second DUI it is classified as a misdemeanor. Depending on the amount of time between offenses, subsequent DUI charges may or may not be filed as a felony. Regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, you will receive notice of your arraignment from the clerk of court. It is at this stage that the criminal case really starts and a plea of not guilty and request for discovery is entered. The state attorney then has fifteen days to provide defense counsel with all evidence they have, including any video evidence, and a list of potential witnesses.
How Long Does a Tampa DUI Case Last?
The life span of a typical DUI is anywhere between three to eighteen months depending on whether a negotiated plea deal is reached, or if the case proceeds to trial.
Tampa DUI Penalties
If found guilty of DUI in the state of Florida, there are mandatory sanctions that must be imposed including:
- An additional court ordered license suspension which is independent from the administrative suspension;
- 50 community service hours;
- DUI school;
- 10 day vehicle impoundment;
- $500 or greater fine.
These, and other potential harsh penalties, make your choice of competent legal representation one of utmost importance.
Top-Rated Tampa DUI Lawyer John S. Castro
Anton Castro Law is a premier Tampa DUI law firm. As a client, you will meet personally with our firm’s top-rated DUI attorney, John S. Castro. Unlike some DUI lawyers in Tampa, John personally works on each and every case and is proud to know all of his clients on a first name basis. Mr. Castro provides each Tampa DUI client with his personal cell phone number in case of an emergency. Like all the attorneys at our firm, he is guided by deep rooted principles and dedicated to providing you with the highest level of legal services and the individual attention and respect you deserve.
Get the Experience of a Former State Prosecutor
John S. Castro served as a state prosecutor in Hillsborough County Florida. During his time as a prosecutor Mr. Castro litigated over 300 trials and motions, including DUI’s. Mr. Castro’s combination of experience, knowledge and personal attention separates him from other Tampa DUI lawyers. Contact John Castro for a free consultation regarding your Tampa DUI case.