Tampa DUI Lawyer
Skilled, Aggressive, Strategic Representation
Alcohol is ingrained in our culture and too often, people find themselves behind the wheel of a car with alcohol in their system. From the very first time you are arrested on DUI charges, you need representation that can inform you about the penalties you will be facing. DUI penalties are far more severe than most vehicle-related crimes and they only get worse with repeat offenses.
If you are arrested on DUI charges, you need experienced legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. Brian Gonzalez is a Tampa Bay attorney with an extensive knowledge of current Florida DUI law and DMV procedures. Along with his skilled team of professionals, he offers the aggressive, strategic representation necessary to identify and curb penalties in any jurisdiction across Florida.
To schedule a free consultation to talk about the best approach to your case, call 813-224-0632 or complete the form below.
Knowing the Limit
Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC is the most common indicator of a DUI and knowing the limits can help you and your attorney stand up for your rights as a Florida driver. The extent of a DUI charge can depend on your age and type of license compared to your BAC. It’s important to know the limits:
- Drivers Over the Age of 21: Limit of 0.08% BAC
- Underage Drivers (Under 21): Limit of 0.02% BAC
- CDL Drivers: Limit of 0.04% BAC
DUI Consequences Can Be Harsh and Far-Reaching
In many cases, penalties exceed the expectations of drivers who aren’t familiar with the toughened DUI Laws in Florida. Law enforcement is more adamant than ever about the safety of Tampa Bay roadways. Our firm can help you learn what you could be up against in your first, second, or even third offense including but not limited to fines ranging from $500 to $5000, imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years and loss of driver’s license from 180 days to permanent revocation. Some of the consequences are:
- First offense: 50 hours of community service, probation up to a year, impoundment of your vehicle for 10 days and driver’s license suspension of six to 12 months, ignition interlock device may be installed for six months or more.
- Second offense within five years: Minimum mandatory 10 days in jail with up to nine months possible, 30 day vehicle impoundment, five year license suspension, one year probation, mandatory ignition interlock device on your car for at least one year
- Third offense within 10 years: Felony charge. Mandatory 30 days in jail with up to five years in prison possible, 10 year license suspension, 90 day vehicle impoundment, up to 60 months probation, mandatory ignition interlock device on your car for at least two years.
The consequences are even harsher still if your alcohol content (BAC) was .15 or above, or if you have a person under 18 years old in the car at the time. Remember, a DUI requires a mandatory conviction which cannot be sealed or expunged.
The Law Offices of Brian E. Gonzalez has a variety of defense strategies to help fight your DUI charges, resulting in lesser punishment and shorter sentences. Contact Attorney Brian E. Gonzalez to discuss what aggressive strategies we can use in your unique situation.
- Amended Reckless Driving Plea Option
- Illegal Traffic Stops and Seizure
- Faulty Field Sobriety Tests
- Violation of Your Miranda Rights
- Failure to Inform You of Implied Consent Laws
- A Rising BAC at the Time of Your Breath Test
- Faulty Breath Test
- Lack of Evidence that you were Operating a Vehicle
- Faulty Drug Tests
- Blood Draw DUIs
- Residential and/or Outpatient Alcohol/Drug Treatment Defense
Field Sobriety Testing and Challenging Them
When it comes to roadside sobriety or breath testing, there are many variables working against you. If you are asked to walk heel-to-toe along the side of a busy road, nerves may give the impression of alcohol abuse without your BAC being over the legal limit. However, breath tests can be just as deceptive, as technical issues or the law officer’s inability to properly handle the testing device could lead to a faulty result. If you suspect that your field sobriety testing results may not have been indicative of the truth, reach out to Attorney Brian E. Gonzalez. He and his team will launch a full investigation into your testing methods and aggressively defend your rights as a citizen.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will challenge the results of a field sobriety test from several perspectives:
- Was the officer conducting the Field Sobriety Test a Drug Recognition Examiner? Regardless of whether the officer was correct in his or her findings, if they are not a DRE, they cannot testify as an expert witness.
- The Expert DUI attorney will challenge whether the police officer followed the NHTSA DUI protocol. If the DUI Officer did not follow this protocol, an Expert DUI attorney can confront and cross-examine him or her should the officer testify in a DUI trial or hearing.
- Did the police officer falsely accuse someone of failing the FSEs when he or she has a disability or medical condition that caused him or her to fail the FSEs? Medical conditions that can cause police officers to falsely accuse someone of DUI are vertigo/balance conditions, back or leg injuries, age related issues, weight issues, diabetes, vision issues, etc.
Upon being arrested for a DUI, your license will be suspended by the DMV for an amount of time determined by your blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest and the number of previous, related convictions.
- Your driver’s license can be suspended…
- for between 180 days and one year, depending on whether or not you submitted to a breath test for a first offense or a blood test, if requested.
- for five years, if you commit two DUI offenses during a five year period. After a year, you can petition for a hardship reinstatement.
- Your driver’s license can be revoked for ten years, if you commit a third DUI in a period of ten years. After two years, you may petition for a hardship reinstatement.
- Your driver’s license can be permanently revoked, if you commit a DUI manslaughter. After five years, a hardship reinstatement may be available to you.
Getting Your Driver’s License
After a DUI: After being pulled over for a DUI with your BAC above the legal limit, the police officer will take your license. 10 days from that point your license will be suspended. Within those 10 days, you must file a request for a temporary driving permit and a formal review hearing of your driver’s license suspension. With this temporary license, you may drive for work, school, medical, and religious purposes. If you do not file for this temporary license within those ten days, your license will be suspended and you will not be eligible for a temporary driving permit until after a suspension period. If it is your first DUI, you may be able to waive the formal review hearing and seek a temporary license without enduring a suspension until there is a DUI conviction.
A seasoned attorney should be contacted immediately. The sooner an attorney gets involved, the sooner they can begin work on your case. Letting an attorney handle everything, including working with the DMV to secure a hardship license, will assure your case is handled in your best interest.
In each case, the Law Offices of Brian E. Gonzalez can aggressively challenge a license suspension. You and your family don’t have to be affected by a mistake, and we will do all we can to help you get your life back on track faster.
Investigating Cases and Building Defenses
An aggressive approach to DUI defense is vital in winning not-guilty verdicts and limiting the severity of DUI charges and their consequences. Brian E. Gonzalez has proven especially effective in defending DUI cases across Tampa Bay and Florida and he uses his extensive experience and knowledge of the legal system to ensure you are supported with a strong, hard-hitting defense team.
Our first step is always to listen to our clients’ needs and concerns. We not only scrutinize police reports and your own telling of events, but we take sincere interest in exploring the following as well:
- Was the traffic stop legal?
- Was the breath test properly administered?
- Was the officer properly trained to administer the breath test?
- Were field sobriety tests conducted properly?
- If you refused to take a breath test, were the other signs of impairment enough to support a conviction?
Alternative Sentencing Options
It is important to note that at the judge’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment.
Under the regulation cited above, a judge has the discretion to accept an offender’s treatment in a residential program to serve as an alternative to incarceration. When representing repeat DUI defendants, Brian E. Gonzalez has successfully used this option to help his clients receive the treatment they need while avoiding jail time. Additionally, there are occasions when a sentence can be negotiated to allow a defendant to serve weekends in jail, thus avoiding termination of essential employment.
The Law Offices of Brian Gonzalez are dedicated to honest and helpful counsel. We are here to answer the questions you have concerning your DUI case, and we never make promises we can’t keep. You need an attorney with the judgment and experience to handle your case, no matter your unique needs or circumstances. Hire an expert DUI attorney who knows how to successfully challenge each aspect of the DUI arrest process. Contact us now!