What are the Penalties for a Drunk Driving Conviction in the Tampa Bay, Florida area?

What are the Penalties for a Drunk Driving Conviction?

In some instances, you could serve jail time if you went to trial and the Judge thinks you have lied under oath. Otherwise, your penalties will require a period of probation where you will be obligated to perform at least 50 hours of community service, pay a $500.00 fine (or more), pay court costs, and your license will be suspended for 6 months by the court. This is in addition to any suspension you may already have received from the Dept. Of Motor Vehicles for an unlawful blood alcohol level while driving or refusing to take a breath test. Your vehicle also may be subject to being impounded.

There are additional penalties for a breath test above a .15 such as having to employ a breath test device on your vehicle in order to start it. If your blood alcohol was a .20 or above, you may be subject to enhanced penalties and fines. All of this applies to first time offenders. Second, third or multiple offenders can receive a harsher sentence which often includes jail time.

As you can see, the penalties for DUI have become tough. This is why it is important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to analyze your case to see if the State may have difficulty proving it. Often times, the State has poor or little evidence against you such as the lack of bad driving or you not looking intoxicated on the on-scene video. In this case, we will always submit a formal request for a reduction to a Reckless Driving charge so that you are not facing many of the penalties mentioned above and so that you do not have the stigma of a DUI on your record.

Written by

Ray Lopez has practiced since 1990, with prior experience as a Hillsborough County assistant State attorney and lawyer for the Tampa Police Department. He handles all criminal charges, from traffic violations and misdemeanors to serious felonies and federal drug charges. He practices in all state and federal courts of the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida, as well as criminal appeals, juvenile court, administrative hearings, and civil forfeiture proceedings.

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