Table of Contents
- 1 Tampa DUI Attorney
- 2 What Just Happened?
- 3 Negative Penalties of a DUI Conviction
- 4 10 Step DUI Action Plan
- 5 Drug Crimes
- 6 Crimes against Property & Property
- 7 Classification by Severity: Misdemeanor vs. Felony
- 8 Crime Statistics in Tampa
- 9 About Us
- 10 Reputation management
- 11 Fees and Costs
- 12 Service Locations
Committing a crime, regardless of its severity, can have damaging effects on your reputation, career, and personal life for years to come. In addition to reputation management after the sentencing, a Tampa criminal lawyer from Denmon & Denmon has extensive experience in the courtroom. To contact us directly, call (813) 554-3232 or submit a contact form.
Tampa DUI Attorney
Drinking and driving arrests can result in massive legal fees and you could lose your license. Also, depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI case, you could be facing jail time. If you’re facing DUI charges, contact one of our Tampa DUI attorneys at (813) 554-3232 or fill out a contact form.
What Just Happened?
You were driving down the road, got into an accident, or were sleeping in your vehicle. An officer with a flashlight pulled up behind you, lit up his lights and you rolled down your window. The officer asked you what you had to drink and maybe you told him you had a few beers. He asked you for license and registration and to step out of the car.
This was probably the beginning to a very long night for you, and the many Floridians that are arrested for a DUI every day. Here are the penalties you are facing, what you can do to begin fixing your problem, and how a Tampa DUI attorney can help.
Negative Penalties of a DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction has substantial court costs, fines, and probationary requirements. However, the most expensive part is the FR44 insurance required under Florida state law. Insurance companies estimate the rate at $5,000 a year, and the coverage is required for 36 months.…a first time DUI could cost in excess of $18,000!
With everything considered, a first time DUI could cost in excess of $18,000! Enhanced DUIs (where the breath alcohol content is above .15 BAC for example) and a second or greater DUI will cost even more.
Depending on the facts of your case, DUI representation with our firm costs between $2,500 and $5,000. Your Tampa DUI lawyer can pay for himself many times over with a reduction, dismissal, or exoneration of your case at trial.
2. Reputation in the Community:
With modern advancements in Internet search engines, there is a new, previously unheard of penalty that accompanies a DUI arrest. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will take your mugshot after you’re booked and place the photo on their website for all to see.
From there, it only gets worse. Digital entrepreneurs will scrape the images from your arrest and put them on their own sites. They then promote these sites to appear in the aforementioned search engines image index with your name attached to it. When people search for you, there’s a good possibility that your mugshot will show up, hurting your reputation.
Many attorneys and their employees are trained to manage and mitigate any damage to your reputation after an arrest for a DUI.
3. Drivers License Suspension:
Tampa is not renowned for its public transportation. With a high percentage of commuters and virtually no people living inside the city of Tampa, having the ability to drive is a necessity.
Unfortunately, a first time DUI requires a minimum six month driver’s license suspension. Your attorney can help you continue to drive with a license for business purposes only, but the amount that you can drive is very limited.
4. Potential Jail Time:
A first time DUI is a first degree misdemeanor that is punishable by 180 days in jail. However, enhanced first time DUI’s are punishable by 365 days in jail.
If it’s a second time time, the maximum punishment is 365 days in jail. A second time DUI within five years of a prior DUI conviction would require a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in the Hillsborough County jail.
A third DUI, if charged as a felony, is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. If it’s within ten years of a prior DUI, there’s a minimum punishment of 30 days in jail.Important note: These punishments don’t apply if the charge is reduced to a reckless driving.
5. Employment Problems:
DUI arrests are often problematic with employers. This holds especially true in occupations that require licenses for driving and flying (think UPS driver and airline pilot). Nurses, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals with regulatory boards also have heightened penalties and obstacles to take into consideration.Nurses, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals with regulatory boards also have heightened penalties and obstacles to take into consideration.
Many employers use search engines to look at potential employees during the hiring process. Also, most human resource professionals complete random company employee audits, which could have an impact on your employment.
If you need an aggressive and thorough attorney, feel free to complete a contact form or give us a call at (813) 554-3232.
10 Step DUI Action Plan
1. Discuss your case with a DUI lawyer within 10 days of the arrest
The earlier your Tampa DUI defense lawyer begins to know you and the facts of your case, the better the odds at obtaining a successful resolution.
In effect, you and your lawyer are educating each other. You’re explaining the relevant facts of your particular case to him or her, and he is providing you with the next actions to take and possible defense to employ.
In any case, the discussion with a dui lawyer will be informative and help put your mind at ease.
2. Get your Temporary Hardship License and Keep Driving
If you’re employed or have a family, you need to keep driving. DUIs in Florida are unique in that, if you fail to act within ten days, you will lose your ability to drive for a period of time.
You will have already discussed with your lawyer immediate steps to handle the driving situation. Whether you are contesting the suspension or not, your game plan will include getting a permit to continue driving. Use this advantage.
3. Memorialize the Event in Writing For Your Lawyer
Memories of an event fade over time. However, your case might take months to reach a conclusion.
It’s important to immediately record the event in writing. Sit down at your computer and create a chronological story of what you remember and give this in confidence to your attorney.
The officer sat down right away and wrote down his version of the events after your arrest. He will rely on this written documentation later and you should do the same with your own retelling.
4. Go Take Pictures of the Event Scene
A lot of people are visual. There’s a saying in DUI trials; a great image or picture is worth two words: not guilty.
Pictures often can convey a story in a way that words alone can’t. Go back to the scene and find the exact place that you were stopped and locate the area where you did field sobriety exercises.
Keep in mind that your DUI attorney will be doing the same a little later in the process. However, your lawyer will better understand the story of what happened the night you were arrested if you take pictures of the scene.
5. Take DUI Class Up Front
In nearly all cases, our clients will need to take a DUI class. This is true even when the charge is reduced to a reckless driving or dismissed. No matter what, the DMV will want you to complete a DUI class to get your hardship permit while the case is pending.
6. Follow Your Discovery With Your Attorney
Discovery is the process whereby your lawyer gathers records, documentation, audio visual recordings, or other evidence that might be relevant to your case. Many times your attorney will seek out and talk to witnesses, even under oath.
If the discovery sought might possibly lead to potentially relevant information, then it is discoverable. On the flip side, you are protected by the Fifth Amendment from saying anything to the state attorney.
Your Tampa DUI lawyer will spend weeks gathering everything that might be possibly relevant to aid your defense. It’s true that when the case is ready to be negotiated, your attorney will know twice as much about your case as the Hillsborough County State Attorney.
Modern attorneys offer digital law offices, which can share information about your discovery process in real-time.
7. Go to Your DUI lawyer’s Office to Watch Video and Other Multi Media Evidence
Near the end of the discovery process, your attorney will obtain video and audio evidence of your case. Most importantly, this includes video evidence from the scene and from the police station.
8. Discuss the Pros and Cons of Motion Practice
Motion practice consists of motions to dismiss the charge, and motions to suppress and/or exclude evidence.
In many cases, it will be helpful to run motions to attempt to leverage the best possible deal on your behalf. There are few if any negative repercussions to filing motions to support your defense. Be sure to discuss this with your attorney.
9. Discuss the Positives and Negatives of Going to Trial
Likewise, your case may be perfect for trial, especially if the Hillsborough County prosecutor refused to settle with a fair and reasonable deal. Trial considerations are complex, and should be discussed with your lawyer when the time is right.
In all cases, be educated. Without question, the educated client makes the best decisions throughout the DUI process, and comes out with the best results. Speak freely, openly, and consistently with your attorney.
Remember, if you need an attorney that can guide you through the process and get you back on your feet after a DUI, call our experienced lawyers at (813) 554-3232 or visit our contact page.
The Florida Department of Corrections notes that the average prison sentence for drug offenders is 2.5 years under the current minimum 85% of sentence served policy. Also, drug traffickers will serve 5.1 years on average under this policy. No matter your drug offense, you could be facing significant time in prison.
Drug crimes include:
Doctor shopping, or withholding information from a doctor
Drug possession in Florida
Possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell
Sales of Controlled Substances
Manufacture of Drugs
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
DUI while impaired by drugs
Crimes against Property & Property
These crimes involved the damage, destruction, or theft of property, and include:
- Theft – The penalties associated with stealing is usually directly related to the amount of property stolen.
- Burglary – The seriousness of burglary charges is enhanced when a home or vehicle is broken into, or if a weapon is involved.
- Criminal Mischief – The amount of damage done determines the severity of the charges.
- Murder and Attempted Murder: No Florida crime is punished more severely that Murder and or the Attempt of Murder.
- Robbery: Robbery in Florida is a taking of another persons possession by force.
- Battery: Battery is the unwanted physical contact of another. A simple battery charge is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 365 days in jail.
- DUI with Damage to Property – Convictions can result in large fines, jail time, loss of your license, rehab or DUI courses, or the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Classification by Severity: Misdemeanor vs. Felony
The least severe crimes in Florida based on severity are second degree misdemeanors. These carry a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. Some examples include public intoxication and reckless driving charges.
First degree misdemeanors are the most serious, carrying a maximum possible sentence of one year in jail. Common first degree misdemeanors include domestic battery and first-offense driving under the influence.
Felonies are classified as:
- First degree (punishable by 30 years prison)
- Second degree (punishable by 15 years prison)
- Third degree (punishable by 5 years prison)
Certain enhanceable penalties can make the maximums even higher. For example, capital murder is a first degree felony, but is punishable by death or life in prison.
Because of Florida’s exhaustive statute and complex criminal punishment code, it is best to discuss your unique charge and set of facts with a tampa criminal defense attorney. For more information about how we can help you with your criminal charges, fill out our contact form or call (813) 554-3232.
Crime Statistics in Tampa
1. Our Firm
2. Office Location
3. Number of Cases Handled
Not only have our attorneys taken on cases with every type and severity listed above, they have handled jury trials for every type of case. The experience in our firm, especially in the last seven years, is unmatched.
4. Do You Settle in or out of Court?
For example, in a DUI case, we might conclude that a settlement for a reckless driving is acceptable and the preferred ruling. In this way, we can receive the result we prefer without going to trial. Likewise, in a case with serious criminal charges where prison is a real possibility, the client and our defense attorney may determine that it’s in our client’s best interest to avoid jail time.
In some cases however, an acceptable settlement doesn’t exist or the State Attorney is unwilling to negotiate. If this happens, our talks transition into litigation, trial strategy, and case preparation.
5. Approach to a Criminal Defense Case in Tampa
1. Prison or Jail Concerns: We analyze the seriousness of the crime, the alleged facts, the ability to prove these facts, and previous criminal conduct (if any) of the client.
2. Work and Future Employment Considerations: If the client is a professional, such as a nurse or doctor, where a particular conviction may be a fireable offense, we broker a deal. This deal would ensure that the charges are sealed and/or dismissed, so that future employers will not know of the incident.
We’ve handled delicate cases for attorneys, doctors, nurses, professional drivers, CDL license holders, professional sportsmen, athletes, and businessmen. Our criminal defense law firm is keenly aware of employment ramifications of different arrests, and how to resolve the matters with the least amount of stress on the client.
The Internet has created a previously unheard-of issue: The need for reputation management. Now, your boss, future employer, or friend of your child can search for your name in search engines to see if you’ve been arrested.
This problem is compounded by websites that scrape data from the website of the arresting agency and post it on their own domains. At that point, it’s a constant battle to get these websites to remove the images before Google or another search engine scans the page.
We are actively involved with helping our clients minimize the damage to their reputations, and helping them recover.
Fees and Costs
A criminal defense attorney at Denmon & Denmon is retained on a flat fee basis. The flat fee is based on the severity (and thus the corresponding hours of work estimated) of the charge.
Contact our Tampa criminal defense attorney at (813) 554-3232 or visit our contact page to discuss the specifics of your case and receive a quote for your charges.