South Tampa DUI Attorney
If you are charged with a DUI in Florida, it is imperative that you contact our experienced DUI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A. We have defended clients against DUI charges for nearly 30 years, and offer a personalized approach and aggressive strategy for each case we take on.
Defining DUI Under Florida Law
As set forth in statute 316.193 of Florida Motor Vehicle Code, driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as being in actual physical control of a vehicle and:
- Being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance (illegal drugs) to the extent that normal faculties are impaired; or
- Having a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 percent or greater.
It is important to note that while people typically think of a DUI offense as driving while under the influence of alcohol, the law also addresses the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs, too.
Charges and Penalties for Subsequent DUI Offenses in Florida
Being charged with a DUI is a very serious offense, and if you are convicted, you may be penalized by:
- A fine of between $500 and $1,000; and
- Jail time of up to six months.
Any subsequent convictions, including 2nd, 3rd, and 4th convictions, are penalized more harshly. For example, for a secondary DUI offense, the penalty increases between $1,000 and $2,000, and the incarceration period increases to up to nine months. If a person is convicted of a DUI a second time, they must also have an interlock ignition device installed on their vehicle for at least one year.
A third conviction is very harshly penalized; three-time offenders must pay a fine up to $5,000, and may face imprisonment of up to one year. If the person qualifies for a restricted license and has not had their license entirely revoked, an interlock ignition device must be on the car that they drive for a minimum period of two years.
A fourth DUI conviction is considered a third-degree felony.
What to Do if You Are Charged with a DUI in Tampa
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Florida, the very first thing that you should do is contact a lawyer. A lawyer can explain to you your rights regarding submitting to blood or breath testing (if you have not already done so), and answering police officers’ questions. Your attorney will also guide you through all steps of the criminal process, including pleading guilty or not guilty. Our experienced law firm knows how to negotiate with the prosecution, have evidence dismissed, and fight for a fair sentencing arrangement.
Contact The South Tampa Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A. Today
Our determined Florida DUI lawyers are passionate about the clients we serve. If you are charged with a DUI in the state, a lot is on the line. Let our law firm build your case and help you to represent yourself in the criminal justice system. Reach us today by phone or online for your initial consultation.