First Offense DUI

First DUI Offenses in Tampa

Attorneys for First-Time DUI Offenders in Hillsborough County

Facing a DUI charge for the first time can be frightening in light of the strict Florida laws on the subject and the very real possibility of harsh penalties. For this reason, you need a DUI attorney in Tampa to advocate for the dismissal of your charges. Despite the severe penalties looming, there is a possibility the accused and their lawyer may appeal the charge and petition for dismissal.

Penalties for a First DUI Offense

A first offense DUI involving a BAC level of between .08 and .15 is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by fines, jail time, and license suspension. A person found guilty may face a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a jail sentence of no more than six months. A first offense DUI will result in the driver's license being suspended for at least six months and mandatory community service of at least 50 hours. If the person cannot fulfill the community service requirement, they may pay an additional fine of $10 per hour of community service ordered ($500). 

Certain factors may elevate Tampa DUI offense charges and increase penalties, such as a of more than 0.15 percent, injuries, property damage, or the driver's refusal of a DUI test.

Fighting a First DUI Charge

At the time of arrest, the police will confiscate the driver's license and issue a "Notice of Suspension," which acts as a license for 10 days after it is issued. After the 10 days are up, the driver's license will be suspended for 6 months unless the charges are contested. Every person in Florida charged with DUI for the first time is entitled to appear at an administrative driver's license hearing concerning the suspension of their license. In fact, it is highly advised that all individuals charged do so and be accompanied by a DUI attorney to represent them. 

The hearing, which occurs before an administrative judge through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, is a chance for the attorney representing the defendant to present evidence and argue a case in order to avoid the suspension of their client's license.

It is important to remember that the individual has only 10 days from their arrest to request such a hearing if they wish to avoid a longer driver's license suspension.

Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism

If you have been charged with a DUI and it is your first offense, you may qualify for the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program. If you do so, you may have your DUI charge reduced to a reckless driving charge and may not have to tell employers about your charges.

Keep in mind, you do not qualify for this program if:

  • You had a minor in your vehicle when you obtained your DUI.
  • You blew above a 0.20 blood alcohol content.
  • You caused an injury or property damage.
  • You have were previously charged with reckless driving or vehicular homicide.
  • You were  charged with a felony in the past 5 years.

To complete this program, you will have to undergo the following:

  • 60 hours of community service
  • 1 year of probation
  • 10 days of vehicle immobilization
  • Attend a MADD Victim Panel
  • Complete DUI School
  • Maintain an ignition interlock device

If you are contemplating joining the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program, you should contact a DUI attorney first. We can help you better understand your legal options.

Contact a Tampa Attorney Experienced with First-Time DUI Cases

While defense is possible against a first DUI, action must be taken immediately. Conviction means serious implications — both in the immediate and long-term. If you are facing a DUI charge for the first time, the stakes are far too high to waste any time in contacting a DUI attorney in Tampa to defend you. Thomas & Paulk offers quality legal representation against DUI charges, and we've been serving Florida for over 20 years.

If you're facing first offense DUI charges in Tampa, contact Thomas & Paulk to strengthen your defense!

First DUI Arrest?

After a first DUI arrest, you deserve top-notch representation. This is necessary if you want to protect your license and avoid the serious consequences of a DUI conviction in Florida. Our attorneys are standing by to see how we can help you. All you have to do is call.

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