Tampa DUI Lawyers

Over 150 Years Combined Experience in DUI Defense in Tampa FL

Tampa DUI and drunk driving defense attorneys at Musca Law provide facts about the law to our clients. This helps them understand the potential penalties, how the law is applied and the potential defenses against the charges. It is true that being arrested and charged with a DUI can mean serious consequences. At Musca Law we educate our clients, explain our past successes and provide realistic expectations for their particular case. For those who have been arrested and charged with DUI, it is important to consider consulting with an experienced Tampa DUI Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Here is the DUI law:

Tampa FL DUI Laws – Statute 316.193 – Driving Under The Influence

Tampa DUI laws and penalties are laid out in Florida Statutes Section 316.193 which provides the elements of and penalties associated with driving under the influence. In Tampa, an individual can be convicted of DUI if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The blood alcohol concentration or BAC was .08 percent or more; and,
  • The person was operating or in physical control of a vehicle.

Tampa DUI defense attorneys at Musca Law want people to know that this means a person doesn’t actually need to be driving a vehicle in order to be convicted of driving under the influence in Florida. As long as the person charged is in physical control of the vehicle, or has the ability to operate the vehicle, they can be charged with a DUI. Under Tampa FL law, a person can also face DUI charges if they were driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

Tampa DUI Lawyer - First-Time Offense Penalties

First-time DUI offenses in Tampa can have serious consequences that include:

  • Up to nine months in jail depending on the case facts and circumstances.
  • Driver’s license suspension.
  • Fines of up to $2,000.
  • Impoundment of the vehicle.
  • Community service.
  • Probation.
  • Use of an ignition interlock device.
  • A substance abuse class.

Tampa Second-Time DUI Defense Attorneys

In Tampa people facing a second DUI conviction in less than five years can face more severe penalties. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the penalties can include fines of up to $2,000 and time in jail for up to a year. Other adverse impacts of a DUI conviction on the individual’s criminal record can include probation, vehicle impoundment, suspension of driving privileges, an Ignition Interlock Device installed in the vehicle, and completion of a substance abuse course.

Tampa Florida Felony DUI Defense Attorneys

When is DUI Charged as a Felony in Florida?

DUI’s in Tampa are a misdemeanor offense in most situations, but an individual can be charged with a felony DUI even if it is their first offense. A DUI is considered a felony in Tampa FL if:

  • It’s the third DUI within ten years
  • It is the person’s fourth or subsequent DUI
  • An individual is seriously injured as a result of the DUI
  • An individual is fatally injured as a result of the DUI

A third-degree felony DUI conviction in Tampa can mean a jail sentence of up to five years and a $5,000 fine.

DUI Manslaughter Defense in Tampa, Florida

DUI manslaughter is a felony offense in Tampa or anywhere in Florida. As a second-degree felony, the penalties are even more severe. The offense is considered a first-degree felony if the accused left the scene of the crime. A first-degree felony DUI can result in fines of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to thirty years.

Tampa Boating Under the Influence Defense Attorneys

Tampa BUI Lawyers at Musca Law have been defending people charged with Boating Under Th Influence for decades. According to Section 327.35 of the Florida Statutes, a person can be convicted of boating under the influence or BUI if the prosecution can establish certain elements. To be convicted of BUI in Tampa, it must be established beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was operating a vessel while under the influence or impaired by alcohol or drugs. The consequences of a first-time BUI conviction can include up to six months in jail and significant fines. As with DUI offenses in Tampa, the penalties associated with BUI convictions can be more severe depending on the circumstances and facts of the case and whether the person charged has a criminal history.

Tampa Frequently Asked Questions

Should I hire a private attorney to defend me?

Ultimately, the decision to use a public defender or a private attorney will have to be decided. The advantages of retaining a private attorney are numerous. For example, a private attorney will typically represent you in your DMV administrative hearing to help you keep your driving privileges. This way you are able to drive to work and continue to earn a living. Contact our law firm to discuss the beneficial legal services that we can offer you.

I failed the roadside tests. Should I just plead guilty?

One of the best reasons to retain an attorney is advocacy. As your defense team, our goal is to tell your side of the story and to explain to the court who you are as a citizen. Representation from a skilled Tampa DUI defense attorney can reduce your charges and reduce the court assessed penalties.

Will a prior DUI conviction in another state affect my current DUI case?

In Florida, the State Attorney's Office will likely use any prior DUI convictions in order for a judge to pass down harsher penalties should the prosecutor when your conviction for Dui. This would also include DY convictions in other states. This is one of those times when you need an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer on your case. An experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney will file a motion to "strike "any prior convictions.  

What are some of the signs of intoxication that a law-enforcement officer will look for during a roadside DUI investigation?

In the state of Florida, police officers attend standardized drunk driving training courses to teach them how to identify an individual who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some of these warning signs might include: 

A flushed face; 
Bloodshot, Glassey, watery eyes;
Sluggish motor skills;
Failure to answer questions properly;
Instability while attempting to keep their balance on 1 foot;

It is important to know that any potential sign of impairment may not be impairment but disability. For example, an officer might think the driver is intoxicated because they have slurred speech. However, The suspect they have a speech impediment. And since the officer likely doesn't know the defendant personally, it could be argued with success in court that the officer had no probable cause for the stop and the DYI investigation.

Am I required by law to perform any roadside Field Sobriety Test? 

In the state of Florida, drivers may refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. However, the punishments for test refusal continued to become harsher. There are no criminal punishments for refusing to perform a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests were often recorded on the law enforcement officer's dashcam. Therefore, it might be in your best interest to decline to perform field sobriety tests.  

Before you make this important life decision, it is essential that you speak with a private DUI defense attorney. This way you are able to weigh all of our options and make an educated decision on which option is best for you.

Get your case started by calling us at (888) 484-5057 today!