111 South Moody Ave.

Tampa, FL 33609

DUI

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What is a DUI?

Driving Under the Influence requires the State to prove two elements against a Defendant beyond a reasonable doubt:
 
1.) The Defendant drove, or was in actual physical control of, a vehicle
2.) While driving (or in actual physical control) of a vehicle, the Defendant was either:
A.) Under the influence of alcohol, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extant that his or her normal faculties were impaired.
B.) Had a Blood/Breath alcohol level measured at or above .08 grams of alcohol.
The laws in Florida do not require the driver to actually be driving; the laws don't even require the vehicle to be running. Actual physical control is defined as the capability to operate the vehicle based on the totality of evidence.
 

Will I go to jail?

This depends on a number of factors. Most importantly will be the immediate DUI charge a Defendant is facing and the circumstances in that case. Imprisonment is at a court's discretion but is typically not given on a 1st time DUI offense without serious aggravating factors being present.  
A first time DUI offense is punishable by up to 6 months with a blood alcohol content below .15; up to 9 months if the measured blood alcohol content was .150 or higher. 
On a 2nd or subsequent DUI conviction, jail may either be discretionary or mandatory based upon the facts of the immediate case and how much time has passed since the previous DUI conviction. 
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The police started gathering evidence that the arrested's normal faculties were impaired the moment they started following the arrested's car. The police document the driving pattern, personal observations of the driver, and the driver's performance on the field sobriety tests.

The second and third way the state can prove a DUI is by the arrested's breath alcohol or blood alcohol content being at or over .08.

In most cases the arrested has done the field sobriety tests and provided a breath sample allowing the state to argue that the arrested's normal faculties were impaired and that his blood alcohol was over .08.

 

Will I have a criminal record?

Florida Law requires anyone convicted at trial or accepting a plea to Driving Under the Influence charges to be Adjudicated Guilty. This means a Driving Under the Influence charge can never be sealed or expunged and is permanently on your public record. If the DUI charge is amended to a lesser charge (Reckless Driving, Careless Driving, etc.), the case may be eligible to be sealed if Adjudication is Withheld and the Defendant has no prior convictions.
A DUI case that is later dismissed or dropped may be eligible for a sealing or expungement.
A Defendant found Not Guilty at trial may be eligible for a sealing or expungement  
 

Field Sobriety Tests

 

Will my license be suspended?

 

How do I reinstate my license?

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