Practice Areas

Driving Under the Influence
DUI DEFENSE

So you have been arrested and booked into the county jail. Hopefully you were kept in a holding area and were not processed into the actual holding cells or pods and did not have to change into the jail uniform (pumpkin orange). Presumably you have been released either through a cash bond or surety bond. Now what? There are many questions to be answered and many steps to take, but first, take a deep breath. You are not alone. There are thousands of DUI arrests each year just in Hillsborough County. You will get through this difficult time, but you need to be diligent. Those who, for whatever reason, do not take the charges seriously often miss court dates, have warrants issued for their re-arrest, drive when they are not permitted, and generally put themselves in a much worse position than that which they originally faced.

 

There are three (10) day time periods with which to be concerned - all of which run from the date of arrest. The first ten day deadline is to submit an application for Administrative Review regarding the administrative suspension of your Drivers License. This review is optional, but is pursued by most practitioners in conjunction with the DUI court case. Secondly, you have ten days upon which you may drive (if otherwise able) on the DUI citation. This means that the DUI citation acts as a restricted driver’s license for ten days after which you cannot drive (unless you have received an extension pursuant to an administrative review). Third, the Clerk of Court, Traffic Division requests that a court date (arraignment hearing) be scheduled by you within ten days of the arrest. If The Perez Firm is employed within ten days then these steps will be performed by our office.

 

It is often said that the typical “law abiding citizen” is more likely to find themselves charged with DUI than with any other offense. A great number of clients at the Perez Firm are ordinary law-abiding citizens who find themselves charged with a DUI. The term “Simple DUI” is used to describe a county court level cases, however, no DUI case is “simple”. There are more aspects to DUI law than many other more serious offenses such as some felonies. Additionally, Driver’s License suspension issues are closely related to DUI charges. After a DUI arrest, an individual is entitled to:

  • know what time deadlines they face in order to preserve their rights
  • know how to get a driving permit for work
  • know if there is any time where they will not be able to drive, even on a work permit
  • know how to challenge their license suspension
  • know when to subpoena the arresting officer to an administrative hearing (and when not to)
  • know if their case can be handled without their appearance in court
  • know the strengths and weaknesses of the case
  • know if the officer had a valid and legal reason to stop them or otherwise investigate
  • know if a video tape of field tests will reveal possible defenses
  • know if the breath test was conducted properly
  • know if their case can be defended even if the breath results were over a .08
  • know what penalties they face
  • know what their breath results would have been at the time of driving (not an hour or more later)
  • know if there are legal issues which would cause the suppression of evidence or dismissal of case
  • know if there were other reasons for poor test performance (nervous, tired, disability, injury, un-level test surface, poor lighting, distractions from roadway traffic, improper demonstration of tests,
  • know if the DUI can be reduced to a lesser charge such a reckless driving

 

At the Perez Firm we will help you gain answers to all of these questions and many more. Mr. Perez has extensive experience with DUI cases both as a former Hillsborough DUI Prosecutor and as a DUI Defense Lawyer in Tampa, and has tried dozens of DUI jury trial cases. As a former DUI prosecutor Mr. Perez knows how the prosecution looks at a DUI case and knows those factors which are important during plea negotiations.

 

Possible Penalties on County Court DUI cases:

  • Jail (up to one year)
  • Probation (up to one year)
  • Fine ($250 to $2,500)
  • Community Service Hours
  • Automobile Impound
  • DUI School
  • Ignition Interlock Device
  • Victim Impact Panel
  • Driver’s License Suspension



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