If you are charged with DUI then it is in your interests to find the services of a qualified Tampa DUI attorney as soon as possible. Charges of driving under the influence are taken very seriously and carry penalties such as fines and mandatory jail terms. Many people assume that DUI charges are simply minor traffic offenses but the fallout from a DUI conviction can have far reaching consequences.
By finding an experienced Tampa DUI attorney you will give yourself the best chance of being acquitted or having the severity of the charges reduced, along with the penalty. DUI lawyers have the skill and expertise needed to interpret the complex medical and scientific evidence that is used in these cases, something which most people would struggle to understand. They will also know the state law regarding DUI, the personnel in the courts and the prosecutors and the legal procedures which must be followed.
You do have the right to represent yourself, but this is ill advised unless you have expert legal knowledge yourself. The consequences of being convicted of DUI range from increased insurance premiums to losing your livelihood, particularly if you drive for a living. Alongside this you will have your license suspended whether or not you are guilty of the charges and it is up to you to then reapply and prove you are responsible enough to hold a driver’s license to the DMV.
Getting your case evaluated by a Tampa DUI attorney will enable you to learn more about the legal process which will follow, the potential penalty you could be handed and what the future outcome could be. Your attorney will also be able to advise you on how best to plead based upon what you have told them and available evidence. They may advise the entering of a plea bargain whereby pleading guilty could result in a reduced sentence. If you have previous convictions for DUI then your attorney will be able to advise you on how best proceed, particularly because the penalties for subsequent offenses become increasingly more severe.
Your attorney will not only help to build your defense but will also manage your case for you from the moment you hire them. This includes negotiating with prosecutors and other officials, dealing with the DMV for you, researching any relevant legal precedent set by past cases, obtaining alternative evidence to the results obtained by the prosecution and the filing of all legal paperwork.
Try to meet with several different Tampa DUI attorneys before you decide on whom to hire to represent you. Your first meeting is often free of charge and you are no obligation to hire them afterward. Use this first consultation to find out more about them, how they practice, their fee structure and the experience and qualifications they hold in this area of the law. You should then make your choice based on who you felt was best qualified to represent you and with whom you felt most comfortable with.