Charges for drunk driving can become even more severe if the driver is also accused of causing property damage or bodily injury. This is why it is important to contact an experienced lawyer to help avoid jail time and other serious penalties after a DUI charge.
Driver crashes into home in Tampa
Local news reported on an incident in Tampa where a drunk driver crashed into a home while his blood alcohol content was approximately three times the legal limit.
At around 9 pm that night, Hillsborough County police responded to a residence on Paris Street West in Tampa. When they arrived they saw a Nissan Pathfinder against the wall of a house where it caused significant damage to the structure. After a preliminary investigation, police believe the suspect began to drift off of the road and hit a speed limit sign on the side of the road. He then lost control and went through a chain link fence before striking the house.
After his arrest, the 24 year old suspect provided a breath sample which read .233, which is about triple the limit for intoxication. He was booked on charges for DUI and driving without a valid license.
Florida’s DUI laws
Florida and many other states have the same legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol concentration while operating a vehicle. For most people, just a few drinks over the course of a couple of hours may cause them to reach this limit of .08, although a person’s blood alcohol level can be affected by many factors including their weight and how recently they have eaten. Prosecutors are also allowed to add additional penalties in DUI cases if the suspect’s blood alcohol level was significantly above the legal limit while they were driving.
A DUI charge in Florida carries penalties that have been set in the statutes as mandatory minimums by the legislature. This means that a prosecutor generally cannot lower the penalties and fines or deviate from what is written in the law. Even a first offense DUI is a first degree misdemeanor, which carries a license suspension of several months, heavy fines, probation, community service, and the possibility of up to 364 days of jail time after a conviction or plea.
What do DUI defense lawyers do?
Because the penalties for a DUI charge can be so significant, it is important to have a good defense. The penalties for drunk driving crashes that involve property damage or injuries to other people are even worse and they can become felonies. A seasoned DUI lawyer knows how to attack the validity of many factors that the state will try to use as evidence in their case. Everything from the traffic stop, to the field sobriety exercises, to the breath test can be excluded or undermined in various ways. Police officers routinely make mistakes that give defense attorneys an opportunity to defend their clients and possibly get the charges reduced or dropped if the case is weak.
Get superior legal advice and representation
To speak with an expert lawyer in the Tampa area, contact Yeazell and Sweet. They can provide more specific information about Florida’s laws and the possibility of winning your case.