January 2013 – College student avoids DUI and marijuana convictions


The Howard / Kennedy area is one of the most common areas in Hillsborough County for a Tampa DUI arrest.

The Howard / Kennedy area is one of the most common areas in Hillsborough County for a Tampa DUI arrest.

Quick summary of the Tampa DUI case: Client was stopped for driving “recklessly” through the Howard bar area. She stopped past the crosswalk at Howard and Kennedy, then accelerated “at a high rate of speed” towards I-275. When she was stopped by a member of the Tampa Police Department DUI Unit, she was asked to perform the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, and one-leg stand exercises. She performed all exercises fairly well, but the officer still arrested her for DUI. When she was asked to take a breath test, she declined, saying that she’s “always been told to refuse the breath test.” (BTW, that’s not always true). Subsequent to the arrest, the police officer searched her car and found a baggie of marijuana.

DUI defense: I prepared and argued motions to suppress stating that the stop was unfounded and that the officer lacked probable cause for the stop. Although the judge denied the motions to suppress, I prepared the case for trial and the Hillsborough prosecutor agreed to reduce the DUI to a Reckless Driving offense rather than risk going to trial.

Results: The prosecutor agreed to reduce the Tampa DUI to a Reckless Driving offense and to completely drop the marijuana charge. The client never had to return from college to fight the charge, and was able to successfully continue her studies and graduate.

How this helps your Tampa DUI case: If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Hillsborough County and you haven’t had much alcohol to drink, your refusal to submit to a breath test may actually hurt your case. That’s why it’s critical that we examine the field sobriety tests and the officer’s observations of your driving to see if we can convince the prosecutor to let you avoid a DUI conviction. Minor issues in the driving or in the performance of FST’s may make a critical difference in your chances for success at trial. But unless you hire an experienced Tampa DUI attorney who is willing to go to jury trial to help you with your case, you may not be able to get your case reduced from a DUI conviction.

If you were arrested for DUI, no matter how bad the case looks, don’t ever plead guilty without first talking to a Tampa DUI lawyer. There may even be a way that can get your charges dismissed, but you’ll never know unless you fight your charges by talking to a Tampa DUI attorney. Please call me at (855) THE-DUI-GUY (855-843-3844) TODAY to discuss how I can help.