DUI Stops

Knowledgeable Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Answers Common Questions About Traffic Stops DUI Traffic Stops

Getting pulled over is always stressful, even if you’re only looking at a speeding ticket. However, if you’ve had a few drinks or recently consumed drugs of any kind, the stakes are incredibly high. Understandably, most drivers don’t truly understand what rights they have during DUI stops; however, this can put you in a position where you inadvertently waive crucial rights.

At the Mayberry Law Firm, our experienced Tampa DUI lawyer has decades of experience handling drunk and drugged driving cases on behalf of residents throughout Hillsborough County. Attorney Mayberry commands a firm understanding of your rights and will be able to determine if law enforcement violated your rights during a DUI stop. If so, this may mean that any evidence the prosecution intends to use against you is inadmissible, meaning the government may be forced to drop the case against you.


When Can a Police Office Pull You Over for Suspicion of DUI?

In Florida, a police officer can pull you over for suspicion of DUI if they have reasonable suspicion that you are operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances. Reasonable suspicion can arise from a variety of observations, including but not limited to erratic driving behavior such as swerving, speeding, driving too slowly, ignoring traffic signals, or any other irregular driving pattern that suggests impairment. Additionally, evidence of impairment observed during a lawful stop for a different traffic violation, such as the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, or visible open containers of alcohol in the vehicle, can also turn a regular traffic stop into a DUI investigation.

Do You Need to Consent to a Breath Test When Pulled Over for a DUI in Florida?

Florida has an implied consent law. So, technically, if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that you have been driving under the influence, you are required to consent to a breath or blood test. However, law enforcement cannot physically require you to provide a blood or breath sample absent a warrant (which is exceptionally rare). As a result, refusing a breath test or blood test is always an option. However, refusal to submit to a breath test carries its own penalties, including the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for a first refusal and misdemeanor charges for subsequent refusals. Of course, an experienced Tampa DUI attorney may be able to suppress your refusal by establishing that the officer lacked the justification to demand you submit to chemical testing.

Can I Get a Tampa DUI Without Proof I Was Driving Dangerously?

Yes, in Tampa, you can be charged with a DUI without direct evidence of dangerous driving. Florida law focuses on whether you were in “actual physical control” of a vehicle while impaired, regardless of your driving at the time. This means if an officer finds you impaired while you’re in a parked car with the capability to operate it (e.g., with the keys in the ignition), you could still face DUI charges. The critical factor is impairment, not necessarily whether your ability to drive was affected by drugs or alcohol.

Will I Go to Jail if I’m Convicted of a Florida DUI?

If convicted of a DUI in Florida, jail time is a possible consequence; however, whether you’ll serve time depends on the specifics of your case, including whether you have any prior DUI convictions. For a first DUI conviction, Florida law allows for up to 6 months in jail. However, judges often consider alternatives such as probation, especially for first-time offenders without aggravating factors (e.g., high blood alcohol concentration, minor in the vehicle, or an accident causing injury or property damage).
For second and subsequent DUI convictions, the likelihood of jail time increases. A second DUI conviction within five years of the first mandates a minimum of 10 days in jail, with the potential for more. Third and further convictions increase the minimum jail time and can lead to felony charges, especially if the third offense occurs within ten years of a prior conviction.
Ultimately, jail time is contingent on factors like prior offenses, the severity of the current offense, and the judge’s discretion. However, an experienced Tampa DUI defense lawyer may be able to challenge the traffic stop leading to your arrest.

Do You Have Questions About the Legality of a Traffic Stop?

If you were recently arrested and charged with a DUI offense, it is crucial to have an experienced Tampa DUI attorney take a look at your case to determine whether your rights were violated. If so, any evidence the arresting officer obtained may be deemed inadmissible. At the Mayberry Law Firm, we have extensive experience litigating motions to suppress DUI cases. We’ve prevented the government from continuing with countless cases against our clients by illustrating that police officers exceeded the scope of their authority during a DUI traffic stop. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with our Hillsborough County DUI defense lawyer, give us a call at 813-444-7435. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Client Reviews

I have to be honest. I was facing two felony aggravated assault charges and a firearm charge. Drunk in a blackout and no recollection of the road rage event. Not much for any attorney to go on to save my Butt. My Wife found the add for Mayberry law firm and we called. Jason spent well over an hour...


I was in the Tampa area on a family vacation earlier this year, when I suddenly found myself facing a felony charge of child neglect. My world and life, it seemed, were headed for total disaster. I was facing having my very long, successful and spotless military career coming to a horrible end. I...


Having never been arrested before I was completely terrified and ignorant to the judicial process. Jason provided emotional support and the knowledge and experience I needed. He was available 24/7 for all of my concerns and questions. He was efficient, comforting, and extremely intelligent. I had...


My wife was facing false accusations that she misrepresented her Income on mortgage applications and was facing serious time as this was a federal crime. Jason worked diligently with her and myself daily on all the details of the sentencing potentials whether positive or negative to our benefit and...


My husband I went to Tampa for the NFL game. We went to Ybor City and had a few drinks and got into an argument while going back to our hotel. After a long night of drinking and arguing, the police came out of nowhere and stated that my husband hit me. AT best, he was gesturing with his hands. It...

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