Aggressively Fighting for the Best Possible Outcome

Practice Areas
Client Reviews
"He has connections and relationships with the court systems, which are crucial in negotiations."

- Former Client
"His knowledge and experience exceeded my expectations."

- Damond
"Life saver!"

- Shannon
Previous slide
Next slide


Representing Drivers in Pinellas & Hillsborough County

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious criminal offense in Florida, and penalties for a DUI conviction can be extremely harsh. That’s why, as soon as you are arrested for this offense, you should seek legal help from an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer at a trusted law firm like Buda Law. The DUI attorneys at our firm can thoroughly explain the charges and the court process you face, answer your questions, and provide you with guidance, support, and a strategic criminal defense from start to finish. Facing the criminal justice system is never easy, but you do not have to navigate this road alone. Instead, turn to a Tampa DUI defense attorney like Attorney Andrew Buda today.

andrew buda law

Arrested for DUI in Tampa, FL? Talk to an experienced lawyer on our legal team during a free consultation by calling 813-322-2832 today. We serve clients in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

Florida DUI Charges

If you face a DUI charge, that means you were found to have been driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. In Florida (and all states, for that matter), the legal limit is 0.08%. 

Simply put, you will likely be arrested for a DUI in Florida if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures .08% or more or if you exhibit impairment from alcohol or drugs while driving or while merely being in physical control of your car. If you are under 21, you can be arrested and charged with an underage DUI in Florida with a BAC measuring .02% or more. If your BAC measures .15% or higher or you are found drunk driving with a minor in your car, you will even face harsher penalties. The same is true if you cause serious bodily injury or death while driving intoxicated.

Florida Statute § 316.193

The exact text containing Florida’s laws for driving under the influence can be found in Florida Statute § 316.193. It reads:

(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;

(b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

(c) The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

DUI Defense Attorneys in Tampa, Florida

What are the DUI Penalties in Florida?

DUI offenses in Florida can result in serious penalties for those convicted. The possible penalties for DUI in Tampa, FL depend on the circumstances of your case and if you have had a prior DUI conviction. Below, we’ll outline the penalties you might be facing for a first-offense DUI as well as with any prior convictions:

A first DUI offense carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time of up to 6 months
  • Up to a year of probation
  • Community service
  • Fines of $500 up to $1,000
  • Loss of your license for 180 days up to a year
  • Up to 6 months with a mandatory ignition interlock device
  • Vehicle impoundment

Possible penalties for a subsequent DUI offense include:

  • A $1,000 to $2,000 fine
  • Up to 9 months in jail
  • License revocation for 180 days to 1 year
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) for 2 years
  • Vehicle impoundment

Possible penalties for a third DUI offense include:

  • A $2,000 to $5,000 fine
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • License revocation for 180 days to 1 year
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) for 2 years
  • Vehicle impoundment

Second offenses within 5 years will likely have harsher penalties. A third offense occurring within 10 years of your prior conviction will be charged as a felony charge in Florida with enhanced penalties, including more jail time and a longer license revocation period. Anyone convicted of a DUI may also have to complete a substance abuse course (DUI school) and may be subject to alcohol or drug monitoring. To learn more about these penalties, check out our Florida DUI penalty chart blog.

For those who carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the penalties for a DUI increase. Reach out to Andrew Buda for an aggressive defense against your Tampa CDL DUI charge.


Tampa DUI Defense Attorneys

What Happens After a DUI in Florida?

Let’s say you’ve just been arrested and charged with a DUI. Following your DUI arrest, you spent the night in a holding cell for the state-mandated amount of time to sober up before you are allowed to bond out of jail. As you leave the jail, you are given multiple items including your personal items as well as some paperwork. Now what? 

The following are the 3 things you MUST do at once following your DUI arrest according to the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Buda Law:

1. Make a Copy of Your DUI Citation

This paper will act as your driver’s license for the 10 days following your arrest date, as the police more than likely confiscated your driver’s license. You MUST keep this copy of the DUI citation with you during this time while you drive. There will be places you must drive to during these 10 days. When you hire the DUI defense attorneys at Buda Law, we will go over all the options to allow you to get back your driving privileges.

2. Save Money: Take Your Impound Paperwork to the Impound Lot ASAP

Another document you receive from the jail will be the impound paperwork for your vehicle. Most of the time, the impound lot will be from a rotating list that the arresting police agency uses. These companies charge a lot of money per day to impound your vehicle. You MUST take that paperwork to the impound lot as soon as you get out of jail and pay the fee to retrieve your vehicle. This will save you a lot of money.

3. Consult a Tampa DUI Attorney at Buda Law

Now that this is done, you MUST consult with a DUI defense attorney. If the aforementioned steps have been helpful and informative (and have hopefully saved you some money) imagine what else we can do for you here at Buda Law. At Buda Law, we will make sure that all of the necessary steps are taken to help you get through this difficult time. At the initial free consultation, we listen to the facts of your DUI case, tell you how we can help, and answer any questions you may have.

How to Avoid DUI Conviction

The ultimate goal, as far as the state prosecutor and state attorney’s office are concerned, is for you to be found guilty of a DUI. And how in the world do they do that? By using evidence against you and applying that evidence to Florida law. So, really the best way to answer the question of how to avoid a DUI conviction is to give the state prosecutor as little negative evidence and as much positive evidence as possible. Below, our Tampa criminal defense attorneys will explain what we mean by positive and negative evidence.

DUI Defense Attorney in Tampa, Florida

Positive and Negative Evidence

Evidence is any statement, video, testimony by the police, or any document that is gathered during the investigation of your case. DUI cases consist of negative evidence and positive evidence.

What is Negative Evidence?

Negative evidence includes any videos, photographs, or other digital evidence of you taken from the moment you are pulled over until the moment you are released from jail that would be used to prove that you were likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your arrest. It also includes every observation that the police officer has made about you, including your physical appearance, the way you walk, talk, or smell, and any negative interaction with the officer. Negative evidence also includes how you perform on certain sobriety tests administered by the police at the traffic stop.

Examples of negative evidence include:

  • Breath or blood test
  • Urine test
  • Allowing the officer to monitor your eyes or perform a breathalyzer exam
  • Walk a straight line
  • Stand on one foot
  • Say the alphabet without singing
  • Any other modified field sobriety exercises

What is Positive Evidence?

Positive evidence is any evidence that is good for your case and that causes the charge to be more easily reduced, dropped, or won at trial. Positive evidence is essentially not creating the negative evidence mentioned above. Without negative evidence, the officers and prosecutors will have a much tougher time proving a case against you.

Examples of positive evidence include:

  • Being polite in your interactions with a police officer
  • Politely declining to perform any and all of the field sobriety tests mentioned above
  • When asked why you are declining, you politely inform the officer that your attorney informed you not to

Please be advised that during a traffic stop, you must still provide the officer with the required driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

The reason why declining the tests mentioned above will most likely get you arrested is that you are giving the state prosecutor very little evidence to prove that you were driving under the influence. In addition, refusing to provide a lawful breath sample can and will simply result in a loss of driving privileges.
Tampa DUI Defense Lawyer

Here Are Your Options

If you find yourself at the center of a DUI case, you have some options to choose from. For example:

  • If you know that you are not driving under the influence, it might be in your best interest to do what they ask.
  • If you are close to a DUI or think that a law enforcement officer will arrest you regardless, the above would help if you were to be arrested for DUI.
  • If the police ask to look into your eye’s to dispel their suspicion of DUI, politely tell them that your Tampa DUI lawyer told you not to do that. When they ask you to step out of the car to do some field sobriety exercises, again, politely inform them that your lawyer told you not to do that.

Florida DUI laws are constantly changing. That’s why it is so important that you have DUI lawyers on your side who know these laws and your legal rights and options during this time. For more detailed information on what not to do when you get pulled over for DUI in the Tampa Bay Area, contact Buda Law for a free consultation today.

We Develop Aggressive DUI Defense Strategies

Just because you have been arrested for DUI in Florida does not necessarily mean that you will receive a DUI conviction. With our Tampa DUI attorneys on your side, you stand a chance against the prosecution. Buda Law knows how to analyze all pertinent facts and circumstances from a legal, scientific, and technological standpoint to find flaws in the prosecutor’s case against you. We urge you to contact an experienced attorney at our law firm immediately following your arrest so that we can get to work building your defense.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney

Call a Top Tampa DUI Defense Attorney at Buda Law ASAP

If you are facing DUI charges in Tampa, you NEED the best DUI lawyer in the area on your side. That lawyer is Andrew Buda of Buda Law. Rest assured, Florida criminal defense attorney Andrew Buda has the skill, resources, and relationships within the Florida justice system to obtain the most favorable outcome for your DUI case. To get in touch with a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer at our firm, reach out to us at (813-322-2832 or complete our online intake form today.


Get the Toughness of a Trial Attorney

Domestic Assault
Case Dismissed
Domestic Battery
Case Dismissed
Driving while license suspended or revoked
Case Dismissed
Penalty Reduced
DUI Violation of Probation
Felony Grand Theft
Felony Sale of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana
Felony Violation of Probation held at No Bond
Previous slide
Next slide


Schedule a Free Consultation