What happens in Tampa will not stay in Tampa. At least when it comes to a DUI charge received while visiting the popular Florida city. Unfortunately, many New York drivers do not believe that an out of state DUI charge will follow them home. They could not be more wrong. A DUI is an incredibly stressful and intimidating process to go through. The fact that the charge was received in another state can certainly serve to add stress and confusion.
With that reality in mind, here’s a look at some tips for New York drivers with a DUI charge in Tampa:
- Driver License Compact: States only have the right to suspend your right to drive within their state. For instance, the state of Florida only has the authority to suspend your driving privileges within Florida borders. Because of this, Florida and 44 other states adopted the Driver License Compact agreement which essentially means that states that have signed the compact are committed to communicating out of state activities to the home state. New York has also adopted the Driver License Compact so New York will be notified of a Tampa DUI charge. And vice versa.
- Act Quickly: a Florida DUI charge is one that requires your immediate attention. Why? Because following your arrest for a DUI in Tampa, you only have ten days to challenge your driver’s license suspension. Under Florida DUI law, a charge carries not one but two different types of driver’s license suspensions. The first occurs within ten days of your arrest and the second can occur if you are ultimately convicted of a DUI. If your license is suspended by the DMV in Florida, the state of New York will also be notified and honor this suspension within New York as well.
- Work with an Attorney: Working with a Tampa DUI attorney can help alleviate the need for you to travel to Tampa to deal with your DUI charge. A local attorney will not only explain the complicated Florida DUI process to you but can also make appearances on your behalf—saving you time and money. Additionally, should you receive a DUI conviction; an attorney can work to make arrangements with the judge to limit unwanted travel between New York and Tampa. For instance, you may be able to pay for community service hours instead of flying to Tampa for a week to serve them.
Florida is considered one of the strictest states in the nation when it comes to DUI prosecution and punishments. Potential punishments include: fines, driver’s license suspension, jail time, alcohol education courses, probation, and community service. If you already have a DUI conviction from New York (or another state) on your record, the court will also take this history into account as it relates to your fines and punishments.
Long after the fines are paid and the punishments are served, receiving an out of state DUI can also affect your New York car insurance. The presence of a DUI conviction on your record usually causes one of two things to happen: your insurance company will drastically raise your rates, or your insurance company will not renew your policy. In addition to dealing with high insurance premiums for years to come, New York residents will also have to admit to their Tampa DUI conviction if asked about it in employment or housing situations.
We hope you enjoy your time in Tampa without the headache of a DUI charge. If this should happen to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an attorney.
David Haenel, one of the founding partners of Finebloom & Haenel P.A., is a DUI Lawyer in Tampa, Florida who is passionate about fighting for the rights of his clients who have been charged with Drunk Driving. For more information please visit http://www.fightyourdui.com.