The potential consequences of DUI or criminal traffic offenses are too significant to simply "take your punishment." In addition to jail, license suspension, fines and even vehicle forfeiture, a conviction can haunt you in numerous ways — future arrests, driving privileges, employment, professional licenses.
With knowledgeable representation, there are proven defenses to limit the impact of a DUI or traffic crime, and in some cases, even get charges dismissed. The St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyer at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger will explore all possible defenses and make every effort to limit the impact of DUI penalties.
Any statements to police will be used against you. There are important issues to address before your first court appearance. And you must specifically request a Formal Review Hearing within 10 days of arrest or automatically forfeit your license.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a DUI in Florida?
While it's not required to hire a lawyer for a DUI in Florida, it's usually recommended. DUI laws are complex and have serious consequences. A DUI is a serious offense with significant effects, including jail time, fines, suspension of driver's license, and ignition interlock device installation.
Our DUI lawyer in St. Pete can help you comprehend the criminal charges against you, negotiate a plea bargain, and fight for your rights in Pinellas County court.
Contact our St. Petersburg office for a free consultation.
Our page on Your Drunk Driving Case, covers the topic of DUI in detail:
- Why Defend a DUI Case?
- 20 Common Questions
- Summary Of DUI and
- Administrative Suspension Laws
- Administrative License Hearing
- Obtaining a Hardship License
- DUI Criminal Penalties
- Ignition Interlock
- Vehicle Impoundment
- Vehicle Forfeiture
- Field Sobriety Tests
- Traffic Stops and Roadblocks
- Calculate Blood Alcohol Content
DUI and Other Criminal Traffic Offenses
The following are criminal "traffic tickets." They are misdemeanor crimes or possibly felony charges. Under Florida law, each of these carries the real possibility of jail (or prison), substantial sanctions against your driver's license and other costly and harsh penalties:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Reckless driving
- Driving on a suspended or revoked license with knowledge
- Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run)
- DUI manslaughter (causing a death)
A Battle on Two Fronts
There are two parts to a DUI or traffic offense:
- Criminal proceedings — We first aim to get charges dismissed or reduced by challenging the probable cause or the physical evidence. We always attempt to get DUIs reduced to reckless driving, arrange jail alternatives or negotiate minimum sentences. Managing the sentence on a DUI can often save the client months of probation and license suspension time.
- An administrative hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles must be requested within 10 days. Our team at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger fights to avoid license suspension or at least secure a permit to drive for work, church, medical and educational purposes.
Field Sobriety Tests
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - The officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for indicators in each eye that the person is impaired.
- Walk-and-turn test - For this, the officer instructs the person to take nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line and the return back. The officer is looking for signs that the person is impaired such as not being able to keep their balance, starting before the instructions are finished or not following the instructions properly.
- One-leg stand test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds or until told to put it down. The officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.
Qualified to Handle Your DUI or Traffic Violation in St. Petersburg
Timothy Hessinger spent 15 years as a prosecutor with the State Attorney's office. As a DUI defense trial lawyer, he can put his prosecutor experience to work for you.
They have handled thousands of traffic and DUI cases under every scenario:
- First-time DUIs
- DUI over .15 or over .20 (enhanced penalties)
- Repeat offenses (including felony DUI)
- Driving after suspension for DUI
- Implied consent violations (refusal of a chemical test)
- Drunk drivers under age 21
- DUI for commercial drivers (CDL license)
- Out-of-state drivers arrested in Florida
- DUI accidents causing injury or death
- Driving drunk with a child in the car
Let's Discuss Your Criminal Traffic Case
We start every DUI or criminal traffic case with a detailed interview with our client. Then we compare your version of events against the police report and the dashboard video from the squad car (if available). The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger takes cases in Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County and Manatee County.
- All charges dropped. 2 Counts Battery
- Reduced to 3 Counts. Wh/Adj 3 years probation. 5 Counts Possession of Child Pornography
- Reduced to 2 counts. Wh/Adj and probation. 9 Counts - Possession of Child Pornography.
- Not Guilty after Jury Trial Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
- All charges Dropped. Aggravated Assault With Motor Vehicle
- Reduced to Felony Battery, dismissed, sealed. Aggravated Battery
Our Clients Share Their Experience
I was very satisfied with his services and he was the best attorney that I have had the experience working with.Lloyd Law, Jr.
I have referred clients to him over the years with the confidenceLegal Professional
Brilliant and fearless advocateLegal Professional
15 years experience in the State Attorney's office
Confidential, complimentary initial consultations
Accepting calls and cases 24 hours a day
Exclusively devoted to criminal defense
Named Prosecutor of the Year in 2004
Impressive track record of charge reductions, acquittals, and dismissals