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Tampa Boating Under the Influence Lawyer

Few places in the United States offer the pristine water, clear skies, and warm weather that makes Tampa such an amazing city for boating. Many boaters choose to indulge in a few drinks while they are at it. However, law enforcement and prosecutors are eager to make examples out of boat operators who boat under the influence (BUI). If you were arrested for operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, you need to take this very seriously. A BUI comes with many of the same penalties as a DUI on land behind the wheel of a car. Our Tampa boating under the influence lawyer at The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. is available to offer invaluable advice and unparalleled legal services to navigate the complex situation you have found yourself in.

Is Boating Under the Influence Really a Crime?

Yes, boating under the influence is a crime. Unlike a DUI, you will not lose your driver’s license for boating under the influence. However, you do face the following penalties for a first time BUI:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • First degree misdemeanor on your criminal record

Subsequent offenses incur heavier penalties. A second offense can land an individual in jail for up to nine months, and a third offense within 10 years carries up to a $5,000 fine and a third degree felony offense. In addition to potential jail time and fines, the boat operator’s vessel can be impounded, and they may be required to complete a term of community service, a substance abuse course (paid for by the convicted offender), and even substance abuse treatment.

Defense Against a Tampa BUI Charge

A boating under the influence arrest does not guarantee a conviction. In fact, an experienced attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed or reduced to careless boating. There are many defenses against BUIs that may be pertinent in your situation. These include:

  • Your BAC was below 0.08
  • The BAC test was not performed correctly
  • Your were simply exhausted and dehydrated, or inexperienced (not drunk), and the law enforcement officer failed to conduct a BAC test to prove intoxication
  • You were not one of the people in charge of operating the vessel
  • You were not operating a “vessel”

Call a Tampa Boating Under the Influence Lawyer Today

Some people laugh at the idea of a BUI, but because it will result in a criminal record, receiving a boating under the influence conviction is a serious crime that can follow you for life. Make no mistake, a misdemeanor charge can mean the difference between getting your dream job and not being hired at all, for any job. To ensure that you do not suffer the severe penalties that go along with a BUI, you must work with a Tampa boating under the influence attorney who has handled these types of cases. Call The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. today at 813-217-5715 to schedule a free consultation.

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A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

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