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Former Defensive Tackle for Bucs Charged with DUI and Child Neglect | Tampa DUI Defense Lawyers Whittel & Melton

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Chris Hovan, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle, Monday night for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol while a child was riding in the front passenger seat in the car.  

blue-light-4165414_1920-1-300x200The incident occurred around 7:40 p.m. Monday, according to reports. Deputies pulled over 42-year-old Hovan on Tampa Road just west of Forest Lakes Boulevard. The arrest affidavit alleges Hovan was asked to perform field sobriety tests that indicated he was impaired.  

Hovan was given a Breathalyzer which apparently showed that his blood-alcohol content level was 0.309 and 0.315, which is more than three times 0.08 – the level at which Florida law says a driver is impaired. 

Hovan was booked into the Pinellas County jail on a misdemeanor DUI charge and a felony charge of child neglect. The child suffered no harm from the incident. 

Hovan was released from jail Tuesday morning after posting $5,500 bail.

Hovan is a 10-year NFL alum who was first drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2000. In 2005 he signed with the Bucs, and after playing five seasons he was released in 2010.  

Since his time in the NFL he has been an assistant coach with the University of South Florida and some other schools in the area. 

Hovan has been in trouble for DUI before. He was convicted of a DUI in 2015. In 2018 he was involved in a domestic abuse case. 

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Florida is a serious criminal offense on its own, however once you add a minor being present during the offense, the potential penalties will only be enhanced. Fines could be raised and you could be looking at increased time behind bars. The State implements these harsh consequences in an effort to deter citizens from placing themselves and any children at risk. 

To be clear: any crime involving a minor is taken very seriously by judges and juries, which includes a DUI offense where a child is present. There are steep penalties involved in cases like these, and you could be facing damage to your personal and professional reputation. You need to be ready for whatever the prosecution may try and use against you. That is why if you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI where a minor was present, you must act fast and protect your rights by contacting a criminal defense attorney. Our Tampa Bay DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are ready and able to take on your case and help you understand exactly what you are up against. 

A DUI with a child in the car can result in numerous penalties. If this is your first offense, you could be looking at a fine between $1,000 and $2,000, up to 9 months in jail, 50 hours of community service, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months, DUI classes, vehicle impoundment, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for 6 months. If this is your second offense, you could be facing a fine between $2,000 and $4,000, up to 1 year in jail, 50 hours of community service, a driver’s license suspension of 12 months, DUI classes, vehicle impoundment, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 2 years. If this is your third offense, then you could be facing a fine up to $5,000, up to 5 years in prison, 50 hours of community service, a driver’s license suspension of 10 years, DUI classes, vehicle impoundment, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 2 years. The amount of time between DUIs plays a pivotal role in how penalties are applied, and our Tampa DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can make sure you understand how the laws apply to your specific case. 

If you need help with a DUI matter in Florida, we are here to help. We will do everything we can to get you the best possible results. You do not want to mess around with your future, so call us today at 727-823-0000 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more. 

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