Sarasota DUI Lawyer
A car can be a hazardous object when in the hands of an impaired driver. This can be a debilitating issue and is a problem that Sarasota, FL, takes very seriously. If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer immediately to help create your defense strategy.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not hesitate to fight for your rights and peace of mind.
DUI In Sarasota County
Driving under the influence refers to anyone driving a car while incapacitated by any of the following:
- Blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher
- A controlled substance
- A chemical substance or drug
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
The severity of DUI penalties depends on previous DUIs and whether the accident involves bodily injury or death. Depending on these variables, your penalty can include:
- Community service
- Hefty fines
- DUI school
- Jail time
- Suspension of your Sarasota, FL driver’s license
- Having an ignition interlock device installed in your car
- Having your vehicle impounded
If you are convicted of driving under the influence for the first time in Sarasota, you could spend time in jail and pay a fine that is at least $500 and as much as $1,000, along with the penalties listed above. A first DWI conviction often involves 50 mandatory hours of community service. Depending on the court’s decision, you may be sentenced to an alcoholism treatment or drug abuse program.
If your BAC is less than 0.15 percent, you typically won’t spend longer than six months in jail. If your BAC is more than 0.15 percent, or if you had a minor in the motor vehicle, you could face up to nine months in jail along with a maximum fine of $2,000. If someone has been injured due to your alcohol or drug impairment, you could face a third-degree felony.
As you might imagine, penalties get more severe the more convictions you accumulate. If you get additional DUI cases within a five or ten-year period, your penalties increase.
Misdemeanor Vs. Felony DUI
Hurting or killing someone while drunk driving can extend Sarasota DUI cases from a regular DUI conviction to a first-degree felony.
Many DUI cases result in misdemeanor charges in Sarasota County, a charge that will likely result in jail time along with a punitive fine. Being convicted of a misdemeanor can also result in losing your professional license, firearm license, and difficulty finding future employment.
Having a first or second DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor in Sarasota County. However, if someone was seriously injured during the accident, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. If your previous DUI were within the last five years, you would face a mandatory 10-day automatic jail sentence.
Contact your DUI attorney right away so we can help you understand your rights and what charges you might be facing.
A felony DUI is a grave crime in Sarasota, FL, especially if you have multiple DUIs.
First and second DUI offenses are typically charged as misdemeanor DUI in Florida. However, penalties depend on how high your blood alcohol content was at the time of the arrest, i.e., a BAC between 0.08 and 0.14 can mean six months of jail time, a $1,000 fine, a 12-month driver’s license suspension, community service, and complete DUI school. The higher your BAC is, the more severe your penalties will be.
If you get a third or successive DUI case within ten years or a DUI that resulted in a fatality, you will likely be charged with a third-degree felony, even if your past DUIs were in another state. For a third-degree felony, you can face a maximum jail time of five years and a minimum mandatory stay of 30 days. You can face paying fines from $2,000 to $5,000 and the possibility of having your license revoked for ten years. You can also be required to install an ignition interlock device for the two years following having your license reinstated, and your vehicle could be impounded for 90 days.
A fourth DUI classifies you as a violent or habitual felony offender. Once you are classified as such, you can expect to receive a lengthy stay in jail along with a minimum of $2,000 in fines, along with an impounded car and revoked driver’s license.
Challenging Your DUI Case
Your experienced Sarasota DUI defense lawyer will challenge the validity of probable cause in your case—did law enforcement have just cause in pulling you over?
Additionally, your DUI lawyers will determine if you were actually driving the vehicle, if you were actually impaired at the time of the arrest, or simply tired, distracted, etc. We can challenge the accuracy and administration of your breath test.
There are many ways we can defend your case, depending on certain factors and circumstances.
The second you contact the DUI attorneys at Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, we start creating a plan of action to reduce your charges or have your case dismissed entirely.
DUI penalties are no joke. They can cost you a lot of time, money, and freedom. That is why it’s vital that you get competent and professional DUI defense as soon as you can. The DUI arrest by itself can have significant detrimental consequences, for example, if you have a commercial driver’s license.
There’s a pragmatic reason for seeking legal counsel in Sarasota as soon as you can: you only have ten days to request an administrative hearing to retrieve your driver’s license. Your driving privileges are automatically extended just by applying for a hearing. Your Sarasota DUI defense lawyer can ensure that you have a good defense since the hearing outcome can impact your DUI case.
Never hesitate to call a DUI attorney right away if you are facing a DUI conviction in Sarasota.
Sarasota DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help Fight Your Charges
As noted earlier, you can be charged for driving under the influence if you have a BAC of at least 0.08 percent and are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle—meaning you are in possession of keys while also being impaired from drugs or alcohol—so you can get in trouble even if you are sleeping in your car and it is not moving.
At Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, our DUI defense lawyers recognize the different injunctions you could face if you are charged with a DUI.
The primary goal of your attorney is to help you avoid a conviction—which is possible through a trial governed by a jury or judge, or a plea bargain. Your defending attorneys can negotiate and reduce the risk of severe penalties.
This requires careful compromise with the prosecutor that few laymen can negotiate on their own.
Your criminal defense lawyer works hard to defend their clients from prosecution. At Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, we go through your case, look at the evidence, and read through witness statements to build your case and support a not guilty verdict.
Your attorney can relate all the necessary details to the jury panel or judge along with the opposing lawyer to defend you. We offer a free consultation to review your case and determine your options.
During our review of your case, our attorneys will let you know how we will proceed, especially regarding state laws and potential agreements with the prosecutor. If our attorney has determined that there is not enough evidence to convict you, we may be able to fight to drop charges or ask for significantly reduced penalties so we can resolve the case quickly.
Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Sarasota, FL
If you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you must take your charges seriously right from the beginning.
Don’t make the mistake of simply pleading guilty after your first DUI conviction to get it over with. Penalties become increasingly more severe with any further offenses.
Always remember that there is no criminal penalty if you refuse to perform the field sobriety exercises. You have the right to refuse any field sobriety tests that law enforcement may try to require. Refusing to perform these sobriety tests forces law enforcement officers to decide on arresting you based on the evidence presented to them.
If you or someone you love are facing DUI charges, it is essential that you schedule a consultation with Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group right after your arrest. Your lawyer has a specific time frame to stop your driver’s license suspension, which is typically ten days from the time of your arrest.
Your competent attorney will fight hard to reduce your charges as much as possible. A criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life, impacting your quality of life and reducing the ability to make it better.