Sarasota DUI Attorney
Most people charged with driving under the influence (DUI), face a misdemeanor charge. Some DUIs are felonies. If you have been charged with a DUI, most likely you have already had your driver’s license administratively suspended for six months, a year, perhaps even longer. If so, you have ten days from the date of your arrest to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. In addition to the administrative suspension, you probably have a court date to appear in front of a judge and answer to the charge.
The consequences of a DUI conviction on your record include, jail time, probation, fines, community service, suspension of your driver’s license, impoundment of your car, and a requirement that you install the ignition interlock device on your car. In addition, your automobile insurance rates will increase, if your policy is not cancelled outright.
Some people think that there are no defenses to a DUI charge. They are wrong. Even if you took a breath or blood test, you could have a complete defense to the charge. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, call us. We will give you a free and confidential case evaluation.
DUI frequently asked questions:
I was arrested for DUI and have a court date coming up. Should I go see an attorney or just go to court and plead guilty?
You should go see an attorney. Why? Because there’s no downside to having a free case evaluation before your court date to see if you have any defenses to the DUI charge. If, after your case evaluation, you don’t want to hire an attorney, you don’t have to.
After I was arrested for DUI, I was told that my driver’s license is already suspended. How can they suspend my driver’s license when I haven’t been convicted of anything?
The bad news is that Florida law allows a law enforcement officer to suspend a person’s driver’s license, usually for six months to a year, after they have been arrested for DUI if they blow over the legal limit or refuse to take a breath test. The good news is that you can request a hearing to try and overturn that suspension, but you only have ten days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing.
I took the breath test and blew over the legal limit. Do I have any chance of winning my DUI case?
Yes you do. In addition to other potential defenses, you have a legal right to challenge the accuracy of the breath test results. Litigation is currently pending locally to require the company that manufacturers the breath test machine, called an intoxilizer, to disclose the software codes. To date, thousands of local DUI charges have been dismissed or reduced because the company has refused to disclose the software codes.
I heard that everyone charged with a first time DUI gets the same penalty. If so, why should I hire an attorney for my first time DUI?
Although it is true that everyone convicted of a first time DUI must receive certain mandatory sanctions, there are several benefits to hiring an attorney. First, the mandatory sanctions only apply if you are convicted of DUI. Many people charged with DUI are not convicted of DUI, almost always because they have attorneys who have successfully argued to have their charge dropped or reduced. Second, in addition to helping you with the criminal case, attorneys can help you with the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. Third, even if your DUI case is not dropped or reduced, there are some first time DUI sanctions that can be waived or modified in the appropriate case.