DUI Defense

If you have been arrested for DUI you need to call a DUI Defense Attorney               right away

If have been arrested for DUI in Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County call us.  Former DUI prosecutor and State Attorney DUI supervisor with over 40 years DUI legal experience.

Larry Sandefer was the first attorney in the 6th Judicial Circuit of Florida to attain Board  Certification as a Criminal Trial Lawyer, which includes DUI defense







          You should know first that you have 10 days to make a decision that can affect your ability to drive

That may seem like a short time, but I urge you not to hire the first attorney who gives you information.  This is an important choice and you need explore your choices and reasons that may affect you in particular.  Look around, get referrals, call some attorneys.  Talk with them. Talk with Larry Sandefer!

Within 10 days of being arrested or receiving a ticket for a DUI you must either request a formal review hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, or, if you are eligible and it is a first time DUI you may be eligible to waive the hearing and get a hardship license for the entire period of your suspension.      However, sometimes it may be advantageous to request the formal review hearing, and in that case we can still get a temporary hardship permit until the hearing.  As your attorney we can apply for the hearing for you and  obtain for you a temporary hardship license for a period of time or for the entire period of suspension.

 If you do not request the formal review hearing, and you do not waive it, at the end of the 10 days after your arrest you will lose your ability to drive for a period of time. Ordinarily, if someone takes a breath test and blows over .08, after the 10 days have expired there is a 30 day period that the person can not get a permit and can not drive.  If a person has refused to take a breath test, at the end of the 10 days, the person will be unable to drive for the next 90 days and will be unable to obtain a hardship permit during that time. The total suspension time for blowing over the .08 is six months and the suspension time for refusal is one year on first time DUI’s and longer on second or more DUI’s.  The laws and rules are  different if this is not your first DUI no matter how long ago the last one may have been.

Call us to learn what alternatives and options you may have and what is best for you.  DUI law is complex and there are many decisions that need to be considered.

I am sure that you know that a DUI can have serious consequences

Driving under the influence is defined as driving, or being in actual physical control, of a vehicle while under the influence of either alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in Florida statute 877.111, or any controlled substance under Florida’s drug laws, chapter 893, when a person is affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.

DUI is often referred to as a crime of opinion. However,  there are often items such as video recording of a person’s driving and field sobriety exercises, a breath test, a blood test, or urine test, as well as possible witnesses.  Each of these is critical to your defense.

We will look to see if  the stop of your vehicle or the approach to you or your car is even legally valid.  If there are 4th amendment issues we need to find those and address them aggressively. 

Also, we will look to see if the breath or blood test was requested properly and performed according to standards and rules. 

In discussing your case with an attorney you should be aware that there are laws set forth in the Florida statutes and the Constitution of the United States as to when a person may be stopped and for what reasons, as well as how and when each of these tests may be requested and/or administered.  If an officer does not follow these laws or the statutory rules then your breath or blood test may be subject to suppression.  Suppression means that it can not be used against you.  We have  successfully handled many suppression motions on DUI cases eliminating  such matters in evidence as the breath test, the blood test, urine tests, and even the field sobriety exercises.  Call us to go over your options and your possibilities.  DUIs may be common, but each case is different and needs to be looked at individually.  Yours is one.

There is no obligation and no fee to meet and discuss your case.

A DUI can be a Felony or Misdemeanor

Previous DUI convictions may count against you no matter how long ago or where they occurred. More than 2 DUI convictions can cause this one to be a felony, even if the original arrest was for a misdemeanor.

A first or a second DUI is normally a misdemeanor offense.  Penalties, however,  increase with each  conviction.

A third DUI, where there is a previous DUI within the past 10 years, can be a felony offense. A fourth DUI, no matter what the time period of the previous DUI convictions, is classified as a felony.  Sometimes the officer or deputy is not aware of out of state convictions and acting quickly can be advantageous for you if you have prior out of state convictions.

On some occasions a quick plea may be to your advantage.  Ask us if that may or may not be advantageous in your case and why.

Sometimes, the prosecution does not become aware of all prior offenses. Some prior offenses may not legally be able to be considered against you either in the suspension process or in the conviction process.  You should  talk  with your attorney if you have any prior DUI arrests or convictions. Do not talk to anyone  else.    We need to explore the prior arrests and see what may or may not be able to be used against you, whether it is likely that state will find out about them and whether they could be legally used against you.  It may make the difference between a felony charge and a misdemeanor.

Call us or email us for an in person or telephone appointment.

Larry Sandefer is an experienced and highly respected DUI defense lawyer with extensive motion and jury trial experience and specialized training.

Now is the time to contact us

It is extremely important that you contact a qualified DUI attorney and discuss the facts of your present arrest, any previous alcohol-related stops or arrests, and any DUI or similar type convictions whether in the state of Florida or anywhere else. Your discussions with us are confidential. It is important for your attorney to know these matters in order to properly represent you and take the proper actions regarding your case to come up with the best result and best course of action in your case.

DUI school

It may be advisable for you to enroll quickly in an approved DUI school.  This may help in the ultimate resolution  of your case and with sentencing should you enter a plea or be convicted.  There are exceptions to this general advice so  talk to us  about your individual circumstances.

Am I eligible for a hardship license?

Eligibility for a license and Suspension of My License

If a person has no previous DUI convictions, after the “no drive” periods referred to above, he or she may obtain a hardship license. If a person has prior DUI convictions the eligibility to obtain a hardship permit varies. You should discuss this with an attorney to determine whether or not you may be eligible for a temporary hardship license or a longer hardship license.
The suspension which takes place as of the date of the arrest is referred to as an administrative suspension. It is done on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles and is unrelated to any court suspensions or court action that may take place on the DUI charge.

What are my possible penalties on a DUI conviction?

When you go to court on a DUI, there are certain court imposed minimum and maximum suspension periods which would not take effect until you are found guilty of a DUI. The suspension periods differ greatly the depending on
whether is a first DUI, second, or subsequent, or when the DUIs occurred in relation to each other. Florida statute 316 sets forth the potential penalties and suspensions for DUI.

 Questions we will help you with include:

  •  Can I get my license back
  •  Can my charge be reduced or even  dismissed?
  •  Is the breath test accurate?  Can we challenge the results?
  •  Can I be convicted of a DUI on a prescription drug? What proof do they need for a non-alcohol DUI?
  •  Are there things I can do to prepare for court or to help my case?
  •  How do I choose the right attorney for my case?


    • Pinellas County DUI Lawyer