DUI Defense Attorney and BUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County call us. Former DUI prosecutor and State Attorney supervisor with over 35 years DUI legal experience.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DUI CHARGE
You have 10 days to make an important decision!
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, waive 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. 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 suspension time for blowing over the .08 is six months and the suspension time for refusal is one year on first time DUI’s. The laws and rules are much different for a second or more DUI no matter how long ago the last one may have been. Call us to learn what alternatives and options you may have .
IMPORTANT–As of July 2013 on a first time DUI arrest you may be able to get a hardship license and avoid any hard suspension without serving any time without driving. You must act within the first 10 days. Call us so we can explain whether this is a decision right for you and if so, how you may be able to keep your ability to drive no matter what the ultimate outcome of your case is.
What constitutes DUI?
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. Although, now available to law enforcement and used quite often are items such as video recording of a person’s driving and field sobriety exercises, a breath test, a blood test, or urine test.
There are rules set forth in the Florida statutes 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 rules your breath or blood test may be subject to suppression. We have handled successfully many suppression motions. Call us and we can go over your options and possibilities.
A DUI can be a Felony or Misdemeanor
A first or a second DUI is normally a misdemeanor offense. However, penalties increase with each successive 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 prosecution does not become aware of all prior offenses, or, some prior offenses may not legally be able to be considered either in the suspension process or in the conviction process under certain circumstances. We need to explore the prior arrests and see what may or may not be able to be used against you and how it can help you. Call us or email us for an appointment. Larry Sandefer is a highly experienced and respected DUI defense lawyer.
What Action Should I Take now that I have been arrested?
It is extremely important that you discuss with a qualified DUI attorney 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 your attorney 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.
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 consult with your attorney about your individual circumstances.
Eligibility for a 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. 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.
IMPORTANT! If you have received a DUI and are looking for a DUI lawyer contact us now. We have an attorney available or on call 24 hours a day to help you. Call toll free 866-786-5297.
Questions we can help you with include:
- Can I get my license back
- Can my charge be reduced or dismissed?
- Is the breath test accurate?
- Can I be convicted of a DUI on a prescrption drug?
- Are there things I can do to prepare for court or to help my case?
- Do I need and attorney and how do I choose?
FLORIDA DUI DEFENSE TOPICS
- Evaluation of Your DUI Case – The first thing to look at in a Florida DUI case is the stop. A law enforcement officer must have a stated legal ground to stop your vehicle.
- Other Types of DUI Accusations – Many DUI cases involve the accusation of impairment due to drug ingestion. Not only are we experienced in this area, we have access to experts including renowned chemists to review your case and offer testimony if necessary.
- Felony DUI & DUI with Serious Injuries – A DUI can become a felony if it is the third DUI conviction and the previous conviction is within 10 years. A fourth DUI conviction is also classified as a felony.
- DUI Manslaughter – A DUI MANSLAUGHTER occurs when there is a death of a human being caused or contributed to by a person who is driving under the influence to the extent his or her normal faculties are impaired.
- Possible Penalties for DUI – Penalties for DUI can increase if a person has any prior convictions for driving under the influence. The number of convictions, when they occurred, and even whether you were represented can have dramatic affects on your license and penalties.
- Traffic DUI Law – Arrested for a Florida Traffic DUI? In Florida, if you have been arrested for DUI and your breath test result was .08 or higher, or if you refused to take the breath test, the officer probably took your driver’s license from you.
- Florida DUI Developments – Larry Sandefer attends valuable programs locally and nationally such as “Masters of DUI”, “Blood, Breath and Tears”, as well as the National DUI Conference put on by the National College of DUI Defense
- FREE DUI Case Evaluation – Contact us today for a Free Florida DUI Case Evaluation.
We primarily serve the tri-county area including Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hillsborough County, but we are proud to represent and have represented clients throughout Florida.
Larry Sandefer attends valuable programs locally and nationally such as “Masters of DUI”, “Blood, Breath and Tears”, as well as the National DUI Conference put on by the National College of DUI Defense and The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Las Vegas.
He is a former DUI court supervisor at the State Attorneys office and has tried a large number of DUI cases to jury as well as DUI Manslaughter.
He keeps abreast of the latest developments regarding DUI defense and networks and interacts with DUI practitioners from across the nation and the state of Florida. He has access to and has used many state and national experts. He is a member of several state and national DUI defense attorney organizations.
- DUI Continuing Education Schools/Seminars
- DUI,- Defending with Ingenuity, Las Vegas, NV, 2003, by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the National College of DUI Attorneys
- Winning with DUI, Las Vegas, NV, 2008, by NACDL and National College of DUI Attorneys
- “Blood, Breath and Tears”, presented by the Florida Bar, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018
- Intoxilyzer 8000, Fl Bar 2005, 2010
- “Masters of DUI”, Fl Bar, 1999, 2009, 2017
- Strategies in DUI cases, Lorman 2000, 2005
- DUI defense tactics 1997
- DUI School Information