Sarasota DUI Lawyer
Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Sarasota County
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense that is taken very seriously in the state of Florida. Drunk driving is a highly discouraged action because it can severely increase your risk of being involved in a crash. Many fatal accidents can be directly attributed to drunk drivers, which is why DUI is severely punished, even for first-time offenders.
During your DUI case, you must understand the laws associated with DUI charges and take appropriate action to secure legal representation. At The Law Office of Wyndel G. Darville, PLLC, I am a seasoned Sarasota DUI attorney who offers experienced legal guidance through each step of the criminal and DMV administrative proceedings and can examine every aspect of your case.
Cases our DUI Lawyer in Sarasota Handles
What Is Driving Under The Influence in Florida?
As I assess a proper defense for your case, I can examine every aspect of the circumstances of your arrest, the gathering and analysis of evidence, and other important factors. During the traffic stop, you may be asked to perform one or more field sobriety tests. These tests assess your acuity and physical performance, which can be altered through intoxication.
The following actions all constitute probable cause for arrest:
- Failure to accurately perform these tests
- Failure to consent to a test
- Negative results from a breath test
A lawful arrest is based on evidence that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. If your arrest is not performed in a lawful manner, our Sarasota DUI attorney can use that as evidence against the prosecutor's case. Immediately after an arrest, you should secure strong legal guidance from my firm to protect your rights.
What Is The Blood Alcohol Limit In Florida?
The legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol limit or breath alcohol level is .08 or above. For drivers under 21, it is unlawful to have a blood or breath alcohol level of .02 or above. Severe penalties may result from a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .15%.
How Likely Is Jail Time For First DUI In Florida?
Jail time is not mandatory for more first-time DUI offenders. Though after you are arrested, you will most likely be put in jail until your BAC decreases. Your jail time will then be decided in court. The maximum penalty depends on the circumstances of the case itself. For example, a standard DUI may result in 6 months of jail time. However, if your blood alcohol concentration is .15% or more, then the jail time may increase to 9 months. Other factors that may affect your jail time include if your DUI resulted in property damage, serious injuries, or death.
What to Do After a DUI Arrest in Florida
If you have been charged with DUI in Sarasota, Florida, your case will require a knowledgeable and aggressive Sarasota DUI lawyer. At The Law Office of Wyndel G. Darville, PLLC, my goal is to help you reduce the penalties you face or have your case dismissed. The prosecution will work to provide enough evidence to have you convicted with the maximum penalties.
You must take action right away to ensure the best possible case outcome. During a free case evaluation, I can discuss the events that took place during your traffic stop and determine whether you are facing a lawful arrest. Contact my criminal defense firm in Sarasota, FL today for the legal guidance your case requires!
Wyndel Darville Explains Florida's DUI Laws
What Is the Implied Consent Law in Florida?
Florida holds to the implied consent law, which means that anyone who has obtained a driver's license in the state has, in doing so, consented to submitting to a chemical test upon arrest for a Sarasota DUI. Refusal to take a blood, chemical, or urine test will result in an immediate suspension of the driver's license.
Upon a second refusal, a driver can receive an 18-month license suspension. Drivers who receive a second DUI conviction will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed within their vehicle. In some cases, however, the judge may order it to be placed in a driver's car after a first conviction. The driver must breathe into the IID to register sobriety on the device before it will allow the vehicle to operate.
What is the DUI DETER Program?
Having a DUI conviction on your record could severely impact your life, as employers or landlords might look at it when making a final decision. Such consequences can be devastating, especially if it was just one mistake that resulted in a driving under the influence charge. Fortunately, the State Attorney’s Office (SAO) of the 12th Judicial Circuit has a diversion program for individuals charged with a first-time DUI offense.
Called Driver Enhancement Treatment Education Rehabilitation (DETER), the initiative allows some DUI offenders to complete pre-trial conditions in exchange for a reduction of charges and withhold of adjudication.
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- Have been charged with a misdemeanor DUI only
- Not have had any aggravating factors, such as having a minor in the car, a BAC of .20 or higher, or caused an accident
- Not have been charged with prior offenses, including DUI, alcohol-related reckless driving, driving while license suspended that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, vehicular homicide, or been convicted of a felony within 5 years of the current charge
- Not have previously participated in a DUI diversion program
If you agree to participate in DETER, depending on the facts of your case, the SAO will assign you to a level that determines which sanctions will apply to your situation.
The three case levels are:
- Level 1: BAC was .15 or below
- Level 2: BAC was between .15 and .20, or did not refuse chemical testing
- Level 3: DUI was charged for controlled substance use
After the SAO determines your case level, you will sign a form agreeing to complete pre-trial conditions for 60 days.
The terms you must fulfill during the pre-trial period include:
- Not engaging in criminal conduct,
- Completing DUI school,
- Beginning recommended treatment,
- Finishing a MADD Online Victim Impact Program
If you are a Level 1 or Level 2 offender, you must also install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle and provide proof to the SAO. If you do not have a vehicle, you must submit proof that you have an alcohol monitoring device. You must also complete work offender days (2 days for a Level 1 case and 4 for Level 2).
If your offense was classified as Level 3, you must:
- Not drink alcohol or consume drugs
- Provide a urine sample every week
- Complete 4 work offender days
After you complete your pre-trial sanctions, you must provide proof to the SAO. Once it receives your proof, you will be offered a plea for a lesser charge of reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication.
You will also be subject to the following sanctions:
- 12 months probation;
- Paying costs for the court, prosecution, and investigation of your case;
- 10 days of vehicle immobilization;
- Prohibited from having or using drugs and/or alcohol;
- Completing a DUI school and other treatment ordered to undergo;
- Paying a $500 fine;
- Attending a MADD Live Victim Impact Panel;
- 50 PSWs; and
- Installing an IID on your vehicle or having an alcohol monitor device (3 months for Level 1 cases, and 6 months for Level 2)
- Not possess or consume drugs or alcohol and take a weekly urinalysis for 6 months (Level 3 cases only).
The DETER initiative can help first-time offenders avoid a DUI conviction, and I will thoroughly assess your circumstances to help you understand your eligibility for this program.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Sarastoa, FL Today
Do not go it alone! Call my office for a free case review. Your ability to obtain an administrative review expires within 10 days of a DUI arrest, so it’s critical that you start comparing DUI lawyers in Sarasota immediately. Make the call now for a confidential case review and aggressive DUI defense. My office will be available via phone or video conferencing through several internet platforms.
Aggravated Battery Dismissed
Client was charged with Aggravated Battery (a 2nd-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison) that occurred at a public park. He was accused of striking an individual and breaking his jaw. Police were called...
Carrying a Concealed Firearm Charge Dropped
Client was confronted by law enforcement regarding an outstanding warrant on an unrelated charge. She was in possession of a backpack with a purse on the inside. Search incident to arrest...
Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information Full Acquittal
Client was accused of using personal identification information of third person for purposes of harassment. The Client was put on trial and the State introduced evidence of the alleged offense...
Domestic Battery Dismissed
Client was accused of battering her boyfriend during a custody exchange. During the investigation...
Domestic Battery Case Dismissed
Client was charged for a physical altercation with his wife. Upon further investigation by the defense time, we were able to show the prosecution, that it the client was acting in self-defense...
DUI Property Damage Case Dismissed
Single car accident that took place on an exit ramp from a major interstate. Client was headed home from a social gathering in a steady rain lost control and hit a tree. Deputies arrived...
Felony Driving Under the Influence - 3rd DUI Incarceration Avoided
Client was stopped in the middle of an off ramp from a major highway. Sheriff’s deputies made contact and through their investigation were able to establish probable cause for...
Misdemeanor DUI Charge Reduced
Client was coming home from an evening with friends. He was pulled over by a member of the DUI Wolfpack for alleged speeding. Upon activation of the overhead emergency lights, the Client...
Stolen Property, Providing False Information, and Misdemeanor Violation of Probation Charges Dropped
Client was charged with Dealing in Stolen Property for allegedly stealing and selling his girlfriend’s laptop computer. While investigators successfully obtained the necessary documentary...