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Trusted Legal Advice From Bradenton DUI Attorneys

The Bradenton DUI attorneys at Fowler Law Group are committed to aggressively defending DUI cases.  When we take your case, our firm will thoroughly review the evidence and work vigorously to protect your legal rights and driving privileges.

Florida 10-Day Rule – TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

If you have been arrested for a DUI, you will need to take action quickly and contact our Manatee County DUI lawyers right away.  Under Florida law, you have the option to challenge your license suspension by requesting an administrative review hearing.  Alternatively, you may choose to waive your right to the review hearing but request the immediate issuance of a Business Purpose Only (BPO) license.  If you are issued a BPO license you will only be permitted to drive in order to maintain your livelihood (this would include driving for work, educational, church or medical reasons).

In the event that you have been convicted of a previous DUI or have had an earlier DUI license suspension, you will not be eligible for the “fast track” to a BPO license. You will need to challenge your license suspension to the Bureau of Administrative Reviews. Our Bradenton DUI attorneys can provide you with more information and assist you with this process.

Regardless of which option you choose, you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to take action. There are certain procedures that need to be followed no matter which option you decide is best for you.

Our Bradenton DUI Attorneys are Skilled at Refusal Cases

When someone is arrested for DUI, they are given the “opportunity” to provide a breath sample to determine the alcohol content of their breath. If they refuse to provide the sample, they are informed of the administrative (and possibly criminal) consequences of the refusal.  It is important to understand that at trial the prosecution can use your refusal to submit to a breath, blood or urine test to show your consciousness of guilt, i.e. that you refused to submit to the testing because you knew your impaired and did not want law enforcement to see the results.

There are many reasons why someone might refuse a test.  It is important to discuss your case with a team of reputable Bradenton DUI attorneys so that you can decide what options you have at your disposal in order to explain your refusal to submit to the test.  Additionally, an attorney can help you understand the administrative consequences of refusing to take the test.

Drug DUIs

Many individuals believe that they are permitted to drive under the influence of medication because they hold a valid prescription for the drug. This is not true in Florida. Certain drugs (such as Xanax, prescription painkillers and the like) can impair your ability to drive and open you up to criminal liability for Driving Under the Influence.

In cases such as these, some law enforcement agencies have specially trained officers, called “Drug Recognition Experts” or DREs. These DREs have gone through many hours of training to be able to recognize the symptoms and signs of individuals under the influence of opiates, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and many other controlled substances. 

Often times someone under the influence of drugs will test negative for alcohol, prompting the officer to request a urine sample. The urine is then taken to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing, where it is examined to determine if any controlled substances were present in the driver’s urine at the time of the alleged offense.

FAQs: Answers from Our Experienced Bradenton DUI Attorneys

Was I Required to Take the Field Sobriety Tests During My DUI Stop?

No, while Florida’s “implied consent” law requires you to take the breathalyzer during a lawful DUI stop, you are not required to take any field sobriety tests. However, the police don’t have to tell you this, and they can even tell you that taking the tests is your “opportunity” to prove you weren’t driving drunk.

If you took the field sobriety tests and “failed,” does this mean you will be found guilty? Not necessarily. Field sobriety test results are subject to challenge, and our Bradenton DUI attorneys may be able to show that your test results don’t actually prove you are guilty of a DUI.  

What are the Penalties for a DUI in Bradenton?

DUIs carry significant penalties under Florida law. Even a standard first-time offense can result in up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine and a 90-day driver’s license suspension. You could also be sentenced to probation, mandatory ignition interlock device installation, mandatory substance abuse treatment and/or community service.

If your blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 percent or higher, if you had a minor in your vehicle, or if you caused an accident, you are facing enhanced penalties. Additionally, if you already have a DUI (or multiple DUIs) on your record, you can face enhanced penalties as a repeat offender.

How Can I Defend Against My DUI Charge?

There are several possible defenses to DUI charges in Florida. When our Bradenton DUI attorneys evaluate your case, they will explore all options for keeping your record clean and keeping you out of jail. Some examples of possible defenses to DUI charges include:

  • Unconstitutional Stop or Arrest – The police need “reasonable suspicion” to stop you, and they need “probable cause” to make a DUI arrest. Therefore, if the arresting officer cannot explain why he or she pulled you over, or if the evidence (or lack of evidence) shows that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, this could provide a strong defense in your DUI case.
  • Invalid or Unreliable Test Results – While a high BAC can seem like solid evidence of guilt, it is possible to challenge breathalyzer test results in many cases. Our Bradenton DUI attorneys are often able to successfully challenge clients’ field sobriety test results as well. Several factors can render these test results invalid or unreliable, and such test results are not enough to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Insufficient Evidence of Guilt – Beyond challenging the validity and reliability of your test results, there are various other ways to prevent the prosecutor’s office from meeting its burden of proof. If our attorneys can convince the judge or jury that the prosecution’s evidence is insufficient, then it doesn’t matter whether you were drunk behind the wheel.

Should I Have a Bradenton DUI Attorney to Represent Me?

Yes, if you are facing a drunk driving charge in Bradenton, you should absolutely have a DUI attorney to represent you. You have a lot at stake, and you need to rely on an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight to protect you by all means available.

Contact a Team of Skilled Bradenton DUI Attorneys

At Fowler Law Group we know how to effectively defend DUI cases involving alcohol and drug intoxication. As a former Sarasota County and Manatee County prosecutors, James Fowler and Jeremy Simon have unique insight into how the state handles DUI cases.  Mr. Fowler has completed training programs in “Prosecuting the Drugged Driver” and “Prosecuting Refusal Cases” and is an active member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Mr. Simon brings his experience from the State Attorney’s Office as well, and devotes much of his practice to defending DUI clients.

If you have been involved in a DUI or have questions about Florida’s DUI laws, contact our Manatee County DUI lawyers today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.

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Fowler Law Group proudly represents the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay area. Our experienced team will help guide you through the judicial process and answer all of your questions with honesty and integrity. We understand the important nature of your call, and we will strive to return all calls within 24 hours. Contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.