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DUI attorneys

Being charged with a DUI is an incredibly scary situation. But a charge doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be found guilty. Our skilled Orlando DUI defense attorneys provide valuable advice at every step, from the arrest to trial, where we’ll work to have your charge reduced or dismissed. 

orlando dui attorneys

Don’t trust just any lawyer with your case – trust Katz & Phillips, the only Board-Certified DUI Defense Experts in Orlando.

DUI laws in Orlando

Contrary to what you might think, it’s actually not illegal to consume alcohol and then drive. However, illegality creeps in fast if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above a certain limit.

In Florida, a person may be found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol if they have a blood-alcohol content of .08 or above when measured by blood or by breath or if they’re otherwise too impaired to drive safely.

You could still be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit of .08 but you’re significantly impaired. 

There are several types of field sobriety tests a police officer may utilize when they have reasonable suspicion that someone is driving under the influence, the most common being standing on one leg, the walk and turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

florida sobriety test

There’s no law that mandates your participation in such tests, however, there’s a chance your performance in the tests could go against the officer’s suspicion that you’re impaired.

In Florida, generally, a police officer may only request a breath test if they have probable cause to arrest you and they suspect you are under the influence of alcohol.

Florida’s implied consent law states that any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state has given their consent to submit to tests administered by police and used to determine their blood alcohol level.

Although consent to these tests is implied, a police officer can’t force your compliance. However, the officer must inform you that your failure to submit to any lawful test will result in the suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year if it’s your first refusal, or for 18 months if your license has been previously suspended for refusing to take a lawful test. 

Second or subsequent refusal can be charged as a misdemeanor, and under most circumstances, refusal can be admissible evidence during the DUI criminal proceedings.

Florida law mandates that drivers must submit to blood tests if the officer has probable cause to believe the driver was impaired and if they caused severe injuries or the death of another person. Law enforcement has the right to forcibly draw blood if the driver refuses. 

Penalties for DUI

In Florida, if you’re charged with a DUI, you will face serious penalties. Possible consequences if convicted could include:

  • Jail time
  • A suspension of your driver’s license
  • Community service
  • A minimum $500 fine and additional court costs
  • Probation
  • Participation in a mandatory Victim Awareness Program
  • Impounding of your vehicle
  • A permanent criminal record of your conviction

orlando dui penalties

Penalties for a second or subsequent DUI conviction are significantly worse. While these penalties can follow a conviction for either drug or alcohol use before driving, there are opportunities to minimize or avoid the consequences after an arrest.

The best way to do so is by calling an Orlando criminal defense lawyer at Katz & Phillips, P.A. to fight your DUI charges.

Possible DUI defenses

With the help of an experienced, Board Certified DUI Defense Expert at our firm, there are a number of issues you could raise to try and fight charges including:

  • Illegal stop or illegal search: No evidence can be used if it was collected in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Traffic stops must be justified, and the law enforcement officer must have reason to ask you to submit to a drug or alcohol test.
  • Improper test administration: The officer may not have been trained to administer the test, or the test may not have been calibrated properly.
  • Improper handling of evidence: Your sample could have been contaminated or confused with someone else’s, or shoddy work may have been done to determine the level of drugs or alcohol in your system.
  • Other problems with testing: Field sobriety tests are notoriously difficult for people to pass, even when sober. They are unreliable. Radio frequency can affect breath tests, and medical conditions can also impact breathalyzer results.

Deciding on the right option for fighting DUI charges requires knowledge of the science behind DUI cases as well as knowledge of the law.

At Katz & Phillips, P.A., our Orlando DUI defense team includes the only two Board Certified DUI Defense Expert attorneys with offices in the Orlando area, both of whom have extensive knowledge of how breath testing works. Our attorneys are uniquely qualified to provide you with assistance in fighting the charges.

When should you hire an Orlando attorney?

The quick answer is that you should get legal help just as soon as you can. The earlier you hire an attorney, the earlier they can get to work investigating your arrest and gathering as much evidence as possible. These facts could be a huge help in reducing your penalties or possibly even having your charges dismissed. 

While time is of the essence, that doesn’t mean you should hire the first attorney you find–you need an experienced team led by the Board-Certified DUI Experts at Katz & Phillips, P.A. 

Keep the following tips in mind before you make your final choice. Remember, the stakes are going to be very high, so you want to feel confident that you’ve made the right decision.

1. Schedule a consultation, whether that’s in-person or online

Tell the truth during these conversations – if you had eight beers, don’t tell them you had three. Your attorney won’t be able to provide the best possible representation without knowing what actually happened. Bring copies of the police report if you have it, as well as your ticket and any other arrest-related correspondence you may have received.

2. Talk to a few attorneys to find one that is a good fit for you

“Shop around” and speak with several DUI attorneys in Orlando, FL  to find the one whom you feel will be able to help. If any of them guarantee or promise an outcome, take them off your list immediately and move on to someone else. No ethical lawyer would ever make that kind of statement.

Before meeting with the attorney, research them. Find out what experience they have with DUI cases and what their track record is. Call the Florida Bar Association or check their website to make sure the lawyer is licensed and in good standing. Look at the lawyer’s online reviews on several platforms to get a good idea of what their clients are saying. 

3. Get the details regarding the fees the attorney will charge

For example, find out what’s covered by those fees, whether they charge a flat or hourly rate, and whether or not they offer payment plans.

4. Trust your instincts

Once you find an attorney with a solid track record of success who you feel good about, hire them so they can get to work on your behalf.

Remember that attorneys charge for their experience and success, hiring the cheapest attorney you can find is virtually never the right decision.  Don’t learn this the hard way.

Specifically ask the attorney about their pre-trial motion practice.  Many DUI cases can be significantly improved with a little pre-trial effort by the attorneys you have hired to defend you.

Why you should hire an attorney

It really doesn’t matter how confident you are that you’re not guilty of the charges that have been levied against you. In order to have the best possible chance of winning your case, you’re going to need the help of an experienced legal representative.

Skilled DUI attorneys know how to navigate all of the complexities that are a part of these kinds of cases – and there are a lot of them. They also have a deep knowledge of the court system, as well as the prosecutor who will be handling your case. They might have a much better chance of getting your penalties significantly reduced.

An attorney also knows how to spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and can use them to your advantage. If those weaknesses are significant, your lawyer could potentially have the entire case thrown out of court.

Our DUI attorneys in Orlando, FL are ready to help

Our attorneys provide invaluable advice at every step, our DUI team will provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions about your case.

It is impossible to make a decision about resolving a case with a plea offer or taking it to trial unless you are fully informed. We will communicate with you every step of the way and provide our Expert advice and skills to minimize the consequences of your DUI arrest.

Call Katz & Phillips, P.A. today at (321) 332-6885 to schedule a consultation and learn about how our experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyers can provide you with the defense you deserve.

Associations & Accolades
James Phillips and David Katz are both Board Certified DUI Defense Experts. In fact they are two of only four Board Certified DUI Defense Experts practicing in the State of Florida.