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Expert DUI lawyers
in Orlando, FL

There are only 4 Board-Certified DUI defense specialists in Florida. Two of them work at our firm.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you may not know where to turn. Don’t panic – turn to the Expert Orlando DUI Defense Attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A.

David Katz and James Phillips are two of only four Board-Certified DUI defense specialists in the state, and they’re prepared to put their years of knowledge and experience to work for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

Cityscape in front of a dui defense attorneys office

Don’t delay – Here’s how to contact us

Call us today and speak directly to one of our attorneys on the phone. You can also schedule a Zoom consultation or meet with us face-to-face in our office. We will review the facts of your case with you and help you to understand what your options are. We will also begin to plan the strategy to protect you and your rights immediately.

Our attorneys are looking forward to speaking with you and helping to put your mind at ease. Call (321) 332-6864 today.

Much is at stake when you’re arrested for DUI

In most cases, the officer who arrests you will take and suspend your driver’s license. You must act immediately as you only have 10 days to protect your driving privileges.

Many attorneys will automatically tell you to just waive your right to fight the suspension of your driver’s license. The only person they are helping is themselves. We will review all the paperwork you bring us, discuss with you all your options, and help you decide if waiving your right to a hearing is the right choice for you and your family. If not, we will fight the suspension for you in an administrative formal review hearing.

Why should I fight my DUI charge?

Simple answer: Because so many things could have gone wrong before, during, and after your arrest that you may have a solid reason for the charge to be reduced or dropped entirely.

Subjective opinions of officers

Much of DUI prosecution is based on the subjective opinions of law enforcement officers who are taught to see a DUI, every time they smell alcohol on someone’s breath or see a car move within its lane.

Unreliable testing methods

Further, much of the evidence presented in a DUI case is based on roadside agility maneuvers that do more to test a person’s coordination and natural athletic ability than they do to test for impairment.

Even the best Field Sobriety Tests individually have false results between 30 – 40% of the time according to law enforcement’s own training manuals and studies.

Additionally, the results of mysterious machines are not reliable. If the breath test machines were accurate, reliable, and worked the way the manufacturers claim, there would be no reason to deny defendants and defense attorneys access to the machines for testing.  

Breath test manufacturers have fought for years to deny access and avoid scrutiny. Thousands of breath test results have been declared inadmissible due to the manufacturer’s unwillingness to share the secrets of their mythical machines.

A police officer holding up a breathalyzer during a dui traffic stop

We fight for you every step of the way

With all the uncertainty around the various types of evidence used in DUI cases, there exist lots of potential opportunities for a skilled and knowledgeable DUI defense attorney to help you convince a jury that there is reasonable doubt regarding whether you were actually impaired.

Each and every case gets its own defense at Katz & Phillips, P.A. tailored to the facts of the case and the admissible evidence.  

Give yourself a fighting chance

Finally, it is important to know the Judges. In many areas of Florida, the judges simply will not give a first-time offender anything, but the minimum mandatory sentence required by law even if they lose at trial.

If your case is in front of a judge who has been a judge for 20 years and has never given a single defendant more than the minimum penalties for DUI after a trial and the prosecutor is offering a plea deal to the minimum mandatory penalties, why would you accept that instead of taking a shot at winning the trial and having the judge give you the same penalties if you lost?

Call the Expert DUI Attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. today and learn why you should fight your DUI charges. Sit down with us and discuss your particular facts and the defenses available to you today.

When should I hire a DUI lawyer in Orlando?

The old saying “the sooner the better” is true when it comes to getting an experienced DUI attorney on your side to fight your case, increasing your odds of preserving your driving privilege and beating the charges against you.  

You only have 10 days to decide whether to waive or fight the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. This is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Our experienced expert DUI attorneys will make sure you have all the facts and understand the consequences of whichever choice you make. It’s your life, and you have to make the decision that will help you and your family the most. 

How long will my license be suspended?

Your driver’s license will be suspended every time you are arrested for DUI (with some limited exceptions). The length of the suspension varies depending on how many prior DUIs you have and on prior refusals to take a breath, blood, or urine test.

If you waive your right to a formal review hearing, there is no period during which you are unable to drive, but the length of time you will have to drive on a hardship license is the same as if you had a formal review hearing and lost. Florida license suspension periods are as follows.

First DUI offense

  • 6 months (first 30 days no driving at all) if you took the requested test
  • 12 months (first 90 days no driving at all) if you refused to take the test

*For a first offense: If you waive your right to a formal review hearing, there will be no hard suspension and you will be eligible to drive with a hardship license for the entire suspension.

Second DUI offense

  • 12 months (30 days of no driving at all) if you took the requested test
  • 12 months (90 days of no driving at all) if you refused with no prior refusal
  • 18 months of no driving at all if you refused with a prior refusal

Third or subsequent DUI offense

  • 12 months of no driving at all if you took the requested test
  • 12 months of no driving at all if you refused with no prior refusal
  • 18 months no driving at all if you refused with a prior refusal

Discuss your case with the Expert DUI defense attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. today to help save your driving privilege and protect your rights in the courtroom. Call (321) 332-6864 now.

Why you can trust Katz & Phillips, P.A.

The attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. all take great pride in our white-glove service. We will handle all aspects of your case for you. We like to tell people to continue to live your life, we will do the worrying for you.

What you get when you work with us

Our fully-inclusive DUI defense includes:

  • Helping you decide whether to demand your right to a formal review hearing or waive your right to one within the first 10 days of arrest.
  • Walking you through your part of the process with step-by-step directions and help every step of the way.
  • Completing the part of the process that we can handle for you so you can live your life.
  • Getting you your 42-day temporary driving permit or helping you maneuver through getting your hardship license (depending on which choice you make). 
  • Keeping you from needing to appear in court unnecessarily. We cover all court dates so you can work and take care of your family.
  • Fighting the charges in court. Our signature approach to fighting each and every piece of evidence against you by filing multiple motions to suppress and motions in limine designed to weaken the state’s case and help increase your chances of winning at trial has helped thousands of firm DUI clients over the last 15 years.

As we are able to show the prosecutors the weaknesses in their case through suppression hearings, their incentive to make you an offer you do not want to reject increases, helping you achieve your desired outcome.

Of course, your case will be decided on the facts of your case, but over the last 15 years, the overwhelming majority of our clients who hired Katz & Phillips, P.A. for DUI defense have ended the day without a DUI on their record.

We’re not like other firms because we’re not afraid to go to trial

We very rarely recommend a client plead to a DUI charge. We love to go to trial and fight for you and for a “not guilty” verdict. Prosecutors get to know which firms fight and which firms just plead their clients to DUIs. Having a reputation as fighters gets our clients better plea offers, typically to reduced charges.

We’ll work with you wherever you are

Though our offices are located in Central Florida, we work throughout the state on criminal cases and on DUI defense.

While it is true that most of our cases are in Orange, Seminole, Lake, Volusia, Osceola, Polk, and Brevard counties we are willing to travel for those who want the experts on their side throughout the state. From Miami to the Pan Handle we put our experience and expertise to work for your best interests.

Our qualifications and experience are unrivaled in the legal community

Each of the attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. are active members of the National College for DUI Defense. This is the only national association of DUI lawyers authorized to bestow Board Certification in the area of DUI Defense.

The National College for DUI Defense holds four seminars each year and a dozen webinars for its over 2,500 members at various locations throughout the U.S. The attorneys of Katz & Phillips, P.A. not only attend these seminars but also teach at them. Chuck Hughes, Ryan Katz, and David Katz have all spoken at an NCDD seminar or webinar in 2022 or 2023.

Half of the Board-Certified DUI Experts in Florida work at our firm

dui lawyers in orlando fl
  • Florida Board-Certified DUI Defense Expert
  • Recognized in 2022 as a Board-Certified Senior DUI Defense Specialist
  • Faculty member of the National College for DUI Defense
  • Author of 9 books related to DUI Defense
  • Featured speaker at national DUI Defense seminars
  • Former DUI and Intoxilyzer prosecutor for Seminole County State Attorney’s Office*
  • Florida Board-Certified DUI Defense Expert
  • Faculty member of the National College for DUI Defense
  • Author of 9 books related to DUI Defense
  • Featured speaker at national DUI Defense seminars

*James received training directly from the President of CMI, Toby Hall, on the workings of the Intoxilyzer 8000 so he could fight to keep breath tests admissible in Seminole County. He now uses that knowledge and experience to keep breath test results from being admitted as evidence in your DUI trial. After all, it does not matter what your breath test result is if the state cannot tell the jury about it.

In the last 15 years, the lawyers of Katz & Phillips, P.A. have taken many DUI cases to trial resulting in not-guilty verdicts for the firm’s clients. These verdicts are set up by the pre-trial motion practice used by the attorneys at the firm, working ahead of time to weaken the state’s case against you.

Put our expertise and experience to work for you in fighting your DUI case. We will make sure you are informed every step of the way as we fight to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Misdemeanor vs felony DUI in Florida


Most DUIs in Florida are misdemeanors. A DUI will be a misdemeanor when it is a:

  • First, second, or third offense with:
    • No accident
    • No injury
    • An accident with only property damage
    • An accident with property damage and only minor injuries

Although still a misdemeanor, there are enhanced penalties for the following:

  • A second offense which occurs within 5 years of a first conviction
  • A third offense occurs outside of 10 years from a second conviction
  • A crash, with or without damage to someone else’s property
  • A crash with injury (non-serious)
  • A DUI with a minor in the car
  • A DUI with a breath (BrAC) or blood (BAC) test result of .150 or higher

Florida misdemeanor DUI penalties

OffenseChargeJail sentenceFineProbation
First DUI without bodily injury or death, OR BAC under 0.15%, OR no minor in the carSecond-degree misdemeanorUp to 60 days$5006 months
First DUI with bodily injury or death, OR BAC at or over 0.15%, OR minor in carFirst-degree misdemeanorUp to 1 year$1,000 1 year


A DUI is charged as a felony if it is:

  • Any third offense that occurs within 10 years of the date of conviction of a second offense
  • Any fourth or subsequent offense in a lifetime
  • Any offense with serious bodily injury
  • Any offense resulting in death

Florida felony DUI penalties

OffenseChargeJail sentenceFine
Second DUI with serious bodily injuryThird-degree felonyUp to 5 years$5,000
Third DUI within 10 yearsThird-degree felonyUp to 5 years$5,000
Fourth DUIThird-degree felonyUp to 5 years$5,000
DUI manslaughter (death of another person or unborn child)Second-degree felonyUp to 15 years$10,000
DUI manslaughter or vehicular homicide involving leaving the sceneFirst-degree felonyUp to 30 years$10,000

Take your charge seriously – the State of Florida does

Although most DUIs are misdemeanors as previously discussed, Florida law treats DUIs differently than other misdemeanor crimes.

Immediate bond is not an option

With most other crimes (misdemeanor or felony) you can bond out of jail immediately. If you are arrested for a DUI however, you must stay in jail until your breath test result is under .05 or 8 hours have elapsed since arrest.

Mandatory conviction that can never be expunged

Unlike almost any other misdemeanor, a DUI carries with it a mandatory conviction.

In most cases, both felony and misdemeanor in Florida, the trial judge will have the option of finding a defendant guilty or withholding adjudication of guilt. Not so with DUIs. A person charged with DUI who pleads to the charge or is convicted at trial must be adjudicated guilty.  

That means for the rest of your life you will have a permanent criminal record that you cannot seal or expunge.

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Immediate sentence upon conviction

The judge must sentence you immediately upon conviction. In almost all other cases, sentencing can be put off. In a DUI case, the judge cannot defer or delay sentencing but must pronounce and implement the sentence immediately.

Mandatory penalties and judicial discretion

DUIs carry a long list of minimum mandatory penalties, including but not limited to driver’s license suspension, community service, DUI school, substance abuse evaluation, fines, and more. Most crimes do not carry mandatory sentences, leaving judges with a wide range of discretion.

Social consequences

DUI carries with it a certain social stigma that other crimes do not.

There are no organizations out there campaigning for tougher jaywalking penalties, or increased fines for disorderly conduct. However, there are several well-funded national organizations that spend 100% of their time and effort to increase penalties for DUI, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD).

By fighting to make your case go away completely, or at the least get your DUI reduced to a reckless or careless driving charge, our team of experienced Orlando DUI attorneys can help you avoid mandatory sanctions and a permanent criminal record.

Call today to speak with one of our Expert DUI attorneys and let us start preparing your defense to fight the DUI charges.

Don’t wait – Save your driving privileges now

You have only 10 days to decide whether or not you will demand a Formal Review Hearing.

During the first 10 days after the arrest, the ticket you received for DUI is your driver’s license as long as the officer marked the “yes” box indicating that you are eligible for a permit. Using this driving permit, you can drive for any reason at all or no reason whatsoever, without any restrictions during the first 10 days after your arrest (the date on the ticket).

During these 10 days, you must make one of three options:

  1. Waive your right to a formal review hearing.
  2. Demand a Formal Review Hearing.
  3. Do nothing and give up.

Many law firms have a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not you should request an administrative formal review hearing to save your driver’s privilege.

At Katz & Phillips, P.A. we recognize that your situation is unique to you. We listen to what is important to you and inform you of all your options, including the consequences of your choice.  We do our best to help you make the decision that is right for you and your family.  

Option 1: Waive your Right to a Hearing

If you waive your right to a formal review hearing, you will usually be given a hardship license that allows you to drive for four reasons during your suspension.  

Those four reasons are: 

  • Your own education
  • Your own work (all work-related driving)
  • Attendance at religious services, and 
  • Your own necessary medical appointments.

For some people who cannot afford the risk of being unable to drive to and from work or to get to school, the right decision may be to waive the hearing. For others, the right decision may be to fight for their full driving privilege.

Option 2: Demand a Formal Review Hearing

If you choose to fight the suspension, then you will request a formal review hearing. Of course, the expert DUI defense lawyers at Katz & Phillips, P.A. will do this for you. We will also appear at your hearing to fight for your driver’s license.

Formal Review Hearing process

As mentioned above, this process begins when you choose to fight your license suspension. When the attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. demand a hearing for you, you will be issued a 42-day permit to drive, which is valid for the same four reasons mentioned in the “Waive Your Right to a Hearing” section above.

Only when you fully understand the administrative process can you be sure that the decision you make is the right one for you and your family. At Katz & Phillips, P.A. we are here to guide you every step of the way. We will explain the formal review process, our opinion on your chance of winning the formal review hearing, and the consequences if you lose.

Now, let’s dive into Florida’s Formal Review Hearing process for DUI.

Step 1: Put together the case packet

The fight to save your driving privilege begins with the case packet. For every hearing, we purchase your case packet in advance so our expert DUI attorneys can review the evidence upon which the hearing officer will base their decision.

The case packet contains every piece of evidence the arresting officer submits to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles for use in your hearing. After combing through this evidence, we decide on a case-by-case basis which witnesses, if any, to call.

Step 2: Identify and call witnesses

Only you can call witnesses to attend your formal review hearing. The hearing officer is limited to hearing from only the witnesses you subpoena to testify. In many cases, an experienced expert DUI attorney can find holes in the case packet which if argued correctly can result in the return of your full driving privilege.

However, these holes can be fixed if your attorney calls the wrong witnesses, causing you to lose a hearing you could have won if the witness was not present.

Other attorneys use the formal review hearing as an opportunity to depose all the witnesses listed in the case packet. While there is some logic to this, doing so, can result in losing the formal review hearing when a carefully planned case-by-case strategy may result in saving your driving privilege.  

Step 3: Gather and present additional evidence

The expert DUI defense attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. don’t stop at reviewing the case packet.  When possible, we also get the discovery (evidence used in your courtroom prosecution) from the state attorney’s office, including but not limited to any videos taken at the roadside, in the police car, at the breath test center, and at the jail.

Although we do not have to enter any evidence into the record at the formal review hearing, our individualized case strategy allows our attorneys to enter any evidence we can gather into the record at your hearing to help show your license should not be suspended.

Our expert DUI defense attorneys are committed to making all relevant arguments in an effort to invalidate the suspension of your driving privilege. 

Step 4: Your suspension is either invalidated or upheld

Although statistically, chances of winning a formal review hearing are not high, a hearing officer is required to invalidate the suspension of your driving privilege and reinstate your normal unrestricted license if any of the following occur:

  1. Probable cause did not exist during the vehicle stop
  2. Reasonable suspicion did not exist that would demonstrate you had committed a crime, therefore allowing for a DUI investigation
  3. Probable cause did not exist in your arrest after the investigation
  4. Your stop, detention, or arrest was illegal for any reason
  5. The officer required (not requested) you to perform sobriety field tests
  6. The officer was outside their jurisdiction
  7. The officer did not properly switch from an accident investigation to a criminal investigation
  8. No one witnessed you driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle (occurs often in accident cases)
  9. Statements used in your arrest were immunized by some privilege
  10. Breath test results were not within the required range
  11. Breath test results were not both above .08
  12. Problems with the breath test machine
  13. Problems with the procedure used during the breath test
  14. No case packet submitted
  15. Required documents omitted from the case packet
  16. Many other reasons

If you win the hearing, your suspension is invalidated, you can get your regular driver’s license back (pending the outcome of the court case), and the administrative suspension is removed from your driver’s record.

However, if the hearing officer upholds the suspension, you will have a period of no driving whatsoever before you are eligible for a hardship license. This “hard suspension period” varies in length depending on whether or not you took the breath test or refused to do so. The hard suspension periods are:

  • 30 days – if you took the breath test
  • 90 days – if you refused the breath test

If you get caught driving during this suspension you will go directly to jail and although you might be granted bond on your new “driving without a license” charge, the court may revoke your bond on the DUI charge causing you to remain in jail until the DUI case resolves.

What are my options if I “lose” the Formal Review Hearing?

Sometimes, your attorney will make all the right arguments and the law will be on your side, but the hearing officer still upholds the suspension.

If this happens, you will need to decide whether or not you want to pursue an appeal of the decision in the circuit court. Our Expert DUI attorneys will make every argument to win the hearing that applies to your case and will advise you if there is a basis for appeal should you lose.

Call the Expert DUI Defense Attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. today to discuss whether or not it is in your best interest based on the facts of your case.

Don’t put your case in just anyone’s hands – Trust the best

Some firms have a one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not you should request a formal review hearing and have the same one-size-fits-all plan to try to win your hearing.

This is not the case at Katz & Phillips, P.A. Our expert DUI attorneys work as a team to review the facts of each and every DUI case and plan a strategy to put you in the best position to win your formal review hearing.  

In each case, at least two attorneys will review the evidence that will be used at your Formal Review Hearing and discuss and decide upon a strategy.  

Importantly, we do not charge you more if you choose to fight to save your driver’s license. We love to fight for you and would never charge an additional fee to help with this part of your case.

Steps in the Florida criminal justice process

Although your court case may be more important to you than the administrative suspension of your driver’s license, it takes far longer and has no 10-day deadline, therefore we have left it to the end.

Most people arrested for DUI are unfamiliar with the legal process. Your case will follow the steps below as it works its way through the Florida legal system.

1. Arrest

An officer who observes an unusual driving pattern or arrives at the scene of an accident may eventually determine that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. In Florida, an officer can request you to perform field sobriety exercises at the side of the road but cannot compel you to complete them. After the officer has concluded his or her roadside investigation, they will decide whether or not to arrest the driver.

If an arrest is made, the driver must remain in jail until their breath test result is under .05 or 8 hours have elapsed since the arrest. Only then may bond be posted, and the driver released.

2. First Appearance

If you have not bonded out before the next morning’s court session, you will be brought before a judge. This is called First Appearance. At First Appearance, the judge will read the charges against you and inquire if you are going to get your own lawyer or if you want a public defender appointed (if you qualify). You can also enter a plea at this stage, the judge can also alter or set bond if no bond was previously set.

First Appearance is also the time the judge will review the arrest paperwork and determine if there is probable cause for the arrest, which allows you to continue to be held in jail. If the judge determines there is no probable cause you must be released.

At First Appearance, it is important not to say anything that will incriminate you. The court session is recorded and even the most inexperienced prosecutor knows how to get an audio recording of a courtroom confession.

If you appear at First Appearance, you should only say, “Not guilty,” and either “I am going to hire my own lawyer,” or “I would like the public defender appointed.” First Appearance is not the time to tell a story or make excuses.

3. Arraignment

Arraignment is held as an opportunity to hear the charges against you and enter a plea. For those who bonded out before First Appearance, this will be their first opportunity to ask for a public defender if they qualify. For those who have already hired a private attorney, their attendance will almost certainly be excused by their lawyer.  

In almost every criminal case where a private lawyer is hired, the lawyer files a notice to the court and state attorney telling them the Defendant has hired them as their lawyer. Additionally, a written plea of “not guilty” is filed along with a waiver of appearance at arraignment.

At Katz & Phillips, P.A., we do not automatically waive your appearance at arraignment. In some cases, after review of the case with the client at our initial consultation, we have found that appearing in person at arraignment will result in benefits to the client in resolving the case. Again, we have no cookie-cutter strategies here.

4. Pre-Trial conference

Pre-trial conference dates go by many names throughout the state. In Lake County, for instance, your case will have the following dates: PNC – Plea negotiation conference, sentencing, pre-trial conference, and trial.  

In most other counties, the terms PTC – pre-trial conference and case management conference are used.

Plea-negotiation conference

This is an opportunity for your lawyer and the prosecutor to discuss the facts of the case and attempt to come to a resolution. Since it is in court, the judge may get involved and make suggestions to the parties or push one side or the other to the deal.  


In front of some judges, this date is optional, and the attorney and defendant need only appear if they are going to be entering a plea. Some judges require all Defendants and their attorneys to appear. Typically, those who do not enter a plea are warned by the court that if they do not resolve their case, the judge can sentence them to any legal sentence after trial.

Pre-trial conference, case management conference

These are housekeeping-type court dates. One by one, the attorneys approach the podium and inform the court about the status of the case. Your case will either get continued to give the parties more time to prepare or it will get set for trial if it does not resolve.

5. File motion hearings

In addition to the dates above, your attorney may file “motions” in your case. These motions are typically designed to either suppress pieces of evidence against you or make the state do something they have not, for instance, produce the training manuals of the officers or the testing data for certifying the breath test machine you were tested on.

Motion: Testing admissibility of evidence

We remember that the state has the burden of proving you guilty with admissible evidence. Therefore, we test the admissibility of every piece of evidence against you from the initial observations of your driving pattern to stopping your car to the officer’s observations of you when they approach.

Motion: Questioning the legality of the officer’s demands

Further, if you perform field sobriety exercises, we test the legality of the officer requiring you to perform them, the manner in which you were instructed to perform the exercises, and the officer’s interpretation of the results.

Finally, if you are required to perform a breath, blood, or urine test or refuse to do so, we test the legality and admissibility of the test.

Frequently, the officers do not perform their investigations as required by law. In many cases, they do not meet the necessary legal standard of reasonable suspicion to perform an investigation, or probable cause to make an arrest.

The way we treat motions is another example of our expertise

If your attorney does not fight and make the state prove each element of the case against and test the evidence, they are giving up an important opportunity to get evidence suppressed and weaken the state’s case before trial.

Frequently, inexperienced state attorneys do not know the correct questions to ask or understand the issue in the case well enough to know the proper arguments to make.

Hiring an experienced DUI Defense attorney like the Board-Certified DUI Defense Experts at Katz & Phillips, P.A. can make a difference to the results in your case. Our experience, knowledge and drive to win make a huge difference in defending against DUI charges.

6. Trial

You must find a lawyer willing to take your case to trial if necessary. Prosecutors learn very quickly which lawyers never go to trial, but plead their clients to DUIs.

All of the attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. love to try cases. Prosecutors know that if we do not get what we want, we will fight them every step of the way and are unlikely to recommend to a client to plea to a DUI (in some rare instances it may be in your best interest to accept a DUI plea and we will advise you if we believe that is the case).

The Expert DUI defense attorneys at Katz & Phillips P.A. have tried cases throughout the state of Florida and never back down from the challenge of taking a case to trial.

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Should I go to trial or enter a plea?

Again, there is no simple answer that fits all cases. In many cases, the state will offer a deal in which the DUI charge is reduced. In those cases, the terms of the deal may make it a deal that makes sense to accept.

However, you should never consider accepting a plea deal without discussing your case with an attorney. At the very least, your attorney should review all the evidence in there with you before you make a decision.

Even if your charges cannot go away completely, there are many different reductions to your DUI charge that we can fight for.

DUI diversion programs

Many counties in Florida have DUI diversion programs. Entry into these programs is within the discretion of the State Attorney and is never guaranteed. Having an experienced DUI defense attorney by your side may make the difference between being accepted into a diversion program or being rejected.

DUI diversion programs will be discussed further below.

It’s your life – You have the final say

When any plea offer is made, even if the only offer is that you must plead guilty as charged and accept the maximum penalties allowed by law, ethically an attorney must let you know about the offer and find out if you want to accept it.  

You’re never alone in your decision

At Katz & Phillips, P.A., we do not leave you alone to make this life-altering decision. We will sit down with you and discuss what evidence the state had against you at the beginning of the case when you first came to see us, and what evidence they have left after the suppression hearings we held for you.

Next, we will discuss the likelihood of success at trial with the evidence the state has left. We will give you our honest opinion about your chances of winning at trial and most importantly, based on our years of experience with the judge on your case, we will let you know what we expect the judge to do if you lose at trial.

We will also discuss with you the benefits of the deal you have been offered and answer any questions you may have. It is then your decision whether or not we go to trial. In some cases, the right answer for you and your family is to accept the deal. In many, it is to go to trial. We do not try to push you one way or the other but will offer our honest opinion.

Benefits of getting DUI charges reduced

The more serious the charge, the harsher the penalties. For every level a DUI is reduced, the penalties and consequences lessen. Further, although DUI carries with it many mandatory penalties and consequences, reduced charges such as reckless driving do not.

Though there is no guarantee, in many cases, felony DUIs can be reduced to misdemeanor charges, allowing the person charged to retain their rights and not be a convicted felon. Enhanced DUI charges may be able to be resolved as simple unenhanced charges.

We can argue any case, in any situation

DUIs of all levels can be negotiated to much less harsh charges if your attorney can put holes in the state’s case. Any DUI charge can result in a lesser offense, or in dismissal, or a not-guilty verdict if the facts of the case are right. Although no lawyer or law firm can guarantee a result, entering a plea as charged is often unnecessary in a DUI case.

Speak with the experienced DUI defense experts at Katz & Phillips, P.A. about the benefits of a reduced charge offer and put our experience to work for you.

Prosecution knows we won’t back down

A fighting reputation

Prosecutors learn very quickly which attorneys fight for their clients and which always plead their clients guilty as charged.

Yes, it is true that on very rare occasions a client of Katz & Phillips, P.A. has entered a plea of guilty as charged to a DUI, but there was always a reason it was in the client’s best interest to do so.

No client of ours has ever entered a guilty plea because it was easier for the lawyer or the law firm. We love to fight, we love to go to trial, and we love to win for you.

Unrivaled motion practice

In almost every DUI case we have ever handled, we have identified multiple issues to help our client by listening to the client regarding the arrest incident, reviewing the police reports, watching the roadside and body-worn camera footage, and investigating the operational procedures and actual operation of the breath test. We typically file between 8 – 23 different Motions in each DUI case, depending on the facts of the case.

Often our clients get offered reduced charges because the prosecutors know we will not settle for DUI minimum mandatory penalties. If they do not offer a better deal, they know they will have to fight through hours of hearings on Motions to Suppress, Motions in Limine, Motions to Produce, and more.

Years of knowledge and experience

All of the Orlando dui defense attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. attend and/or teach at DUI continuing legal education seminars regularly. We work to ensure we are the most knowledgeable person in the courtroom every time we step into one.

We constantly discuss your case among the attorneys in the firm to get varied perspectives and benefit from the experience of all team members and we plan your defense together. We also make sure we are educated on the latest DUI defense trial skills and methods and use them in your best interests.

A team approach

Every DUI case at Katz & Phillips, P.A. has at least two attorneys reviewing it. David Katz or James Phillips, the two founding partners of the firm and 2 of only 4 Board Certified DUI defense experts in the state of Florida are personally involved in every case. They personally review police reports and videos in every single case the firm handles and plan strategy and legal arguments with the other lawyers.

What the State of Florida must prove to charge someone with DUI

There are two methods the state can use to prove a DUI.

Method #1

The first method only applies if you agreed to take the breath test (or blood test) and provided a valid result. If the state can show that your breath or blood alcohol test resulted in a concentration of .08 or greater, then they can achieve a guilty verdict.

Even if you took the breath test and blew over a .08 all hope is not lost. Call today to find out how we can help you.

Method #2

Alternatively, the state can use the testimony of the officer or other witnesses regarding your driving pattern, physical abilities, and overall appearance and actions to attempt to prove to a jury that you were under the influence of alcohol or specific drugs to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.  

Under Florida law, normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to:

  • See
  • Hear
  • Walk
  • Talk
  • Judge distances
  • Drive an automobile
  • Make judgments
  • Act in emergencies
  • In general, perform many mental and physical acts in our daily lives

Certain enhanced DUI charges require proof of additional elements. For instance, if you are charged with driving with a minor child in the car, the state would have to provide the jury with evidence that there was a minor child in the car with you.  

If you were charged with a felony DUI with serious bodily injuries, it would be the state’s burden to prove the person injured had more than minor injuries.

Crime of refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test

If you refuse to take the test requested of you by a law enforcement officer after you have been arrested, that refusal has multiple consequences.

First refusal

The first time you refuse testing, the state can use that refusal against you in court. Typically, in their closing argument, the state will argue to the jury that you refused to take the test because you knew you would blow over the legal limit. This argument is called consciousness of guilt.  

There are many ways that an experienced DUI Defense attorney can counter that argument.  

Second refusal

If you refuse testing and have previously refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test you are committing a separate crime. The crime of refusal is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to a $1000 fine.

Like DUI, an experienced attorney can aid you in fighting a refusal charge.

Charged with DUI? Call the only Board-Certified DUI lawyers in Orlando, FL

If you have been arrested for DUI, whether you took a breath, blood, or urine test or refused, call the Board-Certified DUI Defense Experts at Katz & Phillips, P.A. now and get us fighting on your side. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you fight these DUI charges.

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.