Experienced DUI Defense Lawyers

Serving: Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Hillsborough, Orange, & Pinellas


Getting charged with a DUI is a very scary thing. The attorneys at The Law Place understand that you have many concerns during this time and are here to help you from beginning to end. With over 25 years of combined experience, we will provide you with a great attorney-client relationship to not only try and help you get the best results possible but also answer all your questions throughout every step of the process. Give us a call today for an obligation-free consultation on your case.

At The Law Place, we understand that being arrested for DUI can be a devastating and confusing ordeal; thus, we are committed to giving individual attention to each and every DUI client. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the DUI arrest and charges. Clients are confidently reassured that we will be committed to their case, defend them diligently throughout the process (in court as well as during their DHSMV hearing), keep them well informed about the status of their case, and ultimately try and reach the best possible outcome.

If you have been arrested for DUI and need the help of an aggressive and experienced Sarasota DUI Lawyer, Tampa DUI Lawyer, or Orlando DUI Lawyer, call The Law Place – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Hablamos español.)

Our DUI defense attorneys will work diligently to build a successful defense to help you possibly avoid jail time or perhaps other penalties. With offices in Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando and Clearwater, we proudly extend our legal expertise and trial skill to people arrested for DUI in Charlotte, Sarasota, Pinellas, Manatee, Polk, Pasco, Hillsborough and Orange counties. We look forward to speaking with you.

Why You Should Choose The Law Place To Help You:

 – Comprehensive Defense Strategy: In order to make sure we are seeing your DUI case from every angle, we take a team work approach to your defense. This comprehensive defense strategy helps ensure you are getting the best defense possible.

– Invaluable DUI Experience:
We handle over 100 DUI cases every year. This experience coupled with our previous work as state prosecutors and public defender means that we know how to best argue any DUI case we take on.

 – Recognition for DUI Defense Work: The Law Place founding partner David Haenel was recognized as the 2004 Florida DUI Prosecutor of the Year. The firm has also won numerous awards and recognitions in addition to holding active membership at the National College of DUI Defense.

 – The Published DUI Authority:  Attorneys at our firm have authored 3 books on DUI’s.

We know that every DUI case is unique and that is what you will get from us—a unique defense that is tailored to your case and criminal history.

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The Law Place Awards & Associations:

– 2012 Clients Choice Award for Criminal Defense and DUI Defense—Avvo
– Attorneys Darren Finebloom & David Haenel both recognized as outstanding attorneys based on their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement on Super Lawyers.
– Received a “Superb” rating and given a 10 out of 10 for ethical standard and legal ability– Avvo
– Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers—Member
– Florida Bar Association—Member
– National College of DUI Defense—Member

At The Law Place, we are passionate about giving our clients the best DUI defense possible. Because we know the urgency clients experience following an arrest or charge, we make ourselves available to you seven days a week. Taking a team approach to DUI defense, we do this to ensure that we have analyzed a case from every angle and to provide you with the most comprehensive defense out there.

Tampa DUI Lawyer

Doesn’t it seem like every corner you turn in Tampa, there is an officer looking to make a stop? Tampa police are notorious for being tough on DUI’s and many people have had to learn this the hard way. Working with an experienced Tampa DUI attorney may help you defeat or lessen the DUI charges against you. Whether you have a squeaky clean criminal record or more than a few run-ins with the law for DUI’s or other criminal activity, let the attorneys at The Law Place. help you.  We live and practice DUI defense in Tampa and know the local courts, judges and prosecutors that will be likely placed on your case. Please do not hesitate to give us a call with any questions you may have.

Sarasota DUI Lawyer

Will I lose my license? This is one of the first questions clients ask us after they are charged with a DUI in Sarasota. We understand how terrified you must be following an arrest and know how important your driver’s license is to your livelihood. Let our team of experienced Sarasota DUI defense attorneys help get you the best result possible. A DUI case is more complicated than meets the eye and we can work to get you a hardship license so that you can continue working or going to school. We understand how frightening and frustrating a Sarasota DUI case can be and would love to speak with you further about your case and the impact it has on your life. Give us a call today for an obligation-free consultation!

Orlando DUI Lawyer

Many people charged with a DUI in Orlando feel like the charge is as good as a conviction. We understand why you may feel this way but that is certainly not the case! The attorneys at The Law Place have developed positive working relationships with the people that matter in your case—the judge and law enforcement officers. We know how intimidating the entire Orlando DUI process can be and we are here to assuage any concerns you may have and get you the best results possible in your case! If you are in need of a DUI lawyer in Orlando then look no further than our law firm. Get in touch with us today to discuss your Orlando DUI.

St. Petersburg DUI Lawyer & Clearwater DUI Attorney

Getting charged with a DUI in St. Petersburg or Clearwater can quickly ruin the charm of these two beautiful cities. Hiring a, experienced St. Petersburg DUI lawyer or a Clearwater DUI lawyer can help you present the best possible defenses in your case. Because a DUI conviction can also affect your housing and employment options down the line, this is a charge we take and defend very seriously. The attorneys at The Law Place know that the criminal justice system can be intimidating. We are here to guide you through every step of your case and always explain what’s happening in plain English. You can feel confident in your choice to hire us as your St. Petersburg or Clearwater DUI attorneys so give us a call today! Your initial consultation is free of charge and during that time we will explain your legal options to you.

10 Day Rule to Challenge License Suspension

Did you know that after being arrested for a DUI, you only have ten days to request an Administrative hearing with the Florida DMV or your license will automatically be suspended? Failure to schedule a date within the ten day period will result in a license suspension for either 6, 12 or 18 months. Don’t worry—hiring Finebloom & Haenel PA does not only mean that you will get experienced DUI defense for your court case but we will also fill out all the necessary paperwork to hopefully get a temporary driving permit.

Florida DUI Laws

Beautiful Florida is a great place to live and visit and a terrible place to get charged with a DUI. One of the strictest states in the nation, if you have recently been charged with a DUI in Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando, Clearwater or  St. Petersburg then you are learning this the hard way. The law varies depending on the nature of your case, your age and the circumstances of your arrest. Contrary to popular belief, a DUI case is actually incredibly complex. At The Law Place, we know all the nuances of the law as they apply to your case and will work hard to get you the best results possible.

Pursuant to Florida law, a person can be convicted of driving under the influence if:

-The state can prove the accused was driving while their normal faculties were impaired OR
-The state can prove that the accused was operating a motor vehicle with a Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

If you have been charged with DUI in Sarasota, Tampa, Bradenton ,Pinellas, Ft. Myers, Lakeland, Bartow, Clearwater, Orlando, or any other area on the West Coast of Florida contact The Law Place. Our skilled attorneys can inform you of your legal options and guide you through the DUI process and this complicated time.

DUI Penalties

Fines, license suspension, driving classes, jail, community service– the state of Florida attaches a whole host of penalties to a DUI conviction. Even for first time DUI offenders with no criminal past, the penalties attached to a DUI conviction can be quite harsh. Of course, the penalties depend on the nature of your case.

The DUI Administrative Hearing

There is much more to a Florida DUI than meets the eye. In addition to a case that will determine whether or not you will be convicted of a DUI, there is also a DUI administrative hearing that looks at whether or not to suspend your driver’s license. Completely independent of your trial, the DUI administrative hearing will only look at the fate of your license. If you refused a chemical or breath test, the license suspension penalties will attach.

Multiple DUI Offenses

Let’s face it—getting a DUI is never a fun thing to deal with it. Getting multiple DUI’s is an even bigger headache. As evidenced by the stiff penalties attached to first-time offenders, the state of Florida takes DUI’s very seriously. When it comes to multiple DUI offenses, there are two mandatory punishments that the court will attach starting with a second DUI: minimum of ten days in jail and a five year mandatory license suspension. If you have just been charged with another DUI, give the attorneys at The Law Place a call today. Even if we were not your attorneys the first time around, we can help now.

DUI Checkpoints & Roadblocks

Popular around big drinking holidays such as New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day, DUI checkpoint and roadblocks literally stop the flow of traffic in hopes of identifying as many drunk drivers as possible. The hitch? The police may be offending your 4th amendment rights. If you were charged with a DUI as the result of a checkpoint or roadblock, give us a call today to discuss your case.

DUI with Property Damage

When a DUI also involves property damage, the state of Florida attaches additional punishments to the case. In addition to having to pay to fix or replace the property damage, the very fact that your DUI involved harming public or personal property usually means that the prosecution in your case will try to enhance your penalties (if convicted). However, in order to do any of this, the prosecution in your case must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually caused the property damage while driving under the influence.

DUI with Serious Bodily Injury

A DUI with serious bodily injury is considered a third degree felony under Florida law. If the prosecution in your case is able to draw the necessary connection between your drunk driving and the injuries sustained by the third party in the case, then there is the possibility of five years in state prison in addition to other enhanced penalties.

DUI Manslaughter

Fines exceeding $10,000 and four years in jail (minimum) are two of the punishments that an individual charged with DUI manslaughter will face. Of course, depending on the facts of your case and criminal past, the prosecution will always try to get a harsher punishment attached.  When such heavy penalties are attached to a crime, the prosecution does bear a heavy standard of proof. If you have recently been charged with DUI manslaughter, give us a call today to discuss your case. A charge is not a conviction and there are viable defenses in your case we can go over with you.

Juvenile DUI

.02 is the number police are looking for when a minor is caught driving under the influence. Unfortunately, the number of juvenile DUI incidents has been on the rise lately and police are ever vigilant, especially late at night, to pull over any minor that he or she may suspect had a cocktail or two at a party. The effect a DUI conviction can have on a young person’s life can be devastating—especially if he or she is applying for college or jobs. If your child has recently been charged with driving under the influence, give us a call today to discuss your case. There are options and we will work hard to get your child the best results possible.

DUI Drugs/Controlled Substances

So maybe you weren’t drinking when you were charged with a DUI. Although commonly associated with alcohol, the reality is that police are looking for drivers that are also under drugs and controlled substances that affect your ability to drive. A DUI with drugs or controlled substances are actually much more difficult cases to prove because they are harder to test for.

Field Sobriety Tests

Your first real contact with the police during a DUI investigation will be the field sobriety tests. Throughout the state of Florida, there are three standardized tests the police will administer to determine whether you are exhibiting typical signs of intoxication. For some, the intimidating roadside environment of the tests is enough to fail and for others, physical limitations that have nothing to do with sobriety make it near impossible to complete some of the tasks. The three field sobriety tests are: the eye test (looking at your ability to follow an object with your eyes), the walk and turn test (looking at your coordination and ability to understand instructions) and the one-leg stand (looking at your coordination).

DUI Chemical Tests

Short of a confession, Florida DUI chemical tests are often the most powerful piece of evidence the prosecution in your case will present to the court. Drawing your blood or taking a sample of your urine, when done correctly, provide the most accurate BAC reading. Of course, there are always opportunities for the machine or the administrator to make errors during this test and we are always quick to investigate and point out the probability of error in any DUI case we handle.

DUI Breath Test

.08 is the legal BAC limit in Florida. A breath test conducted shortly after a DUI arrest helps the police to determine whether an individual is over or under the legal BAC. There are a lot of factors at play that can serve to question the reliability of a DUI breath test reading including: operator error, machine calibration issues and instructions. We know how to spot a bad DUI breath test when we see one and will always argue to have these faulty results thrown out when it applies to your case!

Refusing a Breath Test

Did you know that when you signed for your Florida driver’s license you also consented to DUI testing? Well you did and because of this agreement with the state of Florida, refusal to take a breath DUI test has additional consequences. For instance, a mandatory license suspension is a penalty specifically attached to refusing a breath test. Don’t worry—just because you refused a breath test does not mean that you will automatically be convicted of a DUI.

CDL / Commercial Driver DUI

The state of Florida is already considered one of the strictest in the nation when it comes to regular DUI’s. The state gets even stricter when an individual is charged with driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In addition to much harsher penalties attached to a commercial driver DUI, because of the nature of the incident, individuals also face termination of their employment. Working with a DUI attorney experienced in handling DUI cases involving CDL drivers can greatly increase your chances have having your CDL DUI reduced or dismissed altogether and saving you CDL career.


Not limited to the roads and highways of Florida, police are also always on the lookout for individuals that appear intoxicated while operating a boat. Commonly known as BUI or boating under the influence, the legal BAC levels and laws surrounding a BUI are very similar to DUI’s. With such a popular boating community in the Sarasota, Tampa, and Clearwater areas police commonly issue BUI charges to impaired boaters. This is not something to be taken lightly and can have serious penalties if you are convicted of a BUI. It is important to talk to an BUI lawyer immediately following an arrest to see what your legal options are. Call our office and speak with one of our experienced BUI attorneys for a free case evaluation.

CONTACT US TODAY – Our DUI Lawyers are available 24/7

Our DUI attorneys are respected in the legal community, dedicated to our clients and focused on good results. We have the resources and the knowledge to handle your DUI case. With years of experience, our attorneys can effectivley assist you through the DUI process Our DUI attorneys can advise you after your arrest, defend you in court, and represent you during your DHSMV Hearing. We are available to answer all of your DUI questions and communicate updates related to your case, so that you are always kept well-informed.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, give us a call today. We know how frightening this time can be and we will work hard to get you the best results possible. Hablamos español.

The Law Place
Contact us about your legal matter today!

Main offices located in Sarasota and Tampa. Available by appointment only in Orlando and Clearwater.