Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer

Pallegar Law, P.A. is a full-service law firm that specializes in criminal defense and DUI defense in Sarasota, and the surrounding counties, including Pinellas and Manatee. Our criminal defense attorneys represent individuals charged with a misdemeanor, felony, and DUI offenses primarily throughout Hillsborough and Sarasota County.

We have an office located close to the Hillsborough County courthouse in Tampa and an office between the Sarasota and Manatee courthouse in Sarasota. We are available 24/7 to meet with you, a friend or a loved one to discuss representation. To speak directly to an experienced criminal defense or DUI defense lawyer in Sarasota, call us at 813-444-3912. To connect with an experienced criminal defense lawyer throughout Sarasota and Manatee County, call us at 941-893-5816.

Unlike other firms that handle any and all types of legal cases and focus on volume, our firm focuses only on defending those charged with crimes. We also limit the number of cases we handle so we can achieve the best possible result in every case. Our success rate is reflected on our firm reviews page. The individualized attention to each case we provide, combined with our limited case volume, allows us to keep up to date on the passage of new laws and changes to existing laws, as well as access to various criminal law databases.

At Pallegar Law, we represent individuals who have been charged with crimes in state courts throughout Florida. Many of our clients are first-time offenders with no prior criminal record. We represent doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, bankers, politicians, and professional athletes. We have a high success rate at making the problem disappear and expunging the charge. We have experience fighting for our clients and providing them with effective, personal legal representation. We are available 24/7 to meet with you, a friend or a loved one to discuss representation.

Criminal Defense

One of our primary objectives is to make you feel as calm and stress-free as possible, given the serious nature of a criminal charge. We want you to focus on your family, work, and hobbies and forget about the pending criminal case. We have often found that this can be accomplished through successfully communicating with you and explaining the process. We will keep you informed of your case every step of the way. Once Pallegar Law, P.A. is hired to represent you, you will have access to your Sarasota criminal defense attorney at all times via his personal cell phone. Day or night, we pride ourselves on making sure our clients are kept up to date through every stage of their case, and they understand how the criminal justice system works and the steps criminal cases go through from the initial arrest through pre-file investigation and all the way to the conclusion.

After an individual is arrested for committing a crime, the police officer forwards the investigation to the State Attorney's Office for further review to determine whether the case can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and formal charges should be filed. This is known as the pre-file investigation. Just like it sounds, a pre-file investigation is an investigation before the filing of actual criminal charges. After speaking to witnesses and reviewing the police report, if the Assistant State Attorney determines that the case can be proven, he or she will recommend the filing of charges. The charging process in Florida in most criminal cases is usually done by filing information (in most cases) or indictment.

If retained early on, our criminal defense lawyer will do everything within his control to make sure that after the arrest, charges do not get filed. Once we are retained, we conduct our own pre-file investigation. We speak to witnesses, dissect the reports, and then provide the prosecutor with a mitigation memo outlining the weaknesses and legal issues within the case. In many cases, if this is done early on and done right, the case is not filed, charges are dropped, and you will never see the inside of the courtroom.


Some things that may cross your mind during this process are how will this affect my future? My family? My job? Will I be fired from my job? What will your loved ones think when they find out? Who do I have to inform of the DUI or criminal charge? These are all common questions that concern most individuals charged with a crime.

As experienced DUI defense attorneys, we offer free initial consultations to answer these questions and discuss many more. This can occur over the phone or in person. During this first meeting, we will answer all of the questions above and any other questions you may have. We will lay out a strategy to challenge or resolve your case depending on what is in your best interests and discuss all of the options available to obtain the best result possible in your case. As Sarasota DUI defense lawyers, we feel that communication is the key to a successful attorney/client relationship. The biggest complaint we hear from our clients is the failure of other lawyers to explain using a common sense approach to the progress of their case.

As your premier Sarasota DUI Defense Attorney and former prosecutor, Ajay Pallegar focuses on communicating with the client at every stage of the case development and obtaining the best resolution possible in each and every case. In many instances, this means a dismissal of all charges or resolving your case so to avoid a criminal conviction. If this is done, many clients qualify for sealing or expunging their record removing all evidence from public databases. The main objective with any resolution to a criminal case is to remove all evidence of the crime, so it is as if the arrest and charge never happened.

Drug Crimes

Are you faced with drug crime charges in Florida? Drug criminal offenses ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, and the sentence can be far-ranging. For example, a simple possession of marijuana charge under 20 grams is considered a misdemeanor and can often be dismissed through a diversion program. On the contrary, trafficking in a controlled substance is considered a serious felony charge and often carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence. Drug crime arrests range from simple possession of the drug to manufacturing, delivering, trafficking, selling, or even fraudulently prescribing or obtaining the drug.

Theft Crimes

As theft crimes lawyers, we specialize in representing those charged with both misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses. Theft, under Florida law, involves the unauthorized taking of someone else's property with the intent of permanently depriving them of the property. Examples of theft crimes include shoplifting. Shoplifting could be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the goods taken. Additional theft crimes include grand theft of a motor vehicle, burglary, robbery, embezzlement, larceny, money laundering, and various types of fraud.


What is misdemeanor battery in Florida? Misdemeanor battery is when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against his or her will. The battery charge becomes a felony offense if the strike causes bodily harm. Misdemeanor battery carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail. The maximum sentence on a felony battery offense can be anywhere from 5 years to 15 years, depending on the extent of the injury to the victim. In battery cases, restitution for medical expenses due to injuries sustained by the victim is often ordered by the court.

White Collar Crimes

At Pallegar Law, PA, we represent people and corporations nationwide charged in federal white-collar prosecutions. Our white-collar attorneys have experience representing doctors, executives of companies, and business owners and entities.

Video Voyeurism Crimes

Video voyeurism in Florida is defined under Statute 810.145 as when a person views another person with the use of an imaging device like a still camera or video camera without their consent or knowledge for his or her own amusement or sexual gratification. The alleged victim in a video voyeurism case must be entitled to have a reasonable expectation of privacy in either the location or the footage being filmed. Video voyeurism and voyeurism can be considered either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts alleged.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in Florida is defined as any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death committed by a family member or someone that resides in the same household against another family or household member. Domestic violence crimes can range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a more serious felony. For example, battery is considered has several degrees of seriousness. A misdemeanor battery could be the result of push or slap compared with the more serious felony battery resulting from a punch causing a broken nose or busted lip. In battery cases the injury often determines the severity of the charge.

Sealing and Expunging

At Pallegar Law we represent clients to expunge their record. After a criminal case is resolved the removal of the arrest record and public record of the crime is known as sealing or expunging. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement regulates the sealing and expunging process. The result of a successful seal or expunge is the removal of the case information from public records.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

We handle all state and federal criminal cases in the Sarasota region. If you or a loved one needs legal representation for a criminal charge, contact an attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. 813-444-3912 or 941-893-5816 today for your free consultation.

Justia Badge
Thumbtack Top Pro - 2016
Best of 2016 Thumbtack
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 under 40
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Expertise - Best DUI Lawyers in Tampa 2020
Expertise - Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Tampa 2020
Expertise - Best DUI Lawyers in Tampa 2021
Expertise - Best DUI Lawyers in Clearwater 2022
Expertise - Best DUI Lawyers in Clearwater 2023
Meet the Attorney
Attorney Ajay Pallegar photo

Ajay Pallegar is a criminal defense and personal injury attorney who has practiced law in the State of Florida for over ten years. He spent his first few years as a prosecutor in Pinellas County, and now runs his own private practice serving several localities on the Gulf Coast including Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater, Englewood, and Venice. Mr. Pallegar focuses his practice on defending those who have been charged with crimes, recovering damages for those who have been wrongfully injured, and pursuing insurance companies who deny or undervalue claims. He believes that everyone is entitled to a reasonable defense and economic damages if injured due to another persons neglect or wrongdoing. As an attorney he prides himself on providing clients with an open line of communication and personalized attention. His experience paired with his passion for law makes him an ideal choice as your attorney.

Client Reviews
Pallegar Law, always put my family first, their team always explained things in full detail, and got the very best results possible. They genuinely care. Our family will forever be grateful. Thank you. Dennis
He took me on and from the word go communicated everything in a timely and professional fashion about how everything is going to be played it; and then delivered word for word. The best part about them apart from their professionalism and efficiency would have to be their honesty which lets you entrust them, which in today's day and age is a rare virtue. Hemant
Excellent communication skills between the staff and client. I always felt I was in the know as to what to expect next. Ajay was up front on possible outcomes of the case and did not promise unrealistic results. Hope to not need them again, but definitely would recommend them. Steve
Ajay made me feel like I was the only case he had, and that he put all of his time making sure I was properly defended. Thanks to Ajay professionalism and attention to detail all my charges were dropped. I one hundred percent recommend Ajay Pallegar as your next defense lawyer. Eric
Contact Us
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Fill out the contact form or call us at 813-444-3912 or 941-893-5815 to schedule your free consultation.