Criminal Law in Sarasota, FL

One of the most important decisions you can make after an arrest is to hire the right lawyer. We at Pallegar Law have over ten years of legal experience and have worked on both sides of the isle as prosecutors for the State of Florida and Sarasota criminal defense lawyers. With this experience we are able to represent individuals from all backgrounds and ages adequately to ensure that you are delivered justice. An arrest is a trying time in your life and we at Pallegar Law understand that. That is why we work around the clock to get you the best results possible. Florida has some of the harshest punishments for crime, making it even more crucial that you have experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney fighting for your rights and defending your case. People are arrested in Sarasota for various crimes every day. Some crimes could qualify for dismissal while others might be more serious. With our experience we will make certain that you receive the best representation possible. We are passionate about our work and we strive to make sure that each of our clients receives the attentiveness they deserve.

Call to speak with Sarasota criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law 941-893-5816 immediately for a free consultation. Our office is located a short 5 minute drive to the courthouse and we are available 24/7 to discuss your case.

What to Do After Arrested on a Criminal Charge

As a criminal defense law firm, we understand that you are faced with complicated decisions after an arrest for a crime. You are probably a nervous wreck. A criminal charge puts your future at stake making it more difficult to obtain a job and may affect future opportunities. There is a stigma behind an arrest that might cause others around you to make unnecessary judgments. Friends and family may question your integrity and your honesty maybe questionable. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were nearly 11,000 arrests in Sarasota just last year. We represent individuals that have been charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes including DUI, theft, traffic, drug, and violent crimes throughout Sarasota. Our job is to streamline the process and make it understandable making you feel at ease and communicating with you in a way so you understand the system and what is required to resolve or fight your case. This will help alleviate any nervous feelings. After an arrest it is important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Criminal cases are time sensitive and require early defense intervention to make sure you get the best results possible. When arrested for a criminal offense, the police will create and file a report with the State Attorney. The report is then investigated by the State Attorney’s Office to decide whether charges should be filed. If you hire a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer early it is possible that we could stop charges from being filed against you. If retained before charges are filed, we would conduct our own investigation and present a mitigation report to the state outlining weaknesses with your case and rationale as to why charges should not be filed. Often if this is done early enough in the case, the charges could be dropped never filed.

Sarasota criminal defense attorney Ajay Pallegar is available 24/7 to speak with you about any questions or concerns you might have regarding your case. At Pallegar Law, we feel that it is important that you are able to contact us at any time because we know that you have concerns and we feel the best way to put your mind at ease is to always have an open line of communication between the attorney and the client. If you are arrested you should choose to remain silent when speaking with law enforcement. In fact, before you discuss your case with anyone you should consult with your attorney. It is important that you avoid discussing your case in jail and over the phone from jail because prosecutors have access to jail phones and often look into calls for more information to help build their case against you. After you choose to hire us, we will provide you with guidance through the entire process.

DUI in Sarasota

Law enforcement can pull over any driver that they suspect is driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance if that driver commits any sort of traffic infraction. A driver is considered to be intoxicated if their breath or blood alcohol content is at or above 0.08%. If you find yourself faced with a DUI charge, it is vital that you contact a Sarasota criminal defense attorney for legal counsel following your release from jail. If you are a first-time offender in Sarasota and you are charged with a DUI, you will be faced with financial obligations such as fines and court costs and possibly jail time. Your license will be suspended if you are convicted of DUI and in most cases community service, and/or probation is a requirement. If you have additional offenses the punishment could be harsher. A Sarasota criminal defense attorney could potentially reduce your charge to reckless driving or you may qualify for a DUI diversion program. If you are a repeat offender, we at Pallegar law will work just as rigorously to build a strong defense for your case and attack the evidence if we cannot reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Contact a criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law 941-893-5816 for representation on your DUI charge.

Theft in Sarasota

If you have been arrested for theft you should contact an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In the State of Florida, it is considered theft when a person takes or uses someone’s property with criminal intent. Theft crimes are taken very seriously in Sarasota. Under Florida law, theft crimes can include fraud, burglary, and grand theft auto along with other theft crimes. You might be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the items reportedly stolen. If a theft charge is filed against you, it could impact your opportunities for employment, housing, and even education. We at Pallegar Law have experience working to stop theft charges from being filed. It is possible to resolve a theft case if a defense attorney is hired early on. We will use our years of legal experience to fight for the best attainable outcome for our clients. Contact a Sarasota criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law 941-893-5816 and we will help you fight your theft crime charge.

Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes in Sarasota

In Florida, criminal charges are classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are considered less serious crimes while many felonies carry mandatory prison time. Misdemeanors have a possibility of incarceration in a county jail, while individuals charged with felonies could face a sentencing to state prison. They also differ on the length of sentence. The State of Florida considers a misdemeanor a criminal charge that has a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Felony sentences are longer. Certain felonies can result in life sentences. An individual charged with a misdemeanor conviction will face less serious consequences than an individual charged with a felony conviction. If charged with a felony, you could face serious ramifications after conviction including access to employment, housing, and education.

Misdemeanor crimes in Florida are classified as either first or second degree misdemeanors. Examples of second degree misdemeanors include simple assault, first offense petit theft under $100.00, simple trespassing, driving on a suspended license with knowledge, and loitering. Second degree charges are punishable by a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. Some examples of first degree misdemeanors include simple battery, domestic battery, boating under the influence, disorderly conduct, domestic violence, marijuana possession (under 20 grams), reckless driving, and driving under the influence. First degree misdemeanors are punishable by a sentence of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Felony charges in Florida have a number of classifications including third degree felony, second degree felony, first degree felony, and capital or life felony. Below is how the penalties for each differ.

Third Degree Felony
Punishable by up to five years in prison, five years probation, and a fine of $5,000.

Second Degree Felony
Punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years probation, and a fine of $10,000.

First Degree Felony
Punishable by up to thirty years in prison, thirty years probation, and a fine of $10,000. Trafficking is also classified as a first degree felony and carries with it minimum mandatory punishments and $500,000.00 fines.

Life Felony
Punishable by life in prison without parole, or probation for life and a $15,000 or more fine.

Capital Felony
Punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole

Traffic Crimes

Violating traffic laws can result in a criminal charge that can inconvenience you in many ways. You should hire legal assistance immediately if you are charged with a traffic crime. Offenses such as DUIs and speeding tickets fall under traffic offenses. If charges are filed against you, you could face fines, jail time, and/or license suspension. Points could be put on your license resulting in higher insurance rates. Defense for your case is crucial in fighting your traffic offense. We at Pallegar Law know how important having reliable transportation is. If your traffic crime includes a license suspension, we might be able to help you keep your license with certain restrictions.

Driving Without a License/Driving While License is suspended

If you are charged with driving without a license or driving while your license is suspended or revoked (with knowledge) in Florida you face a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. If you are arrested for driving with a suspended or revoked license with knowledge in Florida, you face a criminal offense that could go on your criminal record.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving charges can include speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and failure to yield. Under Florida law, reckless driving is defined as any individual who drives with willful disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which would be punishable by six months in jail (hybrid offense), six months probation, and/or a fine of $500. If you are a repeat offender, you could face much harsher punishment if charged. Reckless driving can become a first-degree misdemeanor when there is damage to another individual’s property or an injury. A first-degree misdemeanor charge could permit up to a year in jail, a year of probation, and/or a $1,000 fine. If there was an injury and the individual was injured severely, the offense could be classified as a third degree felony.

Attacking your case early on by an experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney from Pallegar Law could result in traffic charges being reduced or even removed from your record.

Sealing and Expungement in Sarasota

A criminal charge can take a toll on your life impacting your access to opportunities such as employment, loans, and housing. Sealing and expunging both work to remove your criminal charge from public view. Florida allows sealing or expungement depending on the charge and resolution. Criminal charges such as violent crime and sex offenses cannot be sealed or expunged. If your record is sealed or expunged, the general public will not have access to your arrest information. If the court decides that you are guilty of a criminal charge you will not be eligible for sealing or expungement. A prior criminal conviction will also make you ineligible. Florida allows an eligible individual one sealing or expungement in their lifetime. To begin the expungement process, an individual will fill out an application that will be submitted to the State Attorney’s office, for signing. The application will then be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). There, the applicant will be considered and the department will determine whether the individual is qualifies. If they decide that you are eligible, a certificate of eligibility is then issued by the FDLE. The individual will then have a hearing before a Judge who will order the seal or expunge.

The sealing and expungement process can help expand your opportunities after an arrest. It is important that you hire an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to advise you through this important process to ensure your success in sealing or expunging your record. At Pallegar Law, we have experience helping many clients seal or expunge their records. Call us 941-893-5816 to discuss your eligibility for sealing or expungement.

Pretrial Intervention Program in Sarasota

Florida’s pretrial intervention program (PTI) is a diversionary program that provides an alternative to going to trial or appearing before a judge. The program offers short term probation that varies from three months for a misdemeanor to a year for a felony. This program is an opportunity to have charges dismissed against you with no jail time and a guaranteed dismissal if you complete the program successfully. It is a quick and less expensive choice to resolve your case and it avoids the lengthy procedures of a criminal trial and the not guilty verdict. If you complete the pretrial intervention program, you will have no criminal conviction or criminal record.

In Florida, you are eligible to enroll in PTI if you are essentially a first time offender, you have no prior criminal convictions, you are being charged with a third-degree felony or any misdemeanor offense (traffic excluded), and the victims of your crime (if applicable) do not object to your participation in the program. The prosecution will decide along with a program administrator if you are approved to participate in the program.

After you are approved for the program, you will be required to report regularly to a supervising officer, pay enrollment fees, complete community service hours, pay back the victim any restitution, attend counseling, and meet other requirements that have been deemed necessary for your rehabilitation. Once you meet the requirements of the pretrial intervention, the charges that exist against you will be dismissed by the Sarasota State Attorney’s office. The only record of your crime will be your PTI file completion with the clerk and the record of your arrest, which you may be eligible to seal or expunge. If you do not complete the program, the prosecutor will kick you out of the program and pursue the original charges against you. Contact us at Pallegar Law 941-893-5816 to discuss your case’s eligibility for all diversion programs.

Call Us to Schedule a Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation

At Pallegar Law it is our top priority to provide our client with the best representation. We are fully committed to our clients and we care about your case’s outcome. Criminal cases can take months or even years to resolve. Having a criminal record can significantly affect your job, your reputation, and your family. That is why it is so important to hire a criminal defense attorney that can provide you with representation throughout the process.

It is extremely important for us to provide you with the best results and to exceed your expectations. If you or someone you know has been arrested and is in need of a Sarasota criminal defense attorney, please contact us at Pallegar Law 941-893-5861 for a free consultation.

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