Author Archives: lsammis

As a criminal defense attorney in Tampa, FL, I have more than 18 years experience defending people charged with driving under the influence (drunk driving or “DUI’), reckless driving, habitual traffic offender, suspended license, domestic violence, domestic battery, violation of probation, drug charges (from possession of marijuana to drug trafficking), theft, fraud, and shoplifting cases.

If you need an attorney to represent you after an arrest in a criminal case in the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County or Pasco County, call 813-250-0500 to schedule a consultation today.

At the Sammis Law Firm we also help our clients with collateral issues that can result from an arrest in Florida including bond reduction hearings, Nebia or Nebbia hearings, clearing a criminal record through the seal and expunge process, petitioning for early termination of probation, fighting asset and vehicle forfeitures, and protecting a driver license during an administrative hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV or DHSMV).

Visit our website for more information on defenses available under Florida law, including the use of deadly or non-deadly force in self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, entrapment defense, involuntary intoxication, speedy trial, independent act defense, voluntary abandonment, necessity, duress or an alibi defense.

Florida’s DUI Diversion Pilot Program

In 2018, Florida had 43,725 criminal violations for DUI. Although that number has steadily declined over the years, it is still a huge number of cases prosecuted in county court. As a way to discourage recidivism in DUI cases, make the system more fair for those arrested, and to protect the public, the Florida Legislature […]

Should I take the breath test or refuse?

People sometimes ask: “If I get arrested for DUI, should I take the breath test or refuse?” The answer used to be, “It depends.” Recent changes in Florida law now compel many DUI defense attorneys to answer the question this way, “For a first DUI, most people would be better off refusing to take the […]

DHSMV Training 2017

According to the Florida Impaired Driving Coalition (FIDC) Meeting Report from August 24-25, 2017, Kathy Jimenez-Morales indicated that the BAR Class on administrative suspensions was available in an online format that could be provided to officers at the upcoming FDOT Law Enforcement Challenge. Kathy Jimenez-Morales is the Chief Counsel of Driver Licenses with the DHSMV Office […]

14 Ways to Win a Formal Review Hearing

Why have a formal review hearing? For anyone who can afford to hire an attorney to contest the administrative suspension after a DUI arrest, the benefits of having the hearing often outweigh any potential downside. Let’s start with the fact that there are fourteen (14) different ways to win a formal review hearing according to […]

Is the DHSMV Training Officers on How To “Win” the Formal Review Hearing?

Congrats to Lee Lockett, a DUI defense attorney in Jacksonville Beach, FL. I cut and paste below an important ruling he just obtained after filing a petition for a writ of certiorari against the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The ruling is important for two reasons. First, it points out the problem […]

Tampa’s Central Breath Testing (CBT) Unit Compromised

After a DUI arrest in Hillsborough County, FL, you will be taken to a room at the Central Breath Testing (CBT) unit located within the Orient Road Jail in Tampa, FL, and asked to submit to a breath test on an Intoxilyzer 8000. In order for the breath test result to be admissible at trial, […]

RIDR – DUI Diversion in Hillsborough County, FL

Attorney explains the DUI Diversion Program called “Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism” RIDR in Hillsborough County, FL.

DUI Statistics in Tampa, FL

The Tampa Police Department gathers statistics to monitor the activities of the DUI enforcement officers. We have obtained these summaries for 2015, 2016, and 2017. The summary keeps track of the number of people arrested for DUI each year along with the corresponding refusal rate: 1,729 DUI arrests in 2017 with 44.48% refusal rate; 2,087 DUI […]

Do you lose your driver’s license for a DUI?

During the initial consultation, one of the most frequent questions is: “Will I lose my driver’s license because of the DUI?” The short answer is that it depends. After a DUI arrest, your driver’s license is impacted in two ways – the administrative suspension and the court-ordered suspension. The “On-the-Spot” Administrative Suspension First, the officer […]

Suppressing the DUI Intoxilyzer 8000 Results for a Lack of Substantial Compliance

The goal for the attorney in a DUI case involving a breath test reading over .08 is getting the breath test result thrown out of evidence. In order to get the breath test results thrown out of evidence, the DUI defense attorney might file a motion to suppress the breath test reading when the breath […]