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.

Statistics on Administrative Suspensions in 2015

Recent statistics from the Bureau of Administrative Review Office shows that for all of the administrative suspensions invalidated in 2015, the hearing officers gave the following reasons listed in order by percentage: No .02 Agreement on the Intoxilyzer Breathalyzer Test -.05% No Probable Cause Under 21 – .17% Refusal Affidavit Not Attested To -.98% No […]

Electronic Warrants in Hillsborough County, Florida

Update on E-Warrants on August 19, 2016:  Hillsborough’s New Electronic Warrants Should Speed Up Justice – During the week of August 15, 2016, the Hillsborough Circuit Court launched an e-warrant pilot program. The program allows the on-call judge to log on to a secure site and view a warrant right away – the moment that […]

The Problem with USF DUI Checkpoints

DUI Checkpoints are highly ineffective. On February 27, 2016, the University of South Florida Police Department conducted a DUI checkpoint on 50th Street near the USF Catholic Student Center. According to Cpl. Scott Parker’s after-action report / critique, there were 441 vehicles stopped at the checkpoint. Out of all of those people delayed in the […]

Tampa Police DUI Checkpoints

Summary: This blog article is about major problems with the Tampa Police Department’s recent DUI checkpoint. Although the operational plan clearly required the officers to only stop every 5th car, for some reason not allowed by the plan, the officers on the scene decided to start stopping every 3rd car, then every car, then back […]

Is Florida Statute Section 316.1933 Unconstitutional?

Florida Statute Section 316.1933 is silent as to whether a warrant is required for a forced blood draw. The statute does however, say that the blood test must be “reasonable.” This reasonableness requirement expressed in Florida Statute Section 316.1933 could be read as a recognition that the forced taking of blood on a pre-arrest basis […]

Exigent Circumstances for a Forced Blood Draw in Florida DUI Cases

The ruling in Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), requires that law enforcement officers, without express and voluntary consent, obtain a search warrant prior to taking blood during a DUI-related investigation. In Florida, law enforcement officers are also bound by the 5th D.C.A.’s decision in State v. Geiss, 70 So. 3d 642, 646 […]

Is a Warrant Required for a Forced Blood Test in a DUI Fatality or Serious Bodily Injury Case in Florida?

For DUI cases involving death or serious bodily injury with a forced blood draw, a warrant is required. Without a warrant, the criminal defense attorney can file a motion to suppress the blood and blood test results. The only exception to the warrant requirement that might apply involves a showing of exigent circumstances. For cases […]

Forced Blood Test after Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013) in Florida

Prior to Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), law enforcement officers in Florida would ask for a voluntary blood draw of a driver suspected of DUI if the case involved a crash with serious bodily injury or death.   If the suspect refused, the officers would use Florida Statute 316.1933 as a basis […]

Can an Officer Ask for Breath or Urine Test Prior to the Arrest?

What happens if the officer asks for a breath or urine test prior to the arrest? If the suspect is 21 years of age or older, then requesting a breath or urine test before the arrest is a clear violation of Florida’s implied consent law. The request itself, the refusal to submit, or the test […]

Tampa DUI Checkpoint on Friday the 13th

The Tampa Police Department conducted a DUI checkpoint on Friday, May 13, 2016. The press release, issued by Janelle McGregor, TPD Spokesperson, went out the same day. The press release disclosed that the Tampa Police Department DUI unit would conduct a DUI checkpoint on Friday, May 13 to Saturday, May 14. The officers with TPD […]