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.

DUI Statistics in Tampa, FL

The Tampa Police Department gathers statistics to monitor the activities of the DUI enforcement officers. We recently obtained these summaries for 2015, 2016 and so far in 2017. The summary keeps track of the number of people arrested for DUI each year. The summary distinguishes between self-initiated stops and investigations that involve the DUI enforcement officer […]

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. First, the officer will often trigger an “on-the-stop” suspension when he makes the arrest. This suspension […]

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, the DUI defense attorney can file a motion to suppress the breath test reading when the machine used during […]

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 […]