Tampa Criminal and DUI Defense Attorneys
The criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, Florida, represent individuals charged with felony, misdemeanor and DUI criminal offenses. Our offices are located in downtown Tampa just a few blocks from the courthouse. We provide free and convenient parking for our clients.
The attorneys in our office focus exclusively on criminal defense. We welcome your calls to discuss your case. Contact our office to schedule a free confidential consultation either over the phone or in the office. During the consultation we can talk with you about the attorney fees for your defense and what you might need to do right now to protect yourself after a criminal accusation.
We Focus Exclusively on Criminal Defense
The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm focus exclusively on criminal defense. We do not take personal injury or family law cases. We strive to stay current on recent changes in the law and innovative defenses. We focus on obtaining the best possible results for our clients. When choosing a DUI or criminal defense attorney remember that obtaining the best results often requires focused, aggressive and experienced legal representation.
Protecting Your Future After a Criminal Accusation
Many of our clients have no prior criminal record and never imagined being on the wrong side of the law. The stakes are even higher for certain professionals who are charged with a criminal offense, such as nurses and other health care professionals, CDL drivers, pilots, teachers and certified educators, or members of the military.
Even high school and college students can face immediate collateral consequences after an arrest including a possible disciplinary hearing that could lead to expulsion from high school or college. Individuals with a concealed weapon permit or who require special security clearances for their employment can be disproportionately impacted as well.
We work with our clients to address all aspects of the case including the direct and indirect consequences. We strive to protect our clients during every step of the process. Finding the best criminal defense attorney for your particular case may be the best way to avoid many of these consequences to your educational opportunities, career, and reputation.
Fighting for the Best Possible Result
If you have been wrongly accused of a crime then the best result is getting all charges dropped by the prosecutor or dismissed by the trial court. We work with top private investigators and the most highly qualified expert witnesses while still maintaining reasonable attorney fees with payment plans when needed.
Stages of Representation in a Criminal Case
We fight every stage of the case including:
The Importance of Pre-trial Motions
The law is constantly changing and evolving. We take a scholarly approach to fighting the criminal charges. Often the best way to fight the case includes filing and litigating innovative motions. Pre-trial motions can include the following:
Never Talk to Law Enforcement About a Criminal Investigation
If you have been contacted by a law enforcement officer, then contact us immediately. We advise our clients to invoke their right to remain silent until we can complete our investigation. If you want to invoke your right to remain silent then you simply say "I am invoking my right to remain silent until AFTER I have spoken to an attorney." Then remain silent.
If you decide to speak to law enforcement about the facts of your case then you are waiving your Sixth Amendment right to counsel and your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Your attorney is often in the best position to explain your side of the story to a law enforcement officer. Even individuals who are completely innocent of any criminal wrongdoing should not speak to the police without having an attorney present.
In the event law enforcement does intend to make an arrest, your attorney may be able to negotiate your surrender under terms that may speed up your release, contact the prosecutor to discuss lowering the bond amount and handle other important details that might minimize the embarrassment, stress and expense that normally accompany an arrest in Florida.
Effective Pre-File Negotiations in the Tampa Bay Area
Most of our cases involve an arrest by an officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office or the Tampa Police Department. After a felony arrest, the prosecutor takes less than 21 days to make a filing decision. Ideally, your attorney will be fighting for you during those 21 days. We work quickly to present all mitigating and exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor.
The prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, or the surrounding areas often have the discretion to decline to prosecute certain types of criminal charges. An attorney can present favorable evidence to the prosecutor on your behalf.
During the pre-file stages of the case, your attorney will work to convince the prosecutor not to file any felony charges, or to only file less serious charges. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer quickly after an accusation or arrest remains the on of the most effective way to defend yourself against an unjust prosecution.
DUI and Drunk Driving Defense in Tampa
The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm also focus on DUI defense. We defend clients against drunk driving charges in Tampa and Plant City, FL. Learn more about the innovative ways that we fight these charges including a refusal to submit to chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine.
Because we focus on DUI cases in and around Hillsborough County, we are familiar with many of the tactics used by DUI enforcement officers with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office or the Tampa Police Department.
The good news about a "refusal" case is that the prosecutor does not have the one piece of evidence often consider most important to a successful prosecution - the chemical test result showing your blood or breath alcohol concentration (often called the BAC). Although the prosecutor might argue that the refusal itself is an indication of a "guilty conscience," most people realize that innocent people might decide to refuse the evasive chemical testing.
Find our more about statistics showing that more than 40% of DUI arrests in Florida involve an allegation that the driver refused to take the breath test. Learn more about how we fight DUI cases involving a "refusal" to submit to a chemical test after an arrest.
Fighting to Exclude the Breath Test Reading
The drunk driving defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm have litigated motions to obtain the "source code" of the Intoxilyzer 8000 in order to show serious flaws with the accuracy and reliability of the breath test machines used in Tampa and the surrounding areas.
Did you know that Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) sued the manufacturer of the breath test machine (a company called CMI, Inc., in Owensboro, Kentucky) because FDLE was unsure of their rights to even inspect the "source code?"
Although the State of Florida spent millions of dollars on these machines which are entirely computer driven, it never hired any software engineer to examine the source code to determine if the machines actually work as advertised. CMI, Inc., recently disclosed that it no longer has portions of the source code that are needed to fully evaluate the machines.
Additionally, the head of the FDLE Alcohol Breath Testing Program recently resigned in disgrace after it was alleged that she stole thousand of dollars by making personal charges on her FDLE credit card and submitted false reports about her travel expenses.
Serious problems with the flow sensor or “pressure transducer” have come to light showing that the Intoxilyzer 8000 cannot accurately measure flow or sample duration which makes the "volume" reading completely inaccurate. It is estimated that this serious flaw could impact 40% of the pending breath test results in Florida. We can help you find out more about the breath test instrument that was used in your particular case.
It has also recently come to light that the top officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) covered up any evidence of a hardware modification that involved drilling a hole in the exhaust block check valve of the Intoxilyzer 8000. This hardware modification was in violation of Florida Administrative Code Chapter 11D-8.003(5). This eight year FDLE coverup calls into question whether the Intoxilyzer 8000 now in use is an approved instrument and whether the FDLE acted in substantial compliance with the administrative rules.
Our attorneys look carefully at each DUI breath test result to determine whether any mistake was made with the monthly, yearly, and post-repair agency or departmental inspections on the Intoxilyzer 8000. Any deviation may result in a hearing on a motion to suppress the breath test results for lack of substantial compliance with the administrative rules. If that motion is successful, the trial court can exclude any mention of the breath test at trial.
Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Defense
Many people call us after finding out about a Florida arrest warrant for failure to appear, a direct file, or a criminal investigation. The experienced Tampa criminal lawyer at the Sammis Law Firm can help you understand your rights, protect your freedom, and aggressively defend you against the criminal charge.
We provide assistance to our clients with driver license administrative hearings, asset and vehicle forfeiture issues, injunctions for domestic violence protection and restraining orders, petitions for early termination of probation, false arrest and malicious prosecution claims and clearing a criminal record through the seal and expunge process.
Updated on December 9, 2013, by Jason D. Sammis.
Helping Out of State Clients
If you were arrested for a misdemeanor charge such as DUI, possession of marijuana, domestic battery, petit theft or shoplifting after visiting the Tampa Bay area, then call us to discuss your case. In some cases, your criminal defense attorney can resolve your case without the need for you to return to Florida.
If you are charged with a felony offense, the court may allow you to waive your appearance at many, if not all, of your pre-trial court dates. For many clients who now live out of state, it is important to avoid costly and unnecessary trips to court while still aggressively fighting the charges.
We Can Begin Your Defense Today
We have one goal for resolving your case - helping you obtain the best possible outcome. We understand that your livelihood, liberty, and good name are at stake. Contact the Sammis Law Firm, P.A. for a free immediate consultation over the phone or in the office. Call 813-250-0500 to speak directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, Florida.
Driving Under the Influence Marijuana Offenses Domestic Violence Violation of Probation Drug Related Charges Suspended License Traffic
Offenses Habitual Traffic Offender Gun / Weapons Charges Theft / Property Crimes Emergency Bond Hearings Asset Seizure / Forfeiture Juvenile Offenses Criminal Appeals Post
Conviction Record Seal Expunge White Collar Crime Arrests and Warrants Extradition to Florida