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DUI by Direct File Information

In most cases, if you are accused of DUI then the officer will arrest you immediately. But in some cases the prosecution will not begin for several months after the incident. The delay in prosecution occurs in DUI cases filed by Direct Information by the State Attorney's Office in Florida. After the Direct Information is file, the prosecutor will issue a summons requiring the Defendant to appear in court.

If the Defendant does not appear in court then the court will issue an arrest warrant after the failure to appear. Any summons in a direct file information case is serious. The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent individuals charged with DUI filed by direct information in Tampa and Plant City for Hillsborough County, in St. Petersburg and Clearwater for Pinellas County, and for New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, FL.


Types of DUI Filed Directly by the State Attorney's Office

We represent clients charged with different types of misdemeanor DUI crimes involving a direct information including:

  • DUI;
  • DUI with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .15 or over; and
  • DUI with property damage or Non-Serious Personal Injury.

DUI cases can involve accusations of alcohol or drug impairment. In cases involving allegations of drug impairment the most common accusations are for marijuana (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or 11-Nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol measured in ng/mL.

If you received a DUI by Direct File Information summons then contact an experienced attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss the case.


The Most Common Scenario for DUI Filed by Direct Information

The most common question we get about DUI cases filed by direct information involve this type of scenario:

I was involved in a traffic accident. I was injured and taken to the hospital. While I was in the emergency room waiting to see a doctor, a DUI officer came to my hospital room and had the nurse take my blood. Four months later I received a Direct File Summons in the mail from the clerk of the court requiring me to answer charges under Florida Statute 316.193(3) for DUI PROPERTY DAMAGE / PERSONAL INJURY. Can the DUI case be prosecuted after a four month delay?

Although most cases begin with an arrest, the summons in a direct information case (often called the “direct file” case) may come months after the incident. The prosecutors typically avoid issuing a summons to appear in court because doing so starts the clock on the 90 day speedy trial provision under Florida law. A direct file DUI commonly occurs after a crash investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the Tampa Police Department or the Florida Highway Patrol.


The DUI Case Involving a Blood Draw at the Hospital

In certain cases, the investigating officer may not have sufficient evidence to make an arrest on the day of the incident. This is often true in DUI cases involving a crash with either property damage or non-serious personal injury to another. In many of those cases the driver is taken to the hospital.

The DUI officer will then go to the hospital to question the driver and ask for consent to take blood if the officer determines that it is impractical to ask for a breath test. If the driver gives voluntary consent then the nurse will draw the blood using the officer’s test kit.


Certificate of Blood Withdraw

The officer will ask the nurse to sign a Certification of Blood Withdrawal that certifies that the person who took the blood is qualified to do so. Medical professionals who are qualified to take blood for the blood test include a physician, certified paramedic, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or other person authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or as a licensed clinical laboratory directory, supervisor, technologist or technician.

The form says that the person drew blood at the request of a law enforcement officers. The form says that the blood samples were collected and labeled in accordance with the provisions of Rule 11d-8.012, Florida Administrative Code."


Turning the Blood Over to the FDLE Crime Lab

The officer is trained not to make an arrest since the person is in the hospital. Instead, the officer will submit the blood sample to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Regional Crime Lab. The officer will also turn over all of his police reports to the State Attorney’s Office while the blood test results are pending.

If the State Attorney takes no action then the case is eventually closed. On the other hand, if the blood test results come back with either drugs or a blood alcohol reading of over .08 then the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office may decide to prosecute the case by issuing a summons.


Summons when DUI Charges are Filed by Direct Information

The summons might read as follows:


In the County Court in and For Hillsborough County, State of Florida

To all singular the Sheriffs of the State of Florida:

You are to serve this summons on the above named defendant who has been charged with Florida Statute Section 316.193(3) for DUI with Property Damage or Non-serious Bodily Injury (often called non-serious personal injury) by DIRECT INFORMATION filed by the State Attorney in and for Hillsborough County, State of Florida.

The direct file summons will using contain certain instructions to the Defendant such as:

YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED to appear personally before the Honorable [name of judge] of the said court to answer said charge on the [date and time] at North Annex, 401 N. Jefferson St. – Enter through Courthouse on 800 E. Twiggs St., Tampa, FL.

Bring this summons with you to court.

If you fail to appear an Arrest Warrant may by issued by Court order.

The summons is signed by the Clerk’s Office in Hillsborough County, Florida. The bottom of the summons contains a service of summons certificate which reads:

Received the above summons this ____ day of ________ 2013.

SERVED the same on the ___ day of ________ 2013 at __.m. in Hillsborough County, FL


Conclusion

If you were charged with DUI through a "direct file" information then contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Sammis Law Firm. Call us at 813-250-0500 to discuss the particular facts of your case and defenses that might apply.

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