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DUI Lawyer for Manatee County

Any arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is serious. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol ("DUI") or drunk driving in Manatee County, FL, call us at 813-250-0500 to discus your case.

Act Now! Unless you request a Formal Review Hearing or a Waiver Review Hearing within 10 days of your arrest, your driver's license will be suspended.

After your arrest for DUI in Manatee County, FL, you only have 10 calendar days to demand a Formal Review Hearing with the Administrative Review Hearing Office. If you fail to act within ten (10) days of your drunk driving or DUI arrest in Manatee County, FL, then your driver's license will be revoked for the following time period: 

  • at least six (6) months if you blew over the legal limit, or
  • twelve (12) months if you allegedly refused to take the breath test.

Consequences for a First DUI Arrest

For a first DUI arrest, a thirty (30) day hard suspension follows the six (6) month suspension which means that you can not drive a vehicle in Florida for thirty (30) days for any reason and you are not eligible for a hardship or business purposes only driver's license.

If you allegedly refused to take the breath test a ninety (90) day hard suspension will result, meaning that you may not driver for any reason during the first ninety (90) days and you are not eligible for a business purpose only or hardship license during that period.

By contesting the administrative suspension, your attorney can contest the administrative suspension. Your attorney must file for a formal review hearing within 10 days of your arrest.

Reasons to Demand a Formal Review Hearing

There is no down side to requesting a Formal Review Hearing. If you win the hearing, then your driver's license will be returned to you, and you will not suffer the administrative suspension of your driver's license. If you lose the hearing, then your DUI attorney will still have the opportunity to question all of the state witnesses against you under oath, including the officer that conducted the DUI stop, the officer that made the DUI arrest, any other officers mentioned in the police reports and the intox operator.

If the arresting officer or the breath test operator fails to appear then the hearing officer is REQUIRED to invalidate the suspension.

Even if the witnesses appear, that testimony under oath can later be used in your DUI criminal case to show the prosecutor reasons why the charges should be dropped or reduced. If the case proceeds to trial, that transcript can be used to impeach the witnesses.

The Administrative Review Hearing is perhaps the most important part of your case. The hearing will be held within just 40 days of your arrest. It is important to hire an attorney that will be able to devote the time and attention to your case that is necessary to have the best chance of winning the formal review hearing.

Requesting a Waiver Review Hearing for Immediate Reinstatement of Hardship Privileges

After July 1, 2012, you can waiver your right to a formal review hearing. In exchange, you can request immediate reinstatement of hardship privileges with a business purpose only license. 

Fighting the Felony or Misdemeanor DUI Case in Manatee County, FL

After the battle over the administrative suspension of your driver's license, you must also answer the criminal charges against you in court in Bradenton, Manatee County, FL. The Manatee County DUI Lawyer that you hire will investigate your case and help you find the best way to fight your DUI charge.

The majority of DUI arrests in Manatee County are conducted by the DUI enforcement unit of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. The officers are the DUI enforcement unit are primarily charged with investigating allegations of drunk and impair driving. These officers typically have camera mounted on the front of their vehicles which can capture the officers contact with the person stopped, including the driving pattern and field sobriety exercises.

Determine Which Judge Will Hear Your DUI Case in Bradenton, Florida

The judge that will be assigned to your case can be determined by looking at your last name.

In many DUI cases, your Manatee County DUI attorney will filing and litigating all viable motions, including motions to suppress, motions to exclude, and motions to dismiss the DUI charge. At the Sammis Law Firm, we take a scholarly approach to filing and litigating all viable motions in a DUI case in Bradenton, FL for Manatee County. Call us today to discuss your DUI case at 813-250-0500. The initial consultation with an lawyer is free.

DUI cases are treated differently in Manatee County, FL. At the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., you can set up a phone or office consultation to speak with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Bradenton, FL. Obtaining an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney early in the process is one of the most important decisions you will make in fighting your case to avoid driving under the influence or drunk driving (DUI) conviction.


DUI Information Center

Special Defenses for Women Charged with DUI - For women charged with DUI in Manatee County, Florida, including Bradenton, certain defenses may apply to your case.

The 10 day rule to protect your driver's license - If you were arrested for drunk driving or DUI in Manatee County, Florida, find out what you must do within 10 days of your arrest to fight the administrative suspension of your driver's license, and also preserve important evidence that can be used to fight your DUI charges in court.

DUI Cases for "Refusal" - If you were arrested for DUI in Manatee County after the officer alleged that you refused to submit to a blood, breath or urine test, find out more about this type of Florida DUI charge. After a DUI refusal arrest there is both "good" news and "bad" news.

Felony DUI with Serious Bodily Injury - Felony DUI charges in Manatee County are treated very seriously. If you were arrested for DUI with serious bodily injury, or another felony DUI offense, read more information here about your charge.

FR-44 Insurance - FR44 insurance is now required in Manatee County after a DUI conviction. This special high risk insurance can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. Find out more about what you can expect if you are convicted of DUI before you make any other decisions about your case.

Checkpoint or Roadblock DUI Cases - If you were arrested for a Manatee County DUI case after a checkpoint or roadblock stop, find out how you can fight the legality of the stop under a Fourth Amendment challenge. Call 813-250-0500 to find out more from a criminal defense lawyer for Manatee County, FL.