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DUI Defense in Manatee County

After your arrest for DUI in Manatee County, FL, you only have 10 calendar days to demand a Formal Review Hearing with the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) Office. For any arrest in Manatee County, the formal review hearings are conducted at the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) office in Clearwater, FL.

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 suspended for the following time period: 

  • at least six (6) months if you blew over the legal limit of .08;
  • twelve (12) months if you allegedly refused to take the breath test; or
  • eighteen (18) months for a second refusal.

That administrative suspension will stay on your driving record for 75 years unless it is invalidated during the formal review hearing. For this reason, it is critical to hire an attorney within 10 days to help you fight the administrative suspension.

Attorney for DUI Defense in Manatee County, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm can help you fight the administrative suspension with the DHSMV and the criminal case at the courthouse in Bradenton. You need an attorney focused on DUI defense who knows the best ways to fight the charges during each stage of the case.

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 Bradenton or Manatee County, FL, contact us to discuss the case. Call 813-250-0500 today.

Call 813-250-0500 today.


Reasons to Demand a Formal Review Hearing

If you win the formal review hearing, then the administrative suspension will be removed from your driving record and your driving privileges will be restored. You will automatically win the hearing if the arresting officer or breath test operator fails to appear at the hearing (although they are permitted to appear telephonically at a duty station) after being properly served with a subpoena.

Although the officers are permitted to report telephonically, the attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm personally appear at the hearing so that they can sit in the same room as the hearing officer. We bring a court reporter to the hearing or makes the official record of the proceeding.

If you lose the hearing, then your DUI attorney will still have the opportunity to question all of the witnesses 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, the breath test operator and the agency inspector that maintains the breath test instruments.

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 motion hearings or trial, that transcript can be used to impeach the witnesses if their testimony is different.

The Administrative Review Hearing is perhaps the most important part of your case. The hearing will be held within just 41 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, 2013, you can waive your right to a formal review hearing for a first DUI. In exchange, you can request immediate reinstatement of hardship privileges with a business purpose only license. However, if you seek hardship privileges, then you are essentially STIPULATING to the DUI suspension remaining on your driving record for the next 75 years. 

The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm are still recommending that their clients demand a formal review hearing, even for a first DUI. We can help you obtain a 42-day permit so that you can keep driving to work while we fight to invalidate the suspension.


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 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 Bradenton Police Department, or the Florida Highway Patrol. Local law enforcement agencies have DUI enforcement units are primarily charged with investigating allegations of drunk and impaired driving.

Officers often have video cameras mounted to the front of their vehicles which can capture the officer's contact with the person stopped, including the driving pattern, field sobriety exercises, arrest and the reading of implied consent

Officers often have video cameras mounted to the front of their vehicles which can capture the officers contact with the person stopped, including the driving pattern, field sobriety exercises, arrest and reading of implied consent.


Judges in Manatee County that Preside Over DUI Cases

Under Administrative Order No. 2017-19.4, the following judicial assignments became effective on January 1, 2018:

  • Criminal/Civil Division 1 - Honorable Renee Inman
  • Criminal/Civil Division 2 -  Honorable Robert A. Farrance
  • Criminal/Civil Division 3 - Honorable K. Douglas Henderson
  • Criminal/Civil Division 4 - Honorable Mark D. Singer 

In many DUI cases, your Manatee County DUI attorney will file and litigate 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 attorney is free.


DUI Arrests by the Bradenton Police Department

From 2014 to 2016, Manatee County experienced an increase of 10.86% in traffic crashes according to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES Portal). The City of Bradenton is Manatee County’s largest incorporated city with 55,000 permanent residence across 16 square miles.

In 2017, the Bradenton Police Department was awarded $35,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement enforcement campaigns targeting DUI Operations, Educational Programs and Outreach.

The funds cover a minimum of 20 high visibility enforcement campaigns designed to reduced impaired-driving crashes, injuries, fatalities and conduct alcohol vendor enforcement within the City of Bradenton. Much of the money will be used for targeted enforcement of DUI laws through high visibility impaired-driving saturation patrols.


Additional Information

Traffic Unit of Manatee County Sheriff’s Office - the Traffic Unit is responsible for enforcing traffic laws on the roadways throughout Manatee County, including the enforcement of DUI statutes as a part of their patrolling function. The Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit in Manatee County monitors a hotline to take complains and respond to them. The number of the 24-hour Traffic Complaint Hotline is 941-723-5197.

Traffic Unit of the Bradenton Police Department - The Bradenton Police Department's Traffic Unit includes two officers and one sergeant who focus on the enforcement of traffic laws, traffic crash investigations and the enforcement of Florida's DUI statutes. The officers receive specialized training in D.U.I. Enforcement, Traffic Crash Reconstruction, and Traffic Homicide Investigation. Bradenton County Traffic Unit members utilize unmarked vehicles and marked motorcycles. These officers engage in enforcement details, which are directed at areas within the City of Bradenton that have been determined to be problematic traffic areas. The Traffic Unit identifies dangerous roads and intersections by citizen complaints, officers’ observations, and statistical data obtained from crash reports. Traffic officers are deployed to these problem areas in an attempt to curb traffic violations and prevent major vehicle crashes from occurring. In 2015, the Traffic Unit issued 931 Uniform Traffic Citations. The Patrol and Patrol Support Division personnel issued an additional 2,967 Uniform Traffic Citations.


Finding a Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer in Bradenton, FL

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.

We represent clients in cases involving a breath test, urine test or blood test. We also represent clients accused of refusing to submit to a chemical test. Each case is different. Call us to learn more about the best ways to fight your charges. Call (813) 250-0500.


This article was last updated on Friday, May 11, 2018.