1005 N. Marion St.
Tampa, FL 33602

DUI Attorney for Clearwater, FL

If you were charged with DUI after an arrest in Clearwater, FL, then contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. Call 813-250-0500 to speak directly with an attorney to find out what you need to do today to protect all of your rights.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Pinellas County, FL, then your criminal case will be prosecuted at one of the following locations:

  1. the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater, FL;
  2. the North Pinellas Traffic Court in Clearwater; or
  3. the South Pinellas County Traffic Court in St. Petersburg.

In addition to the criminal case, you should also fight the DUI administrative suspension of your driver's license initiated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Only 10 Days to Demand a Formal Review Hearing

Remember that you only have 10 days after your arrest to file a request for a formal review hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Demanding a formal review hearing is the only way to contest the administrative suspension. 

When you demand the formal review hearing, your attorney can get you a 42-day permit so that you can continue to drive for hardship purposes. 

After the administrative suspension is triggered, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for a period of at least six (6) months for a breath test reading over the legal limit of 0.08 or for a period of at least one year if you refused to submit to the breath or urine test. If your license has previously been suspended for a refusal and you are accused of a second refusal, your driver's license can be suspended for 18 months.

The formal review hearing is held at the following location:

Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Review
4585 140th Avenue North
Suite 1002
Clearwater, FL 33762
(727) 507-4404

If your driver's license is administratively suspended after a DUI arrest then you can apply for a business purpose only or hardship license after serving out a "hard suspension" period during which you can not drive for any reason.

If you took the breath test and blew over the legal limit, then a 30 day hard suspension will result if you are unsuccessful in contesting the suspension. After the 30 days, you can apply for a hardship license.

If you refused to take the breath test, then your hard suspension will be for 90 days for a first offense. The only way to avoid this suspension is to get the suspension invalidated during a Formal Review Hearing with the DMV.

The Florida legislature also provided for a third option starting on July 1, 2013, which allows a person to waive the right to a formal review hearing within the first 10 days after the arrest. The person must also show proof of completing DUI school. During the waiver review hearing, the person can be granted immediate reinstatement of driving privileges for hardship purposes. This option only applies for a first DUI arrest. Before you decide, call us to discuss your case.

The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney Early in the Process to Fight your DUI Arrest in Clearwater

Hiring an attorney early in the process allows you to fight the administrative suspension of your driver's license. At the formal review hearing, your attorney can subpoena the law enforcement officers that were involved in your arrest.

That testimony from the formal review hearing can later be used during the motion to dismiss or motion to suppress hearing. This formal review hearing is particularly important in misdemeanor DUI cases because your DUI attorney does not normally have the opportunity to take a deposition of the officers involved in your arrest before a motion hearing or trial.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Contact the Sammis Law Firm today to fight out what steps you must take in the 10 days after your arrest to preserve all of your options for the best result in your Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida, driving under the influence or drunk driving (DUI) case. Call 813-250-0500 today to speak directly with an attorney in our office.

Additional Resources

Clearwater Police Department - The stated mission of the Clearwater Police Department Traffic Section is to promote traffic safety through a combination of proactive enforcement and education programs aimed at reducing the number of drunk and impaired drivers.

645 Pierce St.
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 562-4455
Fax: 727-562-4221

Regional Chamber of Commerce for Clearwater - Website for the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.

City Of Clearwater Tourism Website - Find tourism information for the City of Clearwater.

City Of Clearwater - Official website for the City of Clearwater.

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