Leslie M. Sammis
Leslie M. Sammis defends good people charged with criminal offenses throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.
With more than 18 years experience as a criminal defense attorney, she is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida, the State of Georgia, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.
As a lifetime member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACDL), Ms. Sammis enjoys networking with other attorneys fighting similar battles.
For more than ten (10) years, Ms. Sammis has been a proud member of the NORML National Legal Committee (NLC) focused on the reform of marijuana laws. During that time, she has attended several of the annual NLC seminars in Aspen and Key West.
Active in the legal community, she currently serves as “Co-Chair of the Public Relations and Website Committee” for the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers (HAWL).
Education and Training in Trial Advocacy
Since high school, Ms. Sammis knew she wanted to be in the courtroom conducting jury trials. From 1989 to 1991, she competed in the National Law Explorer Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the ABA, where her team won first place each year during competitions in Honolulu, Denver, and Atlanta.
After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1996, Leslie Sammis completed her first year of law school at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida. While at Stetson University College of Law, she competed as the only first year student on Stetson’s Trial Team winning second place overall in the 1997 National Association of Trial Lawyers (ATLA) Competition in Denver.
For her second and third year of law school, Ms. Sammis transferred to the University of Florida (UF) College of Law in Gainesville, Florida, where she graduated with Honors in 1999. While at the University of Florida, Ms. Sammis competed in several moot court competitions and served on the Executive Board of the UF Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Board as the Vice Chair of Public Relations.
Experience in Criminal Justice System
Gaining valuable insight into the criminal justice process, Ms. Sammis completed internships with the State Attorney’s Office prosecuting felony offenses, the United States Attorney’s Office in Tampa assisting federal prosecutors, and a federal judicial internship with the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge, for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
Ms. Sammis’ passion for trial advocacy led her to the Public Defender’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida where she gained valuable jury trial experience while representing individuals in misdemeanor, juvenile and felony divisions. After two years as an Assistant Public Defender, Leslie Sammis entered private practice.
After entering private practice, she worked for five years as an associate attorney at Head, Thomas, Webb and Willis, a criminal defense law firm in Atlanta, GA. After returning to Tampa, FL, she worked for two years at Escobar, Ramirez & Associates, P.A., where she focused exclusively on criminal defense.
In 2008, Ms. Sammis founded the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., where she continues to provide aggressive and experienced legal representation to each of her clients charged with a criminal offense. She takes a scholarly approach to legal research using the most cutting edge resources available to stay current on recent changes in the law. That scholarly approach also involves filing and litigating viable motions to dismiss the charges or suppress or exclude evidence at trial.
Her most recent felony jury trial ended with a “not guilty” verdict on December 5, 2018, in a first degree felony offense punishable by life in prison.
- University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, 1999
- Juris Doctorate, with Honors
- University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 1996
- Bachelor of Arts
- State Bar of Florida, 1999
- State Bar of Georgia, 2002
Criminal Trial Experience:
- Former Assistant Public Defender, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida
- Federal Judicial Internship with the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge, for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division
- Internship with the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida prosecuting felony cases and conducting felony jury trials under the supervision of the State Attorney’s Office
- Internship with the United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, assisting federal prosecutors
- UF’s Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Executive Board – Vice Chair of Public Relations
- Second Place National 1997 Trial Team Competition sponsored by the National Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACDL) – Lifetime Member
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) – Lifetime Member
- National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) – Member
- DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) – Member
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) – Member
- NORML’s National Legal Committee (NLC) – Member
- Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers – Co-Chair of the HAWL Public Relations and Website Committee
Other Types of Recognition:
- Leslie Sammis was selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyer Magazine’s Rising Star List in 2012 and 2013 for DUI Defense. In 2019, she was selected to the Florida Super Lawyers list for DUI defense by Thompson Reuters, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. According to Thompson Reuters, only 5% of attorneys in Florida receive this distinction each year.