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Sammis Law Firm

DUI Defense in Manatee County

After your arrest for DUI in Manatee County, FL, you only have ten (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.

Others might tell you to waive all your rights by seeking immediate reinstatement for hardship purposes, but call us to find out the pros and cons of that approach.

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.


Reasons to Demand a Formal Review Hearing

Within ten days of the DUI arrest, you should retain an attorney to help you demand a formal review hearing. The formal review hearing is the only way to contest the administrative suspension so that it can be invalidated.

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.

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 the Waiver Hearing

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.


The DUI Breath in Manatee County, FL

After an arrest for DUI by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Bradenton Police Department, or the Florida Highway Patrol, the arresting officer will often ask you to submit to a breath test.

The only breath test machine used in Florida is the Intoxilyzer 8000 manufactured by CMI, Inc.

The Intoxilyzer 8000 is an evidential breath alcohol instrument using both 3- micron and 9-micron infrared analysis technology to detect the presence of mouth alcohol and/or interfering substances. The instrument uses the 240VAC mains supply or an internal rechargeable battery.

In a DUI breath test case, we can perform an audit to uncover any problems your test, the way it was administered, or the breath test machine which must be properly maintained and inspected on a monthly and annual basis.


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 everything that happened during the traffic stop, 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

After an arrest for DUI, the judge will set a bail at the first appearance hearing if the criminal report affidavit shows that probable cause supports the allegation.

The judge presiding at the first appearance hearing will determine the appropriate amount of bail bond for any DUI Causing Death/Serious Bodily Injury. For a misdemeanor DUI, the bail is usually set in conformity with a schedule.

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 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.

DUI Enforcement Officers in Manatee County, FL

DUI enforcement officers in Bradenton and Manatee County, FL, often receive specialized training in D.U.I. Enforcement, Traffic Crash Reconstruction, and Traffic Homicide Investigation.


Additional Information

DUI School in Manatee County, FL – Visit the website of the Manatee-Sarasota State College of Florida to learn more about the Traffic Safety Institute at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota DUI program. Find out how to make an appointment to register for DUI School in Manatee County, FL, at the office in Bradenton, Sarasota, or Venice. To register for the DUI SCHOOL you must have the following information: a photo ID, proof of residency in Manatee or Sarasota County, the Uniform DUI Citation, Notice off Administrative Suspension, Police Arrest Report, Breath / Blood or Urine Test Results or Refusal, and Final Court Disposition or Order (if available). The registration fee for Level I is $300.00 and for Level II is $445.00.

DUI Intoxiylzer 8000 used in Manatee County – Visit the website of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to find information on the Intoxilyzer 8000, the only breathalyzer used in Florida. A printer provides a report showing the result of each test. The website provides links to the Certificates of Calibration, the agency inspection report, other FDLE records for each serial number used in Manatee County including 80-000907, 80-000912, 80-000913, and 80-001150.

Traffic Unit of Manatee County Sheriff’s Office – The MCSO 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 complaints and respond to them. The number of 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 focuses on the enforcement of traffic laws, traffic crash investigations, and the enforcement of Florida’s DUI statutes. 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. Bradenton County Traffic Unit members utilize unmarked vehicles and marked motorcycles. 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.

Contact us to learn more about the best ways to fight your charges.

Call (813) 250-0500.


This article was last updated on Monday, August 17, 2020.

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