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Criminal Defense in Polk County

Our website provides general information on various criminal offenses in Florida, including the special procedures and considerations that may apply to your criminal case in Polk County, FL. If you are facing a criminal investigation or prosecution in Polk County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.

At the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., we represent clients charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes including the following offenses:

  • DUI – including “refusal” to submit to a breath, blood or urine test to determine the alcohol concentration or presence of controlled substances after a DUI arrest or the drunk driving case involving a breathalyzer result over .08 on Florida’s Intoxilyzer 8000;
  • Driving on a Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License – including with or without knowledge and habitual traffic offender cases;
  • Reckless driving – which is a serious criminal traffic charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail for a first offense;
  • Habitual traffic offender (HTO) – including fighting to remove the five-year revocation through a post-conviction motion to undo one of the underlying offenses that caused the HTO revocation;
  • Violation of Probation (VOP) -including motions for early termination of probation;
  • Theft offenses – including shoplifting (petit theft), grand theft, dealing in stolen property, employee theft, fraud, or credit card fraud;
  • Domestic Violence including domestic violence battery – an allegation of a push, shove or other offense touching between a husband and wife, blood relatives, or former intimate partners;
  • Drug crimes from possession of marijuana to drug trafficking;
  • Vehicle forfeiture or asset forfeiture;
  • Juvenile Court criminal cases;
  • Criminal appeals;
  • Extradition to Bartow, Polk County, FL, on a Fugitive Warrant;
  • Resolving an outstanding warrant including a bench warrant, an arrest warrant, or a capias for your arrest after a failure to appear or failure to comply with a court order;
  • Seal or Expunge – erase a criminal record from Bartow, Polk County, FL.

Attorney for Criminal Defense in Polk County, FL

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, DUI, or felony criminal offense in Polk County, FL, contact an experienced attorney at the Sammis Law Firm about the best way to fight the charges against you at the courthouse in Bartow or Winter Haven, FL. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal defense.

Our attorneys represent clients after an arrest in any of the following cities in Polk County, including Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, Lakeland, or Winter Haven, FL.

During the consultation, we can discuss the pending charges with you, as well as the best way to fight the case. Call us today at (813) 250-0500 to speak with an attorney about your criminal case.

Law Enforcement Agencies in Polk County, FL

Members of Polk County Mutual Aid agreement include:

      • Auburndale Police Department;
      • Bartow Police Department;
      • Davenport Police Department;
      • Haines City Police Department;
      • Lake Alfred Police Department;
      • Lake Hamilton Police Department;
      • Lake Wales Police Department;
      • Lakeland Police Department;
      • Polk County Sheriff’s Office;
      • Winter Haven Police Department.

Particular Criminal Justice Programs Unique to Polk County

The prosecutor’s office in Polk County has certain “diversion” programs that may be available to individuals with no prior criminal record. In certain misdemeanor cases, your attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to allow you to participate in a pretrial deferred prosecution “PDPP” program.

Different types of “diversion” programs may be available if you are charged with a third-degree felony or if the prosecutor agrees to reduce the charge to a third-degree felony for purposes of allowing you to enter a diversion program.

If the prosecutor agrees to a misdemeanor diversion program, then you will typically be required to fill out a PDPP recommendation sheet. Within two (2) weeks the director of the program will contact you to schedule an interview. During the interview, certain requirements will be assigned such as:

During the interview, certain requirements will be assigned such as:

      1. Payment for investigative costs to the appropriate law enforcement agency (if any);
      2. Payment of a cost of prosecution to the State Attorney’s Office in Bartow;
      3. Completing community service hours (the number of hours can often be negotiated with the prosecutor prior to being referred to the program);
      4. Payment of restitution to the alleged victim in the case;
      5. Attending a behavior modification or counseling program such as an anger management class called A.I.M., which stands for “Anger is Management”);
      6. Having no contact or at least “no violent” contact with the alleged victim unless approved by the court (this can often be negotiated with the Polk County prosecutor prior to the PDPP referral); and
      7. Agreeing not to use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs.

The Negotiated Plea in Polk County, FL

Not all criminal cases go to trial. In some cases, the person accused might consider entering a plea for a negotiated disposition. In almost every case, whether you ask for one or not, the Assistant State Attorney will fill out a form called “Offer by State for a Negotiated Plea.”

Rarely does our client take the first offer to resolve the case. In many cases, the offer can be negotiated down significantly, particularly if there is a viable motion to suppress in the case or good defenses for trial. The criminal defense attorney can show the prosecutor all of the problems with their case in order to force the prosecutor to make a better offer.

In the event the client does not want to accept the offer, the criminal defense attorney can take the case to trial after fulling litigating all viable motions including a motion to suppress or a motion to dismiss. In most cases, the more the case is prepared for trial, the more motivated the prosecutor becomes to make a better pre-trial offer to resolve the case.

The range of possible sentencing options contained on the State Attorney’s offer form include:

      • A term of days in the county jail to be served as straight time, suspended or WWR;
      • Concurrent or Consecutive to another case;
      • A term of probation;
      • Special conditions of probation including:
        • ADAPT Class
        • AIM Class
        • Domestic ViolenceDVevaluation / treatment emphasis on
          • alcohol
          • drug abuse
          • mental health issues
        • Alcohol Evaluation and recommended follow up treatment
        • 8 week anger management
        • 26 week Batterers Intervantion Program (BIP)
        • No contact with victim
        • Stay away from ________
        • Use best efforts to obtain GED
        • No weapon / firearms
        • No alcohol / bars
        • Random urinalysis
        • Warrantless search / seizure
        • ACS Hours
        • ACF Milepost Live Class Only
        • NCTI School
        • Ignition Interlock
        • DUI counter attack school
        • DUI multiple-offender school
        • Victim Impact Panel
        • Day Vehicle Impound
        • Driver’s License Suspension
        • HIV / STD testing
        • Forfeit Seized property, to wit: _______
        • 4 hour defense driving school
        • 8 hour defense driving school
      • Other Terms
        • $150 misdemeanor / traffic or ____ payable to SAO FS 938.27(8) (SAO Cost)
        • Investigative Costs
        • Fine and court costs
        • Restitution
        • Public Defender Fee
      • Above offer includes all sanctions required by law including mandatory license suspensions
      • DNA must be collected from all persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes in F.S. 784.048, 810.14, 847.011, 847.013, 847.0135, 877.26, and any misdemeanor found pursuant to F.S. 874.04, to have been committed for the purpose of furthering a criminal gang.

By taking an aggressive approach to fighting the charges, your criminal defense attorney can often negotiate a better resolution.

The best resolutions are typically negotiated after your attorney files and litigate a motion to exclude evidence, suppress evidence or dismiss one or more of the charges pending against you for insufficient evidence.

Only after getting the case ready for a jury trial and not guilty verdict does the prosecutor become willing to make the best possible offer to resolve the case short of trial.

Additional Resources

Clerk of Court for Polk County, FL – Includes a criminal search database to track your criminal case prosecuted in Polk County, Florida, by name or case number.

Clerk of the Circuit Court for Polk County
255 N Broadway Ave
Bartow, FL 33830
Phone Number: (863) 534-4540

State Attorney’s Office in Polk County – For the Tenth (10th) Judicial Circuit of Florida.

State Attorney’s Office
255 N. Broadway Ave.
Bartow, FL 33830
Telephone Number: (863) 534-4800

Polk County Sheriff’s Office – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency serving Polk County Florida. Polk County is the fourth largest county in the state by size at over 2,000 total square miles. The Sheriff of Polk County is an independent constitutional officer who is statutorily charged with the responsibility of providing all primary law enforcement services within Polk County.

Sheriff Grady Judd

Polk County Sheriff’s Office
455 North Broadway Avenue
Bartow, FL 33830
Phone Number: 863-533-0344 / 863-534-6200

Bartow Police Department

Bartow Police Department
450 N. Broadway
Bartow, FL 33830
Phone Number for Non Emergencies: (863) 534-5034

Winter Haven Police Department – The Winter Haven Police Department consists of 83 sworn police officers and and 23 civilian employees serving the second largest municipality in Polk County, Florida, with a population of more than 26,000.

Winter Haven Police Department
125 N. Lake Silver Drive NW
Winter Haven FL  33881
(863) 291-5858

Haines City Police Department

Haines City Police Department
35400 Highway 27
Haines City, FL 33844
Phone Number: (863) 421-3636
Fax: (863) 421-3640

DUI School in Polk County, FL

Polk County DUI School
Tri-County Human Services, Inc.
1811 Crystal Lake Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801
Telephone Number: (863) 701-1919
Fax Number: (863) 293-1214

Lakeland Police Department – visit the website to find out more information about DUI arrests in Lakeland, FL.

Lakeland Police Department
219 North Massachusetts Avenue
Lakeland, Florida 33801
Non-emergency Phone Number: (863) 834-6900

Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit – Find out more information about the criminal justice system in for the judicial circuit that comprises the following counties: Polk County, Hardee County, and Highlands County.

Finding an Attorney for Polk County, FL

The criminal defense and DUI Attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent men and women in Polk County, Florida. Contact us after an arrest in Bartow, Frostpoof, Winter Haven, Lakeland, Haines City, Auburndale, Polk City, Davenport, Mulberry, Fedhaven, Lake Hamilton, Dundee, Heights, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Highland Park, Hillcrest, Indian Lake Estates, Lake Alfred, Lake Wales, Nalcrest, and Providence, FL.

Our attorneys are experienced fighting drug crimes in Polk County, FL, at the courthouse in Bartow. From a first time misdemeanor offense to the most serious felony charges, we can help. We can help you decide the best defenses that might be available given the charges pending against you and the particular facts of your case.

Call (813) 250-0500.

This article was last updated on Friday, January 18, 2019.

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