Leslie M. Sammis
Leslie M. Sammis is an attorney at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL. Her practice is focused exclusively on defending clients in criminal, DUI, and civil asset forfeiture cases.
In 2008, she co-founded the firm with her husband, Jason Sammis. Over the past fifteen years, the firm has grown to six attorneys, four paralegals, an intake coordinator, and an office manager.
As a lifetime member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) and the affiliate organization in Hillsborough County, Ms. Sammis enjoys networking with other attorneys fighting similar battles in the courtroom. She was recently selected as Florida’s State Delegate for the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD).
On May 4, 2023, she presented the “Case Law Update: Knowledge is Power” at the “Masters of DUI 2023: Top Gun Teaching for Cutting-Edge Advocacy,” a comprehensive, cutting-edge look at the prosecution and defense of alcohol- and drug-related vehicular offenses sponsored by the Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar.
Leslie Sammis is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida and Georgia, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and various U.S. District Courts throughout Florida and Georgia.
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. Over those three years, her team won first place in the national mock trial competition in Honolulu, Boulder, and Atlanta.
After obtaining her undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1996, she began her first year of law school at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida. That year, she was the only first-year student on Stetson’s Trial Team. She competed in the 1997 National Association of Trial Lawyers (ATLA) Competition in Denver, where her team placed second overall.
After her first 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 UF College of Law, Ms. Sammis competed in several moot court competitions on the UF Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Board and was elected to serve on the Executive Board of the Vice-Chair of Public Relations.
Gaining valuable insight into the criminal justice process, Ms. Sammis completed the following:
- an internship at the State Attorney’s Office prosecuting felony-level offenses under the supervision of prosecutors in circuit court;
- an internship at the United States Attorney’s Office in Tampa; and
- a judicial internship with the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge, for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
Her 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 leaving the public defender’s office, she worked for five years as an associate attorney at Head, Thomas, Webb, and Willis, a criminal and DUI defense law firm in Atlanta, GA. In 2006, she returned to Tampa, FL, where she worked for two years at Escobar, Ramirez & Associates, P.A., focusing exclusively on criminal defense.
In 2008, she and her husband, Jason Sammis, founded the Sammis Law Firm.
On May 4, 2023, Ms. Sammis presented the “Case Law Update: Knowledge is Power” at the “Masters of DUI 2023: Top Gun Teaching for Cutting-Edge Advocacy” sponsored by the Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar.
On November 21, 2019, Ms. Sammis was invited to speak in a panel discussion on Florida’s version of Marsy’s Law at The Bruce R. Jacob-Chris W. Altenbernd Criminal Appellate American Inn of Court meeting. The two other participants on the panel included the Police Legal Counsel for the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clerk of Court for the Second DCA. The discussion was titled “Marsy’s Law: Protecting Victims’ Rights: The Practical Effect of Florida’s Adoption of Amendment 6 on Criminal Practice.”
On May 17, 2019, at the St. Pete Yacht Club, Ms. Sammis presented at a CLE seminar on “Know Your Client’s Rights: Adapting to Legislative Changes in Criminal Defense.” Her presentation focused on representing the respondent facing weapons removal and restriction under Florida’s new Risk Protection Order statute. After her presentation, she was included in a panel discussion on balancing the rights of the individual with the risk of future harm, which included two Circuit Court Judges in Pinellas County, FL, an attorney for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, an attorney for the Tampa Police Department, and another attorney in private practice.
On May 31, 2014, Leslie Sammis was a co-presenter for “Marketing the Certification Credential” at the Annual National Specialization Roundtable, hosted by the American Bar Association in conjunction with the ABA’s National Conference on Professional Responsibility in Long Beach, CA.
The Legalization of Marijuana in Florida, “Law and Order” Society Roundtable at Stetson Law School, 2009
DUI Case Law Update, Defense of Drinking Drivers ICLE, Atlanta, GA, 2003
- 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
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACDL) – Life Member
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) – Life Member
- National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) – State Delegate and Member
- DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) – Member
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) – Member
- NORML’s National Legal Committee (NLC) – Member