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Sammis Law Firm

DUI Case Results

At Sammis Law Firm, we have spent more than 10 years maintaining this list of case results. Many potential clients find it helpful to see some of the results we have achieved in other cases.

The Florida Bar does not review or approve case results for any lawyer’s websites. If you would like to read more about the results we have obtained in the past and statements regarding the quality of our work, please read this disclaimer:

  • The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the facts and circumstances of the cases we discuss here;
  • The results discussed are not necessarily representative of the results obtained in all cases;
  • Each case is different and must be evaluated and handled on its own merit; and
  • Not all results are provided.

Recent DUI Case Results


Twelve Month Administrative Suspension for Refusal Invalidated

On September 20, 2021, HSMV Field Hearing Officer George L. Winslow, Jr., issued an order invalidating the 12 month administrative suspension. The administrative suspension was triggered by an officer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office after a DUI arrest involving a refusal to submit to a breath test.

At the hearing, we argued that the suspension should be invalidated because the investigatory stop was not based upon a lawful well-founded suspension that our client was or was about to become involved in criminal activity.

In our case, our client was asleep or unconscious, properly parked in a marked paved parking lot, engine off, sitting behind the wheel of the vehicle. Our client awoke on his own as a Deputy stood outside the vehicle. The Deputy’s report states that he observed our client to be disoriented, and his eyes were bloodshot.

The Deputy asked our client to exit the vehicle and our client asked if he had to get out. The Deputy responded that he needed to exit the vehicle so that the Deputy could see if he was alright. After he exited the vehicle the Deputy then reported seeing additional clues of impairment that eventually resulted in the DUI arrest and refusal.


DUBAL Six (6) Month Administrative Suspension Set Aside

On June 18, 2021, a HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the DHSMV’s Bureau of Administrative Reviews office issued a final order that set aside the administrative suspension of our client’s driver license for driving with an unlawful alcohol level (DUBAL). A copy of the order was provided to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The order provided:

“Upon reviewing the facts of the case, the Department Hearing Office has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.”


DUI Manslaughter Charge Dropped When Prosecutor Filed a “Nolle Prosequi”

On May 21, 2021, the Assistant State Attorney in Hernando County, FL, filed a “nolle prosequi” that terminated the prosecution for DUI manslaughter, the only charge pending against our client. The case involved a two-vehicle crash with a fatality that occurred in October of 2018. The charge was dropped the week before we scheduled a motion hearing to suppress the following evidence:

  • our client’s medical records which were improperly obtained and then provided to the State Attorney’s Office; 
  • vials of medical blood seized from the hospital after the execution of a search warrant; and
  • the FDLE blood test results showing a BAC over the legal limit.

The State Attorney’s Office did provide notice of intent to subpoena the medical records. We entered a timely objection that triggered a Hunter hearing. On November 14, 2018, a hearing was held pursuant to Hunter v. State, 639 So.2d 74 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994) on the State’s Motion for Authorization to Execute the subpoena for the medical records. After hearing arguments from the Assistant State Attorney and the defense, the State’s motion was denied. Despite losing the Hunter hearing, the State Attorney’s Office later provided us with a copy of our client’s medical records in discovery.

Our motion alleged that our client’s medical records were improperly obtained and then provided to the State Attorney’s Office without any legal authority.

Our motion also moved to suppress vials of medical blood seized with a search warrant that contained material misrepresentations and intentionally left out material facts. Our motion for a Franks hearing also alleged a failure to follow proper procedures for the chain of custody and storage of the blood.

Instead of going forward with the motion hearing, the Assistant State Attorney entered a “nolle prosequi” right before the motion hearing was scheduled to begin.


Six Month DUBAL Administrative Suspension Set Aside

On April 27, 2021, a HSMV Field Hearing Officer with the Tampa Bureau of Administrative Reviews sets aside the suspension of the driving privileges for driving with an unlawful alcohol level. The hearing officer found insufficient evidence supported the suspension because the DUI evidentiary packet was never received after the arrest by an officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.


BUI in Pasco Reduced to Civil Careless Boating with a Withhold of Adjudication

On April 19, 2021, the day the BUI case was scheduled for jury selection, the court accepted the plea to an amended charge of civil “careless boating” and withheld adjudication. Instead of facing any criminal penalty, the client agreed to pay court costs. The client was then eligible to expunge any criminal record.

The client was originally charged with Boating under the Influence (BUI) after being detained near the Anclote River Park boat ramp in Pasco County by Officer Miros Petru of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). After a Boating Safety Inspection, the client agreed to participate in the seated battery of sobriety exercises including the palm pat task. FWC Officer Damon Pulaski arrived at the scene with a mobile Intoxilyzer 8000 (breathalyzer) in this marked patrol vehicle immediately after the arrest.

We filed and litigated a motion to suppress evidence, in part, because of an illegal detention, failure to properly administer the field tests, and a lack of probable cause for the arrest. Although that motion was denied, the prosecutor ultimately agreed to reduce the case from the criminal offense to a civil violation of “careless boating” under Section 327.33(2) a few days before the jury selection was scheduled to begin.


6 Month Suspension Invalidated When One BAC Reading was Below .08 

On March 3, 2021, a hearing officer with the Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Reviews entered a final order setting aside a 6-month driver’s license suspension triggered after a DUI arrest by an officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department. The order provided:

“[u]pon a review of the case, there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the breath test result did not comply with Section 316.193(1)(b) F.S. and Rule 11D-8.002(12) in that the petitioner provided two breath samples, one of which the result was under .08g/210L.”

Although officers might trigger an administrative suspension when one BAC reading is above the legal limit and one BAC reading is below the legal limit, the hearing officer will invalidate the suspension if you request a formal review hearing and make a motion to invalidate the suspension based on a lack of evidence.


12 Month Refusal Suspension Set Aside

On March 2, 2021, a HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the Tampa Bureau of Administrative Reviews issued a final order setting aside a 12 month suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test. The order provides: “the Department Hearing Officer has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.”


18 Month DUBAL Suspension Set Aside

On January 14, 2021, the HSMV Field Hearing Officer Samantha Simpkins invalidated an administrative suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test after a DUI arrest in Hillsborough County. The order provided that upon review of the facts of the case, the Hearing Officer found insufficient evidence to support the suspension of the petitioner’s driver license “because the DUI evidence packet was not received.”


6 Month DUBAL Suspension Set Aside at Clearwater BAR

On December 4, 2020, the HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the Clearwater BAR invalidated an administrative suspension for driving with an unlawful breath alcohol level. The order provided: “[u]pon review of the facts of the case, the Department Hearing officer has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension of the petitioner’s driver license due to insufficient documentation submitted to the administrative hearing to establish probable cause of the arrest. (No arresting agency evidence packet).”


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Petition for Writ of Certiorari Granted and Suspension Quashed

On October 27, 2020, the Chief Judge in Polk County, FL, The Honorable Ellen S. Masters, issued an order granting our petition for writ of certiorari that quashed the administrative suspension. We filed the petition after the hearing officer in Tampa, FL, improperly denied our request to invalidate an administrative suspension.

In this case, the hearing officer inadvertently set the hearing for October 20th instead of November 20th. After realizing the mistake, the hearing officer failed to correct the mistake within the 30 day deadline. After 30 days passed with no hearing being scheduled, we filed a motion to invalidate. Instead of just invalidating the suspension as required by statute, the hearing officer continued the hearing several times until all of the witnesses testified and then ruled on the merits of the case.

After the hearing officer upheld the suspension, we filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Demand for Attorney Fees and Costs on February 14, 2020, pursuant to Section 57.105, Florida Statutes. When the DHSMV refused to correct the error, we filed “petition for writ of certiorari” in Polk County, FL. After considering the petition, the Court agreed that the hearing officer should have granted our motion to invalidate the suspension.

On appeal, the Court denied the DHSMV’s motion to dismissed the action as moot. Then the Court enter an order finding that the DHSMV was wrong when it alleged the issue was not preserved for review. The Court even concluded that the DHSMV’s argument was “insincere.” The Court also admonished the DHSMV when it wrote:

“…the Hearing Officer determined that Petitioner’s attorney should not raise an objection to the scheduling error when the Department has previously afforded the benefit of a continuance or temporary driving permit to the attorney’s other clients. That is not the standard outlined by Florida Statutes. Similarly, the Court is not persuaded by the Department’s suggestion that professional civility required the Petitioner’s attorney to “pick up the phone” or otherwise alert the Department to correct the error even if such action is contrary to the best interest of the attorney’s client.”


State Abandons Efforts to Obtain Our Client’s Hospital Records in a DUI Crash Investigation

On October 6, 2020, the prosecutor filed a “Notice of Withdrawl of Motion to Compel Medical Records” just two days before the scheduled Hunter Hearing before Judge Catherine M. Catlin in Division O in Hillsborough County, FL. By withdrawing the motion, the state gave up on their 18 months quest to obtain our client’s medical records for their DUI crash investigation.

On February 21, 2019, the state attorney’s office sent our client a notice that they wanted to subpoena her medical records as part of their DUI investigation. Shortly thereafter, we filed an objection. The state wanted our client’s medical records because they thought she had been involved in a crash and was taken to the hospital for treatment during a DUI investigation.

In our motion, we listed all of the reasons that the notice was legally insufficient and explained why the state had no compelling governmental interest in the medical records and the proposed subpoena was overly broad. We also objected to the fact that any statement made to law enforcement about our client’s blood alcohol concentration by a hospital employee, if any, would be inadmissible at the Hunter Hearing because it was being used outside the scope of Section 316.1933(2)(a)(1).

The state then waited 18 months to file a “Motion to Compel.” In response, we filed an objection to the state’s motion to compel. We also filed our own motion to compel the state’s records which they refused to provide because their investigation was “ongoing.”

We argued that the state should not be allowed to speculate about having a basis for obtaining a patient’s private medical records without providing any documents that would support their suspicion that a crime occurred and that the hospital took blood and tested it to determine its blood alcohol concentration. Shortly thereafter the prosecutor gave up and filed a “Notice of Withdrawl of Motion to Compel Medical Records.”


6 Month DUBAL Suspension Set Aside at Tampa Bar

On October 6, 2020, a hearing officer with the Tampa Bureau of Administrative Reviews issued a final order setting aside a 6 month driver’s license suspension for having an unlawful alcohol level because of “insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.” The arresting officer was a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol.


12 Month Refusal Suspension Set Aside at Tampa BAR

On September 25, 2020, the hearing officer set aside a 12 month suspension for a second refusal after a DUI arrest by an officer with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. In this case, we did not subpoena any witnesses because the information in the packet was insufficient, on its face, to support the suspension. At the hearing, we made several objections to show all the problems. The hearing officer issued an order that invalidated the suspension after determining that “there is insufficient evidence to suppose the suspension because of conflicting evidence or discrepancies.”


12 Month Refusal Suspension Set Aside at Tampa BAR

On September 21, 2020, a field hearing officer at the DHSMV’s Bureau of Administrative Reviews in Tampa, FL, issue a final order on the results of the formal review hearing which invalidated the 12 month administrative suspension for refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. At the hearing, several troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol testified. After reviewing the packet of information submitted by the trooper and listening to the testimony and arguments, the hearing officer determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension “because the arrest was not lawful.”


18 Month Hard Suspension for Second Refusal Set Aside 

On August 4, 2020, the HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) in Clearwater, FL, entered a Final Order on Results of Review Hearing.  The order set aside the eighteen (18) month administrative suspension for the second refusal. At the hearing, the breath test operator appeared but the arresting officer did not. As a result, the hearing officer had insufficient evidence to support the conviction.


Six Month Administrative Suspension Set Aside

On July 28th, 2020, the HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) in Tampa, entered a final order setting aside the suspension for having an unlawful alcohol level. The hearing officer determined that there was insufficient evidence to suppose the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear. A copy of the order was furnished to the Florida Highway Patrol.



Six (6) Month Suspension and CDL DISQUALIFICATION Set Aside

On May 14th, 2020, a HSMV Hearing Officer at the Tampa Bureau of Administrative Review issued an order setting aside a suspension dated April 4, 2020, and CDL disqualification dated April 4, 2020, for driving with an unlawful alcohol level because “there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension and disqualification…”


Six (6) Month Suspension Set Aside Because the Arresting Officer Fails to Appear

On April 28, 2020, the HSMV Field Hearing Officers at the Bureau of Administrative Review in Clearwater set aside the six month suspension of driving privileges for driving with an unlawful alcohol level. The order found that after reviewing the facts of the case, the Hearing Officer determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.


Arresting Officers Fails to Appear at DUI License Suspension Hearing

On April 20, 2020, the HSMV Field Hearing Officer with the Tampa Bureau of Administrative Reviews entered an order setting aside the administrative suspension of the driver’s license triggered by an unlawful breath or blood alcohol level. The hearing officer found insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear after being properly served with a subpoena.



Won Formal Review Hearing – No Evidence to Place Driver in Physical Control

On February 18, 2020, a HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the Bureau of Administrative Review office in Clearwater, FL, invalidated a six month administrate suspension because the hearing officer determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because of no evidence to place the driver in physical control.


DUI Dropped When Prosecutor Files a “Nolle Prosequi”

On February 18, 2020, the prosecutor filed a notice of nolle prosequi for a DUI case involving a DUI enforcement officer with the Tampa Police Department. By filing the nolle prosequi the prosecutor dropped the charge. The DUI case involved a BAC level below the legal limit. The client also submitted to a urine test which came back clean. Although the client was offered RIDR with a withhold of adjudication on a reckless driving, we requested all of the information and demand that all charges were dropped completely.


Administrative Suspension for Refusal Invalidated Because “No Actual Refusal”

On February 12, 2020, a HSMV Hearing Officer invalidated a 12-month administrative suspension for refusing a breath test after the DUI arrest. The arresting officer worked at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. At the hearing, the attorney was able to show that the packet contained insufficient evidence that any refusal was willful or happened after the reading of implied consent. The hearing officer agreed by determining “that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because there was no actual refusal.”


12 Month Administrative Suspension for Refusal Invalidated

In another case decided on January 13, 2019, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in Tampa, FL, invalidated our client’s 12-month administrative suspension for refusing a breath test after the DUI arrest. The reason for invalidating the suspension was because there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the “arresting officer failed to appear.” The arresting officer was a Trooper at Florida Highway Patrol.


6 Month Administrative Suspension Invalidated

On January 13, 2019, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in Tampa, FL, invalidated our client’s 6-month administrative suspension for having a breath test reading over .08. The reason for invalidating the suspension was because there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the “arrest was unlawful.” The decision was made after four witnesses testified at the hearing.


6 Month Administrative Suspension Invalidated

On December 30, 2019, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in Tampa, FL, invalidated our client’s 6-month administrative suspension for having a breath test reading over .08. The suspension was invalidated because the hearing officer “determined that this is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.”


DUI Dismissed after the Court Grants a Motion to Suppress

On December 6, 2019, a County Court Judge in Hillsborough County, FL, granted our motion to suppress all evidence gathered as the result of an unlawful arrest. The court then granted our motion to dismiss the DUI charge completely. The civil citation for open container was sent to traffic court, but the criminal charge for DUI was dismissed. Our client was stopped for driving without headlights after dark and weaving within the lane. According to the police report, the officer smelled the distinct odor of alcohol and observed droopy eyes that were bloodshot, watery, and glassy. The officer said the client refused to submit to field sobriety exercises. After the DUI arrest, the officer read implied consent and requested both a breath and urine test. The client blew below the legal limit on the breath test. The urine test was positive for 11-Nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Alprazolam, and Alpha-hydroxyalprazolam. Our motion moved to suppress the urine test based on the fact that the arresting officer didn’t obtain a warrant, but the case was dismissed on other grounds which rendered that issue to be moot.


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12 Month Administrative Suspension for Refusal Invalidated

On October 24, 2019, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Tampa Office of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews invalided a 12-month administrative suspension after an alleged refusal to submit to a urine test. Prior to being asked to take the urine test, the client blew 0.00 on the breath test. After the arresting officer testified, we argued that the suspension should be invalidated because of conflicting evidence and discrepancies regarding when and if the refusal to submit to the urine test actually occurred. The hearing officer agreed and invalidated the administrative suspension.


12 Month Administrative Suspension for Refusal Invalidated

On October 17, 2019, Troy Lovell, Esq., HSMV Field Hearing Officer, invalidated a 12-month hard suspension for a refusal submit to a breath test. The suspension was triggered by a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. At the formal review hearing, the hearing officer determined there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension.


Suspension Invalidated for Driver Under 21 with BAC of .02 or Above

On August 22, 2019, the hearing officer at the Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) office invalidated a 6-month notice of suspension issued to a person under 21 years of age for driving while having a breath alcohol level of .02 or higher. Within 10 days of the incident, the young person hired us to challenge the suspension at the Clearwater DHSMV hearing office.

We immediately demanding a formal review hearing. At the hearing, W. Michael Thurmond, HSMV Field Hearing Officer had the task of deciding, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate the suspension. We served a subpoena on the officer who administered the mobile breath test and a backup officer. That officer who triggered the suspension failed to appear at the hearing or bring the items required by the subpoena. Pursuant to 322.2616, since the officer “failed to appear,” the statute required that hearing officer to invalidate the suspension. We made other objections, but those issues became moot once the suspension was invalidated.


BAC Over .15 Resolved with a Withhold on Reckless and RIDR Level II Sanctions

On August 1, 2019, in Division B of the county court for Hillsborough County, FL, the court accepted a plea of nolo contendere to the reduced charge of reckless driving. The court agreed to withhold adjudication so that no conviction occurred and no points were accessed on the driving record. In exchange, the client agreed to Level II RIDR sanctions. The client’s case involved an accusation of DUI with a breath test reading over .15 but just below .20.


DUI Charge Completely Dropped

On June 27, 2019, a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in Sarasota County filed a nolle prosequi for the client’s only charge of DUI which dropped the charge completely. The “nolle prosequi” was filed on the same day we scheduled a motion hearing to suppress evidence based on a lack of probable cause for the DUI arrest.

The case involved a deputy with the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office who never saw our client driving but reported that his vehicle was parked at a gas station. The deputy reported that the defendant was “in actual physical control” of the vehicle because he was sitting in the driver’s seat and “slumped over at the wheel” while the keys were in the ignition and the engine was off.

The officer observed an open beer can in the front seat of the vehicle and another half-empty beer can was discovered in between the defendant’s legs. The deputy reported the defendant’s speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy, bloodshot, watery, and he had an odor of alcoholic beverages on his breath.


The Hearing Officer Invalidates a DL Administrative Suspension in a DUBAL Case

On June 3, 2019, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer with the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) issued an order setting aside the suspension of driving privileges for driving with an unlawful breath-alcohol level (DUBAL).

The suspension was triggered after an arrest by a DUI Enforcement Officer with the Tampa Police Department. The hearing officer determined there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the “arresting officer failed to appear.”

The other witnesses in the case did appear, including the officer that conducted the stop, the breath test operator and the HCSO agency inspector who maintains the Intoxilyzer 8000 breath test machine.


DUI Reduced to a Withhold on Reckless Driving and a Drug Charge was Dropped

On May 3, 2019, our client entered a negotiated plea for RIDR sanctions after the prosecutor agreed to reduce the DUI to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication.

Another second-degree misdemeanor charge of possession of a drug without prescription was dropped as part of the plea deal along with two civil infractions for possession of an open container and leaving a vehicle unattended with keys in the ignition.


Hearing Officer Set Aside DUI Refusal Suspension

On April 29th, 2019, D. Plato, HSMV Field Hearing Officer at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews entered a “Final Order on Results of Review Hearing”. After conducting a hearing as required by Chapter 15A-6, F.A.C., and section 322.2615, F.S., the hearing officer set aside the suspension of the driving privileges for refusing to submit to a breath test because insufficient evidence supported the suspension.

In that case, the officer with the Zephyrhills Police Department in Pasco County, FL, did not submit the DUI evidentiary packet in time.


Court Denied the State’s Request for a Subpoena to Obtain Medical Records for a DUI investigation

On March 22, 2019, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Tampa BAR Office set aside the suspension of driving privileges dated 2/26/2019 for driving with an unlawful alcohol level pursuant to section 322.2615. We attended the hearing to argue all of the reasons why the record contained insufficient evidence to support the suspension.

The hearing officer ultimately invalidated the suspension because “of no valid blood test or improper procedures.” The six-month suspension was triggered by an “order of license suspension” sent by David Laliberte, Supervisor, Hearing Officer, Bureau of Administrative Reviews based on records sent to the DHSMV by a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol.


Hearing Officer Invalidated a 6 Month Suspension Because the Stop was Invalid or Lacked Evidence

On March 12, 2019, a hearing officer in Clearwater, FL, issued a final order on the results of the review hearing. The administrative suspension was triggered when our client was arrested for DUI by an officer with the Clearwater Police Department and allegedly blew over .08 with a reading of .137 and .133.

In that case, we served a subpoena on several witnesses including the officer that conducted the stop, the arresting officer, and the breath test operator and the agency inspector. All of the officers appeared for the hearing except the officer that conducted the stop. The arresting officer testified that he had no recollection of the basis for the stop, but he would have known it at the time of the arrest and he would have included that information in his report.

The arresting officer’s packet referenced a supplemental report filed by the officer that conducted the stop, but that supplemental report never actually made it to the DHSMV office. We argued that insufficient evidence existed to show a lawful basis for the stop since the arresting officer couldn’t recall the reason, the stop officer’s report was missing, and the stop officer failed to appear at the hearing.

On March 12, 2019, the hearing officer invalidated the suspension because “there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the stop was invalid or lacked evidence.”


Court Denied State’s Request for a Subpoena to Obtain Medical Records for a DUI investigation

On February 21, 2019, the Court denied the State’s Motion to Compel Disclosure of Medical Records. The motion argued that our client was under investigation for DUI after a crash resulting in our client being taken to Tampa General Hospital.

On January 3, 2019, the State Attorney’s Office sent our client a certified letter notifying him of its intent to subpoena his medical records. We objected within the 15 day time period to any such subpoena or production of the medical records.

The state then filed a motion to compel disclosure of medical records and a Hunter Hearing was scheduled for February 21, 2019. At the hearing, the Court found that the state’s evidence was insufficient to show a compelling state interest or the relevancy of the records to any investigation.

Hearing Officer Found “No Actual Refusal” and Invalidated 90 Day Administrative Suspension

On February 7, 2019, a hearing officer in Tampa, FL, issued a final order on the results of the review hearing. The hearing officer set aside the suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test because of “insufficient evidence to support the suspension because there was no actual refusal.”

In this case, the client did submit a breath test sample twice, but both samples showed volume not met or “VNM”. In some cases, the VNM reading might constitute a refusal if the subject’s failure to provide enough breath is willful. But in this case, we moved to invalidated because the arresting officer provided insufficient evidence to support that allegation.

A second issue arose because we served a subpoena on the breath test operator, but the breath test operator failed to appear at the formal review hearing. We argued that since the BTO failed to appear (even in an alleged refusal case), that the suspension must be invalidated under Section 322.2615(11). That second issue became moot when the hearing officer invalided the suspension for “no actual refusal.”


Dry Reckless with Withhold Achieved in Tampa without Submitting to RIDR Program

For a case resolved on December 12, 2018, our client was originally arrested for DUI in 18-CT-012XXX in Hillsborough County. The DUI RIDR diversion program was offered as our client was eligible. However, the client wanted to avoid probation and an interlock device.

Instead of entering RIDR, we filed motions asserting that the officer did not have the requisite probable cause for his arrest based on our client’s performance on field sobriety exercises. Our client performed well on the video, and the officer’s report showed that he only exhibited 2 of 8 clues on the walk and turn and 0 out of 4 clues on the one-legged stand.

The evening before the motion hearing, the State offered a Reckless Driving with an adjudication, but no probation or additional sanctions other than court costs. On December 12, 2018, we convinced the court that our client was deserving of a withhold of adjudication in this case based on his lack of history and his performance on video. The court ultimately agreed to give our client a withhold on a Reckless Driving without imposing probation or additional sanctions other than court costs.


DUI Reduced to Careless Driving with a Withhold of Adjudication in Pasco County

On December 3, 2018, the State Attorney’s Office in Pinellas County offered to amend DUI to a civil citation for Careless Driving with a withhold of adjudication (so no points were added to the driving record) with a fine of $166 that was paid the same day. The negotiated plea occurred after we filed several motions. Those motions including a motion to suppress evidence based on an illegal stop, detention, and arrest.

We also filed a motion to suppress the urine test showing the presence of an inactive metabolite, 11-Nor-delta-9-carboxy-THC, but not any active metabolite of THC in the urine. The request for urine was made by the arresting officer, Deputy Christopher Amatruda (59301) with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Although the blood test was 0.00 and the urine test showed the client was not impaired by any controlled substance, including marijuana, the officer reported all of the classic clues of marijuana impairment including: dry mouth, raised taste buds, leg tremors, eyelid tremor, bloodshot / glassy eyes, confused look, lack of concentration, odor of marijuana, and lack of convergence. Almost none of those observations were seen on the video.


DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving in Pasco County

On November 30, 2018, the Honorable Debra Roberts, County Court Judge in New Port Richey, accepted a negotiated plea that reduced the DUI to reckless driving with an adjudication of guilt and six months of probation to complete the standard sanctions. In that case, our client was stopped by officers with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for erratic driving after “almost crashing into a ditch.”

The officer conducting the traffic stopped reported a “very strong odor of alcoholic beverages” coming from the driver and slurred speech that was “almost incoherent at points.” The officer reported that the driver had a very noticeable sway and “stumbled.” After reported performing poorly on field sobriety exercises, the driver was arrested for DUI and reportedly refused to submit to a breath test after the reading of implied consent. We filed several motions to exclude evidence. Just prior to the motion hearing, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the DUI.


We Won the Formal Review Hearing after a Refusal to Submit to Breath Test

On October 31, 2018, we received a final order from a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer with the Bureau of Administrative Reviews in the Clearwater office. The order invalidated or set aside the suspension of our client’s driving privileges for refusing to submit to a breath test. Upon reviewing the facts of the case, the hearing officer determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer with the Florida Highway Patrol Troop C failed to appear at the hearing after being served with a subpoena by our office.


DUI Reduced to Reckless with RIDR Level I Sanctions

On October 13, 2018, our client’s DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving with RIDR Level I sanctions with total fees of $941.00 in case number 18-CT-011XXX. Because adjudication of guilt was withheld, no points were assessed on the driving record. The court allowed for automatic early termination of probation when all special conditions were met. The case was resolved in Division B at the courthouse in Tampa, FL.


DUI Reduced to Reckless with RIDR Level I Sanctions

In another case resolved on October 13, 2018, our client’s DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving with RIDR Level I sanctions with total fees of $941.00 in case number 18-CT-0016XX. Because adjudication of guilt was withheld, no points were assessed on the driving record. The court allowed for automatic early termination of probation when all special conditions were met. The case was resolved in Division D at the courthouse in Tampa, FL.


DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving with a Withhold and No Probation in Tampa

In a case resolved on October 2, 2018, 2018-CT-009XXX, our client was accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Although the video clearly showed that he refused field sobriety exercises and the breath test, he engaged in polite and cooperative discussions with the officer on camera. Initially, the State offered the new RIDR diversion program or in lieu of the program, 1st time DUI sanctions which include a mandatory conviction, severe sanctions, probation, and increased insurance rates.

Our client declined RIDR as he did not want to submit to probation or an ignition interlock device or SCRAM. His goal was to still get the reckless reduction but he wanted to avoid being on probation. Our firm filed several motions and advised the State that in lieu of having a motion hearing, we would agree to a Reckless Driving, withhold and fine, no probation. On October 2, 2018, we entered the plea “in absentia” since our client lived out of town. At the Tampa Courthouse in Division E, the case was resolved with a withhold of adjudication and a fine. Our client avoided probation and became eligible to seal his record immediately.


DUI in New Port Richey Dropped to Civil Careless Driving

On September 27, 2018, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charges of DUI to careless driving (a civil infraction). The court imposed a fine of $164 and agreed to withhold adjudication (so no points were assessed on the driving record). In that case, our client was accused of hitting a raised concrete median. During the DUI investigation, the trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol administered field sobriety exercises and found that the client performed the exercises poorly and exhibit clues of impairment. Other observations reported on the police report included watery and glassy eyes, slurred and thick-tongued speech, and a flushed face. Our client was not asked to provide a breath test but did submit to a warrantless urine test.


DUI with Property Damage in New Port Richey Dropped to Reckless Driving

On September 24, 2018, the prosecutor agreed to drop the charges for DUI with property damage to reckless driving under Florida Statute Section 316.192. The court withheld adjudication on the reckless driving charge (which means no conviction occurred and no points were assessed on the driving record). The client was sentenced to 12 months of probation to pay court costs and perform community service. The criminal charge of leaving the scene of a traffic crash was dismissed by the court.


DUI (2nd outside 5 years) dropped in Plant City, Hillsborough County

Our client was initially charged with DUI (2nd outside of 5 years with enhanced sanctions), Possession of Cannabis, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The original offer was to plead as charged and receive a DUI conviction with probation and 2nd outside 5 minimums which include many severe and expensive sanctions.

Our firm filed several motions revealing to the State Attorney’s Office that they would not be able to prove the DUI as the officer’s report was devoid of any probable cause to arrest for DUI. The State Attorney changed their offer from 2nd outside 5 minimums to completely dropping the DUI in exchange for a plea to the Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges for a withhold of adjudication and court costs. On August 30, 2018, in 18-CM-003XXX, the Honorable Richard Weis in Division X, accepted our client’s plea of no contest and the State dropped the DUI. Our client avoided probation, a 2nd DUI conviction, and other time consuming and financially devastating sanctions.


DUI Dropped to Reckless Driving with a Withhold of Adjudication – RIDR Program

On August 7, 2018, in Division D, in Tampa, FL, the court accepted a plea of “no contest” to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication. The case was originally filed as a DUI. Our client entered the RIDR program and was placed on 12 months of probation and was ordered to complete DUI School (completed before plea), Community Service hours (completed before plea), and 2 months SCRAM monitor.


DUI Charge Dropped (Plus We Won the Client’s Formal Review Hearing in a Refusal Case)

On August 6, 2018, in case number 51201800XXXXCTAXWS, pending before the Honorable Anne Wansboro in Pasco County, the State filed a “Nolle Prosse” which dropped the only criminal charge of DUI. The State dropped the charges just a few hours before the scheduled motion hearing. The Nolle Prosse came after we filed the following motions:

  • Motion to Suppress any Refusal to Submit to Breath or Urine Test;
  • Motion to Suppress Evidence Based on No Reasonable Suspicion to Conduct a DUI Investigation and Lack of Probable Cause for Arrest; and
  • Motion in Limine to Exclude Certain Testimony Regarding Field Sobriety Exercises and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test.

In that same case, on June 12, 2018, a HSMV Hearing Officer in the Clearwater office invalidated a 12-month refusal suspension after an arrest by a DUI enforcement officer with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The arresting officer, Deputy Peter Knorr, with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office called in for the telephonic hearing but had no way to be sworn in because he failed to report to a duty station as required by the subpoena.

The hearing officer refused to invalidate the suspension on that basis, so we filed a motion to enforce the subpoena in the county court. At the motion to enforce hearing, the Honorable Anne Wansboro in New Port Richey, FL, ordered Deputy Peter Knorr to appear at the rescheduled hearing and to bring the videos required by the subpoena duces tecum.

At the second rescheduled hearing, Deputy Knorr appeared (in person). The officer brought a copy of the dashcam video but failed to bring a copy of body cam video. The hearing was continued a third time to force the agency to provide the body cam video. After viewing the dashcam video, we also learned that the arresting officer had listed the wrong backup officer on the police report, so we requested a subpoena for that officer as well.

At the third continued return hearing, the arresting officer admitted that he requested a breath test even though he had no suspicion that the driver had consumed any alcohol. Instead, the officer testified that he only suspected marijuana impairment. Implied consent was read and the arresting officer testified that the driver implicitly refused to submit to the breath test.

We introduced the arresting officer’s body cam video into evidence and argued that it showed no probable cause for the arrest, the officer had no reasonable suspicion of alcohol impairment needed under F.S. 316.1932(1)(a)1.a, the officer didn’t request a urine test in connection with the implied consent warning, the officer gave affirmative misadvice about the consequences of refusing, and the officer encouraged the implied refusal of the breath test, or alternatively, no refusal actually occurred.

After listening to the testimony of five witnesses and watching the dashcam and body cam video, the hearing officer found insufficient evidence because there “was no actual refusal.” The twelve (12) month suspension was removed from our client’s driving record as a result. All of this testimony from the formal review hearing was used to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges a few months later.


 DUI with BAC of .178 and .184 Reduced to Reckless with a Withhold of Adjudication

On July 25, 2018, the court agreed to a negotiated RIDR Level II Disposition in which our client’s DUI charges were reduced to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication and enhanced sanctions. The civil charges for running a red light and being in possession of an open container were dismissed as part of the negotiated plea. The case was resolved at the courthouse in Plant City, in case number 2018-006XXX in front of the Honorable Richard Weis in Division X in Plant City.


DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving with a Withhold of Adjudication

On July 25, 2018, our office was able to secure a reduction to a Reckless Driving charge with a withhold of adjudication.  Our client resolved the case without a conviction and will be eligible to seal the record. Case 18-CT-007XXX was also heard in front of the Honorable Richard Weis in Division X in Plant City.


DUI Reduced to Reckless without Probation in Tampa, Florida

On July 24, 2018, the State agreed to reduce our client’s DUI to a Reckless Driving with a fine. Our client was never ordered to complete any probation. 18-CT-002XXX was heard in front of the Honorable Scott Farr in Division C.


12 Month Refusal Suspension Invalidated when the Arresting Officer Fails to Appear

On July 19, 2018, our client’s 12 months administrative suspension was invalidated after the arresting officer “failed to appear.” The case involved a DUI arrest by Corporal Adam Cinelli with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. When we attempted to serve the subpoena on Corporal Adam Cinelli for the formal review hearing, we were informed he was no longer with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and that he would be moving out of state. Since the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office refused to accept the subpoena, we had him hand served at his home before he moved out of state. Even though the scheduled hearing was telephonic and he only needed to call in with a notary present (which could have been done from out of state), he failed to appear telephonically. Because of his failure to appear, the hearing officer in the Bureau of Administrative Reviews Office in Clearwater invalidated the suspension which restored our client’s full driving privileges. Had we not served the officer at his home, it is doubtful that we would have won the formal review hearing.


DUI with BAC of .195 Reduced to Reckless Driving with a Withhold of Adjudication

On July 16, 2018, our office was able to secure a reduction to a Reckless Driving charge with a withhold of adjudication.  The breath sample in this matter was .195. Case 18-CT-008XXX was heard in front of the Honorable Miriam Valkenburg in Division A.


Client’s Changes Her Mind About Demanding Formal Review Hearing and Suspension Invalidated

On July 10, 2018, a lady hired us on the 10th day after her DUI arrest. After both applying for a Waiver Review Hearing and obtaining her Hardship Reinstatement, she learned that she had made a mistake by not demanding a formal review hearing.

While looking online, she found an article on our website that explained that when one BAC reading is over the legal limit of .08 and the other BAC reading is under the legal limit of .08., that the DHSMV will automatically invalidate the six-month DUBAL suspension if a formal review hearing is requested. She hired us to go with her to the DHSMV Bureau of Administrative Review Office in Tampa, FL, to try and fix the mistake.

We had to wait about 45 minutes, but a hearing officer decided to grant our request. The hearing officer even agreed to conduct the formal review hearing right then and there so that her driving privileges could be reinstated immediately. The paperwork admitted into the record during the hearing showed that she two breath samples of 0.078 and 0.81.

We moved to invalidate because there was insufficient evidence to prove that her breath alcohol concentration (BAC) was .08 or above. The hearing officer agreed, invalidated the suspension, and issued an order that provided, in part: “there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because of no valid breath test or improper procedures.” That same day, the notation of an administrative DUI suspension was removed from her driving record which restored her full driving privileges.


Court Prevents Prosecutor From Obtaining Medical Records Because of Res Judicata

On July 5, 2018, Judge Barry W. Bennett, the County Administrative Judge in Polk County, issued an order sustaining our objection to the issuance of an investigative subpoena for our client’s medical records. One of our arguments during the hearing was that the State should not be given a second opportunity to subpoena the same hospital records because of res judicata.

At the hearing, we informed the Court that County Judge Susan L. Barber had already entered an order on April 27, 2018. That order found that the State had failed to demonstrate that the records sought were relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. The prosecutor did not seek a rehearing and no appeal was taken from that order. We argued that this prior order was dispositive of the issue before Judge Bennett.

The State argued that it can, indeed, seek an investigative subpoena a second time if it has acted in good faith. We argued that the prosecutor was not acting in good faith. The Court’s order provided, in part:

“Should the State get a second bite at the apple under circumstances where it failed to carry its burden of proof at an evidentiary hearing regarding relevance to an ongoing criminal investigation? Under this particular scenario, this court does not believe it should. The issue of relevancy has already been decided on its merits. Relitigating the issue would be tantamount to double jeopardy.”

For these reasons, the objection to the subpoena was granted. The State Attorney’s Office will not be able to obtain our client’s private medical records.


12 Month Refusal Suspension Invalidated Because Arresting Officer Fails to Appear

On June 28, 2018, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Tampa Office invalidated at twelve (12) month administrative suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test. The breath test operator who completed some of the paperwork in the case appeared but had no recollection of the case. The arresting officer failed to appear. The order that invalidated the suspension provides: “[u]pon reviewing the facts of the case, the Department Hearing Officer has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.”


12 Month Refusal Suspension Invalidated Because Arresting Officer Fails to Appear

On June 27, 2018, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Tampa Office invalidated at twelve (12) month administrative suspension for refusal. The arresting officer failed to appear at the hearing. The order that invalidated the suspension provides: “[u]pon reviewing the facts of the case, the Department Hearing Officer has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the arresting officer failed to appear.”


>12 Month DUBAL Second Suspension Invalidated – No PC for the Arrest

On June 27, 2018, the DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Tampa Office invalidated an administrative suspension. Our client was rear-ended by another driver. After the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol trooper began a criminal investigation for more than one hour and thirty minutes after the crash. We moved to invalidate the suspension because of this unreasonably prolonged detention and a lack of probable cause. The evidence showed that during that one hour and thirty-minute delay, our client ate and drank at a bar located right next to the crash site. The hearing officer granted our motion to invalidate the suspension.


6 Month DUBAL Suspension Invalidated for an Invalid Stop or Lack of Evidence

On June 20, 2018, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Tampa office invalidated a six (6) month suspension issued by a DUI enforcement officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for driving with an unlawful breath-alcohol level (DUBAL). The order provided that after reviewing the facts of the case the hearing officer “determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the stop was invalid or lacked evidence.


DUI with Property Damage Dropped to Reckless Driving with a Withhold of Adjudication

On May 17, 2018, in Division D, in Tampa, FL, the court accepted a plea of “no contest” to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication. The case was originally filed as a DUI with property damage involving a rear-end collision. The Florida Highway Patrol troopers alleged that immediately after the arrest, the defendant refused a breath test (although he was not asked about breath testing when he was at a location where a breath test could actually be given). Officers with the Florida Highway Patrol conducted the field sobriety exercises without recording any audio or video of the incident. We were able to obtain surveillance video of the field sobriety exercises from a nearby business which showed mistakes made by the arresting officer.</p


12 Month Administrative Suspension for Refusal Invalidated

On May 16, 2018, HSMV Field Hearing Officer Donald Plato in Tampa, FL, invalidated a 12-month administrative suspension. The “Final Order on Results of Review Hearing” was entered pursuant to Chapter 15A-6, F.A.C. and section 322.2615, F.S. In the order, the hearing officer set aside the suspension of the driving privileges dated April 8, 2018, for the refusal to submit to a breath, blood or urine test.

Upon reviewing the facts of the case during a formal review hearing, the Department Hearing Officer determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension because there was “no evidence to place driver in physical control.” The arresting officer was a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol.


DUI with Dry Reckless with a Withhold of Adjudication and No Probation

On April 25, 2018, in a case pending in Hillsborough County, the state attorney’s office agreed to reduce the charge of DUI to a dry reckless driving for a withhold of adjudication and court costs. The client was NOT required to be on probation. The state offered this resolution after the defense filed a motion to suppress and motion in limine.

The motions were based on the fact that the officer had very little independent recollection of the basis for the arrest, the reading of implied consent or the alleged refusal. The client also won their formal review hearing when the officer failed to appear, so the client avoided any administrative suspension as well.


DUI to Reckless with Second Refusal

On April 16, 2018, in Division E in Hillsborough County, the assistant state attorney reduced the charge of a DUI to reckless driving in a case in which the client was also charged with a second refusal to submit to testing under 316.1936. On the reckless driving charge, the client received the standard sanctions on probation and the second refusal was resolved for an adjudication and court costs. This client also won the formal review hearing so she did not suffer the 18-month hard administrative suspension.


12 Month Suspension for Refusal Invalidated at Clearwater Bureau of Administrative Review Hearing

On April 6, 2018, a DHSMV Field Hearing Officer in the Clearwater BAR invalidated the 12-month suspension of a driver accused of refusing to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. The arresting officer from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office testified telephonically, but the hearing officer found that based on that testimony and the reports prepared by other law enforcement officers in the case, there was insufficient evidence to support the suspension because the stop was invalid or lacked evidence.


Pasco County DUI Breath Test .122 and .130 Reduced to Reckless with a Withhold of Adjudication 

On April 4, 2018, for a case pending in Dade City in Pasco County the charge of DUI with property damage was reduced to reckless driving under 316.192 with the standard probation terms. The court withheld adjudication making the client eligible to seal the record. The state agreed to the resolution after the defense filed a motion to suppress the BAC reading of .122 and .130 because the Intoxilyzer 8000 machines used in Pasco County was not in substantial compliance with the administrative rules. We were able to show that the Intoxilyzer 8000 used in that case failed monthly inspections and was not sent off for needed repairs.


DHSMV BAR Hearing Officer Invalidates 6 Month Suspension for Having a BAC over .08

On February 2, 2018, HSMV Field Hearing Officer S.J. Felia, in the Tampa Office, invalided a 6-month administrative suspension for having a BAC over .08 after determining that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because “the arresting officer failed to appear.”


DHSMV BAR Hearing Officer Invalidates 12 Month Refusal Suspension

On January 29, 2018, HSMV Field Hearing Officer Donald Plato in the Tampa Office invalided a 12-month administrative suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test in a DUI case because there was “no evidence to place the driver in physical control” of the motor vehicle.


DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving with a Withhold of Adjudication

On January 2, 2018, our case was scheduled for a motion hearing before the Honorable William G. Sestak in Pasco County, FL. The motion showed that our client’s listed statements should be excluded from evidence because they were taken under the Accident Report Privilege and/or in violation of Miranda after a crash between two vehicles.

Our client was charged with DUI with property damage and careless driving. Right before the motion hearing, the prosecutor offered to reduce the DUI with property damage down to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication so that our client would not be “convicted” and no points would be added to the driving record.

The withhold of adjudication on the reckless driving charge also means that the client would be eligible to seal the record. The court dismissed the careless driving citation and accepted the negotiated plea. Our client was placed on probation to show proof she had already completed DUI school, pay a fine plus court costs and restitution, perform community service and complete the other standard sanctions. This same client has also won the formal review hearing to remove the 12-month administrative suspension from her driver’s license at the DHSMV Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) because of “conflicting evidence or discrepancies”.


Read more about our DUI case results in 2017.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2016.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2015.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2014.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2013.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2012.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2011.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2010.

Read more about our DUI case results in 2009.


Our recent DUI case result listed on this website do not necessarily represent the results obtained in all cases because not all results are listed. As you can see below, the results in these cases depended on the particular facts and issues presented in those cases. The facts and circumstances of your case may be very different. Therefore, the results we have obtained in the past are not necessarily an indication of the results that we will obtain in the future for any particular client. No attorney can promise you any particular result in your case. These case results are provided to give you general information about the types of defenses that we have asserted in cases in the past.


This article was last updated on Friday, September 6, 2019.