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DUI in Pasco County

The Pasco Sheriff's Office has an entire unit of specially trained deputies devoted to DUI enforcement called the Selective Traffic Enforcement Patrol (STEP) Unit. Each year, these officers on the STEP Unit arrest hundreds of people for drunk or impaired driving in Pasco County, FL.

Other law enforcement agencies in Pasco County that routinely make a DUI arrest include:

  • the Florida Highway Patrol;
  • the Dade City Police Department;
  • the New Port Richey Police Department;
  • the Port Richey Police Department; and
  • the Zephyrhills Police Department.

After an arrest for drunk or impaired driving in Pasco County, FL, seek out the services of an experienced criminal justice attorney focused on fighting DUI cases.

DUI Attorneys for Pasco County, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm are focused on fighting DUI cases in Pasco County. Our second office is located in New Port Richey, FL, directly across from the West Pasco Judicial Center.

After an arrest for DUI in Pasco County, you will answer the charges at the courthouse in either New Port Richey or Dade City depending on the location of your arrest.

DUI defense is different than other types of criminal defense. By focusing on these types of cases, our attorneys are knowledgeable about the tactics used by DUI enforcement officers throughout Pasco County, FL, and the standard operating procedures used by each agency.

Our DUI defense attorneys are also familiar with many of the judges and prosecutors involved in the prosecution of DUI cases. We work hard to stay current on the most recent changes in the law that impact drunk and impaired driving defense. The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm aggressively fight DUI cases in Pasco County, FL.

Find out what you need to do right now to protect yourself. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Port Richey, FL. Call (727) 807-6392 today.


Judges in Pasco County for DUI Cases

The new judicial assignments for Pasco County are listed in Administrative Order No. 2018-049 PA-CTY effective January 8, 2019. The East Pasco Judicial Assignments for Criminal Court Sections in Dade City, FL, include:

  • Judge William G. Sestak is assigned to Section 10 and 14 for Misdemeanors, DUI, criminal traffic, violations of probation and orders to show cause relative to cases heard under this jurisdiction while presiding. 

The West Pasco Judicial Assignments for Criminal Court Sections in New Port Richey, FL, include:

  • Judge Debra Roberts in Section 17 presides over misdemeanors, DUI, criminal traffic, violations of probation and orders to show cause relative to cases heard under this jurisdiction while presiding.
  • Judge Joseph A. Poblick in Section 16 presides over misdemeanors, DUI, criminal traffic, violations of probation and orders to show cause relative to cases heard under this jurisdiction while presiding.
  • Judge Anne Wansboro in Section 15 presides over misdemeanors, DUI, criminal traffic, violations of probation and orders to show cause relative to cases heard under this jurisdiction while presiding.

The most recent judicial assignments for criminal cases in the Circuit Courts in Pasco County, FL, were announced in Administrative Order No. 2018-048 PA-CIR. The East Pasco Judicial Assignments in the Criminal Court Sections in Circuit Court in Dade City include:

  • Judge Kemba Johnson Lewis presides over all criminal cases, including violations of probation, excluding technical violations;
  • Judge Linda H. Babb presides over all technical violations of probation and all juvenile delinquency cases;
  • Judge Susan Barthle and Judge Gregory G. Groger preside over all criminal jury trials, as needed; and
  • Judge Shawn Crane presides over adult drug court.

The West Pasco Judicial Assignments in the Criminal Court Sections in Circuit Court in New Port Richey include:

  • Judge Mary M. Handsel in Section 3 presides over 50% of criminal cases, including section 3 violations of probation and indirect criminal contempt affidavits filed in Section Q1 and prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office.
  • Judge Kim Campbell in Section 4 presides over 50% of criminal cases, including section 4 violations of probation and indirect criminal contempt affidavits filed in Section Q2 and prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office.
  • Judge Shawn Crane presides over adult drug court.
  • Judge Philippe Matthey presides over juvenile delinquency cases.

Unconstitutional DUI Checkpoints in Pasco County, FL

One of the attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm, Jason Sammis, uncovered misconduct by officers working at a DUI roadblock in Pasco County. This discovery can lead to the dismissal of criminal charges not only for our client but also for other individuals arrested at this roadblock.


Types of DUI Charges in Florida

Florida law provides for many different ways that a DUI charge can be filed under Florida Statute Section 316.193, including:

  • DUI (Misdemeanor)
  • DUI 2nd violation within 5 years (Misdemeanor)
  • DUI 2nd violation in more than 5 years (Misdemeanor_
  • DUI 3rd violation within 10 years (Misdemeanor or Felony)
  • DUI 3rd violation more than 10 years (Misdemeanor)
  • DUI 4th or subsequent offense (Felony)
  • DUI - Property Damage/Personal Injury (Misdemeanor)
  • DUI - Serious Bodily Injury (Felony)
  • DUI - Manslaughter (Felony)
  • DUI - Causing death to a human or unborn child (Felony)
  • DUI - Causing death with failing to give info or render aid (Felony)

STEP Unit of the Pasco Sheriff's Office

Each year, hundreds of people are arrested for DUI by specially trained deputies with the Selective Traffic Enforcement Patrol (STEP) Unit. In fact, in 2009, these DUI enforcement officers in Pasco County, FL, arrested more than 900 people for drunk or impaired driving offenses.

The STEP Unit has six officers and a sergeant that work closely with the Operations Command Division of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. When a deputy pulls over a driver suspected of being drunk or impaired, an officer on the STEP unit is often dispatched to the scene to conduct a DUI investigation.

The officers in the STEP unit are involved with several law enforcement programs including the Strategic Traffic Accident Reduction Tactics (START), the Pasco County Community Traffic Safety Team and other national programs aimed at increasing the number of arrests for drunk or impaired driving.

For the alcohol testing program at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the breath test operator can see the display on the Intoxilyzer 8000. Although the officers have access to a video room to audio and video recort the reading of the implied consent warning or the alleged refusal, they rarely use the room or the equipment. 

The failure to use the resources available to the officers, particularly audio and video equipmnt, can often be used to show that the officers thought the evidence was favorable to the defendant and refused to preserve the evidence for that reasons.


Additional Resources

DUI School in Pasco - Visit the Pasco County website to find information on the only DUI schools in Pasco County managed by Pride. The website has a flyer for the DUI school classes offered in New Port Richey and the Dade City / Zephyrhills area. Learn more about what to expect during the evaluation and the two days of classroom instruction offered for the Level I program or the three days of classroom instruction offered for the Level II program. Find information explaining the cost to enroll and the office locations.

Impaired Driving Enforcement by the Pasco Sheriff - Visit the website of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office to learn more about the impaired driving enforcement unit (known as S.T.E.P.). The website features a calendar of enhanced enforcement locations for any upcoming sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.


Finding the Right DUI Attorney for Pasco County

If you were arrested for DUI in Pasco County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. Whether your case is going to be heard at the courthouse in New Port Richey or Dade City, FL, we can help.

We are experienced fighting drunk and impaired driving cases involving a breath test, blood test, urine test, or refusal to submit to testing. We also represent clients charged leaving the scene of an accident after a hit and run crash in New Port Richey, Land O'Lakes, or Dade City in Pasco County, FL.

Call us to discuss your case, the best defense, and the attorney fees needed for your defense. During the free consultation, we can discuss the most successful DUI defense strategies and answer your questions. We can begin your case today.

Call (727) 807-6392.


This article was last updated on Friday, March 8, 2019.