My firm is located in downtown Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida. We focus exclusively on criminal defense. A large portion of my practice is devoted to representing clients charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or drunk driving. I also represent clients charged with drug offenses from simple possession of marijuana to serious drug trafficking charges. Other areas of focus include theft and shoplifting, domestic violence, domestic battery, weapons charges and violation of probation. I represent clients seeking to seal or expunge their criminal record, vehicle forfeiture actions, petitions for protective orders or restraining orders, and motion for the early termination of probation or community control.
Although I have taken cases throughout the State of Florida, the majority of my criminal defense cases are in Hillsborough County and the surrounding counties of Polk, Pasco, and Manatee.
After nine years practicing criminal defense, I started my own law firm where I could continue to provide experienced criminal defense services to my clients in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas of central Florida. My husband is also a criminal defense attorney and shareholder at the Sammis Law Firm. Our offices are located in downtown Tampa, Florida, at 1005 N. Marion Street, Tampa, FL 33602.
1005 N Marion St
Tampa FL 33602
Initial consultations are always free, either over the phone or in the office. The typical initial consultation last for about one hour. I ask my client to bring any paperwork related to the arrest or investigation with them to the initial consultation.
In criminal cases, the client is always quoted a flat fee for the representation during the initial phone or office consultation. I also provide each prospective client with a written fee agreement which spells out all of the terms of the representation so that the client knows exactly what to expect at each stage of the criminal case in Florida.
I do not have a fixed price list because the attorney fees in any Florida criminal or DUI case depend on many factors, including the time involved, the novelty or difficulty of the questions presented, and time limitations imposed by the representation.
When time allows, I can provide my client with a payment plan that usually involves an initial down payment for one half of the total fees, plus payments over the next 30 to 90 days. In certain types of cases, such as representing a client in a violation of probation hearing, a payment plan is not available because the case is expected to move very quickly.
Although I provide the client with a flat fee for any criminal matter, certain representation in civil issues related to the criminal case require an hourly rate. My hourly rate is $250 per hour.
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
You may call (813) 250-0500 anytime 24/7 to speak with an attorney about your case. Phone or office consultations can be scheduled after business hours or on weekends for your convenience.
My assistant, Adneris Cruz-Guevara, speaks Spanish fluently.
Working as a criminal defense attorney in Tampa, Florida allows me the opportunity to be in the courtroom everyday negotiating with prosecutors, litigating motions to suppress, exclude or dismiss, and take cases to trial before a judge or jury.
It is very important for clients to seek out as much information as possible when they are facing a criminal charge in Florida. In many cases, the individual needs to take immediate action to protect themselves and all of their legal rights. After an arrest for any felony offense in Florida, the prosecutor typically takes 21 days to make a filing decision. That filing decision includes whether to file any formal charges, and if so, whether to file more serious or less serious charges then those for which the individual was arrested. Hiring a criminal defense attorney in Florida as soon after an arrest as possible is important to make sure that you have the best chance to convince the prosecutor not to file any formal charges or only to file greatly reduced charges.
In other cases, such as DUI, certain collateral consequences can occur after the arrest in Florida. In a DUI case, you only have 10 days after the arrest to demand a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your Florida driver's license. In forfeiture cases, you only have 15 days under Florida law to contest the seizure of your property or vehicle. Additionally, before arraignment certain motions must be filed to protect your ability to contest the legal sufficiency of the charging documents through a statement of particulars. As you can see from these very general examples, it is important to learn as much as you can about the consequences of an arrest and things you may need to do immediately to protect all of your rights.
Most criminal defense attorneys in Florida offer free consultations. Take advantage of the free consultation to discuss the facts of your case directly with several attorneys before you decide which criminal defense or DUI defense lawyer to hire.
I am willing to review any documents prepared by a client. If my client is out of custody, I encourage them to write down as much as they can remember about the incident in a confidential document that is protected by the attorney-client privilege. In a criminal case, clients must be careful not to discuss the facts of their case with anyone other than their criminal defense attorney. The individual arrested for a criminal offense in Florida should not make any oral or written statement about the facts of the case because anything they say can be used against them at trial.
I am not willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves in any criminal proceeding. In fact, the Florida Bar Association discourages criminal defense attorneys from coaching or informally representing anyone in a criminal proceeding in Florida.
In criminal cases, the client who attempts to represent himself is at a huge disadvantage. Additionally, you only have one chance to properly file and litigate motions to suppress or motions to dismiss. Many clients who attempt to represent themselves do not preserve all of their rights. Even worse, a person attempting to represent themselves may say or do something that can be used against them at trial. For individuals that can afford to hire an attorney, the individual should immediately seek out a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida. If an individual cannot afford to hire an attorney, the individual should see the services of the Public Defender's office, so that a criminal defense attorney with the Public Defender's office can be appointed to represent them.
I previously worked as an Assistant Public Defender for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida where I was quickly promoted through the misdemeanor, juvenile, and felony divisions. While at the Public Defender's Office in 1999 through 2001, I was in the courtroom every day. I had the opportunity as a young attorney to work alongside some of the best trial attorneys in the State of Florida.
After entering private practice seven years ago, I worked at the national recognized DUI defense firm of Head, Thomas, Webb, and Willis for four years. Afterwards, I moved back to Tampa and worked at a criminal defense firm in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, for two years where I continued to focus exclusively on DUI and Criminal Defense before starting my own practice.
I graduated from the University of Florida College of Law with Honors in 1999. I have completed legal internships with the United States Attorney's Office working with federal prosecutors, the State Attorney's Office working with Florida prosecutors, and a federal judicial internship with the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. I am a former Assistant Public Defender with the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida where I represented clients in misdemeanor, juvenile, and felony divisions. Seven years ago, I entered private practice where I continue to focus on criminal defense.
By focusing exclusively on criminal defense, I am able to stay current on any changes in the law that I can use to my client's advantage. I take a scholarly approach to filing and litigating motions to suppress, motions to exclude, and motions to dismiss. I have a reputation for being tenacious and aggressively defending my client. My clients all have my cell phone number and are able to reach me if they have any questions or concerns at each stage of their case. For many people facing a criminal charge, the most stressful part of the process is not knowing what to expect. By staying in constant contact with my clients throughout the process, I can eliminate much of that stress and uncertainty.Personal interests:
I enjoy traveling, golf, and spending time with friends and family.
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