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If you were arrested for DUI in Pinellas County, Florida you have come to the right place. We have offices in Clearwater (Sattelite Office), Tampa, Orlando, and Sarasota. When you are arrested in Pinellas County you will have a court date in either Clearwater or St. Petersburg. The county is broken into a south and north county traffic division. One county court Judge is assigned to each division, with all other county court Judges sitting at the 49th street Criminal Justice Center.
If your DUI arrest ocurred in the northern portion of Pinellas County your court appearances will occur at the North County Branch Courthouse located at 29582 US 19 North in Clearwater, FL 33761. County Court Judge Susan Bedinghaus is currently assigned to the North Pinellas Judicial center. In addition to one county Judge, the state attorney has a state attorney or prosecutor that is assigned to that office. All north Pinellas misdemeanor DUI cases will start at US 19th. Your case will go from arraignment to possibly several pre-trial conferences. The State Attorney is required to provide discovery material, or all evidence that the state has in their possession and intends to use against you if the case goes to trial. That would include access to any in-car camera tapes and any paperwork dealing with evidentiary breath results on the intoxilyzer 8000. In addition, most pretrial motions, including motions to suppress, will be heard in front of the north county Judge. If you request a jury then the case will be transferred to the Judicial center on 49th street. There are no jury trials in the North County Branch courthouses.
If your Pinellas County DUI arrest occurred in the southern portion of Pinellas County your first court appearance will occur at the south county traffic complex located at 1800 66th Street, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. County Court Judge William Overton is assigned to hear DUI cases at the Tyrone Branch Courthouse. Following the same rules as the Clearwater location, there are no jury trials at the south county courthouse. Judge Overton conducts arraignments and listens to pretrial motions. If at any time during the criminal process the Defendant would like a jury trial, the case will be transferred to the Criminal Justice Center on 49th Street. The state attorney has a prosecutor that is assigned to the south county courthouse, however their disrection is limited in DUI cases. In all Pinellas DUI cases, the line prosecutor or state attorney does not have discretion to reduce a DUI charge so any reduction in a charge needs to be approved from a supervisor.
At the Law Place we handle hundreds of DUI cases a year. We are very familiar with the DUI process in Pinellas County as well as the Judges, State attorneys and law enforcement. Call our office at 727-217-9795 to discuss the facts of your case.