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DUI Wins

Our Recent Victories

Jul 20, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-000404 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was stopped for weaving and swerving. She nearly struck several mail boxes. Officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and she was very unsteady on her feet. The defendant refused to perform the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI within five years.
The firm pointed out to the State prior to trial that on the video tape, the officer had told the defendant she would be arrested whether she did the field sobriety tests or not. Thus, he already had his mind made up whether she did them or not. This showed the officer's clear bias toward making an arrest vs. giving her a fair opportunity to avoid arrest.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 20, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-830395CTAXWS Judge Grey
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road and braking erratically which was captured on video. Once stopped, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests. According the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. This was the Defendant's Second DUI.
On video, the officer, upon following the defendant, already had another person he had just arrested for DUI in the back seat. Prior to pulling the defendant over, he blurted out on tape "He's drunk" before even making any contact with the defendant. When he pulled the defendant over, he had the defendant perform the roadside tasks on a hill, not level ground. It starting becoming obvious that he was looking to make as many DUI arrests as he could. Once the defendant was arrested, the officer is then heard bragging about the number of DUI arrests he had made in the past week. Although the officer also said he smelled an odor of alcohol on the defendant's breath, the defendant blew triple 0's in the breath machine. The officer then asked for a urine sample. The defendant provided a sample which came back from the FDLE lab positive for Methamphetamine and Xanax. Due to the fact that the firm called the officer's credibility into question, the State Dropped the DUI short of trial. It should be noted that the firm also got the Defendant's first DUI Dropped as well.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 19, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-000717-A-W Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was located by the police as he was stopped on the side of the road. A citizen, who provided their name, had called 911 stating that the defendant was driving all over the roadway and speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and slurred speech. He also had red eyes and there was an open bottle of beer in the car. He swayed while he stood and told the officer he had drank a few beers. He was asked to perform the roadside tasks but he refused. He was then arrested for DUI.
The firm announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial the defense pointed out to the State that the officer never advised the defendant of any adverse consequences as required by case law when he refused to perform the roadside tests. Thus the defendant's refusal would have been excluded from evidence. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-011217 Judge Harper
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he was very agitated. He also had a flushed face and admitted to drinking. He then performed the field sobriety exercises. According to the officer, he exhibited many cues of impairment and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The State could not prove that the defendant was the driver of the car upon arriving at the crash scene. Without being able to prove that the defendant was either driving or in actual physical control, they could not prove the first element of a DUI charge.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jul 17, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-039846AXXX-XX Judge Koons
The defendant was stopped for stopping over the stop bar after coming out of a bar and then weaving while on her three wheel motorcycle. Upon contact with the defendant, the officer smelled an odor of alcohol, observed slow/slurred speech, and red/glassy eyes. The defendant stated she had drank 2 beers and a glass of wine earlier in the night. She was off balance, unsteady, and staggered. The officer then had the defendant perform the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, one leg stand, finger to nose, and finger count tests. The defendant was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Through pretrial investigation, it was learned that this particular officer and others were on a DUI saturation patrol that night simply looking to make DUI arrests. They had been watching the bar that the defendant had exited and then were pulling people over after they had left. It was also uncovered, that the defendant's neighbor had been arrested the same night by the the same officer. The firm got the testimony of the officer from that case and used it to attack his credibility in our case since many facts were similar. This was brought to the attention of the prosecutor. Also, in our case, the officer wrote a very vague report as he did not write any specific details of the defendant's performance on the roadside tests and simply checked off boxes on his Alcohol Influence Report. After reviewing the case, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 17, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-004559AXXMA Judge Mitchell
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When officers arrived, the defendant had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to drinking 3 beers. The defendant was unsteady, had a flushed face, and at one point officers had to hold onto him to keep him from falling. The defendant was then asked to perform field sobriety tests. He refused and was arrested for DUI.
Under Florida law, one’s drivers license can only be suspended for refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine tests. Here, the officer erroneously advised the defendant on the law by telling him he would lose his driver's license for refusing field sobriety tests. Also, on tape, the defendant never appeared off balance or unsteady as the officers had written in their reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 29, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-007883000-A-O-X Judge Starr
The defendant crashed into a sign at a McDonald's restaurant hard enough to cause his airbags to deploy. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and an orbital sway. He had a turquoise film surrounding the top layer of his tongue, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to drinking two long island iced teas. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and vomited on video tape. He was arrested for DUI and blew a .152 and .157 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton had pretrial negotiations with the State. Any unsteadiness exhibited by the defendant could have easily just have been attributed to getting hit with the airbags vs alcohol. Also, his vomiting a few times prior to the breath test and the police giving him water could have skewed his breath test results.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 16, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-002531 Judge Bell
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. Upon arriving, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow speech, bloodshot eyes, and dry lips. The defendant stated he had drank a couple of beers. The defendant was then asked to perform the field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he didn't perform to standards and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
The defendant was misinformed by the officer that if he refused the breath test, he would be charged with a misdemeanor. That was a misstatement of the law as it's only a misdemeanor to refuse the breath test and an additional crime if it is a Second or subsequent refusal.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 12, 2017 Case: 17-CF-001453 Judge Pomponio
The defendant was found asleep in his car while stopped at an intersection. Upon waking the defendant, officers noticed the defendant to be confused and disoriented. Also, they observed him to have extremely slurred speech, bloodshot/watery eyes, and a heavy orbital sway. The defendant appeared very sleepy during the entire investigation. Believing the defendant to be impaired by either a chemical and/or controlled substance, the defendant was requested to perform roadside tasks. For example, on the one leg stand, he put his foot down, he used his arms for balance, and swayed. On the walk and turn, he lost his balance, took an incorrect number of steps, and used his arms for balance. He was then arrested for DUI. In a search incident to arrest, officers found cocaine in the defendant's wallet. That cocaine did test positive at the FDLE lab. He was also charged with possession of cocaine.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the prosecutor that all the signs observed by the officers did not point to the fact that the defendant was impaired by cocaine, a stimulant. In fact, on the other hand, all the observations were consistent with impairment by a depressant. Thus, the State would have been unable to prove that he was impaired by cocaine. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant also received No conviction the felony possession charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 6, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-022268 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped when an officer saw him driving around a parking lot with his door open. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stumbled as he walked and had an "orbital sway." He was then asked to perform the roadside tasks to which he complied. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the walk and turn and one leg stand tests . He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the prosecutor that the defendant had numerous medical issues such as a prior traumatic brain injury. This injury led to all his balance issues prior to and during the roadside tests, to which the officer totally ignored.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 2, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-017044 Judge Bonavita
The defendant was stopped for following to closely behind another vehicle. Once stopped, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy eyes. The defendant stated he had drank a few beers. The defendant agreed to perform the roadside tests on video and according to the officer he failed. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
There was reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant's poor performance on the roadside tests was due to alcohol or his medical issues. He is on tape telling the officer about a bad back which affects his balance. The officer then is heard telling the defendant that his bad back won’t affect his performance on the walk and turn or one leg stand, which is false as both are physical exercises. The firm brought these medical issues to the attention of the State just prior to trial. Also, the officer is heard telling the defendant on tape that it is a crime to drink and drive. That statement is false and showed the officer did not even know the law. To be guilty of DUI, one must be either driving with an unlawful breath alcohol level and/or be driving under the influence to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 15, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-039857AXXXXX Judge Naberhaus
The defendant was stopped for not stopping at a stop bar and failing to maintain a single lane. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, constricted pupils, and slurred speech. The defendant was sluggish and also had glassy eyes. The defendant admitted to consuming some beer and having taken his prescribed pain medication called "Percocet." That drug is considered a controlled substance. The defendant was then asked to then perform field sobriety exercises. The defendant complied, and according to the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. The officer, who was a DRE (drug recognition expert), believed the defendant was impaired by a controlled substance, (i.e. the Percocet), so he has asked the defendant for a urine sample. The defendant refused to provide a urine sample. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior trial, the defense brought to the attention of the State that the officer had administered a walk and turn and one leg stand test. Normally that would be ok, but here the defendant was over 65 years old. The NHTSA manual, which sets forth the parameters for administering the field sobriety tests, states in part that an officer should use caution in administering the those tests to people over 60 years old. Here, even though the defendant kept telling them he had back and neck issues due to his age, the officer still proceeded with the exercises. In addition, we pointed out that the defendant's speech sounded slurred because he had hearing issues and even wore a hearing aid.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 12, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-042764AXXXXX Judge Atkin
The defendant was stopped for a broken tag light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had consumed 3 drinks and appeared confused while answering the officer's questions. After performing the HGN (eye test), finger to nose, and the finger count exercises, the defendant was arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial, the firm pointed out various conflicts within the arresting officer's own police reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 5, 2017 Case: 2014-CT-011284 Judge Hanser
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. Officers noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood shot eyes. He was off balance, unsteady, and lethargic in his movements. The defendant also admitted to drinking. He was taken to the hospital due to his injuries. Due to a breath test being impracticable or impossible, the officer requested a blood sample from the defendant. The blood came back from the toxicology lab indicating a blood alcohol level of a .204 and .205. This was the defendant's Third DUI.
Parks & Braxton raised several pretrial issues with the State regarding legality of the blood draw. After reviewing the applicable case law and officer's testimony, the State agreed and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 5, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-017469ASB Judge Bonavita
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, mumbled/slurred speech, and she admitted to having drank three glasses of wine. The defendant appeared very sleepy and off balance. She then performed the roadside tests such as the walk and turn, one leg stand, and finger to nose. She performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .169 and .168 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton had pretrial negotiations with the State.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 4, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-019784 Judge Jeske
A caller had called 911 stating that the defendant was driving very erratically. When the officer spotted her, he observed her weaving and then initiated a traffic stop. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant denied having anything to drink. After asking the defendant four times to perform field sobriety exercises, and her continuing to refuse, the officer arrested her for DUI. After her arrest, she refused the breath test.
Under Florida Case Law, a defendant must be advised of the adverse consequences of refusing to perform the field sobriety tests or the refusal is inadmissible into evidence. Here the officer simply arrested the defendant without advising her of any adverse consequences.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 2, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-029534AXXXXX Judge Garagozlo
The defendant was the at fault driver in a side swipe crash. After the crash, she left the scene and went to her house. The victim gave a description of the defendant, the make and model of the car, and tag number. The officers then went to the defendant's home a short time later. They made contact with her when she opened the front door. They observed an odor of alcohol, incoherent speech, and droopy eyelids. The defendant stated she had drank and taken pain medication prior to the crash. She then performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the defendant's statements about drinking and taking pain medications. Our motion was premised under the legal doctrine of corpus delicti which states that there must be independent substantial proof of a crime other than the defendant's statements. Here, there was no such evidence that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash (i.e. driving). Prior to the motion hearing, the State Dropped the DUI. The defendant also received NO conviction for the LSA charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 1, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-000178 Judge Bell
The defendant was stopped for speeding as he was going 91 mph in a 35 mph zone. Once stopped, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow movements, and bloodshot eyes. His speech was slow and slurred and he was off balance. The defendant also had vomit on him. The defendant did not perform any physical roadside tests due to having a prosthetic leg. He was arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial, and after negotiations, we pointed out that the officer had several opportunities to have the defendant submit to non-physical roadside tests, but rather quickly arrested the defendant without even offering them to him.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 28, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-018199AXXX Judge Harper
The defendant was found passed out in his car at an intersection. When officers awoke the defendant, they smelled an odor of alcohol and noticed bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. The defendant was very off balance and also had open alcoholic beverages in the car. On video, he performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .173 and .188 in the breath machine.
During a pretrial investigation of the case, it was uncovered by the defense that the arresting officer was under a federal investigation for theft. This information was brought to the State's attention.
The State Dismissed the DUI.
Apr 27, 2017 Case: 2016-CM-013349 Judge Myers
The defendant was stopped for weaving within its lane of travel and crossing over the white lane markers. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of marijuana, slurred/mumbled speech, and lethargic movements. The defendant admitted to smoking pot a few hours before he was stopped. He then performed the roadside tests. According to the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he submitted to a urine test which came back from the toxicology lab positive for marijuana and also another controlled substance. In addition, the officer found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a search incident to arrest in the car.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State numerous conflicts in the police reports versus the video tape. After pretrial discussions, the prosecutor Dropped the DUI and the defendant also received no convictions on his record for the drug charges.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Apr 26, 2017 Case: 15-017183MU10A Judge Levy-Cohen
The defendant was stopped for driving at a high rate of speed after a BOLO had gone out describing the defendant's car. The BOLO had stated that the defendant had left the scene of an accident. Officers observed the defendant's car to have a right front tire missing and it had left several scrapes in the roadway. Officers then observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, flushed face, and bloodshot/watery eyes. He then was asked to perform the field sobriety tests. Due to his high level of intoxication, he could not perform the walk and turn or the one leg stand tests. He was then arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton took pretrial depositions of all the officers involved in the case. After cross examination of each officer, they all contradicted each other and their respective police reports. The State was then presented with all the transcripts. After reviewing them, the State realized every officer's credibility had been called into question.
The DUI was dismissed.
Apr 10, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-002204 Judge Caraballo
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash on the Turnpike. The defendant was estimated to have been driving 90 mph prior to the crash. The officer smelled an odor of alcohol on the defendant's breath and noticed bloodshot/glassy eyes. The officer then conducted the HGN (eye test). The defendant then refused all subsequent field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that the defendant's eyes were bloodshot due to the air bag being deployed in his face, and not from the alcohol. Also, HGN was conducted two times, but only one was documented in the police reports. Furthermore, the defendant was not advised of any adverse consequences regarding his refusal to perform any further roadsides as required by law. The firm announced ready for trial.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Apr 7, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-017882 Judge Eissey
The defendant was involved in a crash whereby she struck a mailbox while driving at a high rate of speed. The police observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana prior to the crash. She was taken to the hospital due to injuries sustained from the crash. At the hospital, a blood draw was conducted and the toxicology results revealed the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .097 along with marijuana being detected. She was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI.
Under Florida law, a breath test must be impracticable or impossible in order to request a blood test. Here, there was no showing by the police that a breath test was impracticable or impossible. Thus, the defendant's blood draw was unlawful.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Apr 6, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-019362 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and fumbling fingers. The defendant admitted to drinking at a friend's house. The defendant then performed the field sobriety exercises which consisted of the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. The defendant's roadsides were not video taped. After pretrial negotiations with the prosecutor regarding the lack of specificity in the officer's reports regarding the field sobriety tests, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Apr 3, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-015683 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for speeding, following too closely, and running a stop sign. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and the defendant admitted to having consumed two drinks. The defendant performed the walk and turn, one leg stand, and HGN (eye test) tests. He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI in the last seven years.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. During pretrial negotiations about the facts of the case with the prosecutor, the State agreed to drop the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 31, 2017 Case: 2017-CT-000060 Judge Starr
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When the police arrived, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood shot eyes. The defendant, at one point, had bent over to tie his shoes and almost fell over. The defendant only performed the HGN (eye test) due to his level of intoxication. After his arrest, he blew a .141 and .145 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Under Florida law, the State and police are required to turn over all discovery. Due to various discovery violations prior to trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 29, 2017 Case: 7798-XEQ Judge Ortiz
A civilian went over to a police officer and told him that someone was sleeping behind the wheel of their car. That person was the defendant. The officer then went over, awoke the defendant, and told him to get out of the car. Once outside of the car, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a flushed face. The defendant staggered upon exiting the car and was very off balance. Due to the defendant's high level of impairment, he was not asked to perform the walk and turn or one leg stand tests. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
An officer must have reasonable suspicion of a crime and/or have a legitimate concern that a person is sick or injured before ordering them out of their car, which constitutes a seizure. In this case, the only evidence presented was that the defendant was simply sleeping in his car. Thus, when the officer ordered him out of the car, he was unlawfully seized.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 29, 2017 Case: A59B3SE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and the defendant was swaying and off balance. The defendant stated she had drank a few beers. The defendant was then asked to perform the roadside tests on video tape. According to the officer, she failed them and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she refused the breath test.
On video, we pointed out to the State that the defendant's speech was not slurred and she was not off balance as was written in the officer's report. Also, the officer administering the roadside tests was a new officer and kept confusing the defendant as she was giving the instructions. The defendant kept trying to clarify what she was being asked to do over and over. The defendant even stated at one point prior the walk and turn, "this is not a normal thing to do." After numerous pretrial talks with the prosecutor, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 24, 2017 Case: 16-CF-001069 Judge Greider
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash, allegedly driving at least 30 mph in a 45 mph zone. EMS personnel were already on scene checking out the defendant prior to the police arriving. When the officer made contact with the defendant, he smelled a strong odor of alcohol, but the defendant denied drinking. She did admit to haven taken "Alprazolam." The defendant was shaking, had slurred speech and an open container of beer was found in the car. The defendant then performed the HGN (eye test), finger to nose, palm pat, and finger count exercises because she stated she could not perform any physical exercises due to her Multiple Sclerosis. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused a breath and urine test. This was the defendant's Third DUI within ten years and she was charged with a Felony DUI.
Through cross extermination, Parks & Braxton were able to establish that the State's witnesses all contradicted each other. For example, one EMS person testified the defendant appeared impaired while the other stated he didn't notice any signs of impairment. Furthermore, although the officer stated that he smelled an odor of alcohol, an EMS person who was with the defendant stated she never smelled anything. Also, though cross examination, the defense established that any shaking, slurred speech, and balance issues on the part of the defendant were just as reasonably due to the defendant's MS diagnosis versus alcohol or any drugs. After cross examination, and all of the State's witnesses were impeached. The State Dismissed the Felony DUI.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Mar 23, 2017 Case: 15-025118MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one way street. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, very glassy eyes, and she fumbled retrieving her documents. The defendant stated that she had drank two glasses of white wine. The defendant appeared to be off balance upon exiting the car. She then performed the roadside tests which were not video taped. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton met with the State prior to trial. We pointed out that none of the roadside tests were specifically detailed. In fact, the reports were very vaguely written. Prior to trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 17, 2017 Case: 16-CT-014684 Judge Hanser
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When the officer arrived, he noticed that the defendant had an odor of alcohol and glazed/glassy eyes. The defendant stated she had consumed three margaritas. She then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape and was subsequently arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .149 and .149 in the breath machine.
Under Florida law, a person can only be convicted of DUI if "while driving" they had a breath alcohol level of .08 of higher. Here, under the the theory of retrograde extrapolation (ie. going back in time to calculate the defendant's BAC level earlier), it was shown by the defense that she may have been under the legal limit at the time of the driving.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 7, 2017 Case: 16-CT-503610 Judge Swett
The defendant was stopped by the police for driving on the rims of her blown out tires. A caller had called 911 alerting the police to her car prior to the traffic stop as she had been driving recklessly. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, mumble/slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant performed the roadside tests. For example, on both the finger to nose and one leg stand tests, she almost fell over so the exercises were stopped. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently blew a .102 and .100 in the breath machine.
Under Florida law, the State is required to provide all discovery in their possession as well as in the possession of the police department. If all the evidence is not turned over to the defense in a timely fashion, the State would be prevented from using it against he defendant. Due to various discovery issues, the State Dropped the DUI on the day of trial.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Mar 6, 2017 Case: 2016-CM-009424 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one way street. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and glassy eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking beer at "The World of Beer." The defendant then performed the walk and turn, HGN (eye test), one leg stand, and finger to nose tests. After doing them, he was arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test. In a search incident to arrest, the officer found marijuana and a glass pipe. The defendant was also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Under Florida law, a defendant who is agreeing to perform roadside tests cannot be coerced into doing them by a misstatement of the law. Here, the defendant relied upon misinformation from the officer about the potential consequences of performing them vs. not performing them. The State agreed and Dropped the DUI. The two possession charges were also Dismissed.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Feb 17, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-011561AXXX Judge Hanser
The defendant was stopped for having an expired tag. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He also had difficulty completing sentences at times. The defendant stated that he had consumed one beer. The defendant then performed the roadside tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped off the line and took an incorrect number of steps. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down and swayed. He was then arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. During pretrial negotiations, we pointed out various conflicts in the officer's reports versus what was on the video tape.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Feb 16, 2017 Case: 7367-XFF Judge Newman
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a flushed face. He also swayed while he stood and had bloodshot eyes. The defendant was then asked to perform the roadside tests. According to the officer, he did not perform to standards and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton brought to the State's attention documentation that the defendant suffered from serious mental health issues. This caused speech issues for the defendant as well as a lack of comprehension when he was being instructed on the field sobriety tests.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Feb 14, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-503301 Judge Gonzalez
The defendant was stopped for swerving. Upon stopping the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, as well as an odor of marijuana coming from the defendant. The officer noticed slurred speech, glossy eyes, and the defendant fumbled with his items. The defendant had crumbs on his shorts which appeared to be marijuana to the officer. The defendant was then asked to perform roadside tasks. For example, on the walk and turn, the defendant stepped off the line, took an incorrect number of steps, and used his arms for balance. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down and used his arms for balance. After his arrest for DUI, he refused a breath and urine sample. The officer also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a search incident to arrest. The defendant was also charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
Parks & Braxton had pretrial discussions with the State on the day of the trial. We pointed out various contradictions within the officer's reports. Furthermore, there were contradictions in his reports versus what was captured on tape. The State Dropped the DUI and Dismissed the two possession charges.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Feb 1, 2017 Case: 2015-CT-048387 Judge Koons
An anonymous caller called 911 stating they observed a "reckless driver unable to maintain a lane of travel." The officer spotted the vehicle in question, which was the defendant, and observed him touch a lane marker one time. The officer then initiated a traffic stop. Upon contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he stated he had consumed 3 to 4 beers. He then performed the field sobriety exercises and was subsequently arrested for DUI. The defendant stated after his rights were read that he felt the effects of the alcohol and should not have been driving. He also blew a .123 and .120 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton filed a pre-trial motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant was unlawfully stopped by the police. Pursuant to the Florida and U.S. Supreme Courts, in order to stop a defendant based on an anonymous tip, the officer must corroborate the tip. Here, the officer did not observe any reckless driving, nor any failure to maintain a lane of travel. In fact, the officer wrote in her report the defendant "crossed" over the white line of travel. However, on video, the defendant merely touched the lane marker. Prior to the motion hearing date, the state agreed to drop the DUI based on the case law.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Jan 26, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-017199 Judge Bryson
The defendant was stopped for weaving and swerving. The officer observed the defendant to have blood shot eyes and she was confused in providing the appropriate documents to the officer. The officer noticed what he believed to be and alcoholic beverage in her car. Believing she was impaired, he requested her to perform roadside tests. For example, on the one leg stand, she almost fell over and asked if she had to count to 600, not 30 as instructed. On the walk and turn, the defendant crisscrossed her feet, did not touch heel to toe, and and instead of counting out loud, she raised her fingers to her nose. She was then arrested for DUI. Subsequently, she refused both breath and urine tests.
In Florida, to be convicted of DUI, a defendant must be impaired by alcohol, a chemical and/or chemical controlled substance. Here the State could not prove by what substance the defendant was allegedly impaired by as there was no odor of alcohol noted.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 23, 2017 Case: 8505-XEZ Judge Riba
The defendant was first observed by an undercover Detective as the defendant appeared to be following behind him for a lengthy period of time and distance. The detective radioed out that he believed he was being followed. Another Deputy then got behind the defendant and observed him slow down, brake heavily, and almost come to a stop in the roadway. The officer turned on his lights and sirens and pulled the defendant over. He then called for a DUI unit. Upon the DUI officer making contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glossy/droopy eyes. The defendant then performed the roadside tests. He failed them and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, the defendant stated that he did not want to take a breath test because he did not want to take the risk that he was over the legal limit.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the lawfulness of the initial traffic stop. At the motion hearing, we argued the officer's belief that the defendant was following him did not rise to a "reasonable suspicion of a crime." Also, upon cross examination, the officers could not articulate any specific traffic infractions that were committed. Thus, there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime, nor probable cause to believe there were any any traffic infractions committed justifying the stop. Based on the testimony, case law provided, and legal argument, the Judge granted the motion and threw out all of the evidence.
The DUI was Dismissed
Jan 23, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-022192 Judge Eissey
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road. The officer observed the defendant crossing over the white lane markers numerous times. Upon contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and slurred speech. A DUI officer was then called to the scene. The defendant then performed the roadside tests. According to the officer, she exhibited several clues of impairment and was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
The defense brought to the State's attention that although the first cop smelled an odor of alcohol, the DUI cop did not. Also, the first officer stated he did not observe balance issues, yet the DUI officer wrote she was off balance. Also, the DUI officer did not observe the angle of onset in the defendant's eyes prior to 45 degrees on the HGN test, which would be present if one was impaired by alcohol. Due to the numerous conflicts between the two officer's testimony, the DUI was dismissed.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Jan 19, 2017 Case: 2015-CT-072385 Judge Irizarry
The defendant was found in his car by the police as it had went off the road into a ditch. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He noticed the defendant to stagger, be unsteady, and sway. The defendant then performed the roadside tests on video tape. According to the officer, he performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton had a jury trial over a year ago with the same officer. In that case, the defendant was found Not Guilty. In the current case, as was with our older case that went to trial, the officer did the same thing by exaggerating each defendant's impairment in his reports versus what was captured on tape. The firm then brought this to the attention of the State as this officer continually did not tell the truth in his reports even though he had a camera. The firm did an investigation and found out that just prior to our court date, the officer had been caught lying in his reports in another unrelated case by his department and punished.
The State Dismissed the DUI.
Jan 18, 2017 Case: 2016-CF-011479 Judge Craner
The defendant was stopped for driving without headlights. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had consumed two beers. The defendant then performed the walk and turn, one leg stand, finger to nose, and alphabet tests. He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .112 and .110 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Fourth DUI and he was charged with a felony DUI.
The firm pointed out to the State that there was misinformation of the law provided by the officer to the defendant prior to him submitting to the breath test. Thus, the only reason the defendant provided the breath samples was because of the misstatement of the law. The State dropped the DUI and the defendant received no DUI conviction.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Jan 17, 2017 Case: 8083-XEV Judge Wolfson
The defendant was the at fault driver in a T-bone crash. When officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/stuttered speech, and blood shot eyes. The defendant was trying to eat chicken while seated in his car to mask the smell of the alcohol. The defendant refused to perform the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. It should be noted that this was the defendant's fourth DUI arrest. The firm represented him on the the last two DUI cases and both DUI's were Dropped.
Under Florida Law, a defendant has to be brought to trial on a county court DUI within 90 days. Here, due to discovery violations by the State, the defense did not waive speedy trial. On the day of jury trial, the DUI was dismissed. This was now the third DUI in a row the firm won for this client.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Jan 11, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-016892 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was pulled over for making a wide left turn. Once stopped, the police officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and glassy/blood shot eyes. The defendant stated he had drank one beer. He then performed the field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .114 and .116 in the breath machine.
Florida law states that in order for a person to be convicted of DUI, the defendant must have an unlawful breath alcohol level "at the time of driving." Here, the defense was able to show that the defendant was absorbing alcohol and that his breath alcohol level was actually under the legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 11, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-011954 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had consumed two or three drinks and the officer observed him swaying. The defendant then performed the roadside tasks. For example, on the one leg stand, the defendant put his foot down, raised his arms for balance, and counted improperly. On the finger to nose, he missed touching the tip of his nose and also swayed. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that the officer's observations in all of the police reports were contradicted by the video tape.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Jan 9, 2017 Case: 2016-CT-010238 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood shot watery eyes. The defendant denied drinking any alcohol and admitted to having taken Xanax. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests at the request of the officer. According the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's third DUI arrest.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that the defendant's speech was not slurred on video tape vs. what the officer wrote in his report. Also, the officer stated that the defendant showed several cues of impairment on the one leg stand test. However, it was clear on tape that the officer was causing the defendant to mess up by repeatedly interrupting him throughout the test.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Dec 14, 2016 Case: 15-02945MU10A Judge Evans
The defendant was the driver of a motorcycle with a female passenger on the back. A car next to the motorcycle noticed that the two were arguing. When the light turned green the motorcycle accelerated. The car lost sight of the motorcycle for a few seconds. At the next intersection, the driver of the car noticed the female passenger injured on the ground. The male driver was standing away from the bike. Officers responded to the scene and observed the defendant to have a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes as well as slurred speech. The defendant performed a series of field sobriety tests and was ultimately arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's 4th DUI offense. At the police station, he blew a .163 in the breath machine.
Parks and Braxton filed a motion to suppress alleging that the defendant was arrested unlawfully. Specifically, all elements of a DUI must be witnessed by a law enforcement officer in order to make a valid arrest. The exception to the rule is when an accident occurred. However, the civilian witness lost sight of the motorcycle. She could not testify whether there was an accident or whether the female passenger simply fell of the bike. The motion to suppress was granted and the breath test was excluded from evidence.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Dec 12, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-005862 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for having an obscured tag and weaving within his lane of travel. The officer noticed the defendant to have a strong odor of alcohol on this breath, extremely bloodshot eyes, and a relaxed appearance. The defendant had delayed reflexes and admitted to consuming 2 vodka drinks and 2 beers. The officer, who was a DRE (drug recognition expert), also suspected marijuana use and kept questioning the defendant if he had smoked pot. The defendant was then asked to perform field sobriety tests. After doing the tests, he was then arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. On the morning of trial, the defense pointed out that there were no specific indicators displayed by the defendant pointing to the fact that he was under the influence of marijuana per the actual DRE manual. Also, the officer's description of the defendant's roadside tests were contradicted by the video tape.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Dec 1, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-002582 Judge Jeske
The defendant was found by an officer at a gas station passed out behind the wheel. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant admitted to drinking and gave inconsistent statements to the officer. That officer then called for a DUI unit who made similar observations. The defendant was then asked to perform field sobriety tests and he refused. After being told of the adverse consequences of refusing, he was arrested for DUI. The defendant refused to take the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
In order to request a defendant to roll down their window, there must be reasonable suspicion of a crime. Here, the officer merely believed that the defendant was sleeping and was not sick or injured. Thus, his order for the defendant to roll his window down was unlawful. Since that initial contact with the defendant was unlawful, all evidence thereafter would have been excluded due to an unlawful seizure pursuant to the 4th amendment.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Dec 1, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-005963 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and glassy eyes. The defendant stated he had drank whiskey. The officer did not smell an odor of marijuana, but kept asking the defendant if he had smoked that night. The defendant was then asked to perform the roadside tests. After performing them, he was arrested for DUI. The officer, believing the defendant was impaired by a chemical and/or a controlled substance along with alcohol, asked the defendant to provide a urine sample. The sample came back from the FDLE lab positive for marijuana and MDMA.
Under Florida law, an officer has to have "reasonable cause" that a defendant is under the influence of a chemical and/or a controlled substance to ask for a urine sample. Here, since the defendant made no statements about taking any drugs, the officer did not smell any pot, nor did he attempt to conduct a DRE (drug recognition exam), there was no reasonable cause to request a urine sample. Thus, it would have been thrown out of evidence.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 30, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-014361 Judge Weis
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. The defendant told the officer she had drank "five" beers that night. The defendant then performed the roadside tasks at the request of the officer. For example, on the walk and turn, the defendant stepped off the line, took and incorrect number of steps, and used her arms for balance. On the one leg stand, she put her foot down, swayed , and used her arms for balance. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
The officer had the defendant perform the field sobriety tests on the side of the interstate highway. As she was performing the tasks, cars and trucks were driving by at high rates of speed very close to the testing area. It was very dark, loud, and the road appeared to be very slanted on the video tape. Thus, it was unclear if her performance on the roadside tests was due to alcohol versus the conditions under which the defendant performed the tests.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 29, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-011070 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for weaving and stopping past the stop bar. The defendant stated he had a couple of drinks. He had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant was then asked for perform field sobriety tests on video tape. According to the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .093 and .088 in the breath machine.
On video, the defendant's speech was not slurred versus what the officer had wrote in her report. Also, with the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the defendant's two breath test results could have been under the legal limit.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 29, 2016 Case: A0Z1CGP Judge Wolfson
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When the officers arrived at the scene, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant was also observed to be unsteady on his feet. He then performed the field sobriety tests and exhibited several clues of impairment. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently blew a .187 and .181 in the breath machine.
There were issues with the defendant's breath test as one of the control tests was reading high. Thus, his breath readings could have been skewed higher than what was actually in his system.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 17, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-007096 Judge Bell
The defendant was stopped for running a red light and speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, slurred speech, and he admitted to having consumed beer. The defendant then performed the roadside tests. He exhibited several signs of impairment and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .093 and .098 in the breath machine.
Since there is a .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the defendant's two test results could have been under the legal limit.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 16, 2016 Case: 2015-CT-001899 Judge Blechman
The defendant was stopped for having an obscured tag. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have a pale face and appeared to be confused. No odor of alcohol was observed. The defendant's speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. Believing the defendant may be impaired, he was detained at the scene. While he was being detained, the officer had called for K-9 units. As the dogs sniffed the car, they alerted the officers. A small amount of marijuana was found. The defendant was then asked to perform roadside tasks. According to the officer, he did not perform up to standards and was arrested for DUI. Back at the station, a DRE (drug recognition exam) was conducted to determine if the defendant was under the influence of drugs. He then submitted to a urine sample which later tested positive at the toxicology lab for marijuana.
Under Florida case law, a defendant cannot be detained longer than necessary for the officer to write a traffic citation when there is no reasonable suspicion of a crime. Here, on video, the defendant's speech was not slurred and he didn't appear to be confused. There was no odor of marijuana coming from the defendant's person, nor any odor of alcohol. After doing the research, the case law was clear that the defendant was detained on video tape longer than necessary for the officer to have written the citation for an obscured tag. Also, there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime (ie. DUI) to justify detaining him as the video contradicted the officer's report. The officers never charged the defendant with possession of marijuana. Due to the unlawful detention, the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Nov 10, 2016 Case: 2016-CM-004139 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped as she entered the middle of an intersection at a steady red light. The officer, who was at the intersection and observed her infraction, then stopped the defendant. Upon approaching the car, he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the defendant's car and her person. He also observed a green leafy substance in the defendant's mouth and bloodshot eyes. The defendant was off balance, unsteady, and swayed. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape. According the officer, she performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she provided a urine sample. That sample came back from the toxicology lab positive for marijuana.
The officer's reports were contradicted by the video. For example, the officer wrote that the defendant had stepped off the line on the walk and turn test. However, on tape it appeared she never stepped off the line. The officer also wrote that she was unsteady. However, on tape, she appeared to be standing normally. In addition, the officer wrote that the defendant had an odor of alcohol, but he never even asked her for a breath test. These examples, plus many other contradictions, were brought to the State's attention a week before trial.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 9, 2016 Case: 16-001582CT Judge Martin
The defendant was stopped for driving in the wrong lane of travel. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and red eyes. While talking to the defendant at the car, the defendant stated to the officer that he "had a little bit to much drink." He was then asked to performed field sobriety tests. He then responded "that he would fail. " After unsuccessful attempts to perform the walk and turn and one leg stand tests, he was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest he refused the breath test.
The defendant denied making those statements. In addition, he told the officer he had recent head trauma issues which would cause him to be off balance and fail any physical tests. This created doubt as to whether he was impaired by alcohol or his head trauma.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 7, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-006984 Judge Miller
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, thick/rambling speech, and his gait was jerky and very unsteady. The defendant told the officer that he had drank a bucket of beer. He then performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .133 and .127 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
The officer gave the defendant misinformation about the penalties of refusing a breath test. Thus, by misstating the law, he coerced the defendant into taking the breath test.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 7, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-010873AXXX-XX Judge Koons
The defendant was stopped after a caller on 911 stated that the defendant was driving all over the road. Once stopped, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy/watery eyes, and a flushed face. The defendant stated he had drank two beers. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape. According to the officer, he performed poorly and was arrested for DUI.
The defendant stated on videotape that his legs were almost totally disabled from the military. Yet, the officer still had him perform the physical tests such as the walk and turn and one leg stand. The defendant did not perform well on tape , however, it was unclear from the video whether any impairment was due to alcohol vs. his disability. Due to the conflict in the evidence, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 1, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-009442 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one way street. Once stopped by the police, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, droopy eyelids, and a sleepy appearance. The defendant stated she had drank a margarita and was swaying outside the car. She then agreed to perform HGN (eye test). After that test, she refused to perform any other field sobriety tasks and was arrested for DUI. The defendant subsequently refused the breath test.
On video, the defendant was not swaying and did not appear to be sleepy on video. She was responsive, coherent and answering all the officer's questions. Thus, the officer's reports were contradicted by the in car camera. The defense announced ready for trial and just prior to trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Nov 1, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-041815 Judge Garagozlo
The defendant was stopped for driving up on a curb. When stopped, the officer observed the defendant to have slurred/mumbled speech and he fumbled with his license. No odor of alcohol was observed. The officer, believing the defendant was impaired by something, asked him to perform field sobriety exercises. The defendant performed poorly. For example, on the one leg stand, he used his arms for balance and put his foot down. On the walk and turn, he did not count out loud, did not touch heel to toe, and had difficulty maintaining his balance. He was then arrested for DUI.
Under Florida law, a person has to be impaired by a alcohol, a specific chemical, and/or controlled substance to be convicted of DUI. Here, the State could not prove by what specific substance the defendant was impaired. After reviewing the discovery, the firm then pointed this out to the State and the DUI was dismissed.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Oct 31, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-006428 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for driving at a high rate of speed and making an improper lane change. He allegedly came within seven feet of the officer's bumper who then initiated a traffic stop. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, he used his door for support, and swayed while standing. The defendant admitted to having drank 3 beers. He then performed the field sobriety tests on video. For example, on the one leg stand, the defendant put his foot down numerous times and could not keep his balance. On the finger to nose, he left his finger on his nose without removing it as instructed and also missed the tip of his nose on all attempts. The defendant was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The defendant was never paced clocked and no radar device was used to show that the defendant was driving over the speed limit. Also, the defendant never interfered with the safe operation of the officer's patrol car as required by Florida Statutes. Thus, the defendant did not violate any traffic laws and the issue of the defendant having being unlawfully stopped was brought to the State's attention. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 31, 2016 Case: 15-029720MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The defendant was found by the officer passed out in his car in a travel lane. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and bloodshot eyes. When the defendant was asked how much he had to drink, he replied "too much." The defendant made threatening comments and movements towards the officer so no roadside tests were conducted. He was then arrested for DUI.
The firm conducted a pretrial investigation into this arresting officer's background. It was discovered that he had a history of incidents of misconduct, including incidents involving untruthfulness. This was brought to the State's attention and the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Oct 27, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-005429 Judge Bell
The defendant was stopped after an officer saw him hit a shopping cart being pushed by a pedestrian. He then caught up to the defendant and observed an odor of alcohol and he had a difficult time walking. A DUI unit was called. That officer observed an odor of alcohol, droopy eyelids, and slurred speech. The defendant stated he had maybe 2, 4, or 6 drinks. He then performed the roadside tasks. On the one leg stand, the defendant almost fell over and the exercise was stopped. On the walk and turn, he used his arms for balance, stepped off the line, and did not understand many, if not all, of the instructions. The defendant was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI and Second refusal to submit to a breath test.
The arresting officer's report, which stated that the initial officer saw the defendant driving, was not true. That initial officer had stated that he heard the sound of a crash and then saw the defendant walking down the road. Thus, the two officers contradicted each other and no witness observed the defendant either driving or in actual physical control. The State Dropped the DUI and Dismissed the refusal charge.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 25, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-006266 Judge Wilson
The defendant ran a red light and collided with another car. When the police arrived, the officer observed the defendant to have slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, and droopy/red eyes. He was also staggering and stumbling around. The defendant then performed the roadside tests on video tape. For example, on the walk and turn test, the defendant used his arms for balance, counted incorrectly, and stepped off the line. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down and used his arms for balance. He was subsequently arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
On video, the officer is seen and heard reading the defendant his Miranda rights. The defendant requested a lawyer, however, the officer then proceeds to tell the defendant that he is "still required" to perform the roadside tests under the law. That statement was misinformation and a misstatement of the law as roadside tasks voluntary. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 24, 2016 Case: 8622-XEQ Judge Wolfson
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant was asked to perform roadside tasks and he refused. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Due to discovery violations committed by the State, Parks & Braxton announced ready for jury trial. On the day of trial, there was a speedy trial violation due to those discovery issues and the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was Dismissed.
Oct 13, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-002508CTAXMS Judge Hitzeman
The defendant was stopped for swerving all over the road. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred/incoherent speech, and he was lethargic. The defendant leaned against the vehicle for balance and also had bloodshot eyes. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests. For example, on the one leg stand, the defendant used his arms for balance, put his foot down, and he hopped. On the walk and turn, he did not touch heel to toe, stepped off the line, and took an incorrect number of steps. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton discovered several inconsistencies in the officer's police reports and brought them to the attention of the prosecutor. After discussing the case with the State, they Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no crimina
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 13, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-009566 Judge Weis
The defendant was found asleep in his car in someone's driveway. 911 callers alerted police to the vehicle after they observed the defendant driving all over the road. When the officer arrived, he found the defendant passed out in the driver's seat. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and watery eyes. The defendant was not making any sense while talking and was incoherent. He was very off balance and had trouble standing. The defendant was only able to perform the finger to nose test. The defendant was then arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton argued that despite being found in the driver's seat, the defendant did not have the capability to operate the motor vehicle at the time the officer arrived. As a result, the defendant was not in actual physical control of the motor vehicle in the presence of the officer.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 11, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-017045 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a flushed face. The defendant also had bloodshot/watery eyes and his movements were "slow and deliberate." When asked to exit the vehicle, the defendant used the car to maintain his balance and he swayed while standing outside the car. The defendant was then asked to perform roadside tasks and to provide a breath test. He refused both and was arrested for DUI.
Under the law, a defendant who refuses the field sobriety tests must be advised of the "adverse consequences" for refusing. Here, the defendant was never told of any consequences for refusing. Also, under Florida law, a defendant can only be asked to take a breath test "after" being lawfully arrested. In this case, the defendant was asked to provide a sample of his breath "prior" to being arrested for DUI in violation of the law.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 11, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-007634 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for drifting back and forth over the lane markers on at least five different occasions. Once stopped, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, thick tongued speech, and glassy eyes. The defendant stated he had drank 2 to 3 Blue Moon draft beers. The defendant then performed the roadside tasks on video tape. After performing the walk and turn, finger to nose, and one leg stand tests, he was arrested for DUI.
On video, the defendant told the officer prior to performing the walk and turn and one leg stand tasks, he had very bad knees and may have trouble doing them. The officer still proceeded the have the defendant do them. It was unclear on tape whether any alleged impairment cues observed by the officer were due to alcohol or his bad balance from having two bad knees. Those physical exercises were contradicted by his performance on the non-physical finger to nose exercise.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 11, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-021995AXXX-XX Judge Clarke
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor alcohol, slurred/confused speech, and a red face. The defendant told the officer she had a few beers with dinner. The defendant used the steering wheel for support upon exiting the car and struggled to remove her seat-belt. Upon being asked to perform the roadside tests, the defendant only performed the HGN (eye test) and refused to perform any others. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State, that on video, the defendant's speech did not appear slurred which contradicted the officer's report. Also, the defendant was not told of the consequences for her refusal to perform the rest of the field sobriety tests which was in violation of Florida case law. Thus, her refusal would have been excluded as evidence.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 5, 2016 Case: 2016-CF-001190 Judge Briggs
A person called 911 alerting police that the defendant was highly intoxicated at a gas station. Officers arrived on the scene and came into contact with the defendant as he was pulling out. As one officer approached the defendant, his window was down, and the officer smelled an odor of alcohol. He also observed bloodshot eyes and slurred/mumbled speech. The officer asked the defendant to then step out of the car. The officer observed the defendant to sway, have poor coordination, and he admitted to drinking beer. Due to the heavy rain, all three officers on scene asked the defendant to step in front of the gas station entrance to perform roadside tasks in a dry area. For example, on the one leg stand, the defendant used his arms for balance and put his foot down a number of times. On the walk and turn test, he missed heel to toe, lost his balance during the instructions, and raised his arms for balance. He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest he refused the breath test. The defendant was charged with a Felony DUI since this was this was his Fourth DUI.
The firm took pretrial depositions of all three officers. Two officers on scene, including the DUI unit, had in-car cameras in their patrol vehicles, however, they were not utilized. The DUI officer testified under oath that she couldn't use her camera because it was raining so hard during the roadside tests and she could not get back to her car to turn it on. However, one other officer stated in deposition that the rain had stopped prior to ever even asking the defendant to perform the tests. He also had a camera in his car and when asked why he didn't utilize it, his answer was "I don't know." Also, the arresting officer stated "I don't remember" multiple times when being questioned about specific details of the field sobriety tests. Furthermore, the officers contradicted each other on many aspects of the defendant's alleged impairment such as whether he actually had slurred speech or was even unsteady. The State, after reading the deposition transcripts, Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-007574 Judge Farr
The defendant was found passed out in his car in his neighbor's driveway. The neighbors had called 911 not knowing it was the defendant. When the officer arrived and awoke the defendant, he observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and dilated pupils. The defendant was extremely loud and uncooperative. The defendant did not perform to standards on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .119 and .121 in the breath machine.
No one ever observed the defendant driving. Thus, the State could not prove the defendant was in "actual physical control." Since he was sleeping in the car, he had no "capability" to operate the motor vehicle under the applicable Florida Statute.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2016 Case: 16-CT-500193 Judge Hayward
The defendant was found passed out in his car in a condominium parking lot after a 911 caller noticed him slumped over the wheel. The officers attempted to wake the defendant up by knocking on the windows several times. Once he awoke, the car began to move forward until he finally put it in park. Officers noticed the defendant have an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and a dazed look. Once out of the car, he was swaying and appeared sleepy. The defendant only performed the HGN (eye test) since he had back injuries which prevented him from doing any other tests. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Pursuant to Florida Rule 3.220, the State has the obligation to disclose all evidence within their possession. This requirement extends to police agencies as well. Parks & Braxton determined that the police failed to adequately turn over the entire evidentiary packet. The discovery violation was brought to the attention of the Court.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2016 Case: 15-026416MU10A Judge Brown
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, flushed face, red eyes, and mumbled speech. The defendant told the officer that she had drank wine that night. The defendant then performed the roadside tests at the request of the officer. For example, on the walk and turn task, the defendant missed heel to toe, used her arms for balance, and could not maintain her balance during the instructions. On the one leg stand, the defendant put her foot down, used her arms for balance, and swayed. She was then arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .135 in the breath machine.
The defense brought to light an error that occurred in the machine as a result of radio frequency interference (RFI). The RFI occurred three times prior to the defendant providing her result of a .135. This RFI happening multiple times could have skewed the defendant's result to appear higher than what was her true breath alcohol level (BAC). On the morning of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Sep 27, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-032143 Judge Koons
The defendant was stopped for stopping beyond the painted stop bar at a stop sign. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. Once out of the car, he swayed and appeared to be "unsure." The defendant then performed the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises on video tape. According to the officer, he did not perform up to standards and was arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton, in discussing the case with the prosecutor, pointed out that on tape, there was no slurred speech, no sway, and the defendant appeared to be totally coherent. Also, although the officer attempted to exaggerate the defendant's performance on the tests in his reports. The specific details written by the officer were contradicted by video tape. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Sep 23, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-502058 Judge Swett
The defendant was stopped for weaving and almost striking a curb. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated she had drank a glass of wine. The defendant appeared sluggish and avoided eye contact with the officer. The defendant then performed the roadside tests. For example, on the walk and turn, she stepped off the line numerous times and used her arms for balance. On the one leg stand, she stumbled and almost fell. She was arrested for DUI and subsequently blew a .105 and .095 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton pointed out that with the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, one of the defendant's breath results could have been under the legal limit (ie. .095). Also, the officer's reports about the defendant's extreme level of impairment was inconsistent with her breath test results. There was no in car camera.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Sep 21, 2016 Case: 2015-CT-001732 Judge Mcginnis
The defendant was stopped for stopping beyond the stop bar at a red light and weaving. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech,and dry lips. Upon exiting the car, the defendant appeared off balance and unsteady and he stated he had drank a couple of beers. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests and was eventually arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for jury trial. Prior to trial, the defense and State had discussions about the case. The officer wrote a very vague report. The defendant's performance on the roadside tests was not described in any detail and there was no video tape at the scene. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Sep 14, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-005701 Judge Greco
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign and hitting a curb. Upon being stopped, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and sluggish/clumsy movements. The defendant stated he had been at a club and had a couple of long island iced teas. He also stated that he was a little buzzed. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape. After performing them, he was arrested for DUI and then refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
Parks & Braxton pointed out that on tape, the defendant was not clumsy or slow. In fact, he was being responsive and coherent. Also, he had no issues getting out of the car or walking around. Furthermore, the defendant's video contradicted the officer's reports as to his level of alleged impairment. It should be noted, the firm also represented the defendant on his last case four years ago and got that DUI Dropped too. In that case, he had blown a .14.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2016 Case: 2015-CT-002236 Judge Hitzeman
The police were alerted to the defendant's truck by a 911 caller. The caller stated that the defendant and his passenger were passed out in a turning lane. When officers arrived, they found the defendant and his passenger asleep. The defendant was in the drivers seat, the engine was running, and the truck was in drive. When the officer reached in the truck to turn the truck off, the defendant awoke. He observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot watery eyes, a flushed face, and slow/mumbled speech. The defendant was asked to perform roadside tests while still seated in the truck. He refused and was asked to exit the vehicle. The defendant was slow, lethargic, and leaned on the truck for balance. He was then placed under arrest for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton, during the pretrial discovery process, got the DUI video tape. On tape, the officer never advised the defendant of any adverse consequences for refusing the roadside tests as required by Florida law. Also, the defendant's speech was not mumbled and he did not appear off balance nor unsteady. Just prior to trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Aug 30, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-000957CTAXMX Judge 2016-CT-000957CTAXMX
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. The officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant admitted to drinking 2-3 beers and staggered while walking. The defendant then performed the field sobriety exercises on video tape. She performed the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton watched the video tape during the discovery process. On video, the defendant's speech was not slurred and she spoke normally. Also, she never staggered and was never off balance or unsteady. Also, the alleged weaving was not captured on video tape.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2016 Case: 16-CT-501227 Judge Swett
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact with the defendant, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant also had a dazed look. The defendant was asked to perform roadside tests. He refused and was advised of the adverse consequences for refusing. The defendant still refused and was then arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. The officer who arrested the defendant was wearing a department issued body camera. On video, the defendant's speech was not slurred versus what was written in the police reports. Also, on video, the defendant was not off balance or unsteady.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2016 Case: 16-CT-501242 Judge Swett
The defendant was observed by two civilians weaving on the roadway in front of them. All of the sudden, the driver's door opened and the defendant, who was the driver, fell out of the car onto the ground. The car kept going for a bit, until it ended up in a ditch. Police were called and the defendant was transported to the hospital. At the hospital, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. Due to the defendant's high level of intoxication, no roadside tests could be conducted. The nurse told the officer that the defendant's blood alcohol level was a .394 (nearly five times the legal limit).
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Due to various discovery issues during the pretrial process, the State was never able to retrieve the defendant's medical records. Thus, without the actual records, they wouldn't be able to introduce that blood alcohol result. On the morning of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 16, 2016 Case: 16-CT-008093 Judge Lefler
The defendant was found by the police sleeping in his car in a parking space. When the officers awoke the defendant, they asked him to step out of the car. Once outside of the car, the officers smelled an odor of alcohol, observed bloodshot and watery eyes, and the defendant staggered as he stood. When asked for his driver's license, the defendant gave the officer his bank card. At the request of the officers, the defendant performed the field sobriety tests which were captured on a body camera. According to the officers, he did not perform to standards and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton received the body camera in discovery. Based on the video and the audio of the officers ordering the defendant to exit the car, there was no reasonable suspicion of crime (ie. DUI ) to justify ordering him out of the car. Thus, all evidence observed when the defendant was outside the car would have been excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 15, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-002272 Judge Cameron
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving all over the road. Once stopped, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and the defendant had to grab the door for support while exiting the vehicle. The defendant admitted to consuming Johnnie Walker Black and beer. The defendant then attempted to perform the roadside tests at the request of the officer. For example, on the walk and turn test, the officer had to explain the instructions 8 times. Based on the defendant's confusion, the officer proceeded onto the one leg stand. The defendant had to be explained the instructions numerous times once again. He did not perform that test either and was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI and he also charged with a second or subsequent refusal to submit to breath testing. It should be noted, at the breath testing facility, the defendant was on video falling asleep and had his head down the entire time.
Parks & Braxton, learned through discovery, that the officer who stopped the defendant, conducted the DUI investigation, and made the arrest, was outside of his jurisdiction. He was supposedly part of a DUI saturation patrol pursuant to a mutual aid agreement. However, the mutual aid agreement was vague and did not specify whether an officer who was outside their jurisdiction had the right to conduct a DUI investigation, nonetheless arrest a suspect for DUI. The State agreed, Dropped the DUI, and the defendant received no criminal convictions. In addition, the refusal charge was dismissed.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 8, 2016 Case: 14-8982MU10A Judge Lerner-Wren
The defendant was stopped by the police after an anonymous BOLO (be on the lookout) went out about a driver (ie. the defendant) being passed out behind the wheel. When the officer saw the defendant's car, he conducted a traffic stop. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and she admitted to drinking vodka with red bull. The defendant could not stand up without leaning on her vehicle. The defendant then performed the roadside tests and showed several signs of impairment. She was then arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .173 and .172 in the breath machine, over twice the legal limit.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged that the traffic stop was unlawful. We argued that under Florida law, there needs to be corroboration when the tip is anonymous. Here, not only was the defendant awake when the officer came into contact with her, but also there was no allegation of criminal activity. The Judge Granted the motion and threw out all the evidence. The State then Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Aug 2, 2016 Case: 2016-302779MMDB Judge Schuman
The defendant was seen by the police in a heavily occupied pedestrian area while on his motorcycle. The defendant abruptly applied his brakes and the motorcycle fell over, along with the defendant. The officer then went up to the defendant to see if he was alright. Upon contact, he noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and slow/slurred speech. The defendant stated he had just drank a few beers. The defendant performed the field sobriety tests at the officer's request. He then performed the HGN (eyes test), Rhombeg balance (estimate 30 seconds), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. According to the officer, he failed them and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton had discussions with the prosecutor prior to setting the case for trial. We pointed out that since there was no video tape of the DUI, we had to rely on the officer's reports. In this case, the officer wrote only a half page report with no supplements. He wrote only one brief vague line describing the defendant's performance on each of the tests. The officer did not write one specific detail pertaining to any of the exercises, only vague statements.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 2, 2016 Case: 15-023982MU10A Judge Brown
The defendant was stopped for speeding and drifting within his lane of travel. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow and sluggish movements, and slurred speech. The defendant admitted to drinking tequila. At the request of the officer, the defendant performed the roadside tests. The defendant performed very poorly according the officer and he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he also performed the roadsides on video tape at the Sheriff's sub station. Subsequent to performing them again, he then refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State that the defendant’s performance on the roadside tests on video tape contradicted the level of impairment the officer allegedly stated he observed, which was not on camera. Also, the defendant 's speech was normal and clear on video versus the slurred speech that the officer wrote he noticed in his reports. On the day of jury trial the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 2, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-004951 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for continuously weaving all over the road. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/thick tongued speech, and a blank stare. The defendant stated she had nothing to drink and was swaying. The officer only performed the HGN (eye test) on the defendant and then she refused to perform any other tests. She was then arrested for DUI and then subsequently refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton had discussions with the State just prior to trial. On video, the defendant was not swaying and her speech was clear as compared to what the officer wrote in his reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 2, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-001007 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/watery eyes. After performing the roadside tests on video tape, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .117 and .113 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. We discussed with the State, that on video tape, the defendant's speech was not slurred at all. Also, we pointed out that based on the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests, the defendant's breath alcohol level was lower than .08 at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2016 Case: 1806-XDZ Judge Hague
The defendant was the at fault driver in a two car collision, whereby he side swiped another car. When officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking 4 long island iced teas and also admitted to being buzzed. He then performed the roadside tests. On the one leg stand test, he put his foot down 7 times and lost his balance. On the walk and turn exercise, he stepped off the line a number of times, used his arms for balance, and was very unsteady. He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .193 and .184 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. On the morning of trial, the State could not place the defendant in "actual physical control" of the motor vehicle at the time of the crash, as required by Florida law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2016 Case: A4AC7AE Judge Seraphin
An anonymous person called 911 stating they observed a possible drunk driver who ran off the road. The police spotted the defendant's vehicle, which was the suspected vehicle, and conducted a traffic stop. Upon contact with the defendant, they observed her to have an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and a flushed face. The defendant was unsteady, used her car for support, and swayed all over. She then performed the road side tests. The defendant exhibited several signs of impairment and was arrested for DUI.
Park & Braxton filed a motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged the initial traffic stop was unlawful. Our legal basis for the motion was that under Florida case law, the officers must corroborate either a driving pattern or other facts indicating that the defendant may be intoxicated when the tip is anonymous. Here, there was none and the State agreed the stop was unlawful. The DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jul 27, 2016 Case: 48-2015-CT-001250-E Judge Martinez
The defendant was stopped for driving without headlights. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and he spoke with a "heavy tongue." The defendant 's movements were slow and deliberate and he admitted having two glasses of wine at a bar. The defendant then performed the roadside tasks. According to the officer, he did not perform up to standards and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for jury trial. Prior to trial, in pretrial talks with the prosecutor, we pointed out that the officer did not write or document any specific details of the defendant 's performance on the field sobriety tests. He wrote a very vague report and there was no on scene video tape. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State Dropped the DUI.
Jul 15, 2016 Case: A0Z0BVP Judge Newman
The defendant was stopped for driving eastbound in the westbound lane. Cars had to brake to avoid a collision. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/thick tongued speech, and a flushed face. The defendant stated he drank three glasses of wine and appeared very unsteady. The defendant performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After is arrest, he blew a .205, .184, and .204 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State that the defendant had to provide three breath samples instead of the legally required two. There were issues with the defendant's breath testing procedure. The State then Dropped the DUI after reviewing the breath materials.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 11, 2016 Case: 2016-CT-000222-A-O Judge Cameron
The defendant was stopped for failing to use his turn signal on two separate occasions. Upon stopping the defendant, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech and it was sometimes not even coherent. The defendant had an orbital sway and was unable to look at the officer in the eyes. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests. He exhibited several clues of impairment and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .166 and .166 in the breath machine.
Parks Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the lawfulness of the traffic stop. In our motion, we alleged that since no traffic was affected by the defendant 's actions of not signaling, the stop was unlawful. The State agreed after reviewing the applicable case law and then Dropped the DUI on the day of the motion hearing.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 11, 2016 Case: 2015-CT-027593 Judge Lefler
The police responded to a call about a reckless driver. The caller had stated the defendant was driving on the sidewalk a few times. The defendant was then found by the police in a parking lot and detained. The officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she was swaying heavily. The defendant was stumbling while walking and also had watery eyes. Officers also saw a case of miller lite beers in the car. The defendant refused to perform the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. Since there was a minor in the car, she was charged with enhanced DUI. After her arrest, she refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton pointed out that the initial contact (seizure) of the defendant was unlawful as the police could not corroborate any driving pattern as required by law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 6, 2016 Case: 2015-CT-045187 Judge Babb
The defendant was stopped for traveling 96 mph in a 60 mph zone and failing to maintain a single lane. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and a flushed face. The defendant stated she had consumed a few drinks earlier in the night. She then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape. She performed the walk and turn, HGN (eyes test), one leg stand, finger to nose, alphabet, and rhomberg balance exercises (estimate 30 seconds). According to the officer, she failed them and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she refused to take the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for jury trial. A week prior to the trial date, the defense pointed out to the State that the officer's written descriptions of her performance on the roadside tests was totally contradicted by the video tape. One major contradiction in the case was that although the officer arrested her and had told her that she failed the tests by not following his instructions (both physically and mentally), he then wrote in report that her ability to understand instructions was "good." On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 17, 2016 Case: 05-2015-CT-037509AXXXXX Judge Presiding Judge: Division 6 (Formerly Judge Murphy's Division)
The defendant was parked behind a closed business. An officer spotted her car, drove around near it, got out of his car, and yelled “sheriff’s office.” There was no indication that the defendant ever saw or heard him. The defendant then drove away. The officer then got back in his car to stop the defendant to conduct a loitering and prowling investigation. While behind her, he observed her to be driving 30 mph in a 45 mph zone and she was allegedly swerving within her lane. Once stopped, the defendant was ordered out of her car at gun point by several officers and she was immediately handcuffed. She was cuffed for at least eight minutes or so and taken off camera. While off camera, officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a clumsy demeanor. She also swayed and had bloodshot eyes. Once the cuffs were finally removed, the loitering and prowling investigation then turned into a DUI investigation. The defendant then performed several field sobriety tests on video tape. For example, on the one leg stand test, the defendant put her foot down several times and used her arms for balance. On the walk and turn exercise, she took the wrong number of steps, never touched heel to toe, and lost her balance. She was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test. The defendant was never arrested nor charged with loitering or prowling.
Parks & Braxton filed two pretrial motions to suppress. In one motion, we alleged that the defendant was unlawfully stopped without probable cause or reasonable suspicion of any crime. In the other motion, we alleged that the defendant was unlawfully arrested for loitering and prowling by the officer's actions of immediately handcuffing her, keeping her cuffed for a long period of time, and ordering her out of her car at gun point. At the motion hearing, the Officer could not remember any specifics of the alleged swerving such an the number of times she swerved, distance, or time frames. The judge Granted the illegal stop motion and threw out all the evidence. Thus, there was no need to ever argue the second motion. Without any evidence left, the State Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jun 16, 2016 Case: 2015-CT-016396 Judge Cunningham
The defendant made an illegal u-turn and struck other vehicle. An off duty officer observed the crash. He then called for officers who were on duty. Upon their arrival, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery eyes. The defendant stated he had drank gin and juice. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests. According to the DUI officer, the defendant failed them and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .091 and .084 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton took pretrial sworn depositions of the officers in the case. At the depositions, the officers contradicted each other's testimony. For example, one officer stated that the defendant's speech was slurred, while the other testified it was normal with no slur. Also, the officers couldn't remember numerous details of the defendant's performance on the roadside tasks as there was no video tape.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 14, 2016 Case: 2016-MM-000728 Judge Steele
The defendant was involved in a two car crash whereby he rear ended someone. The defendant then drove down the road and stopped. When officers arrived, they came in contact with the defendant and immediately arrested him for leaving the scene of an accident. After that contact, the officers observed the defendant to have an odor of marijuana coming from his person, dilated/watery eyes, and he was speaking slowly. They then added a charge of DUI. In a search incident to arrest, the police found some marijuana in the defendant's car. The police then added another charge of possession of marijuana. Later at the police station, the defendant refused to provide a urine test.
Parks & Braxton had discussions with the prosecutor. We pointed out to them that the defendant was the one who actually called 911 about the crash. Thus, he was not trying to leave the scene at all and simply pulled his car a little further down the road to get to a safer place. Also, the officers never even inquired of the defendant as to why he had driven down the road. Furthermore, as for the DUI, the officers never attempted to conduct any type of DUI investigation such as asking the defendant to perform field sobriety tests. The State Dismissed the DUI and leaving the scene of an accident charges. The defendant also received no criminal conviction at all for the possession of marijuana charge.
The DUI was dismissed,
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