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DUI Wins

Our Recent Victories

Aug 17, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-005854 Judge Eissey
The defendant was stopped for having an obstructed tag. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red/glossy eyes, and she appeared confused. The defendant changed her story about where she was that night and admitted to drinking. After performing the roadside tasks, she was arrested for DUI.
English is the defendant's second language. It was evident that she did not fully understand many of the officer's instructions being given in English. Due to the language barrier, it was clear that her performance on the tests was due to the language issue versus alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-002187 Judge Eissey
Officers received a call about a reckless driver. The officer spotted the vehicle in question, which was driven by the defendant, and observed him swerving all over the road. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and an orbital sway. The defendant would stare into space and had to be asked the same question multiple times. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The defendant told the officer he had many injuries which would prevent him from performing the walk and turn and one leg stand tests. However, the officer still had him perform them on the side of the highway very close to traffic. It was obvious from the tape, that his poor performance was due to the conditions on the highway and his injuries.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 17, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-006683 Judge Eissey
The defendant was stopped after she drove off the roadways and almost struck several parked cars. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she was unsteady on her feet. After performing the field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .172 and a .167 in the breath machine.
After a review of all the discovery and video tape, it became apparent that the defendant only swerved briefly and didn't come close to any parked cars. Thus, the stop may have been unlawful.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 16, 2018 Case: A2FJKXP Judge Murray
The defendant was stopped for speeding through a police checkpoint. Officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He then performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew. a .150 and a .143 in the breath machine.
The defendant's performance on the roadside tests, which were captured on a body worn camera, clearly showed the defendant was under the legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 15, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-006865 Judge Mcneil
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, fumbling fingers, and watery eyes. After performing the field sobriety tests on video tape, he was arrested for DUI. He subsequently refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the officer's reports as to the defendant's speech and his performance on the field sobriety tests.
The state dropped the DUI.
Aug 14, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001077 Judge K. Roberts
Police were called out to a Publix shopping center in regards to an intoxicated individual passed out in his car. When police arrived, they were confronted by the two civilians who contacted them. They pointed him out and told the cops he was very intoxicated and that he had just thrown a bottle of alcohol away. The defendant, who was standing across the street, walked over to the officers. They observed him to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and he was very unsteady. He then performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .118 and .107 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. The basis of our motion was that the arrest was unlawful pursuant Florida Statute 901.15. Since no officer observed the defendant driving or in actual physical control, the fellow officer rule did not apply, even though civilians saw the defendant behind the wheel. The State read the motion and before the hearing date, the DUI was Dismissed. It should be noted that the firm beat the Defendant's last DUI too.
The DUI was dismissed.
Aug 14, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-010317 Judge Lefler
The defendant was stopped for having a tail light that was out. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking beer and then performed the field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for DUI.
The officer had no video camera. His reports did not list any specifics of the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests. In addition, the officer actually believed the defendant may have been impaired by a chemical and/or controlled substance with no facts to back up his conclusion.
The DUI was dismissed.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CF-001530 Judge D. Weiss
An officer observed the defendant swerving and almost striking other vehicles. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the defendant did not pull over. The officer then activated his sirens and air horns, along with his lights. He followed the defendant for over 4 miles until the pursuit was called off for safety reasons. The defendant was found in his parking garage shortly after that by other units after his tag had been called in. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he admitted to having consumed martinis. He performed very poorly on the roadside tests. He was arrested not only for DUI, but Felony Fleeing and Eluding as well.
The firm took a pretrial deposition of the arresting officer. During our questioning, we were able to establish that the defendant did not speed up or attempt to take any evasive actions. The defendant is elderly and it was apparent he was simply oblivious to the police car. The officer also could not remember many specifics of the field sobriety tests. After the deposition, the State agreed to Drop the felony fleeing and eluding to a misdemeanor and also Drop the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-022952 Judge Harper
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, red/droopy eyes, and a flushed face. The defendant swayed as she stood and stumbled. She performed poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .187 and .184 in the breath machine.
During the breath test, there were errors which called the reliability of the results into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003521 Judge Cunningham
The defendant drove off the road and crashed into a palm tree, a pole, and some cars. When officers arrived, the defendant had been already transported to the hospital. Upon contact at the hospital, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. Her movements were lethargic, deliberate, and she had difficulty following directions. The defendant performed the HGN (eyes test) at the hospital and subsequently was arrested for DUI. Prior to her arrest, she refused a blood sample.
The defendant had suffered injuries in the crash. All the alleged signs of impairment were as equally as consistent with the traffic crash vs. alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 10, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003947 Judge Panse
The defendant was stopped for swerving and striking a curb. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy eyes. The defendant appeared nervous and admitted to consuming beer. He performed poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The driving pattern was only vaguely described and not captured on tape. Thus, were wasn't enough reasonable suspicion of a crime to justify the lawfulness of the traffic stop. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 8, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-008250 Judge Arias
The defendant was stopped for running a red light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He also had a flushed face and was uneasy on his feet. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The officer's reports were vaguely written as to any specifics of the field sobriety tests. Since there was no video tape, it was difficult to discern how the defendant actually performed on the roadside tests. The State Dropped the DUI and he received No criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 7, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-002344 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to drinking beers. After performing the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .132 and a .128 in the breath machine.
During the HGN (eye test), the officer did not observe an angle of onset prior to 45 degrees in the defendant's eyes. Under Tharpe's formula, this would indicate his breath alcohol level was under the legal limit at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 2, 2018 Case: 17-022764MU10A Judge Capenter-Toye
The defendant was seen weaving all over the highway with smoke coming from the vehicle. After the officer turned on his lights and siren the weaving continued for an additional mile. After the defendant was stopped the officer called for a DUI task force member to conduct an investigation. The officer stated that the defendant failed the roadside tests and subsequently arrested the driver for DUI. This was the defendant's second offense for DUI.
Parks and Braxton filed several motions to suppress. First, the firm filed a motion to exclude the field sobriety tests based on a lack of reasonable suspicion. Next, the firm filed a motion to suppress the refusal to submit to a breath test based on a lack of probable cause to believe the defendant was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Finally, the firm filed a motion for statement of particulars requiring the state to name what substance the defendant was impaired by. Prior to the motions, the firm took sworn testimony from the officers in order to set up the motions. The state ultimately conceded the motion and the charges were dropped.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-003247 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was found passed out in his car. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed the defendant to be disoriented, sluggish, and have slurred speech. He had heavy eyelids and constricted pupils. Believing he was impaired by drugs, since there was no odor of alcohol, he was asked to perform the field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI. He then provided a urine sample which the FDLE lab report revealed positive hits for marijuana and Alprazolam.
Since the defendant was sleeping in his car, the State could not prove he had the "capability" to operate the motor vehicle as required by the actual physical control definition in the DUI jury instruction.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-006250 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was stopped for speeding and driving aggressively in an unsafe manner. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he admitted to having drank beers. The defendant performed poorly on roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .186 and a .184 in the breath machine.
On video, there was no sound. Thus, it was not clear if the officer misstated the law in obtaining the breath test. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 30, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000053 Judge Yerman
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and blood-shot watery eyes. The defendant also had slow movements, was uncooperative, and argumentative. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that the officer at the station, who also wrote a report, had numerous contradictory observations of the defendant as compared to the arresting officer. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 27, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-003846 Judge Hanser
The defendant crashed through an apartment complex gate. When police arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow speech, and lethargic movements. The defendant also admitted to having drank wine that day. The defendant performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. Due to injuries from the crash, he was asked to provide a blood sample at the scene. The toxicology results later revealed that the defendant's blood alcohol level was .268 and .267. This was the defendant's Third DUI.
The firm took a pretrial deposition of the arresting officer. Through our questioning of the officer, the firm was able to establish that the officer unlawfully obtained the defendant's blood through coercion. In addition, it was also unlawfully obtained on another ground since a breath test was not impractical or impossible. After the State read the depo and applicable case law, they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 26, 2018 Case: 18-CF-003197 Judge Pomponio
The defendant was found passed out in his car by the police. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, he was unsteady, and a bottle in a paper bag was observed. The defendant started to do the roadsides but was unsteady and refused to continue after starting the HGN (eye test). He was then arrested for DUI. Cocaine was also found subsequent to arrest and he was also charged with Possession of cocaine.
Since the defendant was sleeping, he had no capability to operate the motor vehicle. Thus, the State could not prove he was in actual physical control. The State Dropped the DUI. The felony is still pending.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000015 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and lethargic movements. He had poor coordination, bloodshot eyes, and poor balance. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
It was pointed out to the State that the officer concluded the defendant was DUI even before he performed the roadsides, based on his off camera comments to another officer. Thus, his credibility was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000546 Judge Crown
The defendant was stopped for driving with no headlights. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol and the defendant admitted to having consumed one drink and two shots. While talking to the officer, she would look away from the officer. According to the officer, she performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .093 and .085 in the breath machine.
In order to request field sobriety tests, there must be reasonable suspicion of a crime. Here, there was no reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant was impaired to lawfully request roadsides. Also, with the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the defendant's two breath results could have been under the legal limit. The defendant received no criminal conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000237CTAXES Judge Sestak
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Once stopped, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant made unusual statements, had poor coordination, and admitted to having drank beer. According to the officer, she performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI.
The officer's body-worn camera, which captured the field sobriety tests, contradicted the officer's written reports as to the level of alleged impairment.
The State dropped the DUI. The Defendant received no conviction on her record.
Jul 24, 2018 Case: 18-001883MU10A Judge Pole
The defendant was stopped after running a red light at a high rate of speed. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having drank Jack and cokes. The defendant was asked to perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly according to the officer and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second arrest for DUI.
Every time the officer was seen instructing the defendant how to perform each field sobriety test on his body camera, the video then would cut out while he was actually performing each exercise. We put forth to the State that this was intentionally done. The State Dropped the DUI on the day of trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-018768 Judge Silverman
The defendant was stopped for crossing over the center lane divider into oncoming traffic. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a slight slur to his speech, and red/glassy eyes. The defendant fumbled with his documents and his manipulation was slow. He also stumbled and tripped on his feet. He then performed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .102 and .098 in the breath machine.
Due to the .02 margin of error in the breath machine, the firm was able to point out that one of the defendant's breath alcohol results could have been under the legal limit. Also, the videotape contradicted the officer's reports as to many things. For example, the defendant never tripped or stumbled and his speech was not slurred. Also, the extent of alleged impairment on the field sobriety tests as written in the reports was contracted by the tape.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000012 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was driving at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his car and crashed. When the officer arrived, he saw that the airbags had deployed and a tire was missing. He observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and slurred speech. He had difficulty maintaining his balance and also swayed back and forth. The defendant refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, we pointed out to the State that on tape the officer had already made up his mind that the defendant was impaired. This was based on his statements to the other officer on scene prior to even coming in contact with the defendant. Also, the officer never even brought the defendant in front of the camera so one could hear him or see him.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 18, 2018 Case: A6MM9PE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding and failure to maintain a single lane. Once stopped, officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, he swayed as he stood, and was unable to keep his balance. After admitting to having consumed some glasses of wine that evening, he was then was asked to perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .101 and .100 in the breath machine.
The video tape of the roadside tests contradicted the police reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 9, 2018 Case: 1909-XDZ Judge Newman
The defendant was found passed out in his car. Officers observed him to have slurred speech, a flushed face, blood shot eyes, and he appeared incoherent. The defendant admitted to having taken numerous medications. He was arrested for DUI after performing the field sobriety tests. The defendant was asked for a urine sample and he refused.
Under Florida law (Statute 316.193), the State must prove which "specific" chemical and/or controlled substance was impairing the defendant. Here, after we filed a motion for statement of particulars, the State could not give a response. On the day of trial, the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jul 9, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-001618 Judge Grosshans
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and a slur to his speech. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
It was clear from the tapes that the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests was as easily attributable to his weight and physical ailments versus alcohol. This was discussed with the State prior to trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 9, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001034 Judge Grosshans
The defendant was the at fault driver in a traffic crash. When officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, thick tongued speech, and he was very off balance. He admitted to consuming some drinks at a bar. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew. a .208 and .191 in the breath machine.
Parks and Braxton raised the issue of a 316.645 violation. Specifically, the procedures surrounding a crash followed by a DUI arrest were not in compliance.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 26, 2018 Case: 18-CT-00068 Judge Everett
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and he stated he had drank 3 to 4 beers and also smoked pot earlier in the day. The defendant denied being drunk and refused to perform field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for DUI. The search incident to arrest of the defendant's vehicle revealed marijuana and paraphernalia.
It was evident from the discovery that the only reason the defendant was arrested for DUI was because he was refusing to perform roadside tests and cooperate, not because the police had probable cause. The State Dropped the DUI and he received no convictions for the possession of pot and paraphernalia charges.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 25, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001399 Judge Cameron
The defendant crashed his car into a giant palm tree. When police arrived, they saw the car up on a curb and up against the tree. The defendant was observed to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and he was off balance, staggering, and unsteady. The defendant was asked to perform field sobriety tests to which he complied. He performed very poorly and even stated "I am intoxicated." He was then arrested for DUI.
In order to arrest someone for DUI, there must be probable cause. Here, the investigating officer didn't make any personal observations and relied on another officer's upon arriving. He then immediately went up to the defendant within seconds and asked him to perform the roadside tasks. When the defendant initially said no, he was immediately cuffed and told he was under arrest. He then stated he would do them and was subsequently uncuffed. However, due to the initial illegality of cuffing the defendant without probable cause, all the evidence would have been thrown out including the field sobriety tests, observations, and statements. The State agreed and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 22, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-020592 Judge Hanser
The defendant was stopped for a defective tail light. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had drank 2 beers. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .192 and .183 in the breath machine.
The firm brought information forward that the tail light was not defective. We argued that if the traffic stop was unlawful, all the evidence would have been thrown out.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 22, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-003998CTAXWS Judge Poblick
The defendant was stopped for swerving and straddling the lane markers. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and watery/glassy eyes. The defendant stated she had drank 2 to 3 beers. Her coordination and listening ability were fair. She then performed the field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
It was apparent that the description the officers wrote about the defendant's level of impairment was contradicted by the video tape. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No Conviction at all on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 18, 2018 Case: 16-024677MU10A Judge M. Brown
The defendant was involved in a one car crash on the highway. Upon arrival, the the officer observed a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes as well as slurred speech. The defendant agreed to perform the walk and turn, one leg stand as well as the HGN (eye test) exercises. The officer stated that the defendant was unable to walk a straight line or keep her foot up during the sobriety tests. All tests were supposedly captured on video. The defendant was arrested for DUI.
Upon receipt of the evidence, it was clear that there was a malfunction regarding the video equipment. Counsel argued that any evidence that would have been captured on video should be excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 15, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-052281AXXXXX Judge Atkin
The defendant was found inside his car at a bar parking lot. Attention was drawn to his vehicle because his car alarm was going off. When the officer went to the car, the defendant was trying to get the alarm to turn off. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a flushed face. He swayed and his movements were slow. He admitted to consuming several beers earlier in the night. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
Officers had no reasonable suspicion of a crime to order the defendant to roll down his windows prior to making any DUI observations. Thus, all of the evidence that was gathered after he was ordered to roll down his windows was illegally obtained.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 13, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000650 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was found passed out in his car by an officer. Upon awaking the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he stumbled while he stood. His eyes were bloodshot and his mouth as dry and pasty. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Given the fact that the defendant was sleeping behind the wheel of the vehicle, there was a question as to whether the defendant was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. On the day of trial, the State dropped the DUI.
On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction at all on his record.
Jun 8, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-050712AXXXXX Judge Naberhaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. He was slow to exit the vehicle, slow walking, and swayed while he stood. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests which were videotaped and he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
On tape, the officer misstated the law and coerced the defendant into performing field sobriety tests. The firm then pulled the applicable case law and filed a motion to suppress the roadside tests. Prior to any motion hearing being held, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 8, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-013770AXXXXX Judge Naberhaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and she admitted to having drank 2 to 3 Bud Light beers. She swayed while she stood and was emotional. After performing the field sobriety tests on tape, she was arrested for DUI.
The firm had discussions with the State whereby we pointed out them that the defendant's "normal faculties" were not impaired as required by Florida law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-022170 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was involved in a one car crash whereby she drove off the roadway into a ditch. She also hit a DOT sign which ended up causing the car to be totaled and airbags were deployed. When the trooper arrived, he noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, an orbital sway, and glassy eyes. She admitted to drinking post Miranda and then was asked to perform the HGN (eye test ), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. She performed poorly on video tape and was arrested for DUI. She subsequently refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, the firm sent the State pictures of the totaled car, the airbags deployed in the car, and photos of the defendant's injuries after the crash. It was obvious that the alleged impairment could have been as easily to do with the severity of the crash versus alcohol. Yet, the officer still had her doing a walk and turn and one leg stand tests versus non-physical exercises like the alphabet and finger to nose tests.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-038928 Judge Ingram
The defendant was involved in a crash whereby he struck a mailbox, a fire hydrant, and finally a tree stump. Prior to the crash, a caller called 911 about the defendant driving recklessly. Officers observed the defendant to have bloodshot eyes, slurred/mumbled speech, and he was unsteady. The defendant staggered, stumbled, and had various mood swings. Believing he was impaired by drugs, he was asked to perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI.
Under Florida law, a person can only be convicted of DUI if they are impaired by a specific chemical and/or controlled substance, other than alcohol of course. The defendant admitted to taking various pills for different conditions and sleeping meds, but did not specify which ones. Although he was impaired, the State could not prove by which chemical and/or controlled substance specifically was impairing him as required by Florida Statute 316.193 (the DUI Statute).
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-000050 Judge S. Jewett
A caller advised 911 that the defendant was driving all over the road. When police spotted the defendant's car, they observed him drifting all over and almost crashing. Upon contact, after the traffic stop was conducted, officers detected a faint odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he rambled on about unrelated topics. He appeared sleepy, had flaccid muscle tone, glassy eyes, and was very unsteady. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused breath and urine tests.
There were no body cameras or an in-car camera on scene. Officers believed the defendant was impaired by a chemical and/or controlled substance. Since the defendant never submitted to a DRE (drug recognition exam), the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 7, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-023188 Judge Valkenburg
Police were dispatched to a call about a reckless driver. Upon seeing the car matching the description, which was driven by the defendant, the officer observed her run a stop sign. He then initiated a traffic stop. He observed her to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and she admitted to having drank beer. Officers also observed slurred speech and unsteadiness. She refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI.
There was no video and the officer only wrote in generalities in his reports. For example, he wrote she was "unsteady" but failed to articulate what facts led him to believe that. The firm pointed this out to the State prior to trial and they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 4, 2018 Case: 18-CT-500084 Judge Gagliardi
The defendant was stopped for weaving and following too closely. Once stopped, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He also had a flushed face, lethargic movements, appeared unsteady, and stated he had a couple of drinks. He then performed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. There was no video tape and the officer did not describe the roadsides in any detail in his reports. Due the lack of specificity, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 29, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-021396 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one way street. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The officer observed her to be unsteady and that she stumbled. She refused to perform the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the officer's reports. For example, the defendant's speech did not appear to be slurred on tape and she was not off balance or unsteady. This was discussed with the prosecutor who then Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 29, 2018 Case: 17-018984MU10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant denied having drank any alcohol. A DUI officer was called who made similar observations. The defendant was asked to perform the HGN (eye test), one leg stand, Rhomberg balance (estimation of time), finger to nose, and walk and turn exercises. He performed the all of them except the walk and turn. He refused to perform the walk and turn because he thought the line was not straight and that he was nervous. He was then arrested for DUI and refused the breath test. This was the Defendant's Second DUI within five years.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior to trial, in discussions with the State, we pointed out that the video totally contradicted what was written in the police reports. Many of the officer's written observations of the specifics of the roadside tests were contradicted by the tape. On the day of jury trial, the State Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 16, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-001171 Judge Valkenburg
A civilian flagged down an officer and told them that a vehicle driven by the defendant had been drifting all over the road. The officer then followed the defendant and observed weaving. He then conducted a traffic stop. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, watery/glassy eyes, and the defendant stated he had been drinking beer while playing golf. After performing field sobriety exercises on tape, the defendant was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The video tape in the case contradicted the officer's written reports as to the alleged level of impairment prior to and during the roadside tests. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 16, 2018 Case: 17-015788MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The defendant was the at fault driver in a traffic crash. When officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/incoherent speech, and she fumbled with her items. The defendant was very argumentative with the officers. She then performed the field sobriety exercises. For example, on the walk and turn, she stepped off the line, did not touch heel to toe, and made an improper turn. On the one leg stand, she raised her arms for balance, swayed, and did not count as instructed. She was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
The firm took a lengthy pretrial sworn deposition of the arresting officer. During questioning, the officer contradicted her police reports and could not remember many important details about the facts of the case. After the State read the depo and realized that their officer's credibility was called into question, they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 14, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-504418 Judge Hayward
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, and slurred speech. His face was flushed and he appeared to speak incoherently. There was also damage to both his side passenger tires as if he had just hit something. He refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
A breath test can only be offered after one is arrested for DUI. In this case, the officer asked the defendant for a breath test prior to placing him under arrest. Thus, his refusal to take a breath test was inadmissible under law. This was brought to the State's attention. They agreed and Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 10, 2018 Case: A6MLM4E Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped for stopping past the stop bar, fishtailing and driving at a high rate of speed. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery/glassy eyes. He swayed while he stood and his dexterity was unsure. The defendant admitted to having drank two beers. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests according to the officer and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .099 and a .101 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton provided documentation to the prosecutor showing that the defendant's both breath test results were under the .08 legal limit at the time of driving as required by Florida law. This is called retrograde extrapolation. We also pointed out that due to the .02 margin of error in the machine, the .099 could have also been as low as a .079 (under the legal limit).
The State dropped the DUI.
May 8, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-041683 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was stopped after being observed driving on a sidewalk area. Upon contact, the defendant had an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, slurred speech, she stated she had drank 3 glasses of wine, and that she was lost. She exited the vehicle slowly and used the door for assistance. She walked slow and swayed while she stood. The defendant refused to perform any field sobriety tests and was then arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, the defense attempted to obtain the in-car video camera of the incident. It was learned that there was an alleged problem with the upload of the video and it could not be retrieved. The defendant had stated that if that video had been retrieved, it would contradict all of the officer's observations and allegations in the police reports. Due to that evidence being exculpatory (meaning favorable to the defendant), the firm contacted the State about the destruction of that critical piece of evidence. Prior to filing any motion to dismiss for destruction of evidence, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 4, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-050521 Judge Ingram
The defendant was found by a security guard sleeping in her car in a 7-11 parking lot. The security guard woke her up and told her she could not sleep there. She then started her car and drove off. The security guard had noticed an odor of alcohol and called police. When police arrived, they conducted a traffic stop. Police observed an odor of alcohol, confused/mumbled speech, and she stumbled. She also swayed and used her car for balance. She performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests. For example, on the walk and turn, she stepped off the line, used her arms for balance, and did not touch heel to toe. She was then arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI and Second for subsequent refusal to provide a breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress all the evidence. In our motion, we alleged that there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime for the police to conduct the traffic stop. At the motion, the firm argued that a "mere odor of alcohol" was not enough to evidence to rise to the level of reasonable suspicion. After reviewing the case law, hearing testimony, and hearing argument of counsel, the Judge Granted the motion and threw out all of the evidence. The State then Dismissed all charges.
The DUI was dismissed.
May 4, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-020744 Judge Bryson
The defendant was stopped after a unknown civilian called the police saying that the defendant was driving on a rim with sparks flying in the air. Police spotted the defendant and conducted a traffic stop. Once stopped, officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred/mumbled speech, and lethargic movements. He swayed, appeared unsteady, and had a flushed face. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .194 and .184 in the breath machine.
When an anonymous person provides information, the tip must be corroborated by the stopping officer. In this case, while the defendant was driving on a rim, the evidence was clear that there were no sparks. Absent the sparks, the state could not prove that the defendant was stopped lawfully.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 2, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-2268 Judge Crown
Police were called after the defendant was kicked out of a hotel for being drunk and staying past check out. When police found him, he was found passed out in his car with the engine on in the hotel parking lot. He had an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, vomit on his shirt, and he was unsteady. A bottle of Vodka was found in the defendant's car. He refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
When the defendant was kicked out the hotel, he had nowhere else to go. If he stayed on the property, he would have been arrested for trespassing. If he walked down the road and left his car, he could have been arrested for public intoxication and had his car towed. He did the smartest and safest thing to do, not drive and sleep in his car. Legally, the State couldn't prove he ever drove, nor that he was he in "actual physical control" as he had "no capability" of operating the car since he was sleeping. Also, the officer did not advise the defendant of any adverse consequences for his refusal to perform the field sobriety tests.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 27, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-022970 Judge Harper
The defendant was rear ended by another vehicle. When the officers arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, he appeared confused, and had slurred speech. His eyes were glossy and he admitted to drinking beers. He performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .194 and .189 in the breath machine.
Here, the defendant was the one who got rear ended. He called the police to do the right thing yet he got arrested. After discussions with the prosecutor, they agreed to Drop the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 27, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-022073 Judge Harper
The defendant was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane and almost hitting a median. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and red/glassy eyes. The defendant exhibited balance issues and admitted to drinking that night. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew .177 and .158 in the breath machine.
The firm called into question the lawfulness of the traffic stop. We pointed out that there are no specifics of how the defendant failed to maintain a single lane. For example, lack of specificity about the distance of swerving, how many times, and time frame. Due to the stop being potentially unlawful and the State losing all the evidence, the State dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 25, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-001008 Judge S. Jewett
The defendant was found passed out in his truck in a gas station parking lot. A 911 caller called the police stating the defendant was driving all over the road and gave the defendant's location of his truck at the parking lot. Upon contact, after awakening the defendant, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, blood shot eyes, and he looked like a deer in headlights. The defendant stated he was at a party and had drank vodka. He performed very poorly on the video taped field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .164 and .160 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Prior to trial, the defendant provided documents to the firm that he had called for roadside maintenance to fix his tire at the gas station where he was found. A service tech was sent out to fix his tire. The defendant did not tip him which made him angry. Through the documents provided by the defendant, the firm was able to establish a timeline which positively showed that when the 911 call was made, the defendant was actually at the gas station sleeping, and was not driving. We were also able to establish, after some phone calls to the tire service company, that it was actually the service tech who called 911 on the defendant after not getting tipped. Thus, the 911 call tip was deemed unreliable and a lie. Without that call, the defendant would never have been found, nonetheless arrested. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and he received No criminal conviction at all on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 25, 2018 Case: A6MLCWE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding and running a stop sign. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to having drank two beers and he staggered as he walked. He then performed the field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
During pretrial negotiations, the firm pointed out to the State that DUI video tape contradicted the officer's reports. For example, on tape his speech was not slurred and he never staggered. Also, when the defendant disputed the reason for the traffic stop, the arresting officer told him that the stopping officer had a camera. That was not true. Thus, his credibility was now called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 24, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-008550NC Judge Galen
The defendant was found passed out in his car at a red light. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer noticed him to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery eyes. He appeared very unsteady and was stumbling. The defendant stated that he had drank beer at a bar. After performing poorly on the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
After numerous pretrial talks over an extended period of time, the State Dropped the DUI.
After numerous pretrial talks over an extended period of time, the State Dropped the DUI.
Apr 24, 2018 Case: 17-013341MU10A Judge Brown
The defendant was stopped for speeding, swerving, and almost sideswiping another car. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a blank stare, bloodshot eyes. He also admitted to having drank 2 to 3 beers. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
A review of the video tape by the firm revealed that it contradicted many observations that were written in the police reports regarding the field sobriety tests. The firm announced ready for trial and on the day of trial the State dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 24, 2018 Case: 16-031116MU10A Judge Brown
The defendant was the at fault driver in a T-Bone crash at an intersection. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and a sway to his stance. The defendant stated he had drank beer and beers were also found in his car. He refused to perform the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI.
Prior to trial, the firm took pretrial sworn depositions of the three officers involved in the case. Upon questioning by the firm, each officer contradicted each other's testimony and their respective reports. The depositions were shown to the State and each officer's credibility was severely damaged. On the day of trial the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 13, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-001057 Judge Bryant
An officer who was on routine patrol saw a white pickup truck stopped on the west side of the road. The officer pulled up behind the truck to check on the welfare of the driver. The driver then pulled off with his tires half on the grass and half on the road. The officer initiated a traffic stop. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he stumbled upon exiting the truck. The defendant could not stand up without leaning on the truck for balance. He was asked to perform roadside tasks, however, he refused. He was then arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
In order to conduct a traffic stop for welfare check, also known as the community caretaker exception, there must a reason to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens at large. Here, none existed, so the defense provided case law to the State to show that the traffic stop was unlawful. The State agreed and Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 11, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-002878 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant ran a red light and ended up stuck in a ditch. Upon arrival, officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant performed poorly the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The defendant told the officer prior to roadside tests that he had a traumatic brain injury. Yet the officer still administered the physical field sobriety tests. We pointed out to the State than any impairment could have easily been attributed to a prior head and brain injury versus alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 11, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000626AXXXMA Judge Drake
The defendant was involved in a crash whereby she hit a mail box. The defendant appeared unsteady, lethargic, disoriented, and confused. Believing she was impaired by a chemical or controlled substance, the defendant was asked to perform field sobriety exercises. According to the officer, she failed and was arrested for DUI.
The defense prevented the State from filing a DUI charge as they could not prove specifically by what chemical and/or controlled substance allegedly impaired the defendant as required by Florida law. After the DUI was dismissed, the State then took it one step further and filed it as a reckless driving. After pointing out all the facts that it was no reckless driving (ie. driving in a willful and wanton manner), the State dismissed that charge too.
The DUI was dismissed.
Apr 10, 2018 Case: 2017-CM-002296 Judge Valkenburg
The defendant was stopped for driving down a one way street. The officer smelled an odor of alcohol, a strong odor of marijuana, noticed watery/bloodshot eyes, and also observed slurred speech. She also exhibited a sleepy appearance and admitted to having drank alcohol and smoked marijuana. After performing field sobriety exercises, the defendant was arrested for DUI. She subsequently refused the breath and urine tests. In a search incident to arrest, marijuana as found in the car and she was also charged with possession.
The officer's police reports were contradicted by the video tape as it related to the defendant's performance on the roadside tests. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No conviction on the possession charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 10, 2018 Case: 14-040150MU10A Judge Lerner-Wren
An officer received a call regarding a crash. The officer located the alleged victim who subsequently pointed at the defendant's car. The officer proceeded to pull over the defendant. He observed a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and a flushed face. The defendant told the officer that she had been drinking lite beer and was on her way home. The defendant performed poorly on the walk and turn, one leg stand and finger to nose tests, and was arrested for DUI. This was her second offense for DUI.
Parks & Braxton filed a motion to suppress based on an unlawful stop. Specifically, the firm argued that there was no damage to either vehicle and therefore the officer was not legally entitled to pull the defendant over. The officer testified that he later observed no damage but was unaware at the time of the stop. The Judge granted the motion based on the fact that the officer failed to observe any damage prior to activating his lights and pulling over the defendant. All of the evidence was excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 5, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-002237 Judge Vandercar
The defendant was stopped after swerving in and out of his lanes of travel. The officer observed slightly slurred speech, poor coordination, and a noticeable odor of alcohol. The defendant was unsteady on his feet and swayed while walking. He was then asked to perform field sobriety tests. He performed poorly and was then arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Upon cross examination under oath at the civil administrative hearing, the officer testified that he did not smell an odor of alcohol and concluded that the defendant was impaired by something, but could not state by what chemical or controlled substance as required by Florida law. The officer's credibility was now called into serious question because of his conflicting statements under oath about an odor of alcohol in his police report versus his administrative hearing testimony. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No conviction at all on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 4, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-019663 Judge Myers
The defendant was stopped for driving at slow speeds and stopping inappropriately. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant leaned on the car for balance and gave inconsistent answers. He then refused to perform the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The firm announced ready for trial. During pretrial negotiations, the defense pointed out that on tape the defendant's speech was not slurred, he answered the officer's questions, and he was not leaning against the car for balance. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 28, 2018 Case: 2016-CF-009638 Judge Colbath (JURY TRIAL)
The defendant was stopped after he ran a red light and was weaving in and out of his lane of travel. He did not pull over immediately and drove on the grass before stopping. Officers noticed the defendant to have blood shot eyes, an odor of alcohol, and heavily slurred and mumbled speech. The defendant had difficulty completing sentences and complete thoughts. Once out of the car, he swayed while he stood, he admitted to drinking, and the officers also noticed four beer cans in the car. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape. He was subsequently arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Third DUI within ten years and the State charged him with Felony DUI.
Parks & Braxton, along with co-counsel, announced ready for Jury trial. At jury trial, the firm attacked the two officers' credibility as much of the their testimony contradicted the video tape and each other. Also, the defendant testified that he was not impaired, that the officers were exaggerating his level of impairment, and lying about the extent of his weaving. We also argued that the officers were lying about the beer cans in the car as nothing was placed into evidence and no pictures were taken of them. The Jury found the defendant Not Guilty. It should be noted, the firm represented this same defendant on his last DUI a few years back and that DUI was Dismissed. Otherwise, this would have been his Fourth DUI, not his Third.
The Jury found the defendant NOT GUILTY.
Mar 28, 2018 Case: 16-011717CF10A Judge Merrigan
The defendant was involved in a crash with a pedestrian, causing serious bodily injury. He subsequently left the scene. Two individuals who witnessed the crash attempted to stop the defendant from leaving the scene. He was eventually located a few miles away from the accident. The officers observed a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, a flushed face as well as bloodshot eyes. The defendant subsequently performed poorly on the walk and turn as well as the one leg stand tests and was arrested for DUI Serious Bodily Injury, Leaving the Scene of a Crash Causing Serious Bodily Injury, DUI Causing Property Damage and DUI. His blood alcohol level was a .115. The defendant was facing 22 years in state prison.
Parks & Braxton took the deposition of all 15 witnesses. Despite the lack of photographs, an independent investigation in conjunction with the officers testimony in deposition revealed skid marks. Ultimately, the defense was able to prove that the defendant was not the cause or contributing factor of the accident. As a result, the State dismissed both the felony DUI serious bodily injury count as well as the DUI causing property damage count. The defendant went to veteran's court on the felony leaving the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injury which will result in a dismissal and will ultimately do probation for a second degree misdemeanor.
The DUI was dismissed.
Mar 28, 2018 Case: 17-011425MU10A Judge Solomon
The defendant was observed asleep in a vehicle that was occupying the middle of the road. When the police approached the car, they noticed a white powdery substance on the defendant's nose. In addition, the officers observed an odor of alcohol as well as bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to drinking four beers. The defendant agreed to perform field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for DUI.
Despite the fact that the defendant had consumed both cocaine as well as alcohol, it was still incumbent on the part of the prosecutor to prove that his normal faculties were impaired. The video contradicted a fair amount of the officer's sworn affidavit.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 20, 2018 Case: A6MLJKE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for weaving, speeding up and slowing down, and stopping over the stop bar. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant then performed the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. She was then arrested for DUI after her performance and later refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, we pointed out out to the State, that it was clear on video tape that the defendant was the proverbial "guinea pig" so a new officer in training can learn how to do a DUI. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 20, 2018 Case: A6MM6YE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed an odor of alcohol and glassy/glazed eyes. The defendant swayed as he stood and he admitted to consuming three beers. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .105 and .102 in the breath machine.
On video, the defendant's performance on the field sobriety tests contradicted the officer's description in the police reports. Prior to trial, and after negotiations, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 20, 2018 Case: A6MM7OE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was stopped for speeding and failing to maintain a single lane. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and blood shot eyes. The defendant refused to perform the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
An officer must have probable cause to believe that a defendant was "impaired" in order to arrest a defendant for DUI. Under the case law, and under the facts of this case, we pointed out to the State in pretrial talks that there was no probable cause.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 15, 2018 Case: 2016-CT-002094 Judge Shoemaker
The defendant was the at fault drive in a rear end crash. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, an orbital sway, and she admitted to having drank wine. Due to injuries sustained by the defendant in the crash, she only performed the HGN (eye test). She was then transported to the hospital. The defendant provided an blood sample to the police. A blood alcohol toxicology report revealed results of .120 and .120. Once the blood was analyzed and the officer received the FDLE results, the defendant was subsequently charged by the State with DUI.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State that the blood was illegally drawn by the officer. First, the officer who requested blood was outside his jurisdiction. Thus he had no authority to even order a blood draw. Additionally, the officer unlawfully coerced her into consenting to provided a blood sample by telling her that her driver's license will be suspended. Finally, the officer used the wrong documents required by FDLE when conducting a blood draw.
The DUI was dismissed.
Mar 9, 2018 Case: 2017-MM-022576AXXXXX Judge Silverman
The defendant rear ended another car in the drive thru lane of a McDonalds. The defendant was observed by the police to have a strong odor of alcohol, slow speech, and glassy eyes. The person he crashed into stated to the police that the defendant had stumbled out the car. The defendant then performed the field sobriety tests on video tape. After performing the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises, he was arrested for DUI. A search incident to arrest revealed marijuana in the defendant's car for which he was later charged with possession. He subsequently refused the breath test.
Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion to sever the DUI charge from the Possession charge. During discussions prior the motion, the firm pointed out to the State that the officer's reports exaggerated the defendant's alleged impairment on his performance on the field sobriety tests versus what was depicted on tape. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No conviction on the possession charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 9, 2018 Case: 2018-CT-000545 Judge Shepherd
The defendant was spotted by the police late at night, behind closed businesses. The officer turned on his overhead lights and stopped the defendant to find out what was going on and why he was back there. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and slurred speech. A bottle of wine was found in the car. When the defendant stepped out of the car, he was very off balance and stumbling. The defendant performed very poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. He subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton brought to the State's attention the case law on illegal traffic stops when someone is simply behind a closed business late at night. In order to stop someone, there must either be probable cause that the defendant committed a traffic infraction and/or there must reasonable suspicion of crime. Here there was neither. Thus, the traffic stop was unlawful. The DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Mar 2, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-020801 Judge Hanser
The defendant was stopped for failing to stop behind the stop bar line. The officer observed the defendant to have a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he was unsteady exiting the car. The defendant stated he had drank wine earlier. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .153 and .140 in the breath machine.
After numerous pretrial discussions, the State Dropped the DUI. We pointed out to the State that in the area that the defendant allegedly went over the stop bar, he did so out of "necessity," as one cannot see oncoming traffic without having to cross over it.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 2, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-017882 Judge Cunningham
The defendant was stopped for allegedly having one operable brake light. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he stated he had drank two IPA beers. The defendant performed very poorly on the roadside tasks. For example, on the one leg stand, he put his foot down numerous times, swayed, and used his arms for balance. He also mixed up letters during the alphabet. He was arrested for DUI and later blew a .163 and .154 in the breath machine.
Pretrial, the firm pointed out to the State that there was no probable cause to lawfully stop the defendant as his brake light was working and the reason the officer provided did not meet the requirements of the inoperable brake light statute.
The State dropped the DUI.
Mar 2, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-017999 Judge Hanser
The defendant was found passed out behind the wheel of his car. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant was then asked to perform field sobriety tests. For example, on the alphabet test, the defendant messed up numerous letters. On the walk and turn, he stepped off the line and did not touch heel to toe. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently blew a .110 and .103 in the breath machine.
After pretrial talks, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 26, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-001931 Judge Duckworth
The defendant was hit head on by another driver who fled the scene. When the ambulance arrived, they noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol. Police were called. Upon contact with the defendant, the police noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she was unsteady. Due to injuries sustained in the accident, the defendant was transported to the hospital. There, a blood draw was requested and the defendant complied. The FDLE lab report later revealed a blood alcohol level of .240 and .240. The defendant was subsequently charged with DUI.
In order to get the blood results into evidence, a proper FDLE implied consent predicate must be laid in court. Prior to trial, the firm pointed out numerous mistakes made by the officer in his DUI blood paperwork packet used in this case. After review, the State agreed that the blood would not be admitted into evidence. Without the blood result, any impairment observed could have been as easily been attributed to the airbags hitting the defendant versus alcohol. The DUI was Dismissed
The DUI was dismissed.
Feb 22, 2018 Case: 17-011498MU10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road. Other cars had to avoid her in order to avoid a collision. She also struck the curb numerous times. Once stopped, the officer observed the defendant to appear confused and have dilated pupils. She had a flushed face, glassy eyes, and she was unsteady. Believing she was impaired, the officer requested the defendant to perform roadside tasks. She performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI. The defendant subsequently refused the breath and urine tests.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to exclude the defendant's refusal to provide a breath sample. The basis of our motion was that there was no probable cause to request a breath test since there was no odor of alcohol nor any indication of consumption of alcohol on the day in question. The Judge granted that motion. The firm then filed a motion for statement of particulars in an attempt to pin the state down as to what specific chemical and/or controlled substance was allegedly impairing the defendant as required by Florida Statutes. They were unable to do so at the motion hearing and then were forced to Dismiss the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Feb 15, 2018 Case: A6MLF3E Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped after illegally driving through a construction zone that had barriers around it. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. She also appeared to be swaying and was unsteady. After performing the roadside tests, she was arrested for DUI. The defendant subsequently refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the officer's reports as they related to her alleged swaying, unsteadiness, and also her performance on the field sobriety exercises. The Sate Dropped the DUI short of trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 14, 2018 Case: 15-23979MU10A Judge Levy-Cohen
The defendant was stopped for failing to obey a traffic signal device. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he staggered as he walked. While talking to the officer, he swayed consistently and stated he had consumed a couple of drinks. He was then asked to perform field sobriety tests to which he refused. He was then arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to exclude the defendant's refusal to perform field sobriety tests. The basis of our motion was that the officer never advised the defendant of any adverse consequences for refusing. The Judge granted the motion. The State then took an appeal. On appeal, the firm, in our reply brief, cited all the applicable case law to defend the judge's initial correct legal ruling. In its appellate ruling, the circuit court ruled in our favor and this has now become one of the lead opinions on this issue. The State then Dismissed the defendant's Second DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Feb 8, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-015794 Judge Farr
The defendant was approached by police after he backed into another vehicle. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a flushed face. The defendant swayed while standing and admitted to having drank three beers. After performing field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI and subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. A few days before trial after pretrial talks, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 8, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-011653 Judge Weis
The defendant as the at fault driver in a rear end crash. Officers did not observe an odor of alcohol, but noticed very slurred speech, watery/glassy eyes, and he was very unsteady. He then performed the walk and turn exercise whereby he stepped off the line, took an incorrect number of steps, and did not touch heel to toe. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down and used his arms for balance. He was then arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he provided a urine sample which later tested positive at the FDLE lab for marijuana and Xanax. He was charged with driving under the influence of a chemical and/or controlled substance.
After negotiations, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 7, 2018 Case: 16-16380MU10A Judge Carpenter-Toye
The officer observed the defendant failing to stop at a red light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. In addition, he stated that the defendant swayed noticeably from side to side. The officer stated that the defendant performed poorly on all roadside tests. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
In pretrial depositions, it was discovered that there was another officer on scene. The arresting officer testified that the other officer was on scene during the field sobriety tests and would be able to corroborate the poor performance on the roadside tests. The second officer testified that he did not arrive until the defendant was placed in cuffs. There was no video to confirm the arresting officers story.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 6, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-012898 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for speeding and failing to maintain a single lane. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and she had unstable balance. The defendant stated she had drank wine that night. After performing field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. She later blew a. 10 and a .10 in the breath machine.
The officer's reports contradicted what was on video tape. For example, she had no slurred speech and was not off balance. Also, her roadside tests were much better than what was detailed in the police reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 6, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-005857 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for turning the wrong way down a one way street. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. The defendant denied having had anything to drink. He then performed the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. He was subsequently arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .115 and .113 in the breath machine.
When the defendant approached the one way street, he had no choice but to turn because he could not go straight as required. During a pretrial investigation by the firm, it was determined there was a sign straight ahead at the intersection indicating that the interstate was blocked. Thus, the defendant had no choice but to turn down the one street out of "necessity." This was brought to the State's attention that the defendant may have been unlawfully stopped as he acted under "necessity."
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 6, 2018 Case: 16-009796MU10A Judge Evans
The defendant was observed sleeping at a light with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. When the officer knocked on the window, the defendant proceeded to drive away at a high rate of speed. After conducting a traffic stop, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, as well as the smell of burnt marijuana. On video, the defendant admitted to smoking marijuana. He performed field sobriety exercises and was arrested for DUI.
There were clear inconsistencies between the video and the officer's reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 5, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-042004 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane. He was very slow to stop, even in light of the fact that the officer not only had her police lights on, but sirens too. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, a flushed face, and watery eyes. The defendant staggered and swayed. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .147 and .141 in the breath machine.
After pretrial talks with the State, they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 5, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-035979 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and she swayed while she stood. According to the officer, she failed all the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton brought numerous things to the State’s attention prior to trial. On tape, the officer was screaming at the defendant while approaching her car about drinking and driving prior to even having contact with her. Thus, he had already formed his conclusions that she was intoxicated before even conducting a DUI investigation. Also, the officer did not even demonstrate the walk and turn exercise prior to having the defendant perform it as mandated by the NHSTA manual on field sobriety tests. In addition, the officer had no clue how to position his in car camera as no one could even see the defendant's feet the majority of the time while she was performing the tests.
The State dropped the DUI.
Feb 1, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-013396 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery/bloodshot eyes. The defendant also was wearing a wristband from a bar, stated he had drank some beers, and had a sway to his stance. According to the officer, he failed the videotaped roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He subsequently refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton pointed out that officer had exaggerated the level of impairment on the field sobriety tests vs. his actual performance on videotape. The State then dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 29, 2018 Case: 17-CT-017698 Judge Lefler
The defendant was found passed out in the driver's seat of his car in the county jail parking lot. He had driven there to sleep over night in order be on time to do his community service hours the next morning. The community service hours were from a previous DUI that placed him on probation. When officers found him and finally got him awake, they observed him to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, and slurred speech. After exhibiting clues of impairment on the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Second DUI within a year.
The firm pointed out that the defendant was not in actual physical control of the motor vehicle as he had no capability to operate the car while sleeping as required by Florida's jury instructions. The State Dropped this DUI and the defendant was also reinstated on his previous DUI probation.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 26, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-010231 Judge Shepard for Bonavita
The defendant was involved in a crash. He left the scene and was found by police. He had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had been drinking and also had serious facial injuries. He was transported the hospital where he was treated. At the hospital, the officer asked for a blood sample and the defendant refused. He was then arrested for DUI, Leaving the scene of an accident, and Second subsequent refusal to provide breath, blood, and/or urine. This was the defendant's Second DUI. in eight years.
After a pretrial investigation by the firm, we brought to the State's attention that the defendant left the scene of the crash out of "necessity" because the victims in the accident had beaten him with a baseball bat. That was why his face was swollen and bloody. Those alleged victims were charged with beating him. The State Dropped the defendant's Second DUI and the defendant received No conviction and No penalties. Also, the State dismissed the leaving the scene of an accident charge and also dismissed the refusal charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 26, 2018 Case: 2016-CT-047860 Judge Silverman
The defendant was found passed out in his truck in the parking lot of the bar he had been drinking at that night. The keys were in the ignition, the engine was on, and he was slumped over. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and poor dexterity. He was slow exiting his truck, slow walking around, and swayed while he stood. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests which were videotaped. After his arrest for DUI, he refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for jury trial. The day before trial, we pointed out to the State that the defendant was not in actual physical control under the jury instruction as he had no capability to operate the truck while he was sleeping. In addition, and even as important, he was doing the right thing by sleeping it off in the parking lot.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 26, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-004525 Judge Hanser
The defendant crashed her car into a light pole. Upon arriving, the officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and slow/slurred speech. She stumbled around, began to get very aggressive, was screaming, and was very unstable. Roadside tests were not performed due to her combative behavior. She was then arrested for DUI property damage and later blew a .180 and .187 in the breath machine at the BAT facility.
After pretrial discussions, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 26, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-024231 Judge Silverman
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The Officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated he had drank a couple of beers and was observed to be swaying while he stood. After performing the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .104 and .101 in the breath machine.
The firm pointed out to the State that there were many problems with the defendant's breath test results. For example, there was RFI (radio frequency interference) and also there was SNL (slope not level) issue. The defendant had blown into the machine numerous times causing the machine to print out a few breath cards. Thus, the both the accuracy of the machine and the defendant's breath samples were called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 25, 2018 Case: 2017-CF-011818 Judge Lubet
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, and he was sweating profusely. The defendant stated had consumed a couple of drinks and was also observed to be swaying. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. The officer also found cocaine on the defendant in a search incident to arrest and he was also charged with felony possession of cocaine. Later on at the BAT facility, he blew a .174 and .174 in the breath machine.
After pretrial talks with the State, they Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No felony conviction on the possession of cocaine charge.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 24, 2018 Case: A6MLDJE Judge Bedinghaus
The defendant was first observed by a concerned citizen who saw the defendant stumbling around outside of a bar. That person saw the defendant drive off, he followed the defendant, and then called the police stating that the defendant was weaving all over the road. Upon stopping the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He admitted to having drank beers and some rum. The defendant then performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .116 and .115 in the breath machine.
Prior to trial, the firm had discussions with prosecutor and they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jan 17, 2018 Case: 2017-CT-016180 Judge Weis
The defendant was involved in a rear end crash whereby he was the at fault driver. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and red/glassy eyes. He was asked to do field sobriety tests that he refused to perform. He was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
After negotiations with the State, we pointed out that the defendant's air bags deployed. Any impairment observed by the officer was due to the accident, and not alcohol. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
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