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DUI Wins

Our Recent Victories

Nov 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001887 Judge Myers
The defendant struck a median and a FDOT sign causing damage. A police officer observed the crash and stopped the defendant. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, and slurred speech. She was unsteady exiting her car, swayed as she stood, and stated she had drank two cocktails. Due to safety concerns, no roadside tests were conducted and she was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the majority of the officer's observations as written in the reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 31, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-011030 Judge Farr
The defendant was found by police passed out in his car in a parking lot. The officers made contact with him to assess his well being. The officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He admitted to having drank 4 beers. After performing poorly on the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .185 and a .183 in the breath machine.
Since the defendant was sleeping in his car, he was not in actual physical control. He had no "capability" to operate the vehicle while sleeping.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 30, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-009273 Judge Jeske
The defendant was found passed out in his car. The officers noticed an odor of alcohol upon awakening the defendant. They also noticed that he was unsteady, had glassy eyes, and slurred speech. He performed poorly on the roadside tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped off the line and was not walking heel to toe. On the finger to nose, he missed the tip of his nose several times. He was arrested for DUI and later refused a breath test.
For the police to order someone out of their car, the officers must have reasonable suspicion of crime. In other words, there must be some specific facts to point too that the defendant was impaired, and not just innocently sleeping. Here, there was none. Thus, the initial ordering of the defendant out of his car was unlawful and all the evidence could have been thrown out. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 30, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-007931 Judge
The defendant was stopped for driving with her high beam lights on at night. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and fumbling fingers. She also had slurred speech and admitted to having drank vodka/cranberry. After performing the field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .149 and a .160 in the breath machine.
On video, it appeared as if one officer was training the other. The trainee mixed up several parts of the instructions on the field sobriety tests in contradiction to the NHTSA manual on roadsides The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 29, 2019 Case: 19-001027MU10A Judge M. Brown
The defendant was the at fault driver in a crash whereby he hit a pole. He was found in his car, a little bit down the road. The officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy/bloodshot eyes. He appeared to be in a daze, unsteady, lethargic, and stumbling. He was asked to perform roadside tests to which he refused. He was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test. He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. The arresting officer's own body worn camera contradicted his written reports. The defendant was not off balance, stumbling or unsteady. In addition, the officer misstated the law when asking for roadside tests by telling him that his license will be suspended. A license suspension only applies to a refusal to provide breath, blood, or urine. On the day of trial the State Dropped the DUI and he received no conviction in his record. They also Dismissed the leaving the scene of the accident because the defendant simply pulled down the road to get away from the wires.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 28, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-000772 Judge Tinlin
The defendant was stopped for speeding and swerving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and slurred speech. The defendant admitted to having drank wine, swayed, staggered, and was disoriented. She performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She later blew a .191 and a .189 in the breath machine.
The officer misstated the law and coerced the defendant into taking a breath test. Thus, the breath test may have been excluded from evidence.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 24, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-502000 Judge Gagliardi
The defendant was the at fault driver in a crash whereby she made a wide turn and hit another car. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, thick tongue speech, and bloodshot eyes. She admitted to having consumed 4 to 5 drinks. She performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .107 and a .107 in the breath machine.
There was no video at the scene. The officer's reports were very vague as to the specifics of the defendant's performance on the roadside tests. Also, the defendant was not administered the breath test for a few hours after her arrest. Thus, there was no way to extrapolate back as to whether she was above or below .08 at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 22, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-012250 Judge Conrad
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, a pale face, and she was off balance. She also had slurred/thick tongued speech. She refused to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Under Florida law, a breath test can only be requested after arrest. Here, the officer asked for a breath test prior to arrest. Thus, the defendant's refusal to provide a breath test would have been inadmissible. Also, the officer never gave the defendant any adverse consequences when she refused roadside tests. Thus, her refusal to perform field sobriety tests would have also been inadmissible. The state Dropped the defendant's second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 21, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-013949 Judge Myers
The defendant was found passed out at an intersection traffic light. Multiple attempts were taken to try to awaken her. After breaking the window to get her up, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. She was extremely off balance and couldn't perform all the field sobriety tests. She was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test. The defendant also has another open DUI pending.
Due to the video tape not being provided in a timely fashion, the firm was able to get the State to Drop the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 17, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-030556 Judge Babb
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, a flushed/red face, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant could not recall how much alcohol he had drank. After performing the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .144 and a .140 in the breath machine.
The defendant was coerced into taking a breath test. Specifically, the officer told him that if he blew under a .08, he would only get a ticket. The defendant was led to believe that he could be released from custody if he agreed to blow in to the machine. An officer cannot dangle freedom when trying to obtain a breath test. One will not be unarrested once taken in to the jail after being arrested for DUI. Thus, the breath test results would have been excluded.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 17, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-032878 Judge Babb
The defendant was stopped for traveling at a slow rate of speed and leaving the roadway twice into the grass. Upon contact, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery eyes. She stumbled, staggered, swayed, and was clumsy. She admitted she should not have been driving. She performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. She later blew a .126 and a .125 in the breath machine.
The lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question. Here, no traffic was affected by her slow driving and the leaving the road two times. She also did not endanger anyone with her driving. Thus, there was no probable cause to effect the traffic stop. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 17, 2019 Case: 2019-CF-035695 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, glassy/bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having consumed two beers. After performing the HGN (eye test), one leg stand, and walk and turn exercises, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. In a search subsequent to arrest, the officer also discovered cocaine and the defendant as charged with felony possession.
In order to lawfully request a defendant to perform roadside tasks, there must reasonable suspicion of a crime. In other words, there must be some evidence that the defendant was impaired. Here, there was no erratic driving, no balance issues, and no speech issues. Thus, all the field sobriety test would have been inadmissible. The State Dropped the DUI and firm is working on trying to get the felony dismissed.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 16, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-005001 Judge Mcneil
The defendant was found passed out in his car at a gas pump. It took numerous attempts to try to awaken the defendant. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glossy eyes. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The officers’ reports were very vaguely written. The video of the defendant contradicted many of the observations on the reports. The week before trial, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 15, 2019 Case: AAZ7LUE Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped for speeding and driving without lights. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and a flushed face. After performing numerous roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .081 in the breath machine.
Based on the margin of error built into the breath machine, the State was unable to prove that the defendant was above the legal limit of .08. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 15, 2019 Case: AALFX2E Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he had slow reactions. He also had a flushed face and admitted to having drank gin and tonics. According to the officer, he failed the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The officer exaggerated the defendant's alleged impairment on the field sobriety tests. His video contradicted all the reports.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 15, 2019 Case: 18-028556MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The police received a call regarding an intoxicated woman who just left a bar. At the same time, a call was placed to 911 regarding a female who was being followed by a man. The police located both vehicles with the woman parked on the side of the road with the engine running. The officer approached the female and observed characteristics of impairment. Specifically, he observed a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, as well as slurred speech. The initial officer called for a DUI task force officer. The DUI officer arrived and conducted field sobriety tests. The defendant was arrested and blew .087 in the breath machine. In addition, the defendant provided a urine sample and tested positive for three (3) controlled substances.
Parks & Braxton filed a motion to compel the 911 call. It was later revealed that the 911 call was destroyed. Depositions were taken from both officers. In deposition, the officers agreed that they should have investigated the male who was parked behind the defendant. Parks and Braxton filed a motion to dismiss based on a necessity defense. Specifically, the defendant was legally entitled to commit a DUI in order to avoid the greater harm of being assaulted by the man who was following her. The Prosecutor agreed and subsequently dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 15, 2019 Case: 2493-XBG Judge Nunez
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. Officers noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, thick tongued speech, and he was stumbling around. He also swayed and admitted to having drank beer. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Although the defendant performed the walk and turn, one leg stand, and HGN (eye test), nothing was captured on video tape. All the officers had body worn cameras but not one roadside task was on tape. This lack of evidence was presented to the State and they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 10, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-039403 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was stopped for driving on a flat tire at a very low speed. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he stated he had consumed 3 beers. The defendant appeared slow, clumsy, he swayed, and he also staggered. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .103 and a .102 in the breath machine.
There is a .02 and a .005 margin of the error with the breath machine. Here, the firm was able to place both of the defendant's breath test results under the legal limit.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 8, 2019 Case: 2019-CM-003455 Judge Gutman
The defendant's car was struck in a ditch. When police arrived, the defendant and her boyfriend were on the scene. Upon contact with the defendant, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. For some reason, the defendant walked away from the police and jumped in her boyfriend's vehicle. Officers immediately stopped her and pulled her out of the truck. She then became verbally abusive and refused to perform any field sobriety tests. She was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI within five years.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State that there was not enough evidence to place in her in actual physical control. The officers yanked her out of the driver seat before she could gain control of the truck. The State agreed and Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 8, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-008399 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for driving with no headlights. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, watery/glassy eyes, and she admitted to having consumed three vodka cranberry drinks. According to the officer, she performed poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .109 and a .106 in the breath machine.
It was pointed out to the State by the firm that the defendant’s alleged performance on the roadside tasks, as written in the reports, was contradicted by her video tape. The tape clearly showed that she was absorbing alcohol and had a lower breath alcohol level at the time of driving.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 8, 2019 Case: 2019-MM-001632 Judge Woodard
The defendant was stopped for speeding, The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and thick tongued speech. He then performed numerous field sobriety tests, such as the walk and turn, one leg stand, and finger to nose. He was then arrested for DUI and later blew a .130 and a .131 in the breath machine.
There were inconsistencies between the reports and the videotapes. Thus, the credibility of the officers was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 4, 2019 Case: 19-CT-006693 Judge Smith
The defendant was stopped for violating the right of way and almost causing a collision with a police officer. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and he appeared unsteady on his feet. A DUI officer was called to administer roadside tests. The defendant performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .187 and a .183 in the breath machine.
During discovery, the firm uncovered that the arresting officer had been terminated for falsification of records and untruthfulness. His credibility as to whether he lied in this case was now called into question. The DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Oct 4, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-002080CTAXWS Judge Roberts
The defendant was the at fault driver in a rear end crash. When the officer arrived, he observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glossy eyes, and his answers to the officer's questions were not coherent. The defendant admitted to having drank beer and there was a bottle of vodka and a 12 pack of beer in the defendant's vehicle. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. Just prior to the trial date, the firm uncovered that the arresting officer had been terminated after having been arrested on felony charges. The State was also late in providing any discovery such as police reports and video tapes. The firm would not waive speedy trial and moved to compel further info about officer and all discovery. Just a few days prior to trial, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no criminal conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Oct 3, 2019 Case: 19-009212MU10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for inoperable tag lights and swerving. After observing an odor of alcohol, and the defendant stating he had drank 2-3 beers, the officer requested the defendant perform field sobriety tests. The defendant performed very poorly. For example, on the walk and turn, he raised his arms for balance, missed heel to toe, and stepped off the line. On the one leg stand, he raised his arms for balance and put his foot down. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's second DUI.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence. In our motion, we alleged that the defendant was unlawfully detained. We argued at the motion hearing that there must be more than a mere odor of alcohol in order to detain a defendant to perform to field sobriety tests. The Judge agreed and granted the motion and threw out all of the evidence. The DUI was then Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Oct 2, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-005902 Judge Myers
The defendant was stopped for driving with no tail lights and having his daylight running lights on after dark. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and a flushed face. He stated he had drank two beers, appeared unsteady, and swayed while he stood. He was arrested for DUI after performing several roadside tasks. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
According to the NHTSA manual on field sobriety tests, the officer is required to administer them on flat, level surface. Here, it was obvious on tape that the officer had the defendant perform the walk and turn on a downhill slope. Although the officer wrote that the defendant had no medical injuries preventing him from performing the one leg stand, that was contradicted by the video. On tape the defendant his heard telling the officer that he had hip issues. This was pointed out to the State and they Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 25, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-007356 Judge Gutman
The defendant was stopped for swerving into the bike lane, speeding, and almost hitting a curb. He had an odor of alcohol, glassy/bloodshot eyes, and he stated he had nothing to drink. He then performed the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand tests. He was then arrested for DUI and later blew a .140 and a .133 in breath machine.
Due to the fact that there were no balance problems or speech issues prior to the roadside tasks, there was a lack of reasonable suspicion to even request field sobriety tests. An odor of alcohol and bloodshot/glassy eyes are only indicators of the consumption of alcohol and not impairment.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 24, 2019 Case: 19-CT-003598 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped for driving at a high rate of speed and almost colliding with a median. He was also weaving and drifting. Since the defendant did not obey commands to remain in the car with hands visible, he was immediately handcuffed until the DUI officer arrived. The officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and watery/red eyes. Once the DUI officer arrived, He only performed the HGN and then refused to perform and further roadsides. He was then arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
There was a de facto arrest when the officers placed the defendant in handcuffs. Since all the DUI observations were made after being cuffed, there was a lack of probable cause to arrest the defendant. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 24, 2019 Case: 19-CT-004152 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for weaving and drifting. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, vomit on his clothing, droopy eyes, and slurred speech. His eyes were bloodshot and he appeared unsteady. He performed very poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .184 and a .183 in the breath machine.
The lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question due to a lack of specifics. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 23, 2019 Case: 19-CT-501522 Judge Paluck
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, droopy eye lids, and bloodshot eyes. He then performed the battery of field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. We pointed out to the State that the officer's reports were contradicted by the video. Not one of the defendant's normal faculties were impaired. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and he received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-021284 Judge Koenig
The defendant was involved in a hit and run accident. When officers found him, he was inside his house and he eventually came out to speak to them. He had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he was very unsteady to the point of stumbling and staggering. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Under Florida law, one must be under the influence of alcohol "at the time of driving" to be convicted of DUI. Here, the State could not prove that he was under the influence while driving because he could have drank while he was in his house.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-030312 Judge Jacobus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, slurred speech, and he fumbled with his documents. He also moved very slow and swayed. After performing the HGN (eye test), one leg stand and walk and turn tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The officer did not get an angle of onset (nystagmus) before 45 degrees in the defendant's eyes during the HGN test. An angle of onset prior to 45 degrees, under Tharpe's formula, would show that the defendant may have a breath alcohol level over the legal limit of .08. Here, there was none.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-022158 Judge Koenig
A 911 call was made to police regarding the defendant's erratic driving. Officers located the defendant's car and stopped him. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, poor balance, and repetitive speech. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .129 and a .128 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
Since there was no substantial corroboration of the driving pattern that the 911 caller had described. Thus the lawfulness of the stop was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-030328 Judge Jacobus
A BOLO went out about a reckless driver. The officer spotted the car in question driven by the defendant, and observed her making a wide turn and drifting. After conducting a traffic stop, the officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and slurred speech, She swayed, stumbled, and seemed confused. The defendant refused to perform the roadside tasks other than HGN (eyes test) and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The defendant was not advised of any adverse consequences relating to her refusal to perform the roadside tasks as required by law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-029498 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for sitting at a green light for several seconds and then swerving. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, and he stated that he had consumed a couple of drinks. He also had a flushed face and swayed. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .170 and a .169 in the breath machine.
Since the defendant did not sit through an entire light cycle, and there were no specifics of his alleged swerving. Thus the lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 11, 2019 Case: 19-CT-004194 Judge Gutman
The defendant was stopped for swerving and driving too slow. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and diminished dexterity. He also appeared disoriented, had glassy/watery eyes, and unsteady balance. The defendant refused to perform the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. Upon being asked to provide a breath test, the defendant refused and stated, "I ain’t providing you shit."
The observations that the officer wrote in his report were contradicted by the videotape. This was brought to the State's attention and the DUI was Dropped.
The State dropped the DUI.
Sep 11, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-003481 Judge Nimeth
The defendant was found passed out by officers in the parking lot of a hotel. Upon contact, the officer noticed mumbling speech, he appeared sleepy and dazed, and he admitted to consuming one beer (no odor of alcohol was observed ). He used the car for support and a beer was found in the car. The officer, believing he was impaired by alcohol, then had him perform field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for DUI. He later took a breath test. Due to the breath alcohol level not being consistent with the impairment level that the officer observed, a DRE (drug recognition officer) was called in. The defendant then submitted to a full DRE drug exam. The defendant admitted to being a pot smoker and also taking some unknown white pill. He also provided a urine sample which came back from FDLE positive for marijuana.
Parks & Braxton brought several contradictions between the arresting officer and the DRE officer to the attention of the prosecutor. For one, the officer at the scene got no nystagmus prior to 45 degrees on the HGN (eye test) versus the DRE officer at the station got nystagmus prior to the 45 degrees. This is important because the DRE officer concluded that the defendant was impaired by a CNS depressant, and NOT marijuana which is the substance he tested positive for at FDLE. An officer wont see nystagmus prior to 45 degrees if under the influence of marijuana. The DRE was wrong. The firm then requested the state to disclose which "specific" controlled substance the state was going to argue that the defendant was impaired by as required by law. They could not and the DUI was dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Aug 30, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-025238 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was stopped for drifting and driving too slow. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and the defendant had difficulty locating his paperwork. His speech was slurred, he had a flushed face, and he swayed. After performing the roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .132 and a .129 in the breath machine.
During the short distance and time frame that the officer followed the defendant, his alleged drifting did not affect other traffic and neither did his driving too slow for conditions. Thus, the lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question. The State Dropped the DUI and he received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 28, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-002266 Judge Rada
The defendant was stopped for speeding. Upon contact, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and mumbling speech. He was slow in his movements and he admitted to drinking wine. After refusing to do roadside tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the reports. For example, his speech was not mumbled and he wasn't moving slow. The State, after negotiations, Dropped the DUI short of going to trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 27, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-000772AX Judge Henderson
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he fumbled with his documents. He had slurred/mumbled speech and he dropped his wallet on the ground. He also swayed and moved slow. After performing the roadside tasks such as the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .141 and a .141 in the breath machine.
The video contradicted the officer's reports and clearly showed that the defendant's level of impairment was consistent with someone who was lower than .141 at the time of driving. To prove DUI, one has to be "driving" with an unlawful breath alcohol level.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 26, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-027913 Judge Atkin
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, glassy/watery eyes, slurred speech, and he was slow in his movements. He swayed while he stood and admitted to having consumed whiskey with water. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .109 and a .112 in the breath machine.
The lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question as the alleged weaving did not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion of a crime justifying pulling him over.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 19, 2019 Case: A9EVMRE Judge Mckuyton
The defendant was found inside his car and he was in the driver's seat parked against a curb. His car was facing in the wrong direction which is an infraction. The officer had the defendant roll his window down. The officer then noticed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot/watery eyes. He admitted to having consumed 3 beers and then performed field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for DUI and later blew a .127 and a .126 in the breath machine.
There was insufficient reasonable suspicion of a crime (i.e. not enough specific articulable facts other than odor and bloodshot eyes) to justify the initial detention of the defendant. Thus, if the initial detention was unlawful, all of the roadside tests and breath test would be excluded from evidence.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 14, 2019 Case: 2019-CM-005082 Judge Smith
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. She had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. She swayed while she stood and made conflicting statements. She performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She was also charged with possession of pot which was found in the car after her arrest.
The officer made the defendant out to be more impaired in his reports than she appeared on tape. The State Dropped the DUI and the possession of pot charge was dismissed.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001499 Judge Gutman
The defendant was found passed out by police. His car was in a turning lane. Upon awakening the defendant, he had an odor of alcohol and bloodshot/red eyes. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The video of the defendant contradicted the officer's reports as to the extent of the alleged impairment. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 13, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-009675 Judge Pattey
An officer was doing a routine safety check at a rest area. An unnamed person drove up to the officer and asked if he was looking for the driver of the car that was parked on the grass. He also told the officer the the individual in question (i.e. the defendant) seemed highly intoxicated and was stumbling around. The officer then saw the defendant stumbling around the parking lot toward his patrol car. The officer made contact and observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he was very off balance. The defendant stated he had drank a half bottle of whiskey and was stopping to get a drink of water and sleep it off. He admitted to being the driver of the vehicle parked on the grass. He was then requested to perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI . He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed two pretrial motions to suppress. The first alleged that the arrest was unlawful under 901.15 of the Florida Statutes. In short, it states that when there is no crash, the officer must observe all elements of the misdemeanor. Here, a DUI, the officer must have observed the defendant behind the wheel. An officer cannot rely on a civilian when there is no crash. Thus, the arrest was unlawful. The firm also filed a motion to exclude all of the defendant's statements about being the driver. Since the officer never got the witness's name, the person was anonymous. Thus, since there was no way to call him into court, his statements would be inadmissible hearsay and excluded from evidence. Under the doctrine of corpus delicti, the State must produce substantial evidence that the defendant was the driver other than his own admissions. Here, there was none. On the day of the motion hearing, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 12, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-000800 Judge S. Jewett
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, watery eyes, and he admitted to having drank a couple of beers. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .131 and a .131 in the breath machine.
It was pointed out to he State that the defendant merely crossed the lane marker briefly to make a turn and the officer exaggerated the driving pattern in his reports. Since the lawfulness of the stop was called into question, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no coviction in his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 9, 2019 Case: 2019-MM-002010 Judge Eissey
The defendant was stopped after driving the wrong way toward oncoming traffic, almost causing a collision. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and an odor of marijuana. He had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused breath and urine tests. The defendant was also charged with possession of marijuana which was found in his car.
Although the officer described the defendant as a falling down drunk in his reports, he had a video camera in the patrol car. However, the firm discovered that the defendant's field sobriety tests were not captured on tape for unknown reasons. This was brought to the State's attention and they Dropped the DUI. The marijuana charge was Dismissed.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 6, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-007128 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped as he was trying to get through the gate at an air force base. Officers were called and they observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having drank 4 beers. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .166 and a .162 it the breath machine.
Since the defendant never got through the gate, there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime justifying the detention of the defendant.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 6, 2019 Case: 17-026385MU10A Judge Mollica
A call went out to police about an erratic driver. Police then found the vehicle stopped at a red light. The caller pointed the car out to police stating that it was the vehicle in question. The vehicle accelerated quickly thought the light, its tires squealed, and it fishtailed. Thee officers were behind the car, he weaved all over the road. Upon stopping him, the officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He had to brace himself while standing and he was off balance. The defendant performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's third DUI.
During depositions it was revealed that a civilian witness had taken a video of the defendant that the arresting officer was aware of, but failed to preserve. In addition, the officers failed to preserve a video that was taken in the holding cell. Finally, a deposition of a back-up officer revealed several inconsistencies with the arresting officer. Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. The case was dropped by the State on the morning of trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 6, 2019 Case: 18-022831MU10A Judge Evans
The defendant was stopped for speeding and running a red light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, and bloodshot eyes. She had a flushed face and swayed while she stood. She refused roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. The video that was taken at the BAT facility contradicted the officer’s observations at the scene. For example on tape, her speech wasn't mumbled and she wasn't swaying. On the day of trial, the State Dropped the DUI and she received no conviction in her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 6, 2019 Case: 18-036110MU10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for speeding. He was alleged to have been driving 106 mph in a 65 mph zone. Officers observed an odor of alcohol and detained the defendant for a DUI investigation. The defendant also stated he had drank 4 beers and he was asked to perform roadside tasks. He refused and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton announced ready for trial. On the day of trial, it was pointed out to the State that the officer did not advise the defendant of any adverse consequences for refusing the roadside tasks. Thus, his refusal would have been inadmissible into evidence. Also, there was no reasonable suspicion of any crime justifying the detention of the defendant based on the facts alleged above. On the day of jury trial, the State Dropped the DUI and he received No conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2019 Case: 2018-CF-015465 Judge Nash
The defendant was the at fault driver in a crash whereby he cut in front of another driver. Two people were injured in the crash. He then left the scene and was found by police. They observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and trouble with his balance. He refused roadside tests and was arrested for Leaving the Scene of an accident with injury (Felony) and DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was also the defendant's Second DUI.
Prior to taking pretrial depositions, the defense uncovered via discovery that the defendant actually only left the scene to call 911 because he didn't have a cell. Also, it was actually the victim's mom who told him to leave and call 911 and/or get help. The State Dropped the felony leaving the scene of an accident charge. They also Dropped the defendant's Second DUI as the defendant was never advised of any adverse consequences for refusing to perform field sobriety tests a required by law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Aug 1, 2019 Case: 18-035514MU10A Judge Diaz
The defendant was stopped for having an expired tag. The officers noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, he stated that he "had a few," his eyes were red/watery, and he was swaying while he stood. The defendant refused to perform roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress. In our motion, we alleged that there was no reasonable suspicion of crime justifying the detention of the defendant. The video showed that he was not swaying and that he was responsive and coherent. The State conceded the motion and Dropped the DUI. The defendant received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 31, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-003059 Judge Gutman
The defendant was stopped for improper lane change and following to closely. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glassy/watery eyes. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest he blew a .133 and a .116 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton called the lawfulness of the traffic stop into question as his alleged "improper lane changes" were only vaguely described. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 31, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-003069 Judge Gutman
Officers made contact with defendant after security at a bar stated that defendant was highly intoxicated. Officers then stopped the defendant as she was pulling out of the parking lot. They then observed her to have an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. The defendant stated she had drank two beers. She performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .168 and .166 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton firm pointed out to the State that there was only a conclusory statement about her intoxication, without any specific facts. Under the law, there must be some facts supporting the conclusion. Thus, the initial seizure of the defendant was unlawful.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 23, 2019 Case: 19-CT-007521MU10A Judge Diaz
Officers responded to a vehicle crash, whereby the vehicle hit a light pole. When officers arrived, they came in contact with the defendant and his wife. They noticed an odor of alcohol on the defendant, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He admitted to drinking beer and mixed drinks, and he also appeared very unsteady. The defendant stated his wife had been driving at the time of the crash and he only got in the car after the crash to see if could move it from the crash scene. The officers also had the defendant perform roadsides. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .174 and a .171 in the breath machine. It should be noted his wife was also arrested for DUI.
Prior to trial, the firm was able to prove that the vehicle was inoperable after the crash and at the time that the defendant entered the car. Under Florida law, if the vehicle became inoperable before the person drove or wasn’t in actual physical control while impaired, they could not be convicted of DUI. On the day of trial the DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jul 23, 2019 Case: 18-027325MU10A Judge M. Brown
The defendant was found passed out in his car on the shoulder of the road. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol and appeared unsteady. He was asked to exit the car and perform field sobriety tests. He performed very poorly. 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 could not complete the exercise. He was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton took pretrial depositions of the two officers involved in the case. At the depo, the firm was able to question the officers and establish numerous inconsistencies in their testimony. The firm then filed a pretrial motion to suppress all the evidence. The firm not only argued that there was no legal basis to detain the defendant, but also that the officers were not credible. The Judge granted the motion and threw out all of the the evidence. The DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jul 18, 2019 Case: 19-0001872MU10A Judge Gottlieb
The defendant was found passed out in her car in the roadway. Upon awakening the defendant, the officers observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. After refusing to perform roadsides, she was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton took pretrial depositions of the two officers involved in the case. Upon questioning officer, the firm was able to impeach each officer with their own police reports, as well as the video. In addition, the defense was able to get each officer to provide conflicting testimony. After providing the two depos to the State, they Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 17, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019817 Judge Weis
The defendant was stopped for speeding and failing to stop at a red light. According to the officer, he was traveling close to 100 mph. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He fumbled through his paperwork and seemed confused. The defendant refused to perform roadside exercises and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI within five years.
The officer who conducted the traffic stop called for a DUI unit. However, the officer never asked for unit with an in car camera, even though others were available to film the defendant. Also, the defendant was never advised of any adverse consequences for refusing to perform the field sobriety exercises as required by case law. The State Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 16, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001802 Judge Smith
The defendant was stopped for driving with no headlights and also hitting a curb. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and she was unsteady on her feet. Her speech was slurred at times and she admitted to having drank a couple of glasses of wine. After performing the field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .151 and a .145 in the breath machine.
The video contradicted the officer's reports as to the specifics of her actual performance on the field sobriety tests, her speech pattern, and her balance.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 3, 2019 Case: 18-CT-019685 Judge Myers
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He also fumbled around with his documents. According to the officer, he failed the roadside tasks and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
The firm announced ready to set the case for trial. Prior to trial, the firm pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the officer's reports and also contradictions as compared to the videotape. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jul 2, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-000881 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for weaving, swerving, and sitting through traffic light cycles. The officer observed her to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and she gave inconsistent statements. She performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .130 and a .119 in the breath machine.
The video contradicted the officer's report as to many aspects of the alleged impairment. The State Dropped the DUI and she received no conviction.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 26, 2019 Case: 19-CT-005000 Judge Castor
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having drank beer. He was unsteady on his feet and also swayed. He then performed numerous field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest he blew. a .204 and a .197 in the breath machine.
When the officer turned on his police lights to initiate the traffic stop, the defendant did not stop immediately. He kept driving a bit until he reached his house. The officer ordered him out of the vehicle at gunpoint. There was no legal basis to justify the officer's initial detention by gunpoint as the defendant only drove a short distance, did not speed up upon seeing the police lights, and there was no evidence he was trying to flee.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 25, 2019 Case: 18-028803MU10A Judge Pole
Police stopped the defendant after an anonymous caller stated that the defendant had struck a guardrail and was driving recklessly. Prior to the stop, the officers also spotted the defendant driving into oncoming traffic. The defendant had glassy eyes, constricted pupils, and rambled when he spoke. Believing he was impaired by drugs, as there was no odor of alcohol, he was asked to perform roadside tasks. He performed very poorly and was arrested for DUI. He later refused a breath and urine test.
Prior to trial, the firm filed a motion for statement of particulars. Were were requesting that the prosecutor advise us by what chemical and/or controlled substance was allegedly impairing the defendant. Under Florida law, to convict one of DUI drugs, the State must specify by which "specific" chemical and/or controlled substance the defendant is impaired by. Here, they could not and the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant recieved no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 21, 2019 Case: 19-0020060MMM10A Judge Levy
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant refused to perform roadsides and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test. She also cursed and used derogatory slurs to the officers throughout the investigation.
Parks and Braxton filed a pretrial motion to suppress the refusal to provide a breath sample. Under Florida law, a breath sample cannot be requested by the police until after a person has been arrested for DUI. Here, the officer requested a breath test and read implied consent prior to arresting her. The State conceded the motion and Dropped the DUI. She received no conviction on her record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 20, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-002170 Judge Bigney
The defendant was involved in a sideswipe crash. When officers arrived, he was observed to have an odor of alcohol, red eyes, and slurred speech. He then performed very poorly on the roadside tests. For example, on the walk and turn, he stepped of the line numerous times, used his arms for balance, and swayed the entire time. On the one leg stand, he put his foot down numerous times and stumbled. He was then arrested for DUI and later blew a .187 and a .181 in the breath machine. This was the defendant's Third DUI.
Prior to trial, the firm pointed out to the State that the defendant was not the at fault driver. Also, the video contradicted the reports. For example, his speech was not slurred on tape. Thus, there was doubt as to whether the officer had enough reasonable suspicion of crime to even conduct a DUI investigation. The State Dropped the DUI and he received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 20, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-019301 Judge Atkin
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and difficulty finding her items. They also noticed droopy eyelids, a flushed face, and low speech. The defendant stated she had drank two shots of tequila and two beers. She only performed the HGN (eye test) and then refused further testing. She was arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
On video, the defense pointed out that the officer had not properly placed his camera to capture the full DUI investigation. Thus, it was not only hard to see the defendant’s actions, but also hard to hear her speech.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 18, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-000871 Judge Hitzemann
The defendant was stopped for weaving all over the road. This driving pattern was captured on video tape. Upon being stopped, the officer observed the defendant to be lethargic, he had trouble focusing, fumbled with his documents and appeared to be falling asleep. He had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and trouble sitting upright. The officer did not smell any alcohol, but believing he was impaired by drugs, asked him to perform roadsides. The defendant performed poorly and was arrested for DUI. He later refused both a breath and urine test.
Under Florida law, to convict one of DUI involving drugs, the State must prove under 316.193 (Fla. Statutes) that a defendant was impaired by a "specific" chemical and/or controlled substance. Here, the firm pointed out to the State that they could not. The Sate Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 13, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-002522 Judge Booras
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech and his movements were slow and lethargic. He admitted to having consumed 4 Grey Goose vodkas. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .202, a .188, and a .199 in the breath machine.
Parks & Braxton was able to show that the machine was having issues as there were three results, and not the required two samples.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 12, 2019 Case: 18-024685MU10A Judge M. Brown
The defendant was stopped for failure to maintain a single lane. Specifically, he would drift out of his lane and into the bicycle lane. He was also slow to go through a green light. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow/slurred speech, and he admitted to having consumed three drinks. He also stated he had taken Xanax. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test. This was the defendant's Second DUI arrest.
Parks & Braxton filed a motion to suppress the lawfulness of the traffic stop. While cross examining the officer who conducted the stop, his credibility was called into question. He was impeached numerous times with his reports and body worn camera. The Judge granted the motion and threw out all of the evidence. The State dismissed the DUI. It should be noted that the firm also beat the defendant's first DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jun 12, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001496 Judge Mcginnis
The defendant was accused of being the at fault driver in a side swipe crash. When officers arrived, they smelled an odor of alcohol, noticed bloodshot eyes, and and his lips were dry. He staggered as he walked and appeared slow and unsteady. He performed very poorly on the the video taped roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .134 and a .132 in the breath machine.
The firm announced ready for trial. Although there was a witness who stated that the defendant was the driver, the firm provided physical proof to the State that the female in the defendant's car was actually the driver. On video, the defendant adamantly denied being the driver and the female stated she was the driver. We provided pictures to the State that showed the injuries to the defendant's neck and body were consistent with seat belt marks proving he was in the passenger seat as the marks on his body were from right to left. A week prior the trial date, the State Dismissed the DUI.
The DUI was dismissed.
Jun 10, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-055536 Judge Babb
The defendant was found passed out in his car in a parking lot. Upon awakening the defendant, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, dilated/glassy eyes, and he stumbled and swayed. He appeared very unsteady and almost fell. He only performed the HGN (eye test), then said "go ahead and arrest me." He was arrested for DUI and later blew a .236 and a .216 in the breath machine.
The defendant was not in actual physical control as he was sleeping. Thus, he had no "capability" to operate the motor vehicle. The State Dropped the DUI and he received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 10, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-017422 Judge Jacobus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. She also had difficulty finding her documents. The defendant performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. She later blew a .185 and a .178 in the breath machine.
The defense pointed out issues surrounding whether or not the defendant had been improperly coerced into taking a breath test.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 6, 2019 Case: 18-CT-021492 Judge Senior for Lefler
The defendant was stopped for weaving. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and fumbling fingers. He had watery eyes and was unsteady. According to the officer, he failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
Due to a language barrier, it was unclear if the defendant understood all the instructions on the roadside tests. Thus, there was doubt if the alleged impairment was due to alcohol or simply not understanding the instructions due to language difficulties.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 6, 2019 Case: 2019-MM-01266AP Judge Hamilton
The defendant was stopped for driving with no taillights activated. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, a flushed face, and he admitted to having two beers. According to the officer, he failed the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He subsequently refused the breath test.
The video tape contradicted the officers reports as to the level to the defendant's alleged impairment. The firm was ready for trial. The State then Dropped DUI and the defendant received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 5, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-001197 Judge Jeske
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one way street. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and he admitted to having two drinks. After performing the HGN (eye test), he refused to perform all further roadsides. He was then arrested for DUI and later refused the breath test.
The firm discovered through discovery that the HGN (eye test) had been done by another cop, not on video, and not documented. As the results could have been exculpatory (i.e. favorable to the defendant), the two police officer's credibility were called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 4, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001531 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped after a call went out about a reckless driver. When officers made contact, they observed an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant performed poorly on the field sobriety tests. She was then arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .157 and a .150 in the breath machine.
There was no corroboration of the the alleged "reckless driving" pattern. Without any corroboration, the lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question.
The State dropped the DUI.
Jun 4, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-002622 Judge Palomino for Lefler
The defendant was stopped for driving without headlights. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He then agreed to perform field sobriety tests. He was subsequently arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .090 and a .090 in the breath machine.
There is a .02 margin of error in breath testing. Thus, the firm was able to show the state that the defendant's breath results could have been under the legal limit. The State then Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 21, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-015964 Judge T. Brown
The defendant was stopped for weaving and almost causing a crash. The defendant had an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/watery eyes. She exited the vehicle slow, staggered as she walked, and also swayed. After performing field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. After her arrest, she blew a .134 and a .130 in the breath machine.
The legality of the traffic stop was called into question as the alleged driving pattern was only vaguely described.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 20, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-007009-O Judge Caraballo
The defendant was stopped for driving at a high rate of speed, stopping abruptly, and nearly causing a crash. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and poor dexterity. She admitted to having consumed vodka/cranberry cocktails. She performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
Parks & Braxton pointed out to the State that the defendant had two herniated discs and a shoulder injury from a prior traffic crash whereby she had been hit by a Ram 2500 pickup truck. Yet, the officer still had her do the walk and turn and one leg stand exercises. He didn't conduct any non-physical exercises such as the finger to nose or alphabet. Thus, any impairment could have equally been attributable to the injuries versus alcohol. The State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received no conviction.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 20, 2019 Case: 2019-MM-005118 Judge Booras
Florida fish and wild life law enforcement boarded the defendant's boat for a safety inspection. They observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol and watery/bloodshot eyes. He was then asked to perform field sobriety tests. He performed the HGN (Eye test), palm pat, finger to nose, and hand coordination exercises. He was then arrested for Boating under the influence. After his arrest, he refused the breath test.
The officer did not write any specifics as they related to the roadside tasks. Also, one's eyes can be watery and bloodshot after being in the sun and on the sea water. In addition, none of the defendant's normal faculties were impaired. The firm convinced the State to then Dismiss the Boating under the influence charge.
The DUI was dismissed.
May 14, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-018939 Judge Dominguez for Lefler
The defendant was stopped for driving the wrong way on the highway causing others to avoid a collision. The defendant appeared disoriented and had glassy eyes. When the defendant spoke, he did not make any sense and also had difficulty following directions. He admitted to taking several unknown prescription medications. There was no odor of alcohol, but the officer suspected impairment by drugs. After performing poorly on the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. He later refused both a breath and urine test.
Prior to trial, the firm filed a motion for statement of particulars in order to force the State to disclose, as requited by the DUI Statute, by which "specific" drug they are alleging that the defendant was impaired by. In order to convict someone of DUI in Florida, the State the must prove that the defendant was impaired by alcohol and/or a "specific" chemical and/or controlled substance. Here, the State was not able to name the specific substance that was impairing the defendant. The DUI was dropped and he received no conviction on his record.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 9, 2019 Case: 2018-MM-014085 Judge Conrad
The defendant was stopped for swerving and almost colliding with a semi truck. Officers observed an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and he handed them a credit card instead of his drivers license. He also had slurred speech and performed poorly on the field sobriety tests. He was arrested for DUI. In a search incident to arrest for the DUI, officers also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
It was pointed out to the state that the officer was unsure what was allegedly impairing the defendant. On tape, when asked by the defendant what he was under the influence of, the officer stated "probably " alcohol. If the arresting officer is unsure, then how can the case be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court. The state dropped the DUI and also dismissed both drug charges.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 8, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-013435 Judge Atkin
The defendant was stopped for weaving and speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, glossy/watery eyes, and slurred speech. The defendant stated he had drank 3 to 4 beers, was slow exiting the vehicle, and swayed wile he stood. He then performed the HGN (eye test), walk and turn, and one leg stand exercises. He was then arrested for DUI and later blew a. 190 and a .175 in the breath machine.
The lawfulness of the traffic stop was called into question since it was unclear all of the specifics of distance and time of the alleged driving pattern. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
May 2, 2019 Case: A2FJW9P Judge Sosa-Bruzon
The defendant was passed out in his car in the middle of an intersection. Upon awakening the defendant, his car rolled forward and crashed. The officers observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He had vomit on him and was extremely unsteady. He admitted to having consumed beers and performed very poorly on the roadside tasks. He was arrested for DUI and later blew a .198, and a .180 in the breath machine.
The firm pointed out to the State, that on the body worn cameras, the defendant was improperly coerced into taking the breath test.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 30, 2019 Case: 2018-MM-057925 Judge Jacobus
The defendant was stopped for weaving in and out of traffic and accelerating at a high rate of speed. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, stuttering speech, and he admitted to having had consumed one drink. After refusing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI.
The defendant's refusal to perform field sobriety tests was inadmissible because the officer had not advised the defendant of any adverse consequences for refusing as required by Florida case law.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 30, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019322 Judge Farr
The defendant was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, red/glassy eyes, and mumbled speech. According to the officer, he failed all the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. This was the defendant's Third DUI.
Prior to trial, it was pointed out to the State that the officer's reports contradicted each other. For example on one page, the officer wrote that the defendant was riding a red bike, however, he was actually driving a blue jeep. On another page, he stated that he observed nystagmus in the defendant's eyes prior to 45 degrees during the HGN (eye tests). Yet, on another page, he did not observe any nystagmus. Also, the officer tried to make the defendant out to be a falling down drunk which was contradicted by the videotape. The State Dropped the defendant's Third DUI just prior to trial.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 30, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-058468 Judge Babb
The defendant was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane and having an inoperable tail light. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slow/slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. She also staggered and swayed. After performing the field sobriety tests, she was arrested for DUI. She later refused the breath test.
The defendant attempted to blow into the machine numerous times and never actually refused. However, there were numerous problems with the machine each time she attempted to provide a sample. Due to the machine having problems, the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 30, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-051419 Judge Jacobus
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and unsure/clumsy movements. His pupils were slightly dilated, speech was slow at times, and he admitted to having drank beer. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .087 in the breath machine.
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, and unsure/clumsy movements. His pupils were slightly dilated, speech was slow at times, and he admitted to having drank beer. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later blew a .087 in the breath machine.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 30, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-048511 Judge Atkin
The defendant was stopped for speeding and weaving. Upon contact, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and a dry mouth. The defendant was slow exiting the vehicle, slow walking, and swayed while he stood. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The firm pointed out that the defendant had inner ear surgery which caused balance issues. He also had a traumatic brain injury which caused cognitive and balance issues. Thus, we pointed out that there was reasonable doubt as to whether the impairment was due to his injuries versus alcohol.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 30, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001073 Judge Epperson
The defendant was stopped by police after he was stopped in the middle of the road obstructing traffic. The defendant was asked to step out the vehicle. Once out, the officer observed glassy/red/bloodshot eyes, he swayed, and also staggered. The defendant "weaved" while he walked and continuously licked his lips. Believing he was impaired by some type of chemical and/or controlled substance, he was asked to perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer, he failed and was arrested for DUI . After his arrest, he submitted to a DRE (drug recognition exam) and a urine tests.
The officer's credibility as a DRE officer was called into question. On one hand, he determined that the defendant was under the influence of a CNS depressant, and on the other hand, he determined he was impaired by a CNS stimulant. The two things are opposites, so his conclusions did not make sense. In addition, the urine test was also inconsistent with his DRE conclusions. The DUI was Dismissed.
The DUI was dismissed.
Apr 26, 2019 Case: 2018-CT-019920 Judge Cunningham
The defendant was involved in a traffic crash. Officers observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and he was acting erratic. He admitted to having drank 4 beers. He performed very poorly on the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .199 and a .196 in the breath machine.
Through an independent investigation by the firm, we were able to establish that the defendant did not cause and/or contribute to the crash as required by law to prove DUI with a crash. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 23, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-001500 Judge Hanser
Officers were called to a parking garage where the defendant's vehicle was causing a disturbance by "drifting." Officers stopped the vehicle and noticed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and red eyes. He was sweating profusely, uneasy on his feet, and belligerent. The defendant had a Cold & Frosty 6-pack of beer in his vehicle. The defendant refused to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
In order to stop a vehicle, there must be probable cause to believe an infraction occurred or reasonable suspicion of a crime. Here, the officer lacked both and the State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 22, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-056456 Judge Koenig
The officer was on foot patrol and noticed the defendant in the parking lot of a bar having difficulty walking in a straight line holding a key in his hand. The defendant tried to conceal himself then ducked behind a fence. The officer observed the defendant open the driver’s door and sit in the driver's seat. The officer then made contact and observed an odor of alcohol, mumbling speech, and glassy eyes. According to the officer, he performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .215 and a .210 in the breath machine.
An officer must have reasonable suspicion of a crime in order to lawfully detain a person. Here, there were legally insufficient specific articulable facts justifying the officer to detain the defendant as he initially sat down in his seat.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 22, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-012045 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for straddling the lane markers. The officer observed the defendant to have an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and glossy/watery eyes. The defendant had poor dexterity, swayed, and admitted to drinking beer. After performing the field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI.
During the HGN (eye test), an angle of onset in the defendant's eyes was not observed prior to 45 degrees. Under Tharpes formula, this would indicate that the defendant had a breath alcohol level under the legal limit at the "time of driving."
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 18, 2019 Case: A9EVGYE Judge Riba
The defendant was stopped for speeding. The officer observed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. He also had slurred speech, a flushed face, and fumbled with his documents. He was unsteady, swayed, and staggered while outside the car. The defendant refused to perform all of the roadside tasks other than HGN (eye test), and was then arrested for DUI. He later refused the breath test.
The video contradicted the police reports and this was brought to the State's attention by the firm. On tape, the defendant's speech was normal and he was not off balance or unsteady. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 16, 2019 Case: 2017-CT-012171 Judge Hanser
The defendant was stopped for driving all over the road and driving into oncoming traffic. The defendant had slow/slurred speech, slow movements, and stumbled a few times. The officer did not smell an odor of alcohol, however, the defendant stated that he had taken Methadone earlier in the day. The defendant performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. Believing that the defendant was impaired by drugs, he was asked for a urine test to which he refused. This was the defendant's Second DUI.
Prior to trial, the firm took pretrial depositions of the arresting officer and the State's expert toxicologist. After questioning the two witnesses, the defense established that neither could give an opinion that the defendant was actually impaired by the Methadone. Under Florida law, the State cannot just prove a person is just impaired, it has to be by either alcohol, and/or "specific" chemical and/or "specific" controlled substance. The State Dropped the defendant's Second DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 15, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-015534 Judge Koenig
The defendant was stopped for weaving. Upon contact, the officer observed an odor of alcohol, a flushed face, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant admitted to having consumed numerous vodkas. He swayed while he stood and performed poorly on the roadside tests. He was arrested for DUI and subsequently blew a .123 and a .116 in the breath machine.
Many of the observations written by the officer in his reports were contradicted by the video tape. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 11, 2019 Case: 2019-CT-011341 Judge Jacobus
The defendant was stopped for speeding and a broken license plate light. The officer observed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot/glassy eyes. The defendant admitted to having come from a bar where he had drank 2-3 drinks. 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 .157 and a .149 in the breath machine.
The video contradicted the breath results. In otherwise, his performance on the field sobriety tests clearly showed that his breath alcohol results may have been under the legal limit at the time of driving. It is the theory of absorption and elimination of alcohol through the body.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 10, 2019 Case: 0250-XEY Judge Barket
The defendant was detained by police after he left the scene of an accident for which he was at fault. Officers noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and lethargic movements. He needed to use the car for balance and support, and he also swayed. He performed poorly on the roadside tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .167 and a .162 in the breath machine.
The State could not prove that the defendant was the driver at the time of crash as he was outside the car walking around when police arrived. The State Dropped the DUI.
The State dropped the DUI.
Apr 9, 2019 Case: 18-CT-504774 Judge Gonzalez
The defendant was stopped for speeding. He had an odor of alcohol, mumbled/slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. He stated he had consumed three beers, appeared sleepy, and also had a flushed face. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. After his arrest, he blew a .132 and a .128 in the breath machine.
If evidence is destroyed and it is exculpatory, meaning favorable to the defendant, then the State must be penalized. In this case, although requested several times by the firm, the State nor the police ever turned over the roadside video. It turned out through a computer glitch, it never got uploaded properly. Since the defendant claimed he did better on the roadside tests than the officer wrote, the only evidence to support his claim was that tape. Prior to the firm filing any motions to dismiss for destruction of evidence, the State Dropped the DUI and the defendant received No criminal conviction.
The State dropped the DUI.
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