DUI Case Results in 2013
DUI Reduced to Reckless with a Blood Alcohol Reading of 0.145 and 0.142
On December 9, 2013, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in Division P in Plant City, FL, agreed to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving. It was alleged that the client was involved in a motorcycle accident. The driver was taken to the hospital because of his injuries. While he was at the hospital, Florida Highway Patrol Officer James A. White, Jr., entered his room to request that he submit to a blood test. The nurse took the sample and the driver was given a careless driving citation.
Several months later, the driver received a Notice to Appear in the Plant City Courthouse on “Direct File” charges for DUI and DUI with property damage. Although the citation demanded that the driver appears in court, the clerk’s office did not actually set the arraignment until 60 days later. The state filed an additional charging document for DUI before the 90 days speedy trial period ran.
Although the client was eligible to immediate reinstatement of his hardship driving privileges (waiver review) he elected to contest the administrative suspension of his driver’s license. Our request to invalidate the suspension was granted by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after the hearing with three witnesses who did appear (but the arresting officer failed to appear).
For the criminal case, we filed numerous motions including a notice of expiration of speedy trial. At the five day hearing, the State offered to reduce the charge of DUI to reckless driving with probation to complete DUI school, buy out 47 hours of community service at $10 per hour, attend a three-hour Victim Impact Panel, and pay $500 in fines and court costs. The case was resolved that day.
DUI Refusal Reduced to Reckless
On December 4, 2013, in Division E of the County Court for Hillsborough County at the Tampa Courthouse, our client’s DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving. The police report alleged that our client drove the car onto a dead-end street onto a long driveway of a residence and then onto the lawn where the car got stuck in a concrete drainage ditch.
The officer allegedly saw the person trying to move the vehicle while sitting behind the wheel with the engine on. The officer alleged the individual smelled of alcoholic beverages, exhibited other clues of alcohol impairment and performed poorly on roadside agility exercises.
After the arrest, the person allegedly refused to take a breath test. The charges were reduced to reckless driving at the pre-trial conference with standard sanctions.
DUI with a .246 and .239 Reduced to Reckless Driving
On December 4, 2013, in Division B of the County Court for Hillsborough County, our client’s charge of “DUI over .15” was reduced to reckless with a withhold of adjudication.
Part of the reason for the plea deal was because the breath test technician was unavailable for trial.
The client was also charged with driving while license suspended which was reduced to no valid DL with a withhold of adjudication. The case was resolved with 12 months probation, early termination when the following conditions were met: completion of DUI school, 50 hours of community service (with a full buy out option), standard court costs plus $1,000 additional costs.
2nd DUI in Five Years Reduced to Reckless
On December 5, 2013, in Division A, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge of DUI, which would have been a second within 5 years, to reckless driving with standard sanctions for the reduced charge. The officer alleged that the driver fell asleep at the wheel at an intersection, allegedly refused to perform agility tests or submit to a breath test.
The reduction allowed the client to avoid the minimum mandatory penalties for a second DUI within five years including: 10 days in jail, a fine of at least $1,000, a five-year driver license revocation, 30 day vehicle impound, and a requirement of installing the Ignition Interlock Device for at least 12 months.
DUI Reduced to Reckless with a .087 and .089 Breath Test Reading
On October 2, 2013, the prosecutor in Division E, of the County Court in Hillsborough County, Citation 6546-X__, agreed to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving with standard sanctions. The case involved a DUI arrest by Officer Nathanael Taveras with the Tampa Police Department’s DUI unit. The client was stopped for failure to maintain a single lane (weaving) and breaking erratically.
The officer noted the driver appeared to be intoxicated and had an abnormal lack of alertness (slow / lethargic mannerisms), a deep stare, and extremely bloodshot, watery and glassy eyes, a noticeable sway, slurred speech, and a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The officer reported he did poorly on field sobriety exercises and arrested him for DUI. He blew a .087 and .089.
Client Found “Not Guilty” at trial for DUI in a case with a Breath Test Reading of .149 and .147
On September 27, 2013, the jury returned a “Not Guilty” verdict. The case, Citation 6546-XFA in Division “C” in Tampa, FL, involved an arrest by Officer Dean Uno with the Tampa Police Department’s DUI enforcement unit. The client was stopped for running a stop sign. The officer that conducted the stop reported smelling the odor of alcoholic beverages on the client’s breath, and noted that his eyes were bloodshot, watery, and that his speech was slurred.
When Officer Uno arrived he administered field sobriety exercises before making an arrest for DUI. At trial, we objected to the breath test results being admitted into evidence. The trial court ultimately sustained that objection. Although the jury had been told the breath test results by the prosecutor during opening statements and the breath test operator had mentioned one of the results during her testimony, the trial court instructed the jury to disregard that argument and evidence.
The prosecutor used the officer’s testimony and the video evidence to argue that the client’s normal faculties were impaired. After deliberating for nearly two hours the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict.
DUI with Breath Test of .081 Reduced to Reckless with Withhold of Adjudication and No Probation
On September 10, 2013, in Case Number 2012-CT-004___, before Judge K. Douglas Henderson in Manatee County, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the case to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication. Obtaining the withhold of adjudication is important for eligibility to petition to seal the arrest record and mugshot.
The DUI arrest was made by Trooper Michael Jarabek with the Florida Highway Patrol after a civilian called the police to report a driver that was “all over the roadway.” The stop officer reported the vehicle was weaving within the lane and speeding 73 mph in a 65 mph zone. The case was resolved in exchange for the client withdrawing a motion to suppress.
The court allowed the client to come back to court with proof that he had completed DUI school and a victim impact class so that he did NOT have to be on probation. The court dismissed a civil infraction for speeding. The client paid the court costs and the case was closed forever that day before the client left the courthouse.
DUI with a Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance and Paraphernalia Reduced to One Count of Reckless
On September 3, 2013, in Case Number 2013-CF-0006xx-A in the Fifth Judicial Circuit for Hernando County, in the felony charge of possession of controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia was dropped entirely and prosecutor reduced the DUI charge to reckless driving. The negotiated plea was for six months probation to complete DUI school, one Victim Impact Panel, 50 hours of community service, and a fine and court costs totaling $538.00.
The client was originally charged with a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance (XRL11 (1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl) (2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl) methanone commonly known as K2, spice, or synthetic marijuana), possession of paraphernalia (the pipe used to consume XRL11) and DUI Impaired (DUBAL). We argued that although Florida enacted an emergency rule in the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 2ER12-1 published on 12/12/2012 Vol. 38/89, the legislature did not act until April of 2013. Because of the legal challenges that could result from the prosecution of charged for XRL11, the prosecutor dropped the felony charge, the paraphernalia charge and reduced the DUI to a less serious charge of reckless driving in exchange for the negotiated plea.
Although the case was pending for trial in front of Judge Anthony M. Tatti in Hernando County, after the drug charges were dropped, the prosecutor refiled the reckless driving charge in county court where the case was resolved on September 4, 2013.
DUI with a Breath Test Reading of .163 and .161 Reduced to Reckless Driving
DUI Citation number 7856-X__ was resolved on August 19, 2013, in a division of Tampa’s County Court, on the day of trial. In order to avoid a trial, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the DUI with a breath test reading over .15 and subject to enhanced DUI penalties to a reckless driving.
The reduced sentence saved the client from a court-ordered driver’s license suspension, a requirement of installing the ignition interlock device, and enhanced fines. Instead, the client had standard sanctions for the reduced charge of reckless driving and a withhold of adjudication on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. The case involved an arrest by Officer Joseph S. Sustek with TPD’s DUI enforcement unit.
DUI with Breath Test Reading of .089 and .091 Reduced to Reckless
For citation number 6267-X__, resolved in the County Court in the Tampa Courthouse on August 13, 2013, at the pre-trial conference schedule one week before jury section, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge of DUI to reckless driving with standard sanctions for the reduced charges. The case involved a breath test reading slightly above the legal limit of .08 and an arrest by Officer Michael Lyon with the Tampa Police Department’s DUI enforcement unit.
DUI with Breath Test Reading of .136 and .138 Reduced to Reckless
For citation number 6213-X _ _, resolved in division C in the County Court in and for Hillsborough County, FL, the case resolved at the pre-trial conference on June 11, 2013, when the prosecutor agreed to drop the DUI down to reckless driving for standard sanctions including a fine, court costs and community service. The civil citation for driving the wrong way down a one way street was merged and dismissed.
DUI with Breath Test Reading of .140 and .160 Reduced to Reckless / Charges for Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia Dropped
For case number 12-CM-000628, the case resolved on the day of jury trial on June 10, 2013, when the prosecutor agreed to drop charges for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The prosecutor also agreed to drop the DUI charge down to reckless driving with standard sanctions. Part of the reason for the reduction was because the prosecutor would have had difficulty admitting the breath test reading into evidence at trial.
DUI with Breath Test Reading of .113 and .114 Reduced to Reckless
For citation 4821-XGA, in a case resolved on the day of jury trial on May 20, 2013, the prosecutor agreed to reduce a breath test case with a reading of .113 and .114 to reckless driving with standard sanctions. The negotiated plea allowed the client to avoid a DUI conviction, court-ordered driver’s license suspension, and 10-day vehicle impoundment.
DUI with Breath Test Reading of .144 and .145 Reduced to Reckless with Withhold of Adjudication and No Probation
In another case resolved on May 13, 2013, our client’s charge of DUI with a breath test reading of .127 and .121 in citation 5326-XEP was reduced to reckless driving. The negotiated plea was for a withhold of adjudication and no probation. The client was required, however, to pay court costs.
DUI with Breath Test Reading of .144 and .145 Reduced to Reckless with Withhold of Adjudication and No Probation
On May 13, 2013, our client’s charge of DUI with property damage with a breath test reading of .144 and .145 in citation 4698-XGA was reduced to reckless driving. The negotiated plea was for a withhold of adjudication and no probation, although the client was required to pay court costs.
DUI with Breath Alcohol Concentration of 0.174 and 0.180 was Reduced to Reckless Driving with Adjudication Withheld
On April 1, 2013, for case number 5811-XGA in Hillsborough County, FL, our client’s charge of DUI BAL over .15 and improper lane change was reduced to Reckless Driving. The civil infraction was dismissed. The prosecutor also agreed to withhold adjudication so that no points were assessed and the client would be eligible to seal the record. The case was resolved on the day of a motion to suppress hearing alleging that there was no valid basis for the stop.