DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.
The first time I watched the DUI video in this case, I shook my head in wonder as I racked my brain to come up with something, anything, that would save my client from getting convicted of DUI. But I always keep my word. So I watched the video again and again.
My client was stopped after making a wide turn and because he was riding on the tire rim after getting a flat tire. Rather than pull his car off the road and come to a stop in a safe place, my client stopped in the middle of the three-lane main thoroughfare having just gotten off I-95. The ever so conscientious Boca Raton police officer had my client step out of his car after noticing a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. My client suffers from Cerebal Palsy and walks haltingly. But what might have been explained as being caused by his CP, my client was quick to volunteer having just left a bar where he had 4-vodkas. So there I am, holding with a bad driving pattern, physical characteristics consistent with impairment and an admission to drinking. Things did not look good, to say the least.
But then it struck me. The cop kept asking my client while conducting his investigation what my client struck that caused the flat tire. There is a law in Florida called the Accident-Report Priviledge ARP). Basically stated, the Accident-Report Priviledge says that drivers have a duty to tell the police how an accident that they were involved in occurred. These statements or priviledged and cannot be used againt a person who gets arrested, unless the officer tells the driver that he is finished with his accident investigation and is starting a criminal investigate. The law books describe it as the police having to make it clear that the police are switching hats and changing roles. Miranda warnings are required at this point. The police never read my client his Miranda rights, they never said that they were finished with their investigation into what he struck and how he got the flat tire.
I filed a motion to suppress all evidence. The matter was set for hearing. The prosecutor called and told me she had a witness problem and wanted to know if I had an objection to her requesting a continuance. I told her that I didn’t object, but asked her about a reckless driving change of charge. She quickly nixed that idea before saying goodbye.
Five minutes later she called back and offered my client a reckless driving and agreed to dismiss the DUI. I think her request for continuance was denied even though I didn’t object. At the hearing when the plea to reckless was taken, I asked her if she watched the video and if she knew what I was going to argue if the suppression hearing had taken place.
She knew I was going to argue the ARP. She woundn’t admit that I would have won the motion. Either way, my client was happy with the result and that we beat the DUI!