You may feel like you’ve been caught red-handed, but there are ways to fight DUI charges in Florida. Read our case results to find out how we have successfully represented others just like you in these situations. Every case is unique, and we'll find the best defense for you, but you can get an idea of your options in this section.
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.
Malove Gets DUI and Two Counts of DUI With Property Damage Dismissed by Proving Arresting Officer Would Not Be Able to Testify About the Facts of the Case
Case ID: 10-026072MM10A Date: June 9, 2021
The Client was arrested back in 2010 for DUI and two counts of DUI with property damage. She was represented by another law firm back in 2010. The case was continued for nearly two years and then in mid-2012 the client did not appear for a pre-trial hearing as she lived out of state.
As a result of missing her court date a capias was issued for her arrest. The Client hired the Law Office of Robert David Malove in March of 2021 and after several hearings, investigation, interviews, and meetings with the assistant state attorney, we were able to get the case dismissed based upon the officer not having any recollection of the pertinent matters of this case.
Diabetes May Have Caused Client to Blow .13 for DUI Arrest - Charge Dismissed
Case ID: 18-012912MU10A Date: May 7, 2021
Sometimes things are not always what they seem. Our client was arrested for driving under the influence with a breath alcohol level of .08 or more. At first glance the State believed they had this case in the bag. They believed they had all the evidence they needed to get a DUI conviction. Our client gave two breath samples of .130 and .132. In order to challenge these results, our office hired an expert in Laboratory medicine, Forensic Toxicology and Psychiatry to show that the unlawful breath results were not a valid breath sample due to the client suffering from diabetes which interfered with the accuracy of the breath results.
At first the state was skeptical of our doctor’s findings, but our office persisted in our client’s innocence. Ultimately we were able to win over the state by showing the inconsistencies in the police observations and the medical doctor’s findings. By interviewing the medical doctor who treated our client at the emergency room before he was transferred to the jail, we were able to show the State how the doctor’s observations were not consistent with someone who was driving under the influence. The doctor made many statements under oath which contradicted the police officer’s observations. In addition, the doctor made many statements which showed that our expert’s findings were plausible and that the defense had a good chance of getting an acquittal at trial. By going the extra mile, we were able to get the State to drop the DUI charge and offer a withhold of adjudication to reckless driving. This was beneficial to the client because not only will he not have a DUI on his record but he is also eligible to seal and expunge his case.
It is important to have a skilled Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney on your side so that even with the facts seem to be against you and the numbers seem to point to the conclusion of guilt, having the right team behind you can get you’re the most favorable outcome. Our office was able to show the State that our client was likely not driving under the influence and we were able to show the State that the numbers were not accurate and that our client was actually suffering from a diabetic episode at the time he was driving.
Compassion and Getting to Know the Client Results in DUI Charge Being Dismissed and Client Getting a Second Chance
Case ID: 18016605MU10A Date: October 7, 2020
An officer witnesses our Client speeding and running a red light and pulled him over. Upon exiting the vehicle, the Client leaned on the vehicle to hold himself up and swayed when asked to stand on his own. According to the arrest report the officer stated that when he was speaking with the Client, he could the smell an odor of alcohol emanating from our Clients breathe and the smell grew stronger each tie our Client spoke. The officers report also stated that he observed that our Client’s eyes were red, watery and bloodshot and asked our client if he would participate in a series of roadside exercises to prove his ability to continue to operate his vehicle and he agreed. Based on the officer’s investigation, our client was placed under arrest. Our client did not cooperate during the breath test and no viable results were received.
The firm was able to develop a close relationship with the Client, we got to know him and we learned he was a Veteran. The facts of this case were unbeatable, yet we were able to convince the State to allow our Client to enter with a unique diversion program for Veterans. Our Client completed this program and he was able to complete and all charges against our Client were dismissed.
Special Program Results in Charges Being Dismissed
Case ID: 18-001868MU10A Date: July 30, 2020
An officer was driving along Weston Road when he observed the vehicle on the sidewalk that crashed into a traffic signal. The officer approached the driver and noticed that the driver was unable to stand on his own and used the vehicle as to hold himself up. The officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the Client’s breath, noticed he had glassy eyes, a flushed face, and slurred speech. During field sobriety tests, the driver was unable to complete many of the exercises, and he swayed when he walked, he was unable to complete the finger to his nose test, and he continually lost his balance when attempting to stand on one leg. Based upon the observations of the field sobriety test the client was arrested and transported to the county jail.
The Client retained the Law office of Robert David Malove, After reviewing the discovery and facts of the case we determined this was not a good set of facts for our client. The firm worked closely with the client and the State to come up with an alternative sentence wherein the Defendant successfully completed a special program and all charges were dismissed.
DUI Dropped, Client Remains in US
Case ID: 18-011041MM10A Date: January 30, 2020
The Client was involved in a motor vehicle accident wherein he struck a vehicle turning in front of him because he failed to stop for a red light. The Client walked away from the scene of the accident and was observed throwing something in a trashcan not far from the incident. During the investigation and after retracing the client’s steps, the officer located a liquor bottle in the trash. Although the client refused to cooperate in the investigation, the passenger in the client’s vehicle admitted that the client caused the auto accident and that the driver had been drinking a lot of alcohol throughout the evening. According to the Officers the client’s eyes were red, bloodshot, watery and glassy, they smelled an odor of alcohol coming from the client’s breath, and his speech was slurred. The Client refused to cooperate with the investigation and refused to perform Standard Field Sobriety Exercises and a breath test. The Client was arrested for DUI, DUI with property damage and failing to stop at a red signal.
After a thorough investigation by The Law Office of Robert David Malove, we were able to show that the State was unable to provide the witnesses stated in the discovery and could not provide videos taken the day of the arrest. The firm worked closely with the State to find a more favorable consequence for the client rather than facing DUI charges and possibly being deported. Following the client attending a diversion program, the State dropped the DUI and the client was able to remain in the US.
Sometimes an Expert is Needed
Case ID: 18004758MU10A Date: November 5, 2019
Driving home with his girlfriend and daughter, our client was pulled over for allegedly doing 65 mph in a 45-mph zone. The officer claimed that he immediately smelled the odor of alcohol as he approached the vehicle. He further noted that our client’s face was flush, his eyes were red and his speech was slurred thereby leading the officer to believe that our client was intoxicated. Our client admitted that he had consumed one beer approximately 45 minutes prior and the officer requested that he participate in the Standard Field Sobriety Exercises, which our client complied. Based on the driver’s physical state and the officer’s observations, the officer placed our client under arrest. Our client would later participate in a breath test, which was over the legal limit.
The Law Offices of Robert David Malove hired an expert, whom was able to prove that the officer did not have the proper credentials in conducting the search, nor did the officer complete the exercises correctly after watching the video. The State, through further consideration, dropped the DUI.
Motion to Suppress Leads to Charges Being Dismissed
Case ID: 17003096MU10A Date: August 12, 2019
An Officer witnessed our Client failing to yield and turning directly into on-coming traffic while pulling out of a local bar parking lot. The Officer further observed our Client failure to maintain a single lane when he almost hit another police car that was traveling directly beside him. The officer immediately activated his emergency lights, and the Client was pulled over. After being advised of why he was pulled over, the Client agreed to participate in field sobriety exercises. The officer believed our client was impaired, and when began speaking with the client he smelled an odor of alcohol. After being led to the front of the officer’s vehicle, the Client seemed to be unsteady on his feet. When the officer attempted to conduct field sobriety exercises, the client was unable to keep his head and eye still and had to cup his chin to do so. Additionally, our client was unable to keep his balance, would step off the line during walk and turn and could not complete the one-leg stand. The officer felt that there was enough probable cause to arrest the Client for DUI. The Client would later deny the request to provide a breath sample for testing.
The Law Office of Robert David Malove was retained and we thoroughly reviewed the case file, discovery, and viewed the client’s video of DUI arrest. The firm filed a Motion to Suppress and was able to show the State and the Court that our client was not slurring his speech, did not show any uncoordinated movements, and that his eyes were not blood-shot or glassy. Failure to maintain a single lane and to yield to the right of way do not justify the officer’s request for the client to exit his vehicle to conduct field sobriety exercises. The Court granted the Motion to Suppress in part based upon the two officers’ discrepancies and contradictions in their testimony. In short, the Court found the officers lacked credibility and suppressed the evidence. As a result of the Motion to Suppress being granted the State was left with no evidence that our Client was under the influence and the State dismissed all charges against the client including the DUI.
Violation of Client’s 4th Amendment Rights and Illegal Stop Leads to DUI Charge Being Dismissed
Case ID: 19-002464MU10A Date: July 26, 2019
At approximately 1:42 a.m. our client was observed weaving in and out of traffic lanes and disobeying pavement markings on Oakland Park Blvd. The client was pulled over wherein the officer approached the vehicle and requested our client’s vehicle documentation and driver’s license. It was at that time that the officer smelled an odor of alcohol emanating from the driver, observed his eyes were bloodshot, slurred speech and a her face was flush. The officer took possession of the client’s car keys and went back to his vehicle to check her record. The officer asked the client of they would participate in sobriety exercises and provide a breath sample. The client declined and was arrested for Driving Under Intoxication and disobeying a traffic device.
After a thorough investigation and review the case, the firm filed a Motion to Suppress arguing the client was improperly pulled over for failure to stay in a single lane. Florida Statute 316.089 states “a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” In this case the stop was unlawful as the moving from one lane to another was permitted as it was done with care and in a safe manner. A second argument in the Motion to Suppress argued the moment the officer took the keys from the client he seized the Client before he developed any probable cause to do so, therefore, violating the client’s Fourth Amendment rights.
A hearing was set for the Motion to Suppress and the State filed two continuances. After the second continuance we had a final meeting with the State and based upon the arguments in the Motion to Suppress the State dismissed the DUI charge.
Persistence Overcomes Resistance-Working With State for More Reasonable Outcome-DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving
Case ID: 17018993MU10A Date: February 12, 2019
Several officers were assisting in an investigation at a residence when they heard a sound of a motor vehicle braking and then a crash. Our client was seated in the driver’s seat, engine running, where the vehicle came to rest in the grassy curb in the middle of the highway. One of the officers exited the residence and observed our client’s car on the curb. The officer then observed the vehicle on the curb drive away and he followed the vehicle and ultimately made contact with the Client in that vehicle. The officer observed that our client was seated in the driver’s seat with the engine running, and the front tire was flat and there was damage to the car.
While gathering the Clients version of events the officer observed that our clients’ eyes were red, bloodshot, and watery. The officer smelled an odor of alcohol coming from the Clients breathe. The Client told the officer that he consumed three beers and two alcoholic drinks. The client was asked to complete roadside standard field sobriety exercises. The client agreed and had a hard time staying steady on his feet and understanding instructions. Based on the officer’s observations, the Client was arrested for DUI, and transported to the Broward County Jail. The client refused to provide a sample of his breath.
The client had no previous charges against him. He was proven to be a hard worker and did not cause trouble. The Law Offices of Robert David Malove had numerous conversations with the State regarding this case. Ultimately, persistence prevailed and we were able to convince the State to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication. Sometimes a Client has no defenses or motions that can be filed to suppress evidence, such as on this case. But we don’t stop there, we do everything we can to get our Clients the best possible result.
Investigation of Attorney leads State to withdraw DUI charge
Case ID: 17017911MU10A Date: July 10, 2018
After an officer witnessed the driver proceed through a red light, the officer decided to follow the Client. The Client failed to stay in her lane and swerved on multiple occasions before the officer initiated a traffic stop. The Client did not immediately pull over after the officer turned on his emergency lights. The officer again attempted to pull the Client over by activating the steady siren. This caught the attention of our Client and she pulled her vehicle over to the side of the road. Upon exiting the vehicle, the Client was unsteady on her feet, smelled of alcohol and had larger than normal pupils. The Client failed to properly conclude in Standard Field Sobriety Exercises and further admitted to the officer that she had earlier consumed alcoholic beverages earlier in the evening, and one her drinks contained the drug ecstasy without her knowledge.
After retracing our Clients whereabouts for the night, we were able to see that someone dropped something in our Client’s drink at a bar without her knowledge. Shortly after she finished that drink the Client started feeling out of sorts and left. We brought this to the attention of the State after several meetings with the State, the firm was able to convince the State that the Client was not intoxicated. The State reduced the DUI to a reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication and the failure to stop at the red-light ticket was dismissed.
DUI reduced to reckless driving after Unlawful and Unreasonable Search and Seizure
Case ID: 17-016239MU10A Date: May 1, 2018
The Client was pulled over for excessive speed by the BSO DUI Task Force. When the officer approached the Clients car, he noted in the arrest report that the Client had red/ glassy eyes, flush skin and fumbled with his paperwork. The Client admitted to the officer that he had consumed two beers at a house party. After running a check on the Clients driver license the officer asked the Client to exit his vehicle and walk to the front of his patrol car. The officer then proceeded to ask the Client biological questions and after his questions were answered the officer informed the Client he was concerned about his ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The Officer asked the Client if he would agree to perform field sobriety exercises, and he agreed. After failing to properly perform the roadside field sobriety exercises, the Client was arrested and booked on DUI charges and unlawful speed.
The Law Offices of Robert David Malove, P.A. was retained by the Client and we went to work. After all the discovery was provided to us by the State, we determined that a Motion to Suppress needed to filed. We prepared and filed the motion and filed a Motion to Suppress arguing the Officer did not have probable cause to detain and arrest the Client for DUI, and the sobriety exercises were compromised due to the officer’s instructions. The instructions the officer gave to the Client in this case were poorly explained to the Client and the Officer never asked the Client if he understood the instructions before asking him to perform each exercise. The video of the exercises supported this conclusion and as a result of the Motion to Suppress the Defendant was not convicted of a DUI.
Video Evidence Differed From Facts Alleged in Arrest Report-Evidence Obtained by Unlawful and Unreasonable Search and Seizure-DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving
Case ID: 17-009695MU10A Date: March 9, 2018
911 Operators dispatched officers to the scene of a reported man slumped over his steering wheel. When the officers arrived, they observed the Client leaning against his steering wheel. The officers also observed a bottle of red wine on the passenger floorboard and a glass of what appeared to be red wine in the center console. After they verified the Client was okay, they asked him for a copy of his license and proceeded to ask him questions. The Client advised the officers that he was going to his girlfriend’s house and while he was talking the officer could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person. The officer also observed the Client had blo9odshot watery eyes and his speech was slurred. The Client agreed to perform field sobriety exercises and after the exercises were concluded the Client was placed under arrest for DUI.
The Law Offices of Robert David Malove, P.A. filed a Motion to Suppress citing that evidence was obtained by the police as a result of an unlawful and unreasonable search and seizure. In this case the facts alleged in the arrest report differed from what actually happened on the body worn camera that recorded the Client’s interaction with the officers. As a direct result of the Motion to Suppress the State agreed to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving.
State Abandons Charge After Unlawful Stop
Case ID: 18-003748MU10A Date: January 22, 2018
After driving on the shoulder of the highway and nearly sideswiping a stationary Florida Highway Patrol officer on the side of the road, an officer attempted to pull over the Client. The Client failed to immediately stop after the officer activated his light and siren for a traffic stop. Ultimately the Client stopped his car and proceeded to exit his vehicle. The Client was stumbling and the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol from her breath. When asked for her license the Client struggled to provide the officer with her driver license and registration. After speaking with the officer, the Client stated she was unaware why she was being pulled over. The Client agreed to perform field sobriety exercise and failed to perform them even after the officer demonstrated and explained them to her multiple times. While attempting to perform the field sobriety exercises the Client admitted to drinking Whiskey at a club and consented to providing breath sample. The Client’s result of the breath exam was .171 and .161.
The Law Offices of Robert David Malove, P.A. took the case to trial wherein after presenting the facts associated with the lawfulness of the traffic stop resulting in unlawful and unreasonable search and seizure in violation of Defendant’s rights, the State abandoned the charges.
Robert Malove’s 35 years of experience Pays Off for Client
Case ID: 17-006931MU10A Date: August 17, 2017
Following a traffic accident wherein the Client failed to stop at a traffic signal, striking another vehicle, officers determined that the Defendant appeared to show signs of impairment. The arrest report noted that the Client appeared to be unsteady on his feet, had an odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath, slurred speech and glassy red eyes. The Client was asked to perform standardized field sobriety exercises, the driver advised the officer that he was disoriented from the crash and felt it was not fair to conduct the exercises. The Client was advised that he was going to be arrested and consented to the exercises. During the field sobriety exercised the Client failed to keep his balance, could not stand on one leg for any period of time, and was unable to walk heel to toe as instructed. Based upon the observations of the Officer the Client was placed into handcuffs and arrested for DUI.
The Client in this case was married to someone who worked in the Broward Courthouse. As such, the case was transferred to Palm Beach County. Working closely with the State, Robert Malove was able to show the State that the client was not any further threat and after completing a diversion program, the State dropped the DUI.
No Authority for Search Leads to Violation of Client’s Rights
Case ID: 14-13310CF10A Date: January 23, 2017
The client was sleeping at the wheel of his vehicle when the fish and game officer witnessed him sitting at a green light. The officer approached the vehicle and pounded on the window, waking the driver. Startled, the driver attempted to leave and the officer opened the door. The officer asked the client to exit the vehicle noticing a smell of alcohol, as well as the client having glassy eyes and a slurred speech. The client had a difficult time keeping his balance once he exited the vehicle. From his observations, the officer suspected that the client was intoxicated. The client refused to submit to roadside sobriety exercise and a breath test.
This firm filed a Motion to Suppress citing that the officer illegally conducted a search of the client’s vehicle by opening the door violating the client’s Fourth Amendment. A hearing was set for the Motion to Suppress, however on the morning of that hearing the State agreed to reduce the DUI to reckless driving. Client avoided a DUI conviction and needless to say was pleased with the outcome.
Aggravated DUI Fleeing and Eluding (High Speed) Amended to Reckless Driving
Our law firm was retained on a case where the client was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, a second-degree felony. When reviewing the case with the client during the initial consultation we were able to identify some holes in the State’s case. We realized that it would be difficult for the State to prove the identity of our client since he was never stopped by the police during the course of the alleged fleeing and eluding.
During the deposition of the lead officer we learned that this officer was reprimanded as a direct result of his actions in this investigation. Another police officer from another police department saw a YouTube video that showed the police officer in this investigation breaking police policy regarding proper protocol for police chases. The police officer from the other department sent this YouTube video to internal affairs and the police officer in our case was reprimand as a direct result of his actions in this case. The icing on the cake that we also learned in deposition was that the officer was recently placed on administrative leave due to his recent arrest for DUI.
After the deposition, our office prepared a case summary for the State outlining the holes in the case. We presented the deposition transcript and the police officer’s internal affairs report to the State. After the State reviewed the information we provided to them, the prosecutor made an offer our client could not refuse. Instead of becoming a convicted felon and going to prison, our client resolved his case to misdemeanor reckless driving with six months of non-reporting probation and aggressive driving school.
DUI Motion To Suppress Granted, Reckless Driving Charged Dismissed As Filed Outside Statue of Limitations
The Client was initially charged with a DUI. After a motion to suppress was filed and granted, the State amended the information and charged my client with one count of reckless driving. In doing so, the State made a fatal error because the reckless driving charge was filed outside the statute of limitations period in Florida Statute 775.15 (2)(c).
Based on the foregoing events I filed a motion to dismiss and a hearing was set. At the hearing on the motion to dismiss I argued that under Florida law the statute of limitations begins to run the day after the offense is alleged to have been committed and if the State fails to commence a prosecution within the applicable time frame set forth in Fla. Stat. 775.15, the prosecution of the charge is barred.
After taking notice of the date of the State alleged the reckless driving occurred within the charging document, and the date the amended information was filed, the court determined that the prosecution for the reckless driving charge was filed outside the 2-year statute of limitations period. The State agreed that the reckless driving charge was filed outside the statute of limitations period and The Motion to Dismiss was granted.
Ruling on Whether Partition Ratio Evidence is Admissible in a Prosecution for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Arizona took up the issue of whether partition ratio evidence is admissible in a prosecution for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated, Arizona’s version of Florida’s DUI offense). The Blood Breath Partition Ratio assumes that 2100mL of breath contains the same amount of alcohol as 1 mL of blood. The Court ruled such evidence is relevant and therefore may be admissible to show the defendant’s lack of impairment. To read the opinion, click here.
I was surprised to see that this issue regarding the partition ratio was not yet settled in Arizona, since I had obtained an opinion here in Florida crucifying the State for attempting to keep this highly relevant and important information from the jury.
As an interesting sidebar, the judge who issued the opinion in my case was none other than the Honorable Marilyn Milian of the highly successful syndicated TV show The People’s Court. Before becoming the judge on The People’s Court, Judge Milian was a prosecutor in Miami, Florida and an extremely well-respected judge on the criminal court bench.
Unlawful Stop By Arrested Police Officer
A couple of weeks ago, Davie, Florida, police officer James Krey was arrested and charged with two counts of extortion by threats. Coral Springs police, who arrested Krey while he was on duty, reported that Krey threatened to share nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend, also a police officer, unless she resigned. As the expression goes, “one man’s poison is another man’s candy.” As soon as I read about Krey’s arrest, I immediately filed a motion to suppress evidence in one of my cases based on an unlawful stop of my client and scheduled the motion for a hearing. The night before the hearing the prosecutor called me and offered my client a plea to careless driving, which isn’t even a crime, it’s a civil traffic infraction! My client is ecstatic and is looking forward to getting his criminal history sealed and expunged.
Judge's Ruling Leads to Plea Offer
My client was at a red light. He was texting and had his head down. Because he wasn’t paying careful attention he rolled his car forward before the light turned green and barely tapped the car in front of him. An officer came and thought that my client might be impaired. A second officer arrived and also thought my client might be impaired from some kind of controlled substance. My client was arrested.
Because an “accident” was involved, the judge found that even though the arresting officer was not conducting an accident investigation, she was nevertheless obligated to read the defendant his Miranda warnings. Additionally, the judge found that the police improperly informed the defendant of his rights under Florida’s Implied Consent Law and suppressed the defendant’s refusal to provide a urine sample.
After the judge ruled, the prosecutor offered to reduce the charge from DUI with property damage to reckless driving with property damage. My client did not look like he was impaired on the video, but didn’t want to risk a DUI conviction at trial and accepted the prosecutor’s plea offer.
DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving
Client arrested for a Second DUI Offense Within 5 Years
My client was arrested for a second DUI offense within 5 years and was facing mandatory jail time. The arresting officers wrote in the Arrest Affidavit that she was speeding and driving recklessly by weaving in and out of traffic. They wrote that she could hardly maintain her balance and was very unsteady on her feet.
When I reviewed the DUI video, I though it must be a mistake. My client had no slurred speech and appeared to be perfectly sober. At her Formal Review Hearing before the DHSMV the hearing officer found that the testimony of the police was contradicted by the video and set aside my client’s DL suspension.
I announced “ready” for trial. Minutes before the jurors entered into the courtroom, the prosecutor reduced the charge to reckless driving. Just past the midway point of her one-year term of probation, I filed a motion asking the judge to terminate my client’s probation early.
Probation Terminated Early!
DUI Defense Rests on Keys Not in the Ignition
My client was asleep in his parked car after having consumed alcohol. We agreed that the client was probably under the under the influence of alcohol to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired, but vehemently denied that he was in “actual physical control” of his motor vehicle. The arresting officer, a veteran of the BSO DUI Task Force, testified that the car keys were in the ignition, which could have been sufficient facts for the jury to convict my client. The arresting officer testified that instead of rolling down the electrically operated power window, my client opened the driver’s door so he could to speak to the officer after having been woken up.
During my final argument, I argued to the jury that if the keys were truly in the ignition as the arresting officer claimed, then all my client would have had to do to speak to the officer was simply press the button to open the driver’s side power window. Additionally, if the keys were really in the ignition as the arresting officer maintained, when my client opened the car door the deputy sheriff’s carcam audio feature would have recorded the “ding, ding, ding” of door chime alerting him not to forget his keys.
Prosecution argued that client was in “actual physical control” of a vehicle
My client had been out with her friends socializing and had been consuming alcohol. On her way home she began to feel sick, so she decided to park her car and go to sleep. The police observed her parked car and decided to wake my client. Eventually, the police woke my client up. The police reported that she had a flushed face, an odor of alcohol and slurred speech – facts we did not dispute. My client refused to take the breath test.
At trial, we argued to the jury that my client exercised good judgment by deciding to park her car and get some sleep rather than continue to drive once she began not to feel well. The prosecution argued that while my client was not technically “driving,” she was nevertheless in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that her normal faculties were impaired.
Submitted Motion to Suppress Evidence on the Grounds That Traffic Stop Was Unlawful
After having lunch with some business associates, my client, a single-engine airplane pilot, decided to take a shortcut on his way back to his office through Port Everglades. In the aftermath of 9-11, the port had been cordoned off to prevent the free flow of traffic. However, before reaching the exact location of the roadblock, my client turned off on a side street and went around the roadblock.
My client was stopped by Broward County Deputy Sheriffs despite the fact that he had committed no traffic violations. Still, the police detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage, flushed face and slurred speech. My client admitted to having a beer at lunch but maintained that he was perfectly sober. The client was offered a breath test, which he refused to take – just on principle since the police said even if he blew under the legal limit, he would not be released without first being booked into the county jail and having to post bond.
Before commencing trial, I submitted a motion to suppress evidence on the grounds that the stop of his motor vehicle was an unlawful seizure in violation of the U.S. and Florida Constitutions since the stop conducted was without any legal justification.
The judge agreed and the Motion to Suppress was GRANTED!
First Officer on the Scene Didn't Show for Hearing
This week I appeared in court for a client who was arrested for DUI during the wee hours of New Years Day. Here are the basic facts: After having a minor fender bender, the police came to the scene to investigate. The first officer on the scene smelled the odor of alcohol on my client’s breath and noticed signs of possible impairment. Other officers were summoned to the scene and administered field sobriety exercises, after which my client was arrested.
At the motion to suppress hearing (a motion to suppress is a legal pleading that asks the judge to exclude evidence that was not lawfully obtained), the initial officer who detained my client did not appear. The judge reset the matter for this week and again the 1st officer on the scene who detained my client for the DUI cop didn’t show. The Florida Supreme Court has recently held:
that the fellow officer rule does not allow an officer who does not have firsthand knowledge of the traffic stop and was not involved in the investigation at that time to testify as to hearsay regarding what the initial officer who conducted the stop told him or her for the purpose of proving a violation of the traffic law so as to establish the validity of the initial stop.
As a result of challenging the evidence by filing a motion to suppress (which we do in every single case) the client’s case was won. All of the evidence obtained by the arresting officer was tossed out of court because the arresting officer wasn’t personally involved in the traffic stop. Needless to say, the client is ecstatic and we are thrilled to have one more happy and satisfied client.
State dismisses all charges!
Disaster Avoided. DUI Charges Dismissed on the Day of Trial.
Hard work pays off again!
My client was going through a rough divorce. He tried to drown out his heartache by having too much to drink and was arrested for DUI which was his second DUI arrest within 5 years of a previous DUI. If he was convicted, he would have to serve a mandatory sentence behind bars. I poured over the case and searched for a weakness in the State’s case. No doubt the case was was bad. The video made by the officer’s in-car dash cam clearly showed that my client was impaired and that he never should have been behind the wheel.
My client was stopped for making an illegal right turn on a red light. I watched the video over and over. I was able to show that my client was stopped at the red light for at least 3-full seconds before turning. I filed a motion to supress evidence on the grounds that the stop unlawful. When the case was called up by the judge, the prosecutor announced that they were dismissing the case. Mandatory jail time and all of the other punishments were avoided. It was a great day for my client who had just finalized his divorce and was ready to make a fresh start on life.
Watched the DUI Video Again and Again to Craft Defense
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 Cerebral 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 Privilege ARP). Basically stated, the Accident-Report Privilege says that drivers have a duty to tell the police how an accident that they were involved in occurred. These statements or privileged and cannot be used against 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 wouldn’t admit that I would have won the motion. Either way, my client was happy with the result and that we beat the DUI!
DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving
Client Stopped at a Roadblock Sobriety Checkpoint
Client was on his way home from running an errand when he was stopped at a roadblock sobriety checkpoint. The officer detected the odor of alcohol, flushed face and slurred speech. The client was asked to perform field sobriety exercises, which the police claimed indicated impairment and subsequently arrested the client. The client was then videotaped performing the field sobriety exercises a second time. A breath test was conducted with a .136 g/dl result.
At the jury trial, I was able to discredit the reliability of the breath testing equipment on cross-examination of the State’s so-called breath “expert” by demonstrating that the good science the breath testing equipment was based upon was being completely misapplied. It also helped that my client, a computer software company executive, performed the field sobriety exercises flawlessly and that his speech was clearly not slurred, contradicting police testimony.
Verdict: NOT GUILTY!
Client's Breath Test of .153 is Almost Twice the Legal Limit of .08
My client, a 26-year-old recent college grad with her entire life ahead of her, came with her father to meet me last year. The case certainly presented its fair share of evidentiary obstacles, including a breath test of .153 which is almost twice the legal limit of .08. When I sat down to study the DUI video made at the time of the arrest, I braced myself for the worst. Much to my delight, my client exhibited no signs of impairment and I was encouraged that victory was at hand. I set about to suppress the evidence of the breath test based on my opinion that there was no probable cause to make the arrest. On the date of trial, the state caved in and offered my client a reduction in charges from DUI Enhanced (because the breath test was greater than .150) to reckless driving with no permanent criminal conviction that can be sealed and expunged from her record.