My client was stopped after another driver observed him driving erratically on Ulmerton Blvd. Much of the odd driving was caught on this person’s dash cam. It showed my client driving slowly, putting on his turn signal, then speeding up and looking lost. My client eventually turned into a residential neighborhood and got lost. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office stopped him in this neighborhood. The deputy asked him to get out of the vehicle several times, but my client delayed and seemed confused. After several commands, the deputy grabbed him from the car and slammed him face first into the pavement. The force of the slam cut his entire face and there was a lot of blood. My client refused FSTs and the intoxilyzer.
My client was arrested for DUI. Two prior DUIs from Texas were found, making this a felony DUI.
I knew that this was going to be a tough case based on the priors and his lack of cooperation. He was looking at a mandatory felony conviction, a 10 year loss of driver’s license, and mandatory jail. We had him keep his CAM monitor on and got him into residential treatment for 30 days.
In the meantime, we defended the case by taking depositions and speaking to the witness who took the dash cam.
Our client remained clean and sober for over a year with no violations on his CAM monitor. His physical appearance improved. He looked great, sounded great and it showed how impressive of a guy he was when sober. I asked the State Attorney to look at the file because I believed that he deserved leniency. The end result was that the charge was amended to a misdemeanor. He is not a convicted felon, so he can go back to work and get a good job. He did not have to go to jail and he only lost his license for 1 year instead of 10. It was a good result for him, but he earned it by going to treatment and staying sober. The future is bright for my client. More important than the legal result, the case helped him get and stay sober.