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Felony Possession Of Controlled Substance and DUI (Second Offense w/in 5)
The Defendant was charged with Felony Possession of Controlled Substance, punishable by 5 years in prison, and Driving Under the Influence, a second DUI offense within five years of a prior DUI conviction which carries a mandatory jail sentence and a five-year driver’s license revocation. The Defendant’s vehicle was stopped by Officer Malave of the Sunrise Police Department for repeatedly stopping and starting his vehicle near an intersection and for violating a flashing yellow light by stopping and remaining stationary at the intersection. Officer Malave approached the vehicle and made contact with the Defendant. Upon making contact with the Defendant, the Officer noticed that the defendant had the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech ; and the Defendant was incapable of formulating complete sentences. The Defendant would nod off in mid-sentence and was completely incoherent at times. After making those observations, Officer Malave, a female called for the assistance of two male officer’s due to the Defendant’s condition and physical size. The male officers loudly ordered the Defendant out of the car on multiple occasions, but the Defendant would not comply. The Officers attempted to forcibly remove the Defendant from the vehicle, but the Defendant resisted those efforts by bracing, pulling and stiffening his body so that the officers could not move him. The Defendant was slammed to the ground, which the officers took as a refusal to perform roadside exercises and then incorrectly read the Defendant implied consent, which only applies to breath tests. Officers noticed that there ere three cans of beer in the vehicle as well. The Defendant was arrested for DUI and was NOT taken to the Breath Testing Facility and DUI Room, but only the Broward County Main Jail. The Defendant was never asked to submit to a breath test. After the Defendant’s arrest, Officers discovered 27 pills located in a tackle box in the Defendant’s vehicle which ultimately were revealed to be anabolic steroids. Partner, Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell prepared for trial. During preparation, the firm filed several Motions in Limine (Motions to Exclude Evidence) that asked the court to exclude any reference to roadside exercises or the Defendant’s alleged refusal top perform them as the Defendant was not offered the roadside exercises and, thus, never refused them. Additionally, the court was asked to exclude any mention of a refusal to submit to a breath test or failure to give on as, again, one was never offered. Finally, the court was asked to prohibit the State from discussing the anabolic steroids as such pills, although a controlled substance, are not those of an impairing or intoxicating nature. After receiving the Motion, the state conceded and was compelled to drop all DUI related charges. Meltzer & Bell was also able to have all felony drug charges dropped as well.
Driving Under the Influence
The Defendant was charged with Driving Under the Influence. Officers of the Davie Police Department were alerted by a concerned citizen that our client was leaving The Billiard Club, a pool bar, in an extremely intoxicated state and about to drive. The Officer approached the vehicle as the car was in reverse, ordered the Defendant to stop the vehicle and conducted a wellness check and noticed the Defendant had bloodshot eyes, the odor of an alcoholic beverage, and extremely slurred speech. Based on those observations, the officer asked the Defendant to perform roadside sobriety exercises, to which the defendant refused. The Defendant was placed under arrest for DUI and was asked to submit to a breath test, but, again refused. Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer and Bell began to prepare for trial and researched case law in an effort to suppress or throw out the stop of the Defendant’s vehicle and all evidence that followed the stop as being unconstitutional and based upon a lack of reasonable suspicion as the Defendant had done nothing to justify her vehicle being stopped. The firm and Mr. Meltzer researched a similar factual scenario in State v. Sliviak in which the stop was suppressed based upon a lack of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in an almost identical situation. This case law was presented to the State prior to trial. Upon receiving it, the State agreed and dropped the DUI charge.
REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO TESTING
The Defendant was observed by Officer Troy Murdock of the Coral Springs Police Department traveling 55 in a 40mph and weaving uncontrollably to the extent traffic began to slow in order to evade her. The officer activated his emergency lights in order to stop the Defendant, however, she did not until she was forced to because of a traffic backup at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Coral Springs Drive. Upon making contact with the Defendant, the officer noticed the defendant to have an extremely strong odor of an alcoholic beverage; that she could not handle or identify her vehicle documentation and that her speech was extremely slurred and that she was disoriented to the point where she was nodding off in front of the officer. When asked if she knew how fast she was moving the defendant responded by saying “I was doing 99.9”. The Defendant was asked to exit the vehicle and could not place the car in park. Upon exiting the vehicle, the Defendant almost fell into oncoming traffic and had to be saved by the officer. The Defendant could not maintain her balance and was disheveled in her appearance. The defendant refused to perform roadside exercises and later refused a breath test. The defendant had previously been arrested for DUI and previously had her licensed suspended for refusing a breath test and admitted to “having some vodkas”. Meltzer & Bell, once again, proceeded to trial. At trial, our attorneys were able to demonstrate that the officer was not truthful in his testimony through the use of photographs and google satellite photos, and based upon the testimony of the client.
Driving Under the Influence
The defendant was alleged to have been swerving and failing to maintain a lane. Additionally, he was alleged to have repeatedly gone into the bike lane. He was stopped and ultimately detained for a DUI investigation. After being arrested and allegedly performing poorly on roadsides, he was taken to jail where he refused to submit to a breath sample. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. The next day we picked up the reports and videos from Boca Raton Police Department. After reviewing the reports, our office immediately discussed the legal issues and factual discrepancies in the video with the State Attorney assigned on make the filing decision. It was determined that our client should not be charged with DUI based on the stop and on his overall appearance on video.
Driving Under the Influence
The Defendant was seen sleeping at the wheel by a civilian while waiting at a traffic signal at the intersection of Broward Boulevard and University Drive in the City of Plantation as wheel as the intersection that followed. The civilian called the Plantation Police Department to report that the Defendant was a danger to other drivers. Officer Traci Fox of the Plantation Police Department saw the Defendant driving in a reckless manner; with front-end damage to the car and driving on the rim causing damage to roadway. Officer Fox Stopped the vehicle while the Defendant attempted a U-Turn from a left turn only median. Officer Fox called Officer Jeffrey Beauregard to conduct a DUI investigation based upon her observations of severely slurred speech and abnormal disorientation. Officer Beauregard observed the Defendant had a white film around her mouth, bloodshot eyes, slurred and slow speech; lethargic movements and that her eyelids were abnormally heavy as if she was nodding off. The Defendant was asked to perform roadside exercises on video and performed very poorly to the extent that she lost her balance several times, failed to follow instructions, missed heal to toe; visibly swayed, and could not follow the simplest of instructions. The Defendant was arrested for DUI and taken to jail. The Defendant was asked to give both a breath and urine sample. The breath sample did not register for alcohol, but the urine test revealed a litany of drugs in her system, including, but not limited to: ambien, oxycodone, oxymorphone and opiates. The case proceeded to trial and the State presented all of the officer’s testimony and played the DUI video for the jury that reflected the Defendant’s impairment due to the drugs in her system. During the trial, Meltzer and Bell was able to demonstrate to the jury that the drugs contained in the Defendant’s urine had already passed through the body and would no longer have any impairing effect by cross examining the State’s toxicologist. Additionally, the Defendant also testified that she had taken these drugs days before this event and at the time of her arrest she was having a severe spike in her blood pressure, which was corroborated by the presence of her blood pressure medication in her urine and by her statement to officers.
The Defendant was charged with felony Driving Under the Influence based upon this arrest being his third DUI within 10 years. That crime was punishable by 5 years in prison. The Defendant was seen driving recklessly on a scooter as he was drifting uncontrollably and weaving. The Defendant also almost hit a white vehicle that was driving directly in front of him. The stopping officer noticed a pungent odor of an alcoholic beverage; bloodshot watery eyes, severely slurred speech; he exhibited disorientation as he stated that he was coming from the ocean in Fort Lauderdale (he was not); and the defendant admitted that he had “3-4 vodka cranberry alcoholic beverages.” Officer Hannie Gil of the Wilton Manors Police Department arrived to perform the DUI investigation and video recorded it. The Defendant was clearly impaired by alcohol on video and his slurred speech and disorientation was clear. The Defendant began roadside exercises, but almost fell and decided to decline the remainder of the requested exercises. The Defendant then requested to provide a breath test and refused. The defendant then refused the breath test. After reviewing discovery, Meltzer & Bell filed two separate motions to suppress (exclude) evidence. More specifically, the motions requested that the court to exclude the Defendant’s refusal to perform roadside exercises as the officer failed to advise him of the consequences of that refusal and to exclude the refusal to submit to a breath test as said request was not made subsequent to his arrest, but before the arrest.
Driving Under the Influence
A DUI Task Force Officer for the Broward Sheriff’s Office pulled Defendant over for Speeding on SE 3rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Upon making contact with the defendant, the Officer noticed the Defendant to have the odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. The Defendant was asked to perform roadside exercises, which she did in HIGH HEELS. The Officer claimed that the Defendant performed poorly on the exercises to the extent that she “lost her balance”; failed to touch heel to toe and swayed involuntarily. The Defendant was arrested for DUI and refused the Breath Test. Meltzer & Bell obtained all of the video evidence in the case which revealed that the officer’s description of our client was inaccurate and the client appeared NOT to be impaired. The video also reflected that the Defendant performed beautifully on the roadside exercises despite the fact she had done them in 6-inch high heels. Meltzer & Bell announced ready for trial.
Driving Under the Influence Crash
The Defendant was involved in an accident where she hit a curb and then crashed into a guardrail damaging Department of Transporation Property. She seemed out of it, was lethargic and made to driving scotch and Bacardi. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Driving Under the Influence
The Defendant was driving without headlights at night. He was stopped and ultimately arrested and charged with DUI after giving a breath sample of .148 twice. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Second Driving Under the Influence outside of 5 years
The Defendant was accused of his second DUI. After developing issues with the traffic stop, The firm was able to negotiate a result which reduced the charges.
The Defendant was passed out at the wheel in a parking meter spot. He was slumped over the wheel with the keys in the ignition and the headlights on. After being woken up by police he was confused and seemed impaired. He exhibited signs of impairment. He gave breath sample after being arrested which yielded results more than 2 times the legal limit. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained to aggressively defend our client.