Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer

As long-time Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorneys, we’ve encountered plenty of cases where defendants were arrested for drunk driving on America’s birthday (July 4th), around the holiday recognized for Jesus Christ’s birth (Dec. 25th) and of course the birth of each new year (Jan. 1st). Still, there is one holiday that sometimes gets overlooked as one accompanied by a seemingly higher risk of DUI arrest: Your own birthday.Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer

Studies (including one published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology) have shown binge drinking is especially common on one’s 21st birthday, though the research didn’t specifically indicate this directly correlated with an uptick in drunk driving for celebrants. (It should be noted that if you are out celebrating your 21st birthday and are stopped prior to midnight on your actual birth date, the threshold for intoxication is far more stringent, the legal limit being 0.02 blood-alcohol concentration versus 0.08.)

Recently, R&B singer Marcus Cooper, Florida native, member of the hip-hop group Pretty Ricky and reality show cast Love & Hip Hop: Miami, made headlines for a recent birthday DUI arrest in Miami Beach. Vibe Magazine reported a Miami Beach police officer clocked Cooper’s SUV speed at 100 mph in a 45 mph lane around 3:45 a.m. The officer alleged he witnessed the driver, later identified as Cooper, swerving and coming dangerously close to a collision with another vehicle. Interestingly despite this account, the officer officially cited the dark tint on the vehicle’s windows as the reasonable cause for initiating the traffic stop. The singer agreed to undergo a field sobriety test (which, side note, is not required by state law the way chemical alcohol and drug testing is under F.S. 316.1932, Florida’s implied consent statute). The officer reported the singer’s bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and comment that he’d been “partying for his birthday.” Defendant allegedly blew more than twice the legal adult driver alcohol limit of 0.08. The officer further alleged resistance and threats to phone a few famous friends. In an Instagram video (later deleted), Cooper lamented his 38th birthday was ruined and denied the charges, which in addition to DUI include resisting arrest without violence, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.   Continue reading

In a per curium ruling, the Florida Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision rejecting defense challenges to blood sample collection of suspects in felony DUI cases. It was a case watched closely by many Florida DUI defense lawyers because had the court ruled in defendant’s favor, it could have meant the potential for numerous successful challenges to pending DUI cases. Now it appears there will be no change.DUI defense

The DUI conviction was a high profile one which you may recall involving a South Florida polo mogul and a recent college graduate in his early 20s. Defendant is serving a 16-year sentence following conviction on charges of DUI manslaughter after the fatal crash killed the young man, who drowned after his vehicle was launched into a canal.

This is one of a string of challenges he has mounted to fight the validity of the charges and his subsequent conviction. His South Florida defense attorneys argued people subjected to DUI blood tests in Florida have no opportunity to make sure the blood samples are scientifically reliable. Further there are no guidelines for the type of needle used and no independent assurance that testing labs will discard samples that are clotted or irregular prior to felony DUI cases going to trial. Continue reading

Facing down a criminal conviction can be incredibly unnerving, but fleeing can leave you in even bigger trouble than before you started. That’s because failure to appear is a charge in and of itself that can have serious consequences, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of the original crimes. handcuff-300x114

This was seen recently in a case involving a Bahamian man who reportedly fled the country while awaiting sentencing for his DUI manslaughter conviction in 2000 following a crash that resulted in the death of a 44-year-old married mother of two. He was fighting his conviction first in Palm Beach County courts and then in his native country, but he lost his appeal in 2003 and was ordered to report to Palm Beach County to serve his sentence, according to the Palm Beach Post. Instead, he allegedly cut off his ankle bracelet and fled. He was arrested by authorities in the Bahamas and after exhausting all appeals, was extradited. Now in addition to the DUI manslaughter conviction, he is facing two failure to appear charges.

F.S. 843.15 outlines failure of defendant on bail to appear. The law says that anyone who is released pursuant to F.S. Chapter 903 and who willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required incurs a forfeiture of any security that was promised or given as a condition of release. If he or she was released in connection with a felony charge or while awaiting sentence or pending appellate court review after conviction, it’s considered a third-degree felony, meaning it’s punishable by up to five years in prison. That’s on top of the original sentence. Continue reading

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently denied Wellington polo magnate John Goodman’s motion for a rehearing in his DUI manslaughter case. However, the court did submit several questions “of great importance” to the Florida Supreme Court. drivein

In Goodman v. Florida, Goodman asked the court to rehear his evidence regarding the testing of his blood following a fatal accident in 2010 that killed 23-year-old recent college graduate Scott Patrick Wilson. Goodman allegedly was drunk at the time of the collision and reportedly left the scene of the crash without calling emergency services. Wilson’s vehicle was later found overturned in a canal, where he drowned.

Goodman had been convicted two years later of DUI manslaughter and failure to remain at the scene of the crash. However, that conviction was later tossed due to juror misconduct and the case retried. Goodman testified he wasn’t drunk, and insists his vehicle malfunctioned and that was the cause of the crash. This was despite the fact that his blood-alcohol level was reportedly more than twice the legal limit some three hours after the crash, according to the testing that was done on his blood. He was ultimately convicted again, sentenced to 16 years in prison and fined $10,000.  Continue reading

File this one under “strange but true”:

A New York woman recently successfully warded off a DUI conviction after presenting evidence in court that her body brews its very own alcohol. You read that correctly. This woman reportedly blew a blood-alcohol level that was more than four times the legal limit, despite having consumed nowhere near that level of alcohol.driving102

Despite this extremely high amount of alcohol in her blood, she was not exhibiting any of the typical symptoms of alcohol consumption when she got to the hospital. Although her blood-alcohol level would suggest she was nearing a coma-state, hospital officials wanted to release her immediately because she didn’t seem drunk at all.

Her defense lawyer was at first puzzled. The woman herself insisted she had only consumed four drinks over a six-hour period when she met her husband at a local bar/grill. Experts opined that at that rate, a woman of her size would have a blood-alcohol level of somewhere between 0.01  and 0.05 by the time she was driving home. She should have been well below the legal limit of 0.08. Continue reading

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