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After Jury Selection, the State Decides to Offer a Sweet Deal

February 2018

We spent most of Monday picking a jury in a DUI case. It was an interesting case, because the police said that our client refused a breath test, but the arrest video said differently. Twice within ten minutes, our client could be clearly heard telling the officer who arrested him that he would "take whatever breathalyzer test you want."

We were surprised that the State wanted to try the case at all, but it got worse for them. Despite their best efforts, multiple members of the jury panel spoke up with doubts about the reliability of police testimony. When we finished the day, we had selected a jury with one person who had been convicted of DUI and two parents of kids who had DUI convictions. (Out of a jury of six members.) This was an ideal defense panel, who would understand that sometimes, the police miss important details (like our client repeatedly saying that he would take any kind of test that they wanted.)

We even found video from the jail of our client getting up and walking over to an officer and asking him something, and being shrugged off. Our client remembered the moment, which was the SECOND time that he asked at the jail for a breath test.

In any event, the prosecutors could see the handwriting on the courtroom walls, and decided to offer a better deal even after the jury was selected. They offered a Reckless Driving charge with a withheld adjudication. That means that there is technically no conviction of the offense. Our client was happy with the result.

Practice area(s): DUI / DWI

Court: Sarasota County Court

Tom Hudson

Known nationwide as a leading DUI defense lawyer, Tom has tried over 350 jury trials, including numerous death penalty cases. He now limits his criminal practice to DUI defense. His civil practice is devoted to getting fair compensation for the victims of negligence. Tom has attained multiple verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million, and is a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In 2008, Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Test for DUI Attorneys in Honolulu, Hawaii. NOTE: The State of Florida does not yet recognize DUI defense as a Specialty.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor.