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Case Results

DUI Case Reduced to Reckless Driving in Week of Trial

July 2018

We had a client who was stopped for DUI while traveling to hospice to see his dying father for the last time. He had been awakened in the middle of the night by the hospice staff, who told him that he had to get there immediately if he wanted to see his dad. 

Our client, who had taken a sleep aid a few hours before, got into his car and drove to the hospital, and was stopped for speeding in his haste to see his father. Because he didn't know the effect of the sleep aid, he refused a breath test. He looked fine on the video of the arrest. 

In addition to being a very difficult case for the State to prove, there were humanitarian reasons to drop this case. The original prosecutor agreed to drop it to a Reckless Driving, but insisted on an adjudication (meaning that the conviction would stay on his record.)

Tom told the client to be patient, because he believed that rather than try such a bad case, the State would eventually agree to a withheld adjudication. He was right. The Friday before jury selection, the prosecutor called Tom and agreed to a withheld adjudication. This means that there is technically no conviction, and that the entire matter—the arrest, the case and the plea—will be eligible for “sealing.” After a few months, there will be no trace of the case on our client's record. 

We are happy that our client had the good sense to trust his lawyer, and the patience to wait for the State of Florida to do the right thing.

Practice area(s): Aviation, DUI / DWI

Court: Manatee 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.