DUI Case Reduced to Reckless Driving in Week of Trial
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