The Case of the Disappearing Deputy. (DUI Case Reduced to Reckless Driving with No Conviction)
We were scheduled to begin a hearing last week on a Motion to Suppress Evidence in a DUI case. The day before the hearing, the State Attorney's Office called us and explained that the arresting officer was on vacation, and couldn't attend the hearing the next day. These situations occur frequently in the real world, and as a courtesy, we agreed to reschedule the hearing. (After all, you never know when your own side will need a favor.)
The hearing was continued to this morning, when the officer would be back in town. Tom got up two hours early to prepare for the hearing on the motion. But early this morning, we got another call from the State Attorney's office that the officer still was unavailable. Our client was already on his way to court, and Tom just met him there. We spoke to the prosecuting attorneys and proposed a compromise. Compromise is always easiest at the point of maximum uncertainty for each side.
Tom showed the prosecutors some of the evidence he would be presenting at the hearing, and at trial if the case went to trial. It involved a video of nearly perfect driving, despite multiple rain puddles all along the road. The result? The state agreed to reduce the charge to Reckless Driving, and withhold adjudication, so that there would be no conviction. Even though our client was over 60, he had a clean criminal record and wanted to keep it that way.
As Tom's father used to say, uncertainty is the lubricant of the legal system. And today, the uncertainty caused by the disappearing deputy gave us the leverage to resolve our client's case without a conviction.
Practice area(s): DUI / DWI
Court: Sarasota County