Attorney Shon J. Douctre
OFFICE PHONE: 407-849-2949

Case Studies

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A couple of things that one should know when analyzing a DUI arrest.  First, what is the reason for the initial stop? Typical DUI stops are for speeding and weaving.  While one can be stopped for a variety of things, those two seem to be the two most common.  After the initial stop, the cop comes up to the car and typically says he/she noticed slurred/thick tongued speech, an odor of an alcoholic beverage (usually strong) or alcoholic impurities emanating from your breath which seems to get stronger as the driver speaks, slow/sluggish movements, fumbling for a wallet/paperwork, and passing over one’s license, registration, or insurance paperwork.  Almost every police report known to man for DUI has some variation of those phrases.

Once you exit the car, the cop will typically say in his/her report that you leaned on the door/car for support, swayed while standing, or stumbled or staggered out to him/her.  Almost always the cop will say you admitted to drinking some amount so as to justify getting you to submit to field sobriety exercises (commonly called FSEs).  Once you agree to take the voluntary FSEs, then the cop picks out enough “clues” of possible impairment to justify a DUI arrest.

The standardized field exercises offered to a driver stopped for DUI are the HGN (pen to the eyes), the walk and turn, and the one-legged stand.  The HGN exercise has six possible clues, the walk and turn exercise has eight possible clues, and the one-legged stand exercise has four possible clues.  There is never a “pass” or “fail” on FSEs because they are not considered to be “tests” in Florida.  Thus, a cop’s particular “DUI training and experience” will form his/her subjective interpretation of how a driver performs on them. FSEs are very subjective, hence making them a risky proposition to submit too.  In Florida, many citizens are not aware that a cop cannot suspend your license for failure to take an “exercise.”  Rather, a cop can only suspend your driver’s license for failure to take an “approved test” – such a blood, breath, or urine test.

Sometimes, a cop will also offer a driver suspected of DUI non-standardized exercises such as the finger to the nose and Rhomberg alphabet exercises.  These usually get offered if the driver says he/she has back, leg, or balance issues.  All these exercises (FSEs) are designed to expose your mistakes in following instructions so as to try and demonstrate your inability to safely operate an automobile.  Once arrested for a DUI, you will get offered a breath test once at the jail/breath test center or booking facility. In rare cases, the cop will have a breath testing machine with him/her that you can take roadside.

In Florida, unless it is a crash or serious bodily injury case, the cop usually does not read you MIRANDA until after you are arrested and have submitted or refused a breath, blood, or urine test.  This is so that they don’t confuse you into thinking you have the right to an attorney prior to taking the test; because in Florida you don’t have that right until after your booked for the DUI.  Most people do not know that!

 

 

Welcome to a few examples of Attorney Shon Douctre’s past legal services.  If you have any questions about your particular case or matter, please feel free to call him anytime.  Thank you for looking.

 

State v. A.C.S. 2013-CT-4465

CHARGE: DUI

FACTS: Stopped for speeding and a slight weave.  The Deputy is a DUI specialist.  Two passengers in the car.  Normal indicators of impairment allegedly observed.  Admitted to drinking 2 rum and cokes.  Deputy arrested based on 6 of 6 clues on HGN, 5 of 8 clues on the walk and turn, and 3 of 4 clues on the one leg stand.  Client refused the breath test.

OUTCOME: No jury trial. Last minute trial day negotiation resolution.  DUI charge dropped, client pled no contest to Wet Reckless Driving, fine, court costs, probation, community service and DUI classes.  Speeding citation dismissed.

State v. A.F. 2013-CT-4532

CHARGE: DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED (reduced from a Felony)

FACTS: Stopped for illegal tint.  The Deputy found client’s license to be suspended for five years due to her being a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) and lack of proper insurance.

OUTCOME: Five year HTO suspension deleted, full driving privileges restored, Criminal charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor NVDL (no valid driver’s license – M2), 4 months of probation and community service.

State v. J.M. 2013-CT-4532

CHARGE: DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED (reduced from a Felony)

FACTS: Stopped for running a red light in the rain.  The Deputy found client’s license to be suspended for a prior DUI, failure to complete DUI classes, and lack of proper insurance.

OUTCOME: Criminal charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor NVDL (no valid driver’s license – M2), 4 months of probation.  I was able to get the charge reduced so that the Client avoided losing his license for five years as this case would have made his third HTO strike in five years.

CHARGE:  (VOP) Violation of Probation for DUI

FACTS: Failure to complete DUI school, failure to complete Victims Awareness panel, failure to complete treatment, new law charge of driving on a DUI suspension.

OUTCOME:  Probation wanted 90 days jail and the State wanted 60 days jail.  Final outcome: just 15 days jail with credit for all his time served, reinstate probation with and additional six+ months to complete all outstanding conditions.

State v. J.V.R. 2013-CT-2794-A-O

CHARGE: DUI with a minor in the car (Second Offense within 1 years) – client still on probation for first DUI and his license was suspended for HTO for five years at the time of the DUI stop.

FACTS: Stopped for getting out of his car at an inner section.  The Deputy is a DUI specialist.  Two passengers and minor in the car.  Normal indicators of impairment allegedly observed.  Allegedly admitted to drinking 7 to 8 beers.  Deputy arrested based on 6 of 6 clues on HGN, 7 of 8 clues on the walk and turn, and 3 of 4 clues on the one leg stand.  Client submitted to a breath test.  Client was just over with a .088% BAC.

OUTCOME: No jury trial. Negotiated resolution.  DUI charge treated as a first offense, with no jail sentence other that time served of 1 day, with state minimum DUI first time penalties.  Seat belt and no registration citations dismissed.  VOP DROPPED.

State v. J.V.R. 2013-CF-3743-O

CHARGE: Felony Driving while License was Suspended or Revoked for being Habitual Traffic Offender

FACTS: Stopped for getting out of his car at an inner section, also arrested for DUI (above).

OUTCOME: No jury trial. Negotiated resolution.  withhold of adjudication, 6 additional months of probation, 25 additional hours community service on top of the DUI state min penalties above.

State v. A.C.S. 2012-CT-361

CHARGE: DUI (first offense)

FACTS: Stopped for speeding.  Normal indicators of impairment allegedly observed.  No admission to drinking.  Refused Field Sobriety Exercises.  Client blew just over .089% BAC.

OUTCOME: DUI Charge dropped after completion of DUI diversion program.

State v. S.V. 2013-CT-229

CHARGE: DUI (Second)

FACTS: Stopped for speeding.  Normal indicators of impairment allegedly observed, strong odor alcoholic beverage, slightly slurred speech.  Admitted to drinking 2 glasses of wine.  Deputy arrested based on 6 of 6 clues on HGN, 4 of 8 clues on the walk and turn, and 3 of 4 clues on the one leg stand.  Client took the breath test and scored .150% BAC.

OUTCOME: No jury trial and no jail. DUI first time penalties only with no community service.

State v. K.T. 2013-CT-847

SIX CHARGES/TICKETS:

DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED (DWLS), LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT (LSOA), NO INSURANCE, FAILURE TO USE DUE CARE, FAILURE TO USE DUE CARE, EXPIRED TAG

FACTS: Client had a traffic accident, was said to be at fault, then allegedly left the scene of the first accident and while doing so had another accident with another vehicle.  The responding Deputy found client’s license to be suspended, lack of insurance, and the vehicle to have an expired tag. This would have made the client’s third strike for HTO and she was in jeopardy of a 5 year license suspension and being labeled a Habitual Traffic Offender.

OUTCOME: No habitual, no license suspension, license was reinstated, DWLS charge was reduced to lessor charge of Not having a Valid Driver’s License (NVDL) with only $306 court costs, LSOA was resolved with only restitution and court costs, No insurance ticket was dismissed, the two Failure to use due care for both accidents were dismissed, and the Expired tag ticket was dismissed.

 

Stand by: More UPDATES coming soon!

 

 

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