March 2013 – Tampa Driver Avoids 3rd DUI Conviction

Tampa DUI Lawyer Wins Case Because of Problems with Video Recording

Did the police record a video of your Tampa DUI case? If not, you may have a defense that helps you avoid a DUI conviction.

Quick summary of the Tampa DUI case: Client went out for brunch with friends and was stopped for weaving and speeding. This was her third DUI arrest and she had previously refused to take a breath test, so when she refused to take a breath test this time, she was also charged with an additional 1° misdemeanor charge of Refusal to Submit to Testing.

DUI defense: I prepared motions to suppress and negotiated with the prosecutor to show him that there would be a problem proving the case. One of the problems with the case was that the officer claimed that the client was driving “recklessly” and “all over the road,” but he refused to videotape her driving. Most police and sheriff’s vehicles are equipped with video cameras, and many of them have a 30 second rollback. That means that the camera is always rolling, and once the police officer activates the record function, it automatically includes the 30 seconds of information before he activates the camera. (This can be critical for officer safety issues). Since the officer refused to record the events (and I pointed out other issues with his testimony from the DMV formal review hearing), the prosecutor agreed to drop the Refusal charge and to reduce the DUI to a Reckless Driving offense.

Results: This was a huge win for the client, who not only avoided a DUI conviction, but also avoided a 5 year license suspension and a probable jail sentence.

How this helps your Tampa DUI case: If you were arrested for DUI, one of the issues we should review is whether or not the officer recorded your driving or field sobriety tests on his in-car camera. In a situation like this, where the officer refuses to videotape, that can be a critical negotiation tool that allows you to get your license suspension overturned or helps you avoid a Tampa DUI conviction. Also, if you’ve refused to take a breath test, there are other issues associated with the refusal that may help me negotiate a better result for your case, including a result that helps you avoid a DUI. Every case is different, so it’s important to find an experienced Tampa DUI attorney who has the knowledge and is willing to invest the time preparing the case if you want to improve your chances of getting your license back and avoiding a DUI conviction.

If you were arrested for DUI, no matter how bad the case looks, don’t ever plead guilty without first talking to a Tampa DUI lawyer. There may even be a way that can get your charges dismissed, but you’ll never know unless you fight your charges by talking to a Tampa DUI attorney. Please call me at (855) THE-DUI-GUY (855-843-3844) TODAY to discuss how I can help.