Friday, February 26, 2016

Client Profiles: A.R.

*Results are not typical. No lawyer can guarantee any particular outcome. Results vary from case to case.*

Mr. R has lived in the United States for 14 years.  He has never been in trouble and maintains steady employment.  He had nothing on his record. Prior to his arrest, Mr. R was working toward taking the Citizenship Test this year. 

In the Fall of 2015, he was pulled over late at night for a suspected DUI.  The only reason that Mr. R was stopped was that Mr. R slowly changed lanes on the Hart Expressway "for no apparent reason" over the course of 12-15 seconds.  When Mr. R was stopped, the officers asked Mr. R to do field sobriety exercises, and he refused.  They asked him to take a breath test, and he refused.  Still, he was arrested for a DUI based on very little evidence that he was impaired.

 It should be noted that it is not a crime to drink alcohol and drive in Florida.  It is a crime to have a blood alcohol content of more than .08 or for your normal faculties to be impaired. Mr. R told the officers that he had one beer at a friends house not long before the stop.  The officer reported that he smelled alcohol and that was the basis for the arrest.  There was simply not enough evidence in this case.  

With no evidence of impairment, Mr. R was immediately placed into deportation proceedings because he is not a citizen.  A DUI is a crime of moral turpitude that disqualifies someone from becoming a citizen. However, Mr. R was not convicted of a crime yet.

We provided the State Attorney with mitigation or good information about Mr. R, but the State Attorney was unwilling to make a deal that would keep Mr. R from being deported "because he refused the take a breath test."

We looked closely at the stop and ultimately decided that the officer probably did not have enough to initiate the stop. We argued the motion and the judge agreed, he should not have been stopped.

Mr. R is a free man today who is still entitled to become a citizen.  His story is an important lesson to people arrested for a DUI.  It doesn't take much to be arrested, but it takes a lot for the State to get the conviction for a DUI.  Don't roll over. Fight your DUI!

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