DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.
Outcome of Fort Lauderdale DUI Case:
The jury deliberated and found Norbert not guilty. He is now a free man who survived another different kind of shark attack.
If convicted of Driving with an Unlawful Breath Alcohol Level (DUBAL), Norbert was looking at up to nine months in jail, and losing his driver’s license for up to one year.
Norbert D. was driving home from his mother’s 75th birthday party in Fort Lauderdale when he was stopped for a violation of the “Move Over” Law. Two cops had already stopped someone else on the side of the road when Norbert was driving by them. Norbert is from Hungary and did not know that he was supposed to stop, or slow down to ten miles per hour below the speed limit when passing this scene. As Norbert passed them, one of the cops jumped in his car to go after Norbert.
Norbert was not swerving, weaving, drifting, or having any driving issues; yet the cop still decided to follow him. Norbert drove up to a red light where he stopped appropriately in the left turn lane. When the light turned green and he hit the gas pedal, he ever so slightly chirped in his Escalade tires. He drove through the intersection appropriately, and as soon as he came up to the next traffic light the cop flagged him down. Norbert pulled over right away and already had his license, registration and insurance out when the deputy approached the vehicle.
The cop had Norbert step out of the car to conduct a DUI investigation. Norbert gets out of the car with ease. The cop immediately started grilling him, and it was difficult for Norbert to understand everything that the cop was asking him because English is not his first language, and he still has a thick Hungarian accent himself. He was confusing the words “when”, “where” and “what”, although the cop admitted that was due to a language barrier and not a sign of impairment.
The cop then asked Norbert to do the field sobriety exercises, which he agreed to do. The cop first had him do the Pen Test (also known as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test), in which you have to watch a moving pen. The officer is looking for jerkiness, or shaking in your eye movement, which can be a sign of impairment. Norbert underwent this test twice, standing rock solid with no eye shakiness for 40 seconds on the first run, and 1.5 minutes the second time.
Next, the cop wanted to have him to the Walk and Turn Test, but Norbert explained that he would be unable to do that one because he had been bit by a shark and now had two screws in his butt. The cop told him that it was fine, and he didn’t have to do that one.
The cop then told him to do the One Legged Stand Test. Norbert tried twice to explaining to the cop that he wouldn’t be able to complete this test because he had a titanium rod in his shin, but the cop ignored him. Norbert did the test anyway and stood solid on one leg for a full twenty five seconds.
Next the cop had him do the Finger to Nose Test, but turned off the light so that Norbert’s performance was not visible on camera.
The cop then arrested him and took him down to the station. At the station they conducted a breath test and Norbert blew a .159.
The prosecutors refused to reduce the charges, and wanted to proceed with a case for Driving with an Unlawful Breath Alcohol Level (DUBAL), which would require them to prove that Norbert had a BAC of more than .08 at the time he was driving.
There were a lot of holes in the police investigation, and both the video footage and field sobriety tests indicated that Norbert was fine, so we decided to go to trial.
At trial we brought to light the following evidence supporting Norbert:
The arresting cop was a DUI Task Force Officer, and we got him to admit that his job is to look for DUIs.
The breath technician at the police station admitted that Norbert seemed fine when he arrived at the station. He was not slurring or displaying any visible signs of impairment. He did not have blood shot eyes, as was seen in the police body cam footage.
We got the state to admit that there was another DUI task force member on scene while Norbert was undergoing the roadside DUI investigation (which we discovered through body camera footage). This particular task force member is the ONLY one with a portable breathalyzer in his car, the Intoxilyzer 8000, meaning the cops could have given Norbert a breath test on the side of the road but chose not to. At trial we asked the arresting officer, “Isn’t it true there was a portable breathalyzer that could have been used on the scene that night?” The officer’s response was, “That’s irrelevant.” Not only was it not irrelevant, but jury members were shaking their heads at the cop’s answer.
When Norbert blew a .159, it had been at least an hour since he was driving. The cops admitted they did not know his BAC level at the time he was driving.
We had Norbert show his shark bite screws and titanium rod to the jury to prove that he was unable to do some of the field sobriety tests, and yet still successfully completed the one-legged stand test with the rod.
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Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.
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