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Most Recent Case Results

Orange County FL DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving

Case Number: 2013CT001504000
Location: Orange County 
Charge: DUI & Careless Driving
Result: DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving & Careless Driving Dismissed

The defendant was involved in a minor accident in which he rear ended another vehicle. The police responded to the scene. He performed poorly on field sobriety exercises and was consequently arrested for DUI with property damage.

The defendant was taken to the police station, where he submitted to a breath test, where he blew over a .08. The defendant asked for a blood test. The defendant was transported to a blood test facility, but they did not draw his blood since he was in handcuffs, and thought that was a safety issue.

The defendant retained David Haenel to represent him on the case. David Haenel set the case for trial, and on the morning of trial, the State Attorney’s Office amended the case to a reckless driving with alcohol as a factor but withhold adjudication, meaning that the defendant was not convicted of a DUI or reckless driving. David convinced the judge to drop the careless driving ticket as well.

Drunk Driving Charge in Hillsborough County Reduced to Reckless Driving

Case Number: 6526XEP
Location: Hillsborough County
Charge: DUI
Result: DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Defendant was observed driving southbound on MacDill Avenue and was stopped by Tampa Police Department for failure to maintain a single lane.

During the course of the video surveillance capturing her driving pattern, she crossed over the median and hit the fog line on several occasions. She was stopped by Tampa Police, who observed an odor of alcoholic beverage on her breath, slurred speech, glassy eyes. She refused to perform the field sobriety exercises and refused a breath test.

During the course of negotiations with the state attorney’s office, Stephen Higgins was able to get the charge amended to a reckless driving, so the client was not convicted of a DUI.

USF Student Drunk Driving Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving in Hillsborough County

Case Number: 6739XEG
Location: Hillsborough County
Charge: DUI
Result: DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Defendant was observed traveling around USF Holly Drive area and was stopped by University of South Florida’s police department. During the driving pattern he was observed driving above the speeding limit, and his tires squealed and he was driving in a jerking manner.

USF Police Department stopped him, observed indicators of impairment, and the defendant admitted to drinking a couple of beers. During the course of the field sobriety exercises, USFPD determined that he failed. Post arrest defendant retained the services of FInebloom, Haenel, Higgins, and during the course of negotiations with the State Attorney Stephen Higgins was able to get the charge amended from a DUI to a reckless driving.

2nd DUI within 5 Years in Hillsborough County Reduced to Reckless Driving

Case Number: 3516XGA
Location: Hillsborough County
Charge: 2nd DUI within 5 Years
Result: DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Defendant was observed by independent witnesses traveling too fast on a roadway and missing a stop sign and driving directly into a ditch. The witnesses called 911 and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrived to investigate the crash. Once there, they found the defendant inside his vehicle, passed out, and observed an odor of alcohol coming from his breath during the course of the conversation. The deputies determined that there may be some indicators of impairment. They terminated the crash investigation and began a DUI investigation.

Ultimately, the defendant was arrested for DUI and refused the breath test. Defendant retained the services of Stephen Higgins with the law firm of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins and the result that was achieved was excellent, given the fact that defendant had a prior offense within five years and was ultimately looking at extensive jail time as well as a five year drivers license revocation.

During the course of negotiations with the state attorneys, Stephen was able to get the charge amended from a DUI to a reckless driving, saving the defendant’s five year drivers license suspension and saving him from an extensive period of jail time. Great result.

USF Student DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving

Case Number: 6717XEG
Location: Hillsborough County
Charge: DUI
Result: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Defendant was observed by the USF Police Department for going through a stop sign and traveling the wrong way on a one-way street. USF police stopped him on the corner of Fowler and 51st Street and immediately detected indicators of impairment, including slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and a flushed face.

USFPD requested that the defendant perform the field sobriety exercises, which he did, including the horizontal gaze nystagmus as well as the walk and turn, and the one leg stand. Despite the appearance on video surveillance later obtained by Stephen Higgins of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins, the USF Police Department determined that the defendant failed those field sobriety exercises. Arrested him and took him to the Orient Road Jail, where he provided a breath sample just barely over the legal limit.

During the course of negotiations with the State Attorney, Stephen argued that there was an improper arrest of the defendant and was able to get the charge amended from a DUI to a reckless driving. Thereby saving the defendant from having a court-imposed license suspension and keeping the DUI off his record.

Polk County DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Case Number: 2013CT006149
Location: Polk County
Charge: DUI
Result: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Defendant was stopped by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for failure to maintain a single lane. Once he was stopped, Polk County Sheriffs observed an open container in the vehicle and signs of impairment including bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and an odor of alcohol coming from his breath. On video, defendant performed the field sobriety exercises and indicated to the officers that he wasn’t familiar with the area but he had been drinking earlier that evening.

During the HGN, the walk and turn and the one-legged stand, the officers determined that the defendant exhibited signs of impairment. Upon review of the video by defense counsel Stephen Higgins of the law firm of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins, the negotiations with the State Attorney indicated that the observations of Polk County Sheriff’s Office were not as strong as the officer’s subjective opinion included in the police report. Over the course of several months of negotiations, Stephen Higgins was able to get the charge amended from a DUI to a reckless driving, preventing the client from having a court- imposed license suspension and keeping the DUI off his record.

Hillsborough County DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Case number: 5976XEP
Location: Hillsborough County
Charge: DUI
Result: Reduced to Reckless Driving

The defendant was stopped by the Tampa Police Department while traveling southbound on Bruce B. Downs. He was stopped because he failed to maintain single lane and he was crossing over the lane markers and hitting them with his tires on multiple occasions.

The driving pattern was captured on video. Once he was stopped, the officers observed indicators of impairment including some odor of alcohol, slurred speech, glassy eyes. He was asked to perform the field sobriety exercises, but on video did poorly. Officers ultimately arrested him, and once he was taken to jail, he refused to provide a breath sample.

Shortly after being arrested for drunk driving the defendant retained the services of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins and through the work of Stephen Higgins over the course of several months in negotiations with the State Attorneys office, the charge was amended to a reckless driving, so the defendant was not convicted of a DUI.

The primary reason that this charge was amended, was during the course of negotiations and argument with the State Attorney, Mr. Higgins argued that the stop of defendants vehicle was tenuous at best and that the indicators of impairment were not as strong on video as the officers had thought during their subjective analysis on the night of the arrest.

Great result for the defendant given the fact that he was a young driver with a perfect driving record, and the DUI won’t show up on his driving record.

Racing on a Highway Charges Dismissed

2013CT002735
Charge: Racing on a Highway
Result: All Charges Dismissed

The defendant was charged with racing upon a highway. After Mr. Finebloom performed his investigation and provided those details to the State Attorney’s Office, all charges were dismissed.

DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving in Sarasota County

Location: Sarasota County, Fl
Charge: DUI
Result: DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving

The defendant was pulled over for weaving within his lane. Subsequently made to perform field sobriety exercises and also took a breath test and blew over the legal limit of a .08. His result was a .104. Mr. Finebloom filed a motion to suppress based on the driving pattern and the unlawful detention. After reviewing the motion, the State Attorney’s Office agreed to reduce the charge to reckless driving.

Jury Found Defendant Not Guilty of Traveling to Meet a Minor Charges in Sarasota

2013CF3235NC – Sarasota County, Fl
Charge: Traveling to Meet a Minor and Solicitation of a Minor Online
Result: Found NOT GUILTY in a Jury Trial

The defendant was arrested in a traveling to meet a minor case and solicitation of a minor online. This case was tried before a jury and within one hour, the defendant was found not guilty. The allegations against defendant was that he traveled to meet a girl who was 15 years old for the purpose of sex. After the jury heard all the evidence, including the case presented by the defense, they found defendant not guilty and all charges were dismissed.

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