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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.