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Florida DUI Case Results – Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and Elsewhere in Saint Lucie County

This is a small sample of Kessler Law Firm’s past case results. Please be aware this does not guarantee any particular outcome in any future individual case.The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the cases shown below and need to be handled on its own merits.


ROUND TWO: NOT GUILTY OF BATTERY, SAYS THE JURY

Case:State v. DH
Charge(s):Battery – Domestic Violence
Case No.:2014-MM-3799
County:St. Lucie County
Details:In Round Two of this epic battle (see fastest trial ever, below),an angry woman accused our client, her former boyfriend who was now married to someone else, of punching her in the mouth. He denied it. The case went to trial. We used the police investigation photos to show she did not have a mark on her, that day or the next. We forced her to admit that she was a convicted felon. We made her concede that our client was suing her for custody of their child, a child she had only recently told him about. The Jury found her not worthy of belief in a deliberation that lasted barely long enough to choose a foreperson.

FASTEST TRIAL EVER

Case:State v. DH
Charge(s):Battery – Domestic Violence
Case No.:2014-MM-3799
County:St. Lucie County
Details:In this domestic violence trial, the prosecutor began her opening statement at 9:30. We were already out of the courthouse by ten minutes before ten. The prosecutor’s opening was plain vanilla. Mine, too, was straight to the point. “This is an innocent man, wrongly accused, I said. Then I sat down. After the prosecutor’s fairly brief direct examination, I stood to cross-examine. I was loaded for bear, and began what I expected to be a brutal and lengthy cross-examination. For my first question, I asked the accuser if we could agree that she was a convicted felon. In reply, she pointed to my client and yelled, “So is he!” Game over, for that day. Motion for mistrial granted due to improper and prejudicial comment by the accuser. See ROUND TWO, above, for the rest of the story.

NOT GUILTY OF DUI, SAYS THE JURY

Case:State v. WF
Charge(s):DUI
Case No.:2015-CT-393
County:St. Lucie County
Details:Deputy sheriff turns right off US 1, right after our client had looked to his left before pulling out of a commercial parking lot onto the roadway, across the path of the accelerating deputy, and then turns left, toward US 1. Deputy slams on his breaks, avoids the collision, and then makes a U-turn to follow our Client. Deputy notes no other questionable driving, but makes a traffic stop anyway. Client cooperates, denies having had too much to drink, but get arrested anyway. Refuses breath test. Jury agrees that an isolated driving error does not indicate impairment, and finds our Client NOT GUILTY.

NOT GUILTY – CASE DISMISSED IN ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Case:State of Florida vs. John L.
Charge(s):DUI (3rd offense)
Arresting Agency:Florida Highway Patrol
Prosecution:Our client was facing his third DUI conviction, which means mandatory jail time, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year. The trooper pulled John over because he was not wearing protective eyewear while riding his motorcycle. John admitted to the trooper he had consumed one beer. John refused to take the Field Sobriety Tests and was arrested and accused of drunk driving. John refused to take the breath test also, and his driver’s license was suspended. 
Defense:We demanded a Formal Review of the suspension during pretrial preparation. During the administrative hearing we demonstrated the police did not have enough evidence to lawfully arrest John making the suspension unjustified. The Hearing Officer disagreed so we appealed. While the appeal was pending we brought the same issue to the trial court judge in pretrial motion to suppress, explaining again that police didn’t have enough evidence to arrest. Again the judge disagreed, however the Court of Appeals unanimously agreed, which effectively overruled the Hearing Officer. John’s license was reinstated and the suspension wiped from his record.The Attorney General’s Office asked the appeals court to reconsider, however the court denied the request and issued its Mandate. The case was closed. We informed the trial judge of the previous legal proceedings, including in our argument that if “the prosecution offered any evidence obtained after the moment of arrest, I would have to object on the grounds that the arrest was illegal due to lack of probable cause.” 
Result:We argued that the appellate ruling was binding precedent, and made a motion to dismiss the case. The state failed to offer new evidence that had not been given to the Hearing Officer.Our motion to dismiss was granted.

NOT GUILTY – TRIAL BY JURY

Case:State of Florida vs. Brian Stiles
Charge(s):DUI (2nd offense)
Arresting Agency:Florida Highway Patrol
Prosecution:Our Client was facing his second DUI conviction, mandatory jail time, and a driver’s license suspension of 5 years to life. The trooper saw our Client make an unlawful U-turn and cut between construction barricades on U.S. 1. The trooper decided our Client looked impaired, and did not do well enough on the roadside sobriety exercises. After his arrest, the Client blew over the legal limit on the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine.
Defense:Using the Trooper’s own training as the basis for cross-examination, we showed the Jury how subjective the exercises were. Using the court’s own jury instruction, we showed the Jury that the exercises do not test for impairment anyway.Taking on the State’s expert forensic scientist head on, we forced him to acknowledge that our Client may have been under the legal limit when he was driving.
Result:The Jury found our Client NOT Guilty of DUI.

NOT GUILTY – CHARGES DISMISSED PRIOR TO TRIAL EVIDENCE TAKEN AWAY FROM PROSECUTION

Case:State of Florida vs. CB
Case No.: 2009-CT-1211
Okeechobee County
Charge(s):DUI
Arresting Agency:Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:Deputy stopped our client for speeding. The deputy claimed he smelled alcohol on our client’s breath, but no other symptoms of intoxication. Still, he told our client to get out of his car, and perform roadside exercises. Our client did poorly, and was arrested for DUI. His breath test results were more than twice the legal limit.
Defense:We filed a motion to suppress all of the evidence except the speeding, and argued that the odor of alcohol, without more, was not enough to justify the deputy to prolong this traffic stop, and turn it into a detention by removing the driver from his car.
Result:The judge agreed that the odor of alcohol proves only consumption, and not impairment, and without more, the officer went beyond his authority when he made the driver get out of the car. Motion granted. Case dismissed.

NOT GUILTY – CHARGES DISMISSED PRIOR TO TRIAL EVIDENCE TAKEN AWAY FROM PROSECUTION

Case:State of Florida vs. Dan Kressler
Case No.: 2009-MM-1072
Indian River County
Charge(s):DUI
Arresting Agency:Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:Deputy said he followed our Client westbound on 2-lane road, and saw Client cross the center line by 6 inches twice, endangering on-coming traffic, and saw him swerve to stay on the road at the intersection.
Defense:We challenged the legality of the traffic stop based on crime scene visits. We presented evidence that the road was actually 3 lanes, not two, with a center turn lane in front of the elementary school, which was closed at 10:00 that night. We also showed that the “swerve” was the necessary result of the engineer designed jog to the left that the roadway takes at that intersection. We invited the judge to take a “jury view” and visit the scene himself.
Result:The judge visited the scene, and saw that we were exactly right, and that the deputy was mistaken. Motion to suppress was granted, and the DUI charge dismissed.

NOT GUILTY – CASE DISMISSED

Case:State of Florida vs. DL
Case No.: 2008-CF-4824
St. Lucie County
Charge(s):Trafficking in Oxycodone
Arresting Agency:St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:Our Client was accused of selling a large quantity of prescription painkillers to an undercover police officer.
Defense:Our Client had been set up by a “friend,” a former schoolmate turned snitch, who was working as a set-up man for the police in an effort to avoid punishment for his own drug trafficking. Substantial investigative work uncovered proof that our Client’s “friend” had a father who operated a pain med clinic in Broward County. The “friend” picked up our Client, drove him to Davie to the pain clinic, helped him get a prescription, drove him to the pharmacy, gave him the money to fill it, and on the way home, convinced him to sell enough of the pills to pay for all of them. In short, the “friend” provided the car, the money, the prescription, the drugs, the buyer and the seller. Refusing to plead guilty, we set the case for trial.
Result:A few days before jury selection, the prosecutor dismissed the charges.

NOT GUILTY – TRIAL BY JURY

Case:United States of America vs. Guignard Altine
Case No.: 96-14051-CR-PAINE
United States District Court, Florida Southern District
Charge(s):Conspiracy to Traffic in Cocaine
Arresting Agency:FBI, DEA and St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:The U.S. Attorney convinced a Grand Jury to indict our Client, along with 5 others. Our Client was the only one home when the Feds served a search warrant, finding several kilos of cocaine in the house. Three of the six co-defendants flipped on the others, becoming witnesses for the prosecution.
Defense:Cutting through the mountain of circumstantial evidence, we showed the Jury that our Client never participated in any drug crime.
Result:The Jury unanimously found our Client NOT GIULTY.

NOT GUILTY – CHARGES DISMISSED PRIOR TO TRIAL EVIDENCE TAKEN AWAY FROM PROSECUTION

Case:State of Florida vs. Jorgee Sabater
Case No.: 2005-MM-2263
Indian River County
Charge(s):DUI
Arresting Agency:Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:Client was stopped because the officer decided he was driving “too slowly.” Client did not perform well enough for the office on the roadside exercises.
Defense:We filed a motion challenging the legality of the traffic stop, and demanding that the court refuse to allow the prosecution to present at trial any evidence obtained by the police as a result of the stop.
Result:Motion to suppress granted; case dismissed.

NOT GUILTY – CASE DISMISSED

Case:State of Florida vs. JB
Case No.:
St. Lucie County
Charge(s):Possession of Marijuana
Arresting Agency:St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:Our Client was accused of possessing marijuana found by the police during their execution of a search warrant.
Defense:So that we could challenge the legality of the search warrant, we petitioned for disclosure of the identity of the so-called “Confidential Informant,”whose story formed the basis for the police officer’s application for the warrant. We argued that without such disclosure, there would be no proof that the CI really existed.
Result:The judge ordered the police and prosecutor to produce the informant in Chambers, to prove his existence. Instead, the prosecutor dismissed the case.

NOT GUILTY – CASE DISMISSED

Case:State of Florida vs. NF
Case No.: 2010-MM-1481
Indian River County
Charge(s):Disorderly conduct and Resisting an Officer
Arresting Agency:Indian River Sheriff’s Office
Prosecution:Too rowdy at a sports bar, our client, a British soccer fan, was asked by the manager to go with his friends outside to the patio bar. When our Client went back inside for another pitcher of beer a little while later, the manager called the police. When the police arrived, our client was sitting on the curb. He insulted the police by calling them names. They responded by arresting him.
Defense:Refusing to plead guilty, we set the case for trial. The First Amendment protects our right to speak our mind, even if our speech is vulgar and profane, and even if it is directed at the police.
Result:A few days before jury selection, the prosecutor dismissed the charges.

NOT GUILTY – CHARGES DISMISSED PRIOR TO TRIAL EVIDENCE TAKEN AWAY FROM PROSECUTION

Case:State of Florida vs. RQ
Case No.: 2009-CT-3110
St. Lucie County
Charge(s):DUI
Arresting Agency:Florida Highway Patrol
Prosecution:Our client was involved in a one-car accident. An FHP trooper thought he looked as if he were under the influence, and claimed that he made incriminating statements to the trooper, the paramedics and to someone on the phone. The trooper took him to the hospital for treatment and a blood test, although he was not yet under arrest. When the trooper left the hospital to use the phone, our Client left. He was later arrested on a warrant and charged with DUI.
Defense:We sought to exclude the statements from evidence under the Accident Report Privilege.
Result:The motion to suppress statements was granted. The prosecutor then dismissed the case.

NOT GUILTY – CASE DISMISSED

Case:State of Florida vs. PT
Case No.: 2000-CF-1620
St. Lucie County
Charge(s):8 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm
2 counts of battery
Arresting Agency:St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office and Fort Pierce Police Dept.
Prosecution:Police and prosecutors alleged that, following a bar fight, PT and 2 others waited in ambush and opened fire on a schoolteacher and her 8 children, two of whom identified TT as one of the shooters.
Defense:Traveling across the state to find and interview alibi witnesses, we managed to bring a dozen people from Tallahassee to Fort Pierce to testify that our Client was 5 hours away when these crimes were committed.
Result:On the morning of trial, the prosecutors offered our client a plea to time served and probation. After he followed our advice and turned it down, the prosecutors dismissed his charges, and only prosecuted the other 2 co-defendants. BTW, we won their trial, too.

NOT GUILTY – TRIAL BY JURY

Case:State of Florida vs. TT
Case No.: 2000-CF-1620
St. Lucie County
Charge(s):8 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm
2 counts of battery
Arresting Agency:St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office and Fort Pierce Police Dept.
Prosecution:Police and prosecutors alleged that, following a bar fight, TT and 2 others waited in ambush and opened fire on a schoolteacher and her 8 children, two of whom identified TT as one of the shooters.
Defense:Using weather reports, a model reconstruction of the scene, and one of the best cross-examinations of his career, Michael Kessler showed the Jury how misleading and unreliable the prosecution witnesses were.
Result:The Jury unanimously found our Client to be NOT GUILTY on each and every count, not only the shooting, but the bar fight, too.

NOT GUILTY – CASE DISMISSED

Case:State of Florida vs. VP
Case No.: 2008-MM-3106
Indian River County
Charge(s):DUI drugs
Arresting Agency:Vero Beach Police Department
Prosecution:Our Client was accused of DUI after a morning traffic stop. She mistakenly pulled out in front of another car, and a cop saw her. She failed all of the roadside exercises, he said, and she smelled like alcohol. Her breath test was .00. He summoned a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) was examined her and guessed that she was under the influence of marijuana.
Defense:Attorney Kessler had taken, and then helped teach, the same DRE course that the officer took, and knew the material much better. At deposition, the DRE officer recognized and admitted that his opinion about marijuana was just a guess.
Result:A few days before jury selection, the prosecutor dismissed the DUI charge.

NOT GUILTY – TRIAL BY JURY

Case:State of Florida vs. William Zebrowski
Case No.: 2005-CF-22
St. Lucie County
Charge(s):DUI causing Serious Bodily Injury, a Felony crime, and a second DUI, alleged to have been committed while out on bond for the first.
Arresting Agency:Fort Pierce Police Department
Prosecution:Our Client was facing north and turning westbound off U.S. 1 when his light turned green. A motorcyclist (who happened to be an off-duty police captain) was southbound, starting from a block away when his light turned green. The motorcyclist collided with the right rear door of our Client’s extended cab pickup. The captain fell down and went boom, and suffered some injuries that were claimed to be serious enough to make this a Felony prosecution, putting our Client in danger of a state prison sentence. Our Client was arrested, and blew over the legal limit.
Defense:Using the arresting officer’s own training as the basis for cross-examination, we showed the Jury how unfair, unjust and unreasonable the pre-arrest investigation was, and that the accident was the cyclist’s fault.Using our knowledge of the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of alcohol (how alcohol affects the body, and how the body affects the alcohol), we showed the Jury that our Client’s alcohol level would have been lower when he was driving than when he was tested.Taking on the State’s expert forensic scientist head on, we showed the Judge and Jury that the so-called science of retrograde extrapolation, or relating back an alcohol level from time-of-test back to time-of-driving, is little more than guesswork, and that our Client may have been under the legal limit when he was driving.
Result:At the request of the two trial prosecutors, the Judge granted a mistrial. The prosecutors then agreed to reduce the charge from Felony DUI to misdemeanor reckless driving (dry reckless). They also agreed to reduce the 2nd DUI to a dry reckless, so the Client suffered no license suspension, either.

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Disclaimer: At the Kessler Law Firm, we treat every client and case individually. We do not run a factory or cookie-cutter business. While we cannot guarantee how your case will end, we do guarantee the quality of our work and our dedication to helping you achieve the best possible outcome.Of course, the information provided on this website is not legal advice about your case; any exchange of info via this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Cities we service in FL: Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Vero Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach

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