DUI VOP/ Battery/ Threatening a Law Enforcement Officer
Facts: Our client entered a plea to a DUI which required probation. During the time on probation client was accused of getting into a physical altercation with her adult daughter and a warrant was issued. When being arrested on the warrant our client was intoxicated and not on her proper medication and ended up becoming belligerent with the officer and was also arrested for threatening a law enforcement officer. These two new charges resulted in a no bond warrant for a violation of probation.
Results: The first thing we did was ensure our client was in treatment so that we knew she was safe. We then filed a motion to set a bond on the Violation of Probation so that she could remain out of custody. That motion was granted and our client completed treatment. However, the program she was enrolled in was for substance abuse and was not designed to treatment mental health conditions along with substance abuse and she was struggling to stay on track. We managed to get our client in a program that addressed mental health and substance abuse. Once she was discharged and on proper medication we discussed with her the possibility of participating in mental health court program to allow her to remain on her proper medication and get ongoing treatment as an alternative to jail. The state attorney’s office was not in agreement so we filed a motion and had a hearing in front of the judge. Ultimately, the judge agreed with us and believed our client was appropriate for the program and admitted her to mental health court over the state’s objection!
Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon and Written Threats to Kill or do Bodily Injury (St. Lucie County)
Facts: Our client was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and written threats to kill. The alleged victim in this case reported that our client sent her text messages indicating he was going to punch her in the face and asking her to come outside because he had something for her. When he arrived at her home that day to pick up their daughter the alleged victim claimed that he pulled a gun on her and told her he was going to pistol whip her. The state offered him a cap of 9 months in the county jail, which he elected not to take.
Results: Our client maintained his innocence throughout the entire case and so after deposing the state’s witnesses, including the victim, we set the case for trial. At trial we argued that the messages sent to the alleged victim were not threats, but rather slang terms and simple bickering back and forth between a couple going through a break and learning to co-parent. We also argued that the victim was not telling truth about our client having a gun. She was upset that he had called her names in the text exchange and she wanted to get back at him. Ultimately, the jury saw this case for what it was and returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY on both counts, failing to even consider any of the lesser included offenses.
DL Administrative Suspension
Facts: Our client was arrested for DUI and we elected to have a formal review hearing regarding the administrative suspension on his driver’s license. At the hearing we argued that the officer did not see our client in actual physical control of the motor vehicle and therefore, there was no reasonable suspicion to request our client to perform field sobriety exercises or submit to blood, breath or urine. However, the DMV upheld the suspension and we immediately went to work on a writ to appeal that decision. Once the writ was completed it was sent to the DMV before filing.
Results: Our writ was provided to the DMV for review before filing it with the circuit court. Within 3 days of reviewing our writ and reading over the case law cited we received an amended order vacating the suspension and reinstating our client’s driver’s license. Now our client no longer has a criminal charge for DUI and his license has been fully reinstated!
Battery (St. Lucie County)
Facts: Our Client was arrested and later charged with battery. She allegedly hit another woman and caused injuries, and he was charged with battery, a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail. From the beginning, we knew we had to fight to protect our clients from these changes. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained, and we aggressively went through discovery and talked with the assigned prosecutor. Unfortunately, the prosecutor conveyed an offer that we did not believe was warranted.
Results: After pointing out that the facts showed that the victim was the primary aggressor, the State Attorney agreed to Nolle prose the case. Our client’s charges were dismissed entirely.
Battery (Brevard County)
Facts: Our client was in his home asleep on his couch when his former significant other entered the home with their daughter and call the police claiming he was intoxicated. When law enforcement arrived our client was awoken to see his ex standing in his living room and was attempting to get her to leave. Law enforcement witnessed the interaction and placed our client under arrest for battery because he had put his hands on his ex in an attempt to get her our of his home.
Results: Our client contacted us immediately and explained the situation. Our client was also able to provide us with a copy of the security footage from the camera in the living room facing the front door. The footage showed the ex entering the home while our client was asleep more than 1 time. It then shows that once our client was taken into custody the alleged victim remained in the home for some. We were also able to show the state that the alleged victim had returned several days later, while our client was still in custody. After laying out our side of the story to the prosecution and providing them the videos from our client’s security cameras the state elected not to proceed on the case and all charges were dismissed.
2nd DUI (Indian River County)
Facts: Our client was found by FHP stopped on I-95. He was outside the vehicle when FHP approached and determined that our client was under the influence. Our client voluntarily handed the keys over to the officer at which time the officer requested that our client perform standard field sobriety tasks. Based on the officer’s observations our client was taken into custody and asked to provide a breath sample at the jail. Our client refused to provide a sample and was booked into the jail for DUI with a prior DUI.
Results: Our client called us right away and we immediately sent an email over to the state outlining our position. Which was that there was no witness putting our client in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and without any evidence that our client had been driving other than his own statements the state would not be able to present those statements to a jury. We provided the state case law and advised we would be prepared to set the case for trial right away. Once the state reviewed the case and our case law the matter no filed and our client never had to appear in court.
DUI (Pinellas County)
Facts: Our client was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene when witnesses called indicated he hit a vehicle while driving the wrong way through a drive thru. Upon his arrest his vehicle was searched and law enforcement found several pills not in a prescription bottle. Our client also refused to provide a breath sample when asked at the conclusion off the roadside investigation. Based on the fact that our client had many prior DUIs he was looking at felony charges for the DUI along with the drugs found in the vehicle.
Results: We contacted the state right away after we were retained because our client had provided us with prescriptions for the pills found in the vehicle. Because they were lawfully possessed the drug charges were dropped and the DUI was filed on as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Knowing his history, our client was prepared to plea to resolve this case from day 1. However, the state objected to him resolving his case as a misdemeanor as they were requesting the documents to prove his prior DUIs out of state. After multiple calls and discussions we finally succeeded in convincing the state to allow our client to plea in county court to avoid a potential prison sentence.
2 Counts Battery (St. Lucie County)
Facts: Our Client was arrested for two counts of battery. Police were called because our client needed help and treatment. Our client’s concerned family reached out for our help and retained us.
Results: Within a week, the charges against our client were dismissed due to the ongoing hard work of our attorneys. We were able to investigate and use that investigation to convince the prosecutor to drop all charges.
Assault (St. Lucie County)
Facts: Our Client was arrested for an assault. Shortly after his arrest, he retained our firm to represent him. And we began working the moment he had our firm. Our client was a local businessman, so we gave him peace of mind to run his business while handling the criminal case.
Results: Through hard work and diligent investigation, all charges against him were dismissed entirely.
Facts: Our Client was arrested for the Burglary of a tire shop out of St. Lucie county. Our Client was caught red-handed moments later with the tires on the bed of his truck. The Client had just enlisted in the army before this incident, and now his future was in jeopardy. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was immediately retained.
Results: Our firm began to work on the case the moment we were retained. We successfully spoke with the tire shop owner and explained the situation to him, and he was sympathetic towards our Client. Next, we contacted the prosecutor and convinced them to drop the charges against our Client.
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Indian River County)
Facts: Our client and his wife had a verbal altercation about him going away on a vacation without her. She had a young infant and was dealing with some emotional issues and wanted him to stay home with her. At some point during the argument law enforcement was called and the client indicated that he had threatened his wife, although that was untrue he knew that it would remove him from the situation. However, his wife indicated that no crime had occurred and law enforcement left. Soon after, our client left for his vacation. His wife became distraught and called law enforcement back to say that the crime did happen, hoping this would force her husband back home. Instead, he was arrested.
Results: We spoke with our client’s wife and we were able to determine a lot of what was going on around this time both with our client’s wife and in their marriage as a whole. His wife wanted him home with her and their child and indicated to us that she was not afraid of her husband and that he has never been physical or violent towards her or their son. When we were unable to obtain a response from the prosecutor in regards to a sworn affidavit sign by our client’s wife we set the case for a hearing to lift the no contact order to allow our client to return home and to put the wife’s testimony on the record. She testified that her husband had never threatened her and that she told law enforcement that he did due to her own emotional issues going on at the time that this occurred. Based on our argument and the testimony elicited by us on behalf of our client the state announced right in the middle of the hearing that they would not be pursuing charges and our client was free to leave and return home to his family!
Second DUI – Martin County
Facts: Our client was traveling home with a group of friends in his vehicle. He made several lane changes, using his turn signal, and made a wide left turn to enter the Wawa gas station for a late-night snack. He was stopped for erratic driving and a DUI investigation was conducted which resulted in our client’s second arrest for DUI within 5 years. He was made an offer from the state to resolve his case, which included jail time.
Result: We got to work becoming familiar with the facts of the case and diligently researching the law cited by the officer as the basis for the traffic stop. We soon realized there was an issue with the lawful basis for the stop and filed a motion to suppress. The state was not willing to negotiate a better offer so we had the motion heard. The judge agreed with us and ruled to suppress the entire stop resulting in the case being dismissed for lack of evidence!
2020 DWLS Martin County
Facts: Our client was released from prison in early 2020 and was slowly getting back to work. However, due to unpaid court costs and child support while in prison his license was suspended and he was caught driving and charged when driving on a suspended license. Before coming to us he found out he had a revoked bond and panicked and missed court. So, he was facing sitting in jail with no bond when he called our firm.
Result: We worked with our client to turn himself in on the open warrants and appeared at his first appearance. We were able to convince the judge to dismiss the failure to appear and set aside the bond revocation. He was released that day with a new court day. At that court date we decided to plea to the court and attempt to avoid the jail offer extended by the state. Based on the evidence we presented and the arguments we made the judge placed him on probation so that he will not be going back into custody.
St. Lucie Motion to Modify Probation 2021
Facts: Our client pled to a period of probation which prevented her from leaving the county and required a curfew. Due to her limited ability to travel she was unable to do her job which included meeting with clients both in Florida and out of state. If she was not able to work she would be unable to pay for probation and continue on the right path.
Outcome: After speaking with the state and submitting a motion detailing our client’s hardship and her desire to continue her work and be successful the state agreed to our motion and allowed the probation officer complete discretion in allowing our client to travel for work purposes. This would prevent our client from having to go before the court for all work related matters taking her out of county.
St. Lucie 2021 (VOP; Battery by Detainee)
Facts: Our client was placed on probation and set up with housing at a group home through probation. He decided he wanted to live elsewhere and was found wondering the streets of Fort Pierce which led to a violation of his probation for leaving his residence without notice or approval from his probation officer. While in custody he unfortunately got into an argument which led to a physical fight with another inmate which led to added charges.
Result: When we came onto the case the violation had been pending for several months, but the new case for battery was brand new. Ultimately, the state did not file charges on the new battery and our client was left with solely the violation of probation. After conversations with the state attorney about the circumstances surrounding the client’s violation and the nature of the new battery charge – which never came to light – we were about to secure our client a reinstatement of his probation and get him out of jail.
Martin 2021 VOP (DUI); St Lucie 2021 (Possession of a Revoked Driver’s License)
Facts: Our client was placed on probation for a DUI, which resulted in his driver’s license being confiscated by law enforcement at the time of his arrest. While on probation the client’s license was suspended and he was unable to drive. While riding in the passenger’s seat his friend was stopped by the police who asked to see our client’s identification. Unfortunately, our client had not gone to the DMV to have an ID card issued and he was using an old driver’s license – which is illegal. This arrest led not only to new charges, but also the violation of his DUI probation.
Result: We were able to first, secure a notice to appear for the violation rather than a no bond warrant allowing our client to remain out of custody while we worked to resolve both of his cases. Additionally, we were able to speak with the prosecutors in both counties and explain how our client was attempting to do the right thing and we were able to secure him a withhold on the new charge for possessing a revoked driver’s license with no other punishment but to pay statutory costs and to have his probation reinstated with no additional conditions.
Indian River, 2021 Possession of Controlled Substance
Facts: Our client’s mother was asked to work and double shift and did not have her medication. She asked her daughter to bring her medication to her, which she did. On the way there our client was stopped by law enforcement for drifting out of her lane. She cooperated by allowing the officer to search the vehicle where they located her mother’s medication. Since she did not have the prescription with her our client was arrested for being in possession of a controlled substance.
Results: After speaking the family and discussing our strategy to provide a copy of the prescription to the state attorney the case was dismissed. The dismissal occurred before formal charges were ever filed and our client never had to appear in court.
St. Lucie, 2021 VOP (DUI)
Facts: Client was placed on probation for a period of 6 months for a DUI in 2005. Unbeknownst to our client, she was violated in 2006, the allegations being a failure to report, a failure to complete community service hours, and a failure to pay all costs. In 2021, our client, who thought the case had been dealt with, was having issues obtaining a professional license due to this open violation of probation.
Result: We got to work right away researching the case law and statutes as it related to a violation of that age. We are able to get the prosecutor to agree that the case should be dismissed. An agreed upon motion and order was submitted by us that very same day. In just 2 days’ time the judge had signed the order and our client’s violation was dismissed allowing her to move forward with her professional license.
DUI; Possession of Heroin (Martin County)
Facts: Our client was driving down I-95 in an erratic manner. Another driver called 911 to report a reckless vehicle. When law enforcement showed up our client was driving on the shoulder at a very slow rate of speed. He was stopped by the officer and described as being very lethargic and was taken to the hospital for medical clearance. Upon a search of his vehicle for a tow inventory heroin was found in the car.
Results: When our client came to us he was already working on getting into treatment. We continued the case to allow him time to get his life back on track. The state refused to take significant jail time off the table and we were forced to plea to the court. We brought in people from the treatment program he was in, life long family and friends, as well our client’s parents. Our client also testified about how he was progressing in treatment and why this time it would stick. We argued that our client should be placed on supervision and be allowed to stay in treatment. The judge agreed and sentenced our client to a suspended sentence, allowing to be on probation and continue on his treatment.
Drug Possession (Martin County)
Facts: Our client’s mother contacted us because our client was picked up in Georgia on a warrant from Martin County and was not being explained the process for extradition. All the information that was available was that he was charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
Results: We were able to explain the entire process to our client’s mother who was able to have someone meet with the client in the jail in Georgia and have him sign proper papers to waive extradition to get him back to Florida. Despite many attempts, the state would not agree to dismiss the warrant or allow our client to post bond in Georgia. We were, however, able to provide our client’s mother with a bondsman and make arrangements for him to be released immediately upon him being transported to Florida. In just a couple of weeks after our client bonded out of the jail the state filed the paperwork indicating they would not be pursuing the case against our client and he was free to remain in Georgia with his child and family!
Violation of Probation DUI (Saint Lucie County)
Facts: Our client was placed on probation for a DUI which occurred in 2020. He was ordered to completed a substance abuse evaluation as a part of the required DUI school. He was also ordered not to drink or consume drugs and to submit to random testing. However, very early in his probation our client tested positive for alcohol and his probation was violated and he was sitting in custody without a bond.
Results: We were able to speak with our client in the jail right away after being contacted by our client’s family. After speaking with our client we learned that he had not yet enrolled in the drug and alcohol treatment, but that he was already scheduled to begin the treatment just several days after his arrest on the violation. We did not waste time on waiting around for a court date to come up. Instead, we called the state attorney immediately and let them know that our client was not yet in treatment and that while he tested positive he wasn’t using or drinking while receiving treatment. We asked for him to have the opportunity to get the evaluation and enroll in his treatment. We were successful in getting the state to agree and within a week he was entering a plea to reinstate his probation and released from custody.
Speeding 30 Miles Over (Volusia County)
Facts: Our client was stopped and cited for speeding with a speed more than 3 miles over the posted speed limit. This traffic ticket requires a mandatory court appearance rather than just being able to elect traffic school and/or just paying the fine.
Results: Due to our knowledge of traffic laws and proper procedures we were able to see that our client’s citation was not properly signed. Rather than entering a plea and asking the court to keep the points off of our client’s license we moved for a dismissal of the citation and that motion was granted. Not only does this prevent our client from paying a hefty fine, but he will receive 0 points on his license and keep a clean driving record!
Failure to Yield (Brevard County)
Facts: Our client was the operator of a tractor trailer that was leaving a storage unit facility and making a left hand turn. He checked that the lanes were clear and entered the median. However, due to the length of his trailer part of the trailer remained in the inside lane. Our client had to wait for a few moments before he could proceed through the median. In that time a car came around the corner at a high rate of speed and struck our client’s trailer causing serious injury to herself and her passenger. When law enforcement arrived our client was cited for failing to yield.
Results: Our client came to us regarding this traffic matter, but there was also civil litigation pending. Additionally, our client holds a CDL and an adjudication as to this traffic violation would put his livelihood at jeopardy. So, rather than what occurs in many traffic cases where a lawyer goes to court without their client and enters a plea and begs for mercy as to withholding of points we took his case to trial on the traffic issue. At the trial all of the witnesses indicated that our client looked both ways before proceeding into the median and that no one was coming when he entered the roadway. And, as an added wrinkle to this trial, the woman injured in the accident had her attorney present and he was permitted to ask questions of the witnesses. We were able to argue that our client did not fail to yield as all of the testimony was that he looked before entering the intersection and that no one was coming. The judge ruled in our favor and found our client not guilty. And, because we were able to get all of the information we needed from the witnesses we were able to prevent our client from testifying and being subject to questioning by the civil attorney present, preserving any potential issues that could pose on his pending civil litigation.
Possession Marijuana/Paraphernalia (Saint Lucie County)
Facts: Our client was sentenced to probation with a condition of weekend jail on a marijuana case back in 1999. At some point there was an allegation that our client violated his probation and a no bond warrant was issued for his arrest. Our client continues to live in the state of Florida, Citrus County and never hears another thing about this case. Until 2021 when the police knock on his door and take him into custody in Citrus County for a 22 year old Saint Lucie County violation of probation.
Results: Our client’s wife called and retained us right away. We immediately sent an email to the state attorney, putting them on notice, that this very very old warrant had been executed and our client was being held without bond. We advised that we wanted to get this resolved as quickly as possible so that he did not have to be transported from Citrus to Saint Lucie County. After being very diligent in following up with the state we were able to get them to agree to a resolution that would get our client out of custody immediately. Rather than wait for our client to be transported to get him before the judge we took it upon our selves to call the Citrus County jail and set it up for our client to appear from Citrus via Zoom to resolve his Saint Lucie case. It took multiple phone calls and emails, but in a matter of 3-4 business days we were able to get the case set before the Saint Lucie court and have our client on Zoom from the Citrus County jail and he was released that day!
Driving While License Suspended (Martin County)
Facts: Our client was riding home from Miami-Dade to his home on the Treasure Coast. While on the road he began to realize that his boss was not doing well and appeared to be highly under the influence. In order to prevent a car accident our client pulled his boss from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat and took the wheel. Unfortunately, the reason our client was not driving originally because he did not have a driver’s license. It had been suspended for some time due to his criminal history and as he moved his boss to the passenger’s seat and took the wheel he began swerving and was stopped by Florida Highway Patrol and charged with Driving on a Suspended License.
Result: Originally, this case came in as a misdemeanor and the state was asking for 5 months county jail based on our client’s significant criminal history. Eventually, the case was sent to felony based on the number of prior convictions for Driving on a Suspended License in our client’s history and the state’s offer went from 5 months to 9 months. We worked with our client to weave a narrative that painted him in the best light as well as well and convince the judge that our client isn’t just his past, he is so much more. Based on our discussion we felt it best to leave his sentence up to the judge. We presented a clear and concise narrative which addressed our client’s criminal history, but highlighted heavily his progress and where he is now. The judge agreed with us and sentenced our client to 10 days in the county, which was a mandatory sentence, and a period of probation to follow. This allowed our client to continue to care for his young son and continue in his treatment.
Battery on Pregnant Women
2020 Indian River County
Facts: Our client was accused of becoming physical with his wife after a verbal altercation. His wife was pregnant at the time and enhanced the charges to a felony.
Outcome: We immediately requested discovery. The state supplemented additional items, but once we had everything we requested to set depositions immediately. The listed victim contacted us and indicated she did not want to go forward. We made her deposition a priority and advised the state of our conversation. Based on this information the state dismissed the charges against our client!
Sale of Cocaine (Indian River County)
Facts: Our client was arrested on 3 separate warrants for sale and possession of cocaine on 3 separate dates. All of the sales for which he was charged occurred with the same confidential informant. Based on the charges and our client’s criminal history he was facing potential prison time.
Results: Once we came onto the case we reviewed all of the evidence provided by the state and noticed some inconsistencies. We proceeded to set depositions for the officers involved on this case and based on the information elicited at depositions the state’s offer went from 36 months to 24 months. The case was then set for trial and when our client decided he did not wish to accept the offer we filed a motion to disclose the confidential informant. That motion revealed that the confidential informant was deceased and ongoing negotiations resulted in our client entering a plea to 2 years of probation with early termination after 1 year as a downward departure.
St. Lucie, 2007 Child Neglect
Facts: Our client was sentenced to time in prison followed by 15 years of probation in 2007. She came to us in 2021 desperate to get off of probation after having completed all conditions of her probation very early on during the course of probation. She had done everything she was supposed to do and had stayed out of trouble since her release from prison and a prior attempt to end her probation early had been denied.
Result: We contacted her probation officer to ensure all conditions were complete, which they were. We spoke to our client to get all the necessary information for our motion and all the information that showed she was an exemplary member of the community. The state objected to the motion arguing that the sentencing court chose to give her 3 terms of 5 years probation to run back to back for a reason. The judge, instead, terminated her probation effective immediately and commended her for her outstanding record during her time on probation.