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Criminal Defense Case Results

This page contains a small example of cases and results we have recently obtained in our clients favor. It’s important to note that the outcomes presented on this page may differ from those available for you case. The smallest details in a case can make the biggest difference in shaping a defense strategy.

We invite you to call our Ft. Lauderdale criminal lawyers at (954) 765-6585 or send a confidential online message for a free consultation on how we can help you.

 


 

Most Recent Case Results

        • Domestic Battery & Resisting Without Violence

          Date: April 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client was involved in a domestic argument and altercation with his girlfriend at a party in Hollywood. Hollywood PD Officer responded to a disturbance and witnessed the client and his girlfriend engaged in a physical altercation. The police officer alleged to have seen the client strike his girlfriend. The client was arrested for domestic battery and also resisting without violence, as the officer claimed the client resisted handcuffs. The Client’s family immediately contacted partner Stephan Dobrinsky and retained Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Within three weeks, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to obtain the ideal outcome where the State Attorney’s Office declined both charges, despite them allegedly happening in the police officer’s presence. The Client can happily say he was not charged with any crime.

          Outcome: All Charges Declined

        • Weapons Permit Violations

          Date: April 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client had a concealed carry permit for his firearm, but forgot to take it out of his back pack before going through TSA security. It was clear from the bodycam footage and the officer’s report that the Client made a mistake and did not knowingly try to bring it into the airport. The state would not dismiss the charge despite us emailing them multiple times asking for a dismissal because they could not prove he brought it in knowingly, which is required under the statute. We pushed it to trial and right before opening statements, the State dismissed the case. Client has no criminal conviction on his record and did not have to pay any court costs.

          Outcome: Charges Dismissed the Day of Trial

        • Sexual Cyberharassment

          Date: April 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client was charged with transmitting a video of her child’s father/ex-boyfriend to his current girlfriend. When client was pregnant with their child back in 2020, she suspected him (alleged victim in this case) of cheating. She went on his phone and found sexually explicit videos of her boyfriend engaged in unprotected sex with men. She was in complete shock and ended the relationship. Two years later, after an incredibly brutal custody battle, her ex’s current girlfriend reached out to the client saying that now she knows what she went through and how the alleged victim is abusive and awful. Client, never before having spoken to the current girlfriend, felt compelled to share the video so that the current girlfriend would know to protect herself. The following day, the alleged victim and his girlfriend reconciled, and she told him about client sharing the video. He called the police and got his child’s mother arrested. We argued from the beginning that her actions were not to embarrass or harass—if that were the case she would have disseminated the video immediately. We argued that there was a legitimate purpose for her sending the video (to prove the charge, the State has to prove there was no legitimate purpose). The alleged victim attempted to use the court system to gain leverage in his custody case, and the Sate finally saw the case for what it was and dismissed on the day of trial against the alleged victim’s wishes.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed by the State at Trial

        • DUI Causing Property Damage-2nd Offense Within 5 years

          Date: April 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was involved in a significant traffic crash in Pompano Beach, Florida in which she was identified as the driver and the cause of the crash by two independent witnesses . As a result of the crash, the Defendant broke her nose and was bleeding significantly from her mouth. The Defendant made contact with the DUI investigator as she sat in the front seat of her vehicle. The officer noticed the Defendant to have a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot, watery eyes and severely slurred speech while at the scene of the traffic crash. The Defendant admitted post-miranda that she was coming from a friend’s house and had consumed a bottle of red wine, two Hennessy shots, a few shots of rum, some other drinks and that she ingested half of a Xanax Bar. She also admitted to having no knowledge of how the accident occurred. Post-Crash, the Defendant was taken to Broward General Medical Center for purposes of treating her injuries. While there, the DUI investigator requested that the Defendant submit to a blood test because a breath test was impractical or impossible. The defendant refused the blood test. Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. filed a Motion to Suppress the Defendant’s refusal based upon the request for blood being unlawful under 316.1932 and because it was in violation of the principles set forth in Missouri v. McNeely, a United States Supreme Court case. The Motion was set for hearing. The Day before the hearing the State dropped the DUI charges. This case was a second offense within 5 years of a prior conviction

          Outcome: DUI Charges Dropped

        • Stalking Injunction

          Date: March 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Our client filed a Petition for Injunction against Stalking against a resident of a condominium where she was employed as a concierge. The Resident threatened to shoot her, repeatedly accosted her in a rude manner and used racial epithets against her. The resident also repeatedly made harassing phone calls to her desk for no reason and vandalized her car which was in the garage. Meltzer & Bell proceeded to an evidentiary hearing in order to get a final order of protection in favor of our client. After hearing the court awarded our client the final order of protection for a period of three years and ordered mental health and anger management for the respondent.

          Outcome: Injunction Granted in favor of our client

        • Possession of False Identification

          Date: March 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was in Escambia County with his family for Spring Break. The Defendant entered a restaurant and the hostess supposedly saw our client in possession of a fake ID with an altered birth date. The Hostess called the police to investigate. Police also noticed the fake ID as well. The Defendant admitted to unlawfully possessing the altered ID. Larry Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. defended the case and provided mitigation to the State of Florida. The State, after reviewing that evidence, dismissed the charge without the Defendant appearing for a hearing.

          Outcome: Dismissed

        • Felony Battery/Strangulation (Domestic Violence)

          Date: February 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client had no prior criminal history. He got into altercation with his girlfriend, and the police were called. He admitted to the crime on police bodycam. We fiercely advocated on his behalf, informing the State about his past which included mental health issues. Rachel convinced the State to change the charge to a misdemeanor, and he received a sentence of mail-in probation. It was really important to him to not have a felony on his record, so he was very happy with the result.

          Outcome: Plea to a misdemeanor

        • Felony Fleeing & Eluding

          Date: February 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The client was struggling with substance abuse and had picked up several driving offenses, including two different leaving the scene of accident cases and a separate Fleeing and Eluding Felony case. The client met Stephan Dobrinsky with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. and knew he had come to the right place.

          Mr. Dobrinsky worked on the client’s misdemeanor cases and Felony Fleeing & Eluding case while the client relocated out-of-state and began his long road of recovery, completing an 18-month residential program. Mr. Dobrinsky was able to quickly resolve the client’s misdemeanor cases for no conviction, no jail, and no probation.

          As for the Felony Fleeing & Eluding case, Mr. Dobrinsky spent years on the case. Eventually, the client had completed his recovery, got into a new career, and was getting ready to start a family. The client remained out-of-state. Still, the client faced potential prison time and a mandatory felony conviction and driver’s license suspension based on Florida law for anybody charged with Fleeing & Eluding.

          Using proof of the client’s remarkable recovery and self-recreation, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to convince the prosecution to reduce the Felony Fleeing & Eluding charge to a Misdemeanor Reckless Driving. The client was able to resolve his case without having to fly back to Florida. He received no conviction, no jail, and only a short probationary sentence that he was able to do from out-of-state.

          Outcome: Charges Reduced, No DUI, No Conviction, No Jail

        • Domestic Battery

          Date: February 2024

          Jurisdiction: Manatee County

          Facts: The Defendant had been embroiled in a long-standing paternity action with the mother of his child arising out of Broward County, Florida. The mother of the child had been attempting to alienate the child from the Defendant. On the date of the incident, the Defendant was participating in his lawful overnight timesharing with his daughter at one of his homes in Manatee County, Florida. The mother of the child was attempting to unlawfully remove the child from time-sharing claiming that the child needed to be returned to her early because the child had school pictures and her hair needed to be done be her mother in a specific way. The Defendant refused to allow the mother to pick the child up early, but stated he would go to the mother’s home early in the morning to do the child’s hair for the school pictures and would pick up breakfast for everyone. The mother adamantly refused that and continued to demand that the child be returned early. The defendant once again refused. The mother then surreptitiously contacted the child by text message and stated that “she will see her soon”. The mother then drove from her home to the Defendant’s home without the Defendant’s permission or knowledge with the intent to unlawfully remove the child from the Defendant. The mother then walked up to the door of the Defendant’s home. She did not knock or ring the doorbell as she did not want to alert the Defendant. The child knew of the mother’s arrival due to a text message sent by the mother that she was at the home and was ready to get her. The Defendant saw the mother at the door and his daughter opening the door about to allow the mother to enter. The Defendant demanded that the daughter not allow the mother in, but she did anyway. The Defendant simultaneously pulled out his cell phone to record the mother’s violation of court orders in the family law case and her unlawful attempt to interfere with his timesharing with his daughter. The mother entered the home and was enraged that the Defendant was recording her. She aggressively walked toward him and grabbed his cell phone out of his hand and grabbed the child. In an effort to stop this, the Defendant grabbed the mother and attempted to stop her from leaving with the child and to try to recover his cellphone. The confrontation continued out onto the front lawn of the home. The mother then took the child and unlawfully took the child from the Defendant’s home.

          Immediately after the Defendant’s arrest on the charges of Domestic Battery, Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell, P.A., contacted the Manatee County State Attorneys Office in an effort to prevent these charges from being filed at all. All family law court orders and timesharing plans were forwarded to the State to demonstrate that the mother acted unlawfully and burglarized the defendant’s home as she entered without permission with the intent to kidnap the child and rob the Defendant of his phone, thereby permitting the Defendant to use force to terminate the trespass along with the other unlawful acts and crimes being committed by the mother. In other words, the firm was trying to demonstrate to the State that the Defendant’s conducted was justified and legal under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. The State refused to acknowledge that and incredulously decided to file charges of Domestic Battery against the Defendant.

          Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately began the discovery process and set the depositions of the mother and the two responding officers. By the end of the depositions, the mother had invoked her Fifth Amendment Right to remain silent and the officers had acknowledged that their investigation was woefully deficient and that the mother committed crimes by unlawfully entering the home and removing the child and the Defendant’s cell phone. The State then dropped all charges in writing after receiving the deposition transcripts and reviewing the witness testimony that this was a textbook case of Stand Your Ground and that the Defendant did not commit a crime when terminating the mother’s trespass and other crimes. The charge was dismissed and the Defendant’s innocence was confirmed.

          Outcome: Charges Dismissed

        • Murder in the 2nd Degree with a Firearm

          Date: 2021 arrest

          Jurisdiction: Miami-Dade County

          Facts: Client was in the drive-thru lane of a fast food restaurant and the victim was begging for money and food. Client told him no but the victim continued to bother him. After client got his food, he went to drive away. At that point, client was scared that the man was going to harm him, so he shot him one time. The victim was unarmed and died instantly. Client was facing a minimum mandatory of 25 years to a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Although client believed he was defending himself, it would have been an uphill battle to prove that based on the facts of the case. The State was not making any offers below 20 years, so we filed a Stand Your Ground motion and announced ready for trial. The week before trial was supposed to start, the State offered to waive the minimum mandatory sentence and offered 10 years in prison, with credit for almost 3 years.

          Outcome: After weighing the pros, cons and the risks of trial, client accepted 10 years, and will be out of prison before his 30th birthday.

        • Unlawful Possession of an ID of another (Third Degree Felony)

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client was charged with possession of IDs. Rachel immediately contacted the State and let them know that the Client worked in a nightclub, and that the IDs were not valid IDs (which is required pursuant to the statute cited), but rather fake IDs that were confiscated by security at the club.

          Outcome: Case dismissed

        • False Imprisonment and Grand Theft Auto (Both Third Degree Felonies)

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client owned an auto sales company, and sold a car to the alleged victim (AV). The AV lied on his loan application, and the loan was rejected. The alleged victim paid a deposit, so Client permitted him to take the car pending the loan verification. When the loan was rejected, the Client demanded the car be returned. He met with AV, and AV refused to give the car back. Client then repossessed the car personally, and the AV then jumped in the passenger seat and called the police. We were able to show the State that the AV had lied and was not credible. Client is a US Army Veteran with no prior criminal history, and faced up to 10 years in prison.

          Outcome: All charges dismissed

        • DUI (Enhanced) (Property Damage)

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The client was driving home late at night when she side-swiped a parked car then swerved and flipped her own car onto its side. Police were already on scene by the time the client made her way out of her car, through her trunk. The client cooperated in full with both the traffic and ensuing DUI investigation. She participated in field sobriety exercises and was thereafter arrested for Driving Under the Influence. She agreed to submit to an alcohol breath test and she blew over .15, making the DUI not only with Property Damage but Enhanced due to the high breath as well.

          The client’s family was referred to Stephan J. Dobrinsky, Partner with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Client and her sister met with Mr. Dobrinsky and retained Meltzer & Bell immediately to assist her with not only the DUI case but managing the administrative driver’s license suspension initiated by the Department of Motor Vehicles due to the DUI arrest.

          The client had no criminal history and her career as a teacher was in the balance. A DUI conviction, or even a criminal conviction of any kind, would jeopardize her teaching career.

          Mr. Dobrinsky and Meltzer & Bell, P.A. got to work right away. They assisted the client in obtaining her hardship license from the DMV as soon as possible. Mr. Dobrinsky reviewed the evidence in the court case and filed a Motion to Exclude Statements made by the client based on the Accident Report Privilege, asserting that many of the statements the client made to police on scene were protected as they were made in good faith during the accident investigation, and therefore were privileged and could not be used against her in prosecution.

          Through many rounds of negotiations, prior to the case moving forward at trial, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to secure a plea offer from the State Attorney’s Office. The DUI (Enhanced) (Property Damage) was changed to a mere Reckless Driving charge. The client pled ‘no contest’ to Reckless Driving. She was not convicted guilty. She did not receive any jail time. Her career as a teacher, having avoided any conviction, is all the safer.

          Outcome: Charges Reduced, No DUI, No Conviction, No Jail

        • Aggravated Fleeing/Eluding, Resisting with Violence, Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Violation of Probation

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Back in 2008, the client took a plea and was placed on probation for several charges, including Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding and Resisting With Violence. During probation, the client became homeless. He not only could not afford to pay the fines and restitution of probation, but it got to a point where he had nowhere to live. He attempted to speak with his probation officer at the time about relocating to Washington DC where he had family so he could get some help and support. However, probation was not facilitating such a move. Eventually, the client felt no choice but to skip town and abscond on his probation.

          Fast forward a decade and a half- client resides in Ohio and has a good job and a family. Still, he has had this felony warrant out of Florida hanging over his head all this time. He and his wife want to finally do the right thing and get this done with. The client called Meltzer & Bell, P.A. and spoke with partner Stephan Dobrinsky, Esq. The client immediately hired the firm and Mr. Dobrinsky took lead on the case.

          The client was willing to come to Florida and surrender himself to jail. Mr. Dobrinsky told the client to wait and let him work on the case behind the scenes before he resorted to that.

          After many months of negotiations, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to work out a deal where once the client issued an outstanding restitution payment, the Prosecution would agree to have the violation of probation warrant dismissed and Defendant’s probation would be terminated. Even though the client faced prison or jail time, the client did not even have to fly down to Florida to resolve his case.

          The warrant was dismissed, and the client’s probation was terminated.

          Outcome: Violation of Probation Warrant Dismissed – Probation Terminated

        • DUI Crash

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was charged with DUI causing property damage arising out of a one car traffic crash. The Defendant called to retain Meltzer & Bell, P.A. because he was unhappy with his previous lawyer who failed to communicate with him and was forcing him to plea although he never reviewed the case with the lawyer. The Defendant was involved in a one car accident in which he suffered a laceration to his head. Fire Rescue was the first to arrive on scene ad placed the Defendant in the ambulance to treat him for his injurie. Officers from the Broward Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene and made observations of an odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and unsteadiness. The Defendant was taken to the hospital for medical treatment where he was met with a DUI investigator who captured the interaction on Body-Worn Camera. On camera, the Defendant was asked by the officer to submit to a voluntary blood draw for purposes of testing its alcoholic content and the Defendant lawfully refused. Thereafter, the Deputy, who was new to the force, then requested a blood draw under Florida’s Implied Consent Law. The Defendant once again refused The Defendant refused. After this refusal, the Deputy stated to the Defendant that if he did not take the requested blood test he would be arrested and removed from the hospital before he received necessary medical treatment for the injuries he suffered in the traffic crash and he was actively bleeding. The Defendant then submitted to the blood test, which revealed an alcohol content of more than double the legal limit. The Defendant was then charged by the State with DUI Causing Property Damage.

          The Defendant hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. due to unhappiness with prior counsel.  As soon as the firm received the discovery from the predecessor lawyer, Lawrence Meltzer, reviewed the case and the discovery and video footage with his client. Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately noticed that the Defendant’s consent was rendered involuntary due to the officer’s threats to arrest prior to medical treatment. Meltzer & Bell immediately filed a Motion to Suppress (Exclude) the Blood based upon the coercive language used by the deputy that rendered the Defendant’s consent involuntary. After a hearing on the Defendant’s Motion to Suppress, the Court granted the Motion to Suppress and excluded the blood. The State was forced to dismiss the case entirely as there was no longer any evidence of impairment by alcohol in the case.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed

        • Aggravated Assault Firearm

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was charged with Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. The Defendant and his wife were renting a home in Pompano Beach, Florida while their family home was being built. The Landlord for that home hired a tree-trimming crew to trim an overgrown tree in the fenced in backyard. One member of the tree trimming crew began to harass the Defendant’s wife by making sexualized gestures toward his wife through the windows at the back of the home. The Defendant had come home for lunch from checking on the family home that he was building  and was told what happened between his wife and the worker. He then exited the home and entered the backyard and asked the tree-trimming crew to leave his property repeatedly due to what had occurred with his wife. Words were exchanged between the crew and the Defendant. The Defendant’s wife heard the commotion and came into the backyard. While doing so, she accidentally let the family dogs into the backyard and they approached members of the tree trimming crew in a friendly manner. However, one of the crew members was afraid of dogs and activated a chainsaw to keep the dogs away. At that moment, the Defendant’s wife attempted to save the dogs from the chainsaw and came within feet of the blade. The Defendant ran inside the home, retrieved his firearm and advanced a bullet into the chamber and held the firearm by his side and asked the crew to leave once again. The crew finally left the backyard and called the police while still in front of the house. Officers arrived, performed a woefully deficient investigation and arrested the Defendant for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm despite the fact he was defending the members of his family while on his property inside an enclosed backyard.

          Meltzer & Bell, P.A. filed a motion to dismiss based upon statutory immunity based upon Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. An evidentiary hearing was held with several witnesses testifying, including the Defendant, his wife and stepson, and all pertinent law enforcement investigators. The Judge reserved ruling after the hearing, but eventually DENIED the Stand Your Ground motion finding that the Defendant improperly threatened deadly force by advancing a bullet into the chamber of his firearm despite the fact he was surrounded by hostile workers wielding as chainsaw while swinging it in the direction of his wife and his dogs, which are considered property under Florida Law. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately appealed the Judge’s ruling as this was the prefect scenario for the defendant to use his firearm while his home and family was under attack by someone wildly swinging a chainsaw. The Appeals Court REVERSED the trial court’s ruling on the Stand Your Ground motion and ordered the trial court to dismiss all charges immediately stating that Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was correct in its argument that the Defendant was permitted to stand his ground using his firearm and was thus immune from prosecution. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. also created new Florida Law based upon the appellate opinion published in this case.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed

        • Lewd and Lascivious Molestation. Interference with Child Custody

          Date: January 2024

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was charged with Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, a sex offense that carries a 25 year minimum mandatory sentence and a life-altering Sex Offender Designation.  The Defendant had no criminal history. The alleged victim in this case was a troubled foster child who had gotten into a significant argument with her foster parents and ran away from home. After leaving the home, the alleged victim was standing in the rain and was holding two Publix bags filled with clothes. Our client, an Uber driver, saw the girl standing on the side of the road wearing light clothing and being soaked by the rain. Trying to help the young girl, our client offered her a free ride to wherever she wanted or needed to go. However, she refused to go back to the foster home and had no other place to go. He offered her the use of the guest room at his home for the night, but would take her to school in the morning. The Defendant, having no knowledge of who this girl was, slept on a couch outside of the guest room. The Defendant woke her up in the morning for school and dropped her off and gave his phone number in case she needed another ride. The foster mother called the school in an attempt to locate her and found out she was present, She picked the victim up from school and told the alleged victim “if you tell me the truth, you won’t get in trouble.” The alleged victim’s response was to accuse our client of inappropriately touching her breasts and kissing her as she slept. A police investigation ensued. Our client was cooperative in the investigation and even gave the investigators a sworn statement in which he adamantly denied touching this child in any way whatsoever.

          Meltzer & Bell, P.A. began its investigation into the case and conducted discovery. The Deposition of the alleged victim revealed a litany of mental health and disciplinary issues with this child along with her inability to be truthful due to her giving numerous conflicting statements during the proceedings. The firm was so confident in its client’s innocence the firm performed significant mitigation and its own polygraph examination of the client that revealed he was being truthful and was innocent of the charges. All sex charges were dropped!

          Outcome: Sex Charges Dropped

        • Domestic Violence Battery (misdemeanor criminal charges) and Domestic Violence Injunction (civil action)

          Date: November 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client was arrested for domestic violence battery, and the alleged victim also sought a restraining order against him. The State dropped the criminal case once we provided them with additional details and information regarding the arrest, and the judge dismissed the restraining order. Client is now able to expunge his record, and put all of this behind him.

          Outcome: All charges dismissed.

        • Careless Driving Causing Death

          Date: November 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The client was driving home from a friend’s house on I-95 in the early morning hours. Unfortunately, the client did not see traffic stopped ahead of him. He rear-ended a vehicle which caused a chain-reaction that led to a 7-car pile-up. Tragically, the person in the vehicle hit by the client passed away. The client cooperated with the police and the eventual traffic homicide investigation conducted by Florida Highway Patrol. On scene, the client participated in field sobriety exercises, confirming to police that he was not at all under the influence.

          Still, a traffic homicide investigation was underway and spanned for the better part of a year. The client was facing a potential criminal Vehicular Homicide charge based on his speed and driving pattern that led to the crash that led to the death of the second driver.

          The client hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to represent him in the ongoing criminal/traffic homicide investigation. Partner Stephan Dobrinsky, Esq. worked closely with the client as well as the attorneys representing the client in the civil lawsuit stemming from this accident. Mr. Dobrinsky communicated with Florida Highway Patrol’s Traffic Homicide Investigator for the better part of the year. Ultimately, the police agreed with Mr. Dobrinsky that no criminality or recklessness occurred on the part of the client. Rather, it was merely a driving error and nothing criminal in nature.

          The client was given one ticket of Careless Driving Causing Death. Although this was only a traffic ticket, it carried a mandatory 6-moth driver’s suspension and significant fines and conditions upon a conviction. Mr. Dobrinsky proceeded to trial with the client. Although several law enforcement and civilian witnesses appeared at trial and testified, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to get the Court to dismiss the case based on a lack of witness that could identify the client as the driver at the time of the crash. While the lead investigator testified to the Court that the client admitted to being the driver with him, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to exclude that testimony from evidence as it was protected by the Accident Report Privilege.

          The client faced no criminal charges, and his ticket was dismissed, thereby avoiding significant fines and a license suspension.

          Outcome: N0 Criminal Charge, Ticket Dismissed

        • Robbery with a Weapon, Aggravated Battery with a Weapon and Felony Battery

          Date: October 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client came to us after being unhappy with prior counsel. Client was charged with Robbery with a Weapon (first degree felony- maximum of 30 years in prison), Aggravated Battery with a Weapon (maximum of 15 years) and Felony Battery (maximum of 5 years). The alleged victim told the police that our client attacked him with a hammer and robbed him of his cell phone. Client ran an Airbnb business, and the alleged victim was an unhappy customer who had been harassing our client leading up to the incident that resulted in our client’s arrest. We sent the State Attorney numerous screenshots of text messages, messages through the Airbnb app, and statements from others who knew about the alleged victim and how unstable he was. We showed the state that the incident occurred at our client’s property, where the alleged victim had no business even being, and that he was the one who started the altercation.

          Outcome: All charges dismissed

        • Multiple Burglary of Unoccupied Conveyance and Grand thefts in Broward and Dade Counties

          Date: October 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client was a juvenile and had a prior juvenile record when our firm was retained. The child was close to turning 18 years old, and both the Broward and Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced their intention at first appearance court to direct-file the child’s cases to adult court. We were able to avoid adult court, and resolve all cases to juvenile sanctions. The child’s record will be sealed due to the fact that all of his convictions were juvenile, and he will be able to move forward as a productive member of society without a felony conviction.

          Outcome: Plea to juvenile conditions

        • Battery + Criminal Mischief, Domestic Battery + Resisting Without Violence

          Date: October 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: 19-year-old client returned home to her apartment building highly intoxicated. She was locked out of the building and started throwing concrete blocks at the front door window, causing significant damage. Eventually, a resident comes outside and calls the police. That resident and the client get into an argument that turned physical. The man alleged that the client attacked him first. The Police arrived shortly thereafter and arrested the client for Battery and Criminal Mischief.

          The client and her father were kicked out of their apartment building and the client faced two criminal charges. After negotiations, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to get the prosecutor’s office to decline the Criminal Mischief charge. Still, the more serious Battery charge remained.

          As the case was pending, the client got re-arrested, this time for Domestic Battery against her father and Resisting Arrest Without Violence. At this point, the client was facing a very possible scenario where her bond on her first case would get revoked based on a new arrest for an additional violent crime. If this happened, she would be held in jail without bond for the rest of the case.

          Mr. Dobrinsky went to First Appearance Court for her during the weekend and was able to avoid client’s bond being revoked. The client was able to quickly bond out and at the strong suggestion of both Mr. Dobrinsky and client’s family, the client went into and successfully completed a residential substance abuse and mental health program in Orlando, Florida. After that, the client continued treating in an outpatient capacity and continued to work and reside in Orlando, Florida.

          Mr. Dobrinsky was able to use the ongoing health issues and proof of voluntary treatment to the defense’s advantage. Even though the alleged domestic battery and Resisting Without Violence occurred in the police officers’ presence, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to convince the Prosecution to decline both of those charges in that second case.

          Lastly, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to get the client into a diversion program on the initial Battery charge. Six months later, the client completed her program, and the last remaining charge was dismissed.

          The client was able to get all charges in both cases dismissed.

          Outcome: All charges – All Cases – DISMISSED

        • Theft and Failure to Return Vehicle- Extradition Hold

          Date: October 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Client was arrested when he landed in Fort Lauderdale Airport coming back from Jamaica. He was informed of an arrest warrant against him out of Georgia for Felony Theft- specifically alleging that he failed to return a rented trailer months prior. Client and his friend, who was with him during the trip from Georgia back down to Florida, knew that they did in fact return the trailer in question and that this had to be some type of mistake.

          Still, there was nothing the client could do to get out of jail immediately since he was being held on an extradition warrant from Georgia. He could not post bond in Broward County on a Georgia warrant. He was going to have to wait the 30 days that Georgia had to bring him from Broward County jail. This was a dire situation given that the client not only had a full-time job but also was running his own business that took him between south Florida and Jamaica.

          The client’s friend contacted Meltzer & Bell, P.A. She spoke with Mr. Dobrinsky and retained the Firm’s services. Mr. Dobrinsky immediately went to jail and met with the client. Mr. Dobrinsky could tell that the client was truly innocent and was being unlawfully held.

          Working with the client and his friend, Mr. Dobrinsky gathered as much evidence and explanation as possible to show that this rented trailer was in fact returned by the client once he and his friend got back to south Florida. Mr. Dobrinsky was able to contact a chief assistant prosecutor in Georgia in the county that charged the client with this theft. After several days of back and forth, the prosecutor agreed to amend the extradition warrant so that the client would no longer be held in custody.

          The client was immediately released from the Broward County Jail. Soon thereafter, Mr. Dobrinsky was informed that the prosecuting office in Georgia dropped the case entirely.

          Outcome: Extradition Warrant Dismissed

        • False Imprisonment, Grand Theft Auto – Felonies

          Date: October 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client was charged with false imprisonment and grand theft auto- both felonies. The case arose out of client’s sale of a car to the alleged victim. We were able show the State Attorney that the alleged victim was not credible, and provided documents to show that the victim lied on loan applications, which led to him fraudulently obtaining the vehicle at issue.

          Outcome: State dropped all charges. Client was a US Army veteran and business owner, so having any conviction on his record would have been catastrophic for him.

        • Robbery with a Weapon. Aggravated Battery with a Weapon

          Date: October 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client came to us after being unhappy with prior counsel. Client was charged with Robbery with a Weapon (first degree felony- maximum of 30 years in prison) and Aggravated Battery with a Weapon (maximum of 15 years). The alleged victim told the police that our client attacked him with a hammer and robbed him of his cell phone. Client ran an Airbnb business, and the alleged victim was an unhappy customer who had been harassing our client leading up to the incident that resulted in our client’s arrest. We sent the State Attorney numerous screenshots of text messages, messages through the Airbnb app, and statements from others who knew about the alleged victim and how unstable he was. We showed the state that the incident occurred at our client’s property, where the alleged victim had no business even being, and that he was the one who started the altercation.

          Outcome: All charges were dropped.

        • False Imprisonment and Domestic Felony Battery by Strangulation (3rd degree felonies, punishable by up to 10 years in prison)

          Date: July 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Client had no idea that a warrant was issued for his arrest in February of 2023 for an incident that allegedly occurred in November of 2022. Client’s mother got a hold of us on our 24-hour line, and we were able to be there at magistrate court at 8:30 a.m. the next day. We were able to secure an agreement with the State, prior to court, with very reasonable bond conditions. We then sent police reports from prior incidents where our client called the police on her, and other evidence to show the State that she is not credible. Just a few months later, all felony charges were dropped, and we began working on the expungement so that these arrests would not appear in most background checks.

          Outcome: All charges dismissed.

        • First Degree Felony Punishable by Life (“PBL”)

          Date: June 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was arrested for a burglary with a battery at the guard gate of his community. The alleged victim stated that our client approached him while in his vehicle, and punched him through the open window of the driver’s seat.

          The defendant retained us immediately upon arrest, so we were able to appear at magistrate court on his behalf the following morning. PBL charges are not entitled to bond, however, we were able to negotiate a bond with the assistant state attorney at magistrate court so our client did not have to spend any additional time in jail.

          Client was an attorney, so the stakes were very high. We reached out the assistant state attorney who was handling the filing decision, and continuously advocated over the next few weeks on the client’s behalf. We sent photos from immediately after the incident showing that our client had a red mark on his face, indicating that he was the one who was hit first and only hit the alleged victim back in self-defense.

          Outcome: Case was dropped and no formal charges were filed. Client was facing life in prison

        • 2nd Degree Felony Punishable by up to 15 Years in Prison

          Date: June 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant arrested for posting on Twitter that he was going to kill an NBA ref and his family. The defendant retained us immediately upon arrest, so we were able to appear at magistrate court on his behalf the following morning to negotiate a reasonable bond that he could post. We reached out the assistant state attorney who was handling the filing decision, and continuously advocated over the next few weeks on the client’s behalf.

          Outcome: Case was dropped and no formal charges were filed

        • Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

          Case #: 20****CF10A

          Date: February 2023

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. The State Attorney’s Office was initially seeking 10 years in prison as punishment. After a year with different legal counsel, the Defendant turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help.

          The client was specifically accused of going to the residence of a woman who was not only involved with client’s husband but shared a child with as well. When the client encountered this woman, it was the first time that either of them were learning that their husband/baby’s father was involved with another woman. The victim and State alleged that the client pistol whipped the victim in the head, causing a laceration. The victim also alleged that the gun went off at that point, in the middle of broad daylight with neighbors around. After, as alleged by the State, Defendant was accused of somehow dragging the victim with her car as she drove away.

          The client was adamant that it was the victim who started the fight and attacked her after she found out that she was married to the father of her child. After striking the client numerous times and engaging in mutual combat, the victim was able to pin down the client on the gravel. The client tried getting up but could not. The victim continued to strike the client and pull very hard on her chain necklace. Finally, the client did the only thing she could to free herself and grabbed a nearby stick and struck the victim one time in the head. As the client left in her vehicle, the victim hung onto her car still trying to attack the client.

          Partner Stephan Dobrinsky worked closely with the client to best support her defense. Mr. Dobrinsky first conducted the depositions of responding police officers, the crime scene technician, and finally the alleged victim in this case. Mr. Dobrinsky filed a Motion to Dismiss the Aggravated Battery charge via a ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim, arguing that the client was immune from prosecution because she used legal self-defense when striking the victim, and that she did so with a stick and not a firearm.

          The State Attorney’s Office still would not talk negotiations. Mr. Dobrinsky cross examined the victim, elicited testimony from the client, and then made legal argument at the Stand Your Ground hearing. The Judge noted what Mr. Dobrinsky alluded to in argument, which was the utter absence of physical evidence or independent witnesses to not just corroborate the victim’s story, but even support that a gun went off in broad daylight with neighbors around. The Judge granted the Motion to Dismiss the Aggravated Battery charge.

          That still left the charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Mr. Dobrinsky was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss that charge as well based on a lack of credibility of the victim and the lack of evidence that client ever possessed a firearm on that day.

          The client went from facing two second-degree felonies with possible significant prison time to the case being entirely dismissed.

          Outcome: Charges Dismissed – Stand Your Ground Motion Granted

        • Throwing a Deadly Missile into Vehicle. Criminal Mischief

          Case #: 21****CF10A

          Date: October 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Client was charged with Throwing a Deadly Missile, which is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. The Client was alleged to have thrown a glass bottle at the victim’s car door/window. At the time, the victim was driving with his wife and child in the car. The victim’s dashboard camera showed the incident but did not show the face of the driver who threw the bottle at the car.

          The Client voluntarily spoke with police and admitted to being the driver and thrower of the object on the day in question, which permitted police and the State to successfully identify and charge him. While the Client insisted that the bottle he threw was plastic, the police and State still charged him with second degree felony throwing a deadly missile.

          Defendant hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to assist him with the case. Partner Stephan Dobrinsky met with the Client and reviewed the evidence, including the video footage. Unfortunately, with the Client making a partial confession to the police that he was involved, there were only certain defenses available at that point.

          One of the video clips showed the bottle in question roll down the road as the victim’s car drove away. This indicated that in addition to the bottle not breaking upon impacting the victim’s car, but also that it somehow did not break as it continued to bounce and roll on the hard street pavement.

          Mr. Dobrinsky conferenced numerous times with the prosecutor regarding the defense’s position that this was in fact a plastic bottle and therefore not a deadly missile. Mr. Dobrinsky also found a google image of a plastic bottle that looked similar to the shape and label on the object in the video. Ultimately, the prosecutor agreed with Mr. Dobrinsky that this was not a deadly missile.

          Still, the State had a confession and video evidence that supported allegations of an assault and criminal mischief for damaging the vehicle. The victim and his family were initially extremely upset and wanted a harsh punishment. After numerous rounds of negotiations and extensive mitigation on the part of the Client and Mr. Dobrinsky, the State agreed to permit the Client to plea only to a Misdemeanor and receive no conviction, no jail, and no probation.

          Outcome: Charges Reduced – No Jail, No Probation, No Conviction

        • Charges: Possession of THC (Felony) & DUI

          Case #: 19****CF10A

          Date: August 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was pulled over in Coral Springs for multiple traffic infractions. Upon contact with her, police observed some obvious signs of impairment and requested that she perform voluntary road-side sobriety exercises. Defendant agreed, and allegedly performed poorly. Accordingly, Coral Springs Police Department arrested her for DUI. A search of her person and her vehicle yielded psychotropic mushrooms as well as THC, a felony in Florida. Defendant did agree to give a breath sample in the Coral Springs DUI room. The results from that test showed that her breath was over double the legal limit. Ultimately, Defendant was charged by the Broward State Attorney’s Office with Possession of THC and Driving Under the Influence.

          The Defendant hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to help her get out of a tough spot. Partner Stephan Dobrinsky, Esq. worked diligently on Defendant’s case. He knew that Coral Springs Police should have turned over video footage from a mounted camera inside their DUI room. After months of requesting that the State turn it over, Mr. Dobrinsky was informed by a prosecutor that Coral Springs Police “didn’t preserve it.” Mr. Dobrinsky conducted depositions of the officers involved and filed a Motion to Dismiss the DUI count based on the State’s failure to preserve critical evidence.

          Mr. Dobrinsky simultaneously attacked the THC charge with a separate Motion to Dismiss, based on the statutory definition of ‘THC’ and that the Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab had no ability to opine as to what part of the cannabis plant this alleged THC substance derived from.

          After litigating and negotiating for over two years and rejecting DUI plea offers, the prosecution finally dismissed the THC charge and reduced the DUI to a reckless driving charge. Defendant received a short term of probation, no jail, and no conviction. With the help of Meltzer & Bell, Defendant was able to avoid a DUI conviction, massive financial ramifications, a driver’s license suspension, and a felony charge.

          Outcome: Charges Reduced, No Felonies, No Convictions, No Jail

        • Charges: DUI

          Case #: 19****MU10A

          Date: July 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant exited the Hard Rock Casino and was pulled over almost immediately. Police alleged that they received an anonymous call about a driver in a car matching the Defendant’s vehicle’s description driving recklessly. The police pulled the Defendant over shortly after turning onto SR-7/441 for allegedly failing to maintain his lane.

          The Defendant kept driving for some time, failing to stop promptly in response to police emergency lights. Once Defendant was stopped and removed from his vehicle, he exhibited obvious signs of impairment, including lack of balance and significantly slurred speech. Defendant performed poorly on field sobriety exercises and was ultimately arrested for Driving Under the Influence. He then voluntarily gave a breath sample that read about three times over the legal limit.

          Defendant was facing what would have been his third DUI conviction, looking at potentially disastrous ramifications to his driving abilities, finances, and possibly his liberty. He hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to help him with the case. Partner Stephan Dobrinsky, Esq. utilized the police reports and footage from body-worn and dashboard cameras to formulate a Motion to Suppress all Evidence due to an Unlawful Traffic Stop.

          Mr. Dobrinsky contended that the anonymous caller about Defendant’s vehicle was not descriptive, specific, or corroborative enough of an anonymous tip to form the basis for a traffic stop or criminal detention. Moreover, Mr. Dobrinsky cited case-law that stood for the proposition that failure to maintain a lane alone was not enough for a traffic stop. Lastly, the dash-cam footage disputed some of what was alleged by Seminole Police in their reports.

          The Broward County State Attorney’s Office refused to negotiate with Mr. Dobrinsky due to this being the client’s third DUI, and due to a misguided belief that they could overcome Mr. Dobrinsky’s Motion. They were wrong. At evidentiary hearing, Mr. Dobrinsky cross-examined multiple Seminole Police Officers and made legal argument. The Judge ultimately agreed with Mr. Dobrinsky and granted his Motion, thereby suppressing the State’s entire case. The prosecutor had no choice but to dismiss the case a short time later.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed

        • Charges: DUI with Serious Bodily Injury. Reckless Driving with Serious Bodily Injury

          Case #: 19*****CF***

          Date: June 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was involved in a head-on collision in Miramar, Florida when she mistakenly entered the opposite lane of travel. Her vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle occupied by a family of three. Their vehicle then collided with a third vehicle. All three occupants of the second vehicle hit by Defendant’s vehicle were seriously injured and required hospitalization.

          Police arrived on scene and saw Defendant outside of her vehicle tending to one of the injured persons. The arresting officer proceeded to ask Defendant questions. Defendant admitted to being a driver involved in the crash, and allegedly indicated she drank “too much,” and could not remember how the accident occurred.

          Miramar Police initiated a DUI investigation and subjected Defendant to roadside sobriety exercises at the scene of the crash. Police allegedly formed probable cause to arrest Defendant for DUI causing serious bodily injury, which is a second-degree felony. Defendant refused to submit to a breath test after her arrest. The State Attorney’s Office formally charged Defendant with felony DUI and Reckless Driving, along with numerous other counts of misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor Reckless Driving. Defendant scored a minimum of 70 months in prison based on the severity of the charges and the injuries sustained by the victims.

          Defendant spent two years with her previous defense counsel. After two years of little progress on the case, Defendant called Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for a consultation. Partner Stephan Dobrinsky answered her call and spoke with Defendant on a Friday night for an hour. Defendant then met with Mr. Dobrinsky and Managing Partner Larry Meltzer. Defendant proceeded to retain Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to take over the case as her defense counsel.

          Mr. Dobrinsky and Mr. Meltzer immediately formed a plan as to how to defend the case and prepare it for trial swiftly and effectively. They retained an expert in accident reconstruction. Mr. Dobrinsky was able to quickly spot constitutional issues within the police’s investigation that were prone to attack. First, this case involved a serious head-on collision after which Miramar police not only decided to subject Defendant to roadside sobriety exercises, but they did so without any body-worn camera or any other way to capture Defendant’s performance of these exercises. They later took Defendant to the Blood Alcohol Testing (BAT) facility where she reportedly refused to the breath test. However, that was also not captured on video as the room’s mounted video recording device was non-operational that night.

          This lack of video evidence left the State’s case highly dependent on witness testimony, both to prove at trial that Defendant was impaired but also for the State to show that the police had probable cause to arrest her in the first place. Mr. Dobrinsky proceeded to take sworn depositions of most of the civilian and law enforcement witnesses. Those depositions exposed a litany of problems within the state’s case. First, most of which the arresting officer recalled were statements made by Defendant during the accident investigation. Pursuant to Florida’s Accident Report Privilege, such statements made by the Defendant cannot be used against her in the case. Mr. Dobrinsky accordingly filed a Motion to Exclude those Statements.

          Once the above referenced statements were taken out of the case, there was no way, Mr. Dobrinsky argued, that the State could support this arrest by a showing of probable cause during a hearing. The State would possibly fail at showing Defendant was behind the wheel and would most surely fail at showing there was probable cause to believe Defendant was under the influence of alcohol to the extent her normal faculties were impaired. Accordingly, Mr. Dobrinsky filed his Motion to Suppress for Lack of Probable Cause.

          On the eve of the hearings on these Motions filed by Mr. Dobrinsky, and after three years of the case pending, the State Attorney’s Office offered Defendant a way to resolve her case where the State would drop all felony charges and all DUI charges, and Defendant would plea “No Contest,” only to misdemeanor Reckless Driving. Defendant happily accepted the offer, avoiding prison, jail, or convictions. Defendant was extremely happy and grateful to Meltzer & Bell for helping her preserve her freedom, her driving privileges, and her career.

          Outcome: All Felony Charges Dismissed. No Jail, No Conviction

        • Charges: Grand Theft + Failure to Appear Warrant

          Case #: 95*****CF***

          Date: June 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was accused of Grand Theft in Broward County in 1995. She failed to appear for her trial date and later left the State. Defendant continued to reside out-of-state and built a whole new life and family. However, Defendant was still plagued by this “secret” she had been hiding and this felony NO BOND warrant that was out for her for over 25 years. Defendant also could not afford to be jailed and needed the warrant dismissed for immigration purposes.

          Defendant was referred by her previous attorney to partner Stephan Dobrinsky, Esq., of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Mr. Dobrinsky took on this case and committed himself to do whatever he possibly could to assist his client in getting this warrant dismissed and resolving the case. Mr. Dobrinsky conducted extensive interviews with the client and gathered documentation to demonstrate to the prosecutors the law-abiding and productive life his client had been leading over the past 25 years.

          After nearly a year of ongoing negotiations with the State Attorney’s Office, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to negotiate a deal where if Defendant appeared in Court, the State would agree to the Judge dismissing the warrant, and then Defendant could resolve the entire case by pleading “No Contest” to a reduced charge of misdemeanor Petit Theft. Defendant agreed and appeared in Court with Mr. Dobrinsky. The warrant was dismissed, and Defendant resolved her case by way of a misdemeanor plea. She was not convicted guilty, did not have to go to jail, and did not get any probation. Defendant was extremely relieved to finally put this chapter of her life behind her.

          Outcome: Felony Dismissed. No Jail No Probation. Warrant Dismissed

        • Charges: Grand Theft + Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information

          Date: April 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was a commercial truck driver for one of the largest steel companies in the world and would have lost his CDL privileges and his career had he pled to these charges or received a sentenc in any form. The Defendant, a Texas resident, had been working in Florida and was transporting steel for purposes of a construction project in Hollywood, Florida. He and another driver in the truck behind him accidentally made a wrong turn into the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. In their attempt to exit the airport the trucks traveled to “Arrivals” tunnel in the lower portion of the airport. as the two 76,000 lb. trucks were moving through the arrivals tunnel, the top of the Defendant’s truck struck and damaged the underside of a bridge above it which housed a sprinkler system that was also damaged in the crash. The Defendant did not stop after the crash despite water pouring down from the sprinkler system. The crash was caught on camera and reflected that the Defendant did not know he had struck the bridge due to the size and weight of his truck. Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell prepared and set the case for trial on April 3, 2024. The State dismissed the case before trial.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed by the State

        • Charges: Grand Theft + Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information

          Case #: 20*****CF***

          Date: June 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was scene at at least two different ATM’s depositing fraudulent checks made out by the City of Wilton Manors to individuals not named the Defendant. Employees from the City of Wilton Manors disputed these, and several other check transactions and thus an economic crimes investigation ensued.

          The investigation showed nearly 10 different fraudulent checks were deposited against the City of Wilton Manors in a short period of time. Police were able to subpoena several bank records and pull video stills from some of these check deposit transactions. Two of which showed an individual that another police officer identified as the Defendant.

          After being charged and arrested, Defendant later failed to appear in Court. As a result, the Judge issued a No Bond arrest warrant for Defendant’s failure to appear. Defendant’s family was referred to Partner Stephan Dobrinsky, Esq., and Melter & Bell, P.A. Mr. Dobrinsky moved quickly to file a Motion to Vacate the warrant and get the prosecutor’s office to agree to that request.

          Once the warrant was dealt with, Mr. Dobrinsky and his client went to work on defending the case. Mr. Dobrinsky conducted the deposition of the lead economic crimes investigator. During that deposition, Mr. Dobrinsky exposed the investigator’s lack of integrity, diligence and knowledge of the case. In fact, the investigator could not even tell Mr. Dobrinsky what entity or bank was owed what amount of money.

          It became apparent that while the State may be able to show that it was the Defendant at two of these ATM transactions, it would not be able to hold the Defendant accountable for all these checks and transactions. Mr. Dobrinsky refused to engage in any felony plea deal without seeing if the investigator of the Prosecutor’s office could have a better handle over these complex economic crimes case, and could at least say whether the City of Wilton Manors or any banks were actually owed any money.

          Feeling confident in the State’s inability to understand and present this case adequately, Mr. Dobrinsky set the case for a jury trial. On the morning of trial, the prosecutor’s office offered Defendant a way to resolve the case by pleading “No Contest” to merely a misdemeanor petit theft. Defendant gladly accepted, and the two felony charges against him were dismissed. Defendant was not convicted guilty and received no jail and no probation.

          Outcome: All Felony Charges Dismissed. No Jail, No Probation, No Convictions.

        • Charges: Risk Protection Order

          Case #: RPO21*****

          Date: January 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The client was inside his home in Pompano Beach, Florida when he thought he heard sounds of somebody breaking into his home through his garage. The client grabbed one of his firearms and shot six bullets through the wall and into his garage. Once he checked inside the garage and outside his home, he noticed that nobody was there and saw no further signs that anybody had broken into his home.

          The next day, the client realized that two of the bullets he fired went through his garage and across the street into and through his neighbor’s garage. Once he realized this, he called the police to report the incident. Several days later, numerous Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies came back to the home with a signed Risk Protection Order, requiring that client surrender all firearms pending a final evidentiary hearing on the matter. The Client had over 20 firearms in his home. In the petition, the Deputy alluded to possible alcohol involvement in the shooting as well as potential mental health issues with the client. He also asserted that the use of the firearm itself was a basis for the Risk Protection Order.

          The client, taking both his record and his second amendment constitutional right to bear arms very seriously, hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to fight the State’s Petition for a Permanent Risk Protection Order against him. Partner Stephan Dobrinsky got to work on the case immediately. After interviewing the client in detail about not only the shooting but also his long history as a responsible gun owner, Mr. Dobrinsky then obtained the body-worn camera footage from when his client reported the incident and subsequently surrendered his firearms. He also obtained and reviewed the police reports from the incident. Lastly, he took the deposition of the investigating deputy at Broward Sheriff’s Office.

          Mr. Dobrinsky and the client then prepared for the final hearing in this matter, where the Court would decide whether there was a basis to continue to deprive the client of his rightfully owned firearms. One possible way the Court could do this was to find that the client had recklessly discharged the firearm. At a lengthy evidentiary hearing, Mr. Dobrinsky took the testimony of the client, cross-examined the two police officers, and made legal argument. Ultimately, he was successful in convincing the Judge that there was no basis to continue the Risk Protection Order, and that while the discharge of the gun may have been errant or even negligent, it did not rise to the level of recklessness.

          The Judge sided with Mr. Dobrinsky and the client and dismissed the Risk Protection Order.

          Outcome: RPO Dismissed After Winning Final Hearing

        • Charges: Burglary With a Battery

          Case #: 21******CF10A

          Date: January 2022

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was in a tumultuous and abusive relationship with his ex-girlfriend. The two were both struggling with substance abuse. One night, the alleged victim refused to open her door to her apartment for him during an argument. Defendant allegedly broke the glass window, opened the door, and went inside. Once inside, Defendant was alleged to have pinned the alleged victim on the bed and struck her in the face.

          Police were called and when they arrived, they observed the Defendant outside the apartment cleaning up the broken glass. Defendant was arrested for Burglary with a Battery, which is a first-degree felony charge punishable up to a life sentence in prison. Because of the nature of that offense, Defendant was held NO BOND throughout the holidays and new year.

          Defendant’s family hired Partner Stephan Dobrinsky of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Mr. Dobrinsky worked closely with both the client and his parents to gather as much information and documentation to depict the nature of the abusive relationship as well as the character of the alleged victim, who was discovered to have a long history of drugs, prostitution, and arrests. Mr. Dobrinsky, with the help of the client’s family, also provided documentation showing the alleged victim was using the client’s bank card before and even after his arrest.

          Mr. Dobrinsky filed a detailed Arthur Motion, which is the type of bond motion needed to get bond awarded to a Defendant being held on a punishable by life offense. In that Motion, Mr. Dobrinsky outlined the weaknesses in the State’s case as well as the numerous reasons why the Court should award bond regardless of the strength of the State’s case.

          Ultimately, after weeks of working tirelessly while his client was in custody, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to convince the prosecutor’s office to completely decline prosecution in this case. The client went from being without bond in jail on a first-degree punishable by life offense to being released and the case being completely dropped by the Prosecutor’s office.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed

        • Charges: Possession of Cocaine and Resisting Without

          Case #: 19*****CF***

          Date: September 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was a passenger in a vehicle that was being stopped by police. The driver of the car stopped, bailed out of the vehicle and fled in between homes. Defendant initially stayed in the car while two Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies pursued the driver. No Deputy ever told Defendant to stay in the vehicle.

          Soon after, the police detained the driver who fled out of the vehicle. When they returned to the vehicle, they saw the Defendant sprinting away from the car. One Deputy immediately ordered the Defendant to get down on the ground. Defendant immediately complied with this order and got down on the ground. Police then handcuffed and arrested Defendant for the crime of Resisting Without Violence. During a search of Defendant’s clothing incident to that arrest, police allegedly found a small amount of cocaine, a felony in Florida.

          Defendant was facing a possible felony conviction at the young age of 19. After meeting with partner Stephan Dobrinsky, he retained Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Mr. Dobrinsky got to work immediately by reviewing the police reports and body-worn camera footage. The footage confirmed that the Defendant was never given any command to stay in the vehicle.

          Mr. Dobrinsky conducted the necessary legal research to prepare for a Motion to Suppress evidence. In Florida, it is true that police officers can temporarily detain passengers in a vehicle during a lawful traffic stop or lawful criminal investigation, even when the passengers are not the target of the investigation. However, this was not a case where a passenger was told to stay in or near the car and then refused to comply. Here, the first police command given to the Defendant was not until he was already out of the car running.

          Because Defendant immediately complied with the officer’s first command to get on the ground, he did not resist or obstruct the officers. Therefore, the arrest for Resisting Without Violence was unlawful. Because the arrest was unlawful, the search performed incident to that arrest was also unlawful. Thus, the cocaine allegedly found during that search could not be used at trial as it was found pursuant to an unlawful arrest and search.

          On the day of the hearing on Mr. Dobrinsky’s Motion to Suppress Evidence, the State Attorney’s Office dismissed both charges against the Defendant.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed

        • Charges: Stolen IDs and Mail + Probation Violation

          Case #: **********

          Date: July 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client was placed on probation for grand theft and violated immediately by being accused of smoking marijuana, stealing mail, and possessing stolen identification cards. His new felony charges exposed him up to ten years of prison and the State would not offer him a non-prison plea. After retaining our firm, we filed a motion to suppress evidence and asked to speak to the supervising prosecutor. Shortly after, our client was offered credit time served on his new felony case and re-instatement of his probation without him having to serve one more day in jail.

          Outcome: Re-instated on probation

        • Charges: Attempted Burglary

          Case #: **********

          Date: July 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Our client was arrested and charged with attempting to burglarize another person’s sports car. He was accused of throwing a rock at the driver’s side window in the presence of a police officer. He then missed a court date and had a warrant for his arrest issued by the Judge. His family contacted our firm and was desperate to help him because of the risk of his deportation. After retaining us, both the warrant and the attempted burglary were completely dismissed.

          Outcome: Felony charge and warrant dismissed

        • Charges: Fleeing & Eluding, Resisting Without Violence

          Case #: 18*****CF***

          Date: June 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was driving in his vehicle which was in his wife’s name. Unbeknownst to him, after a marital argument, his wife called the police and reported her vehicle stolen. She did so even though she knew her husband had the vehicle.

          While exiting a neighborhood, Defendant made a turn and suddenly he was facing multiple police vehicles with sirens activated, multiple officers pointing guns at him and threatening him with police dogs. In a state of confusion and panic, Defendant fled in his vehicle, starting a police chase. That chase eventually led to a foot race where Defendant was stopped, tazed, and arrested.

          Once police realized this was a family car and the car was falsely reported stolen, they did not arrest Defendant for grand theft auto. However, they did charge him with felony Fleeing & Eluding as well as Misdemeanor Resisting Without Violence.

          Defendant had not been in any legal trouble for over 9 years. Worse, he faced possible deportation if convicted of the felony Fleeing & Eluding charge, which carried a statutory minimum mandatory requirement of a felony conviction and one year license suspension.
          Defendant turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A., and worked with Partner Stephan Dobrinsky. Mr. Dobrinsky worked tirelessly to negotiate an acceptable resolution with the prosecutor’s office that would avoid devastating immigration consequences to the client. Mr. Dobrinsky and the client were prepared to go to trial and argue that the client only fled the police out of a perceived emergency in which it seemed he was about to be shot and killed by police over a mistake. The client did truly fear for his life in that moment, thinking to the hundreds of videos of police brutality or shootings against African Americans. Knowing that he had not committed any crime that would justify the police’s behavior, he truly felt like he was going to be killed for no reason. His fear was well-founded.

          Fortunately, before trial, Mr. Dobrinsky was finally able to reach a resolution with the prosecutor. The Felony Fleeing & Eluding charge was dismissed. The client pled ‘no contest’ to the Misdemeanor Resisting Without Violence charge for which he was not convicted guilty and did not receive jail or probation. Perhaps most importantly, his immigration status was preserved, and his life was not ruined over this misunderstanding.

          Outcome: Felony Dismissed

        • Charges: Driving under the Influence

          Case #: 19*****MU***

          Date: June 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was driving home from a bar in Fort Lauderdale when he accidentally turned right onto rail-road tracks. He drove his vehicle up along and on top of the tracks and eventually got his vehicle stuck. A Fort Lauderdale Police Officer observed the car on the tracks and immediately responded.

          While the Officer spoke with the Defendant, he noticed numerous signs that Defendant may be impaired. Body-Worn Camera footage confirmed most if not all those alleged observations. A DUI investigator arrived and subjected Defendant to Field Sobriety Exercises. Defendant performed poorly on those exercises. Ultimately, Defendant was arrested for DUI. He then refused to provide an alcohol breath test.

          Defendant was facing an administrative suspension by the DMV, as well as a potential DUI conviction in Court and all the mandatory punishments that come with it. The Defendant hired Meltzer & Bell after he and his family met with Partners Larry Meltzer and Stephan Dobrinsky.

          Mr. Dobrinsky took several depositions of the investigating police officers involved. During these depositions, there arose a question as to whether any witness, law enforcement or otherwise, actually saw Defendant behind the wheel of the car. While Defendant admitted to driving during the accident investigation, those statements would be excluded pursuant to a Motion to Exclude Statements as they are protected by the Accident Report Privilege under Florida law. This law encourages drivers to report accidents and protects them from the State using such statements against them.

          Without any initial officers seeing Defendant in the car, or remembering whether they did or not, and with the accident report statements being excluded from evidence, the legality of the arrest and the State’s ability to prove its case at trial became questionable. The arresting officer would have either needed to get Defendant to make additional statements during the DUI investigation, or she would have needed to speak directly with a witness who saw the Defendant driving. Given that neither happened here, the Prosecution had a problem.

          After Mr. Dobrinsky filed numerous motions to suppress or exclude, the State Attorney’s Office agreed to change the drop the DUI charge to a reckless driving, no conviction, no license suspension, and minimal probation.

          Outcome:DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving

        • Charges: Carrying Concealed Firearm

          Case #: 200****10a

          Date: June 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant and her teenage son entered the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Upon entering the security area of the terminal to drop her son off for travel, the TSA agent discovered a firearm inside of Defendant’s purse.  Unfortunately, the Defendant’s carry permit had been expired at the time the firearm was discovered in her purse. Defendant was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm, a third-degree felony punishable by 5 years in prison. Upon receiving the case, Meltzer & Bell immediately presented voluminous mitigation, including the Defendant’s lack of criminal history, her military service history, her application for a current permit, and the fact she was the victim of an aggravated stalking and murder threats by her ex-husband, who was imprisoned for same. The State dropped all felony charges against her.

          Outcome: All Felony Charges Dropped

        • Charges: DUI

          Case #: 20*****MU***

          Date: October 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was driving in Fort Lauderdale when he went through a construction zone on a bridge, drove through freshly poured concrete, and finally drove his car under a bridge gate where the car stopped. While speaking with law enforcement, Defendant exhibited obvious signs of alcohol impairment. During the crash investigation, Defendant admitted to driving the vehicle and to having some drinks. As a result, a DUI investigator was called to the scene.

          Once on scene, the DUI investigator requested that Defendant submit to Field Sobriety Exercises. Defendant agreed to participate in those exercises, during which time he made additional statements as to alcohol consumption. Defendant performed very poorly on the exercises and as a result, he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Defendant then refused to submit to a breath test.

          Defendant is a young and career-oriented individual who had never been in any legal trouble. He needed to guarantee the best possible result, so he hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Partner Larry Meltzer and Senior Associate Stephan Dobrinsky reviewed the case, including extensive footage from the officers’ body-worn cameras. While the evidence against the Defendant was damning, Mr. Meltzer and Mr. Dobrinsky identified several different technical and legal issues with the investigation, allowing them to file Motions to Suppress the State’s evidence against their client. One issue was that due to the arresting officer’s failure to speak directly with somebody who could identify Defendant as the driver, he lacked the legal authority to make the arrest for DUI. Therefore, the refusal to submit to breath that flowed from that unlawful arrest would be suppressed. Additionally, much of the incriminating statements the Defendant made that the State would use against him were made during the accident investigation, which entitles Defendant to the Accident Report Privilege, which precludes the State from using such statements against him. Lastly, subsequent statements made by the Defendant during the DUI investigation were made without having been issued his Miranda warnings by the investigator.

          The State Attorney’s Office refused to negotiate with Mr. Dobrinsky and would not offer a Reckless Driving, given the strength of the evidence in the case. So, Mr. Dobrinsky went forward and argued the three Motions to Suppress at an evidentiary hearing. The Judge granted each of Mr. Dobrinsky’s Motions, suppressing a large portion of the State’s evidence.

          As a result, the State Attorney’s Office was forced to offer Defendant a chance to plea ‘No Contest’ to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. Defendant was not convicted guilty, nor was he jailed or placed on probation.

          Outcome: Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving No Jail No Probation

        • Charges: POSSESSION OF COCAINE, ATTEMPTED TAMPERING OF EVIDENCE

          Case #: 20*****CF***

          Date: September 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was drinking with his friend in Fort Lauderdale. They were on their way to another bar when they encountered a police vehicle down the alley way. When they saw the vehicle, they quickly turned around and walked fast in another direction. In response, the police officers got out of their vehicle and pursued Defendant and his friend. By the time the officers exited the alley way, Defendant and his friend were far away across the parking lot. The officers then yelled at Defendant multiple times, commanding him to turn around and walk towards them. As Defendant did so, he dropped a small bag of cocaine down a storm drain. The officers saw this, interrogated Defendant, and retrieved the cocaine. They arrested him on two felony charges.

          In the police reports, the officers alleged that they merely “asked” Defendant and his friend if they would come over and speak with them. They worded it this way because they knew that up to that point, they had no reasonable suspicion and therefore, no justification for detaining them. (People choosing to walk away from police is not enough to justify a criminal detention) Senior Associate Stephan Dobrinsky assured Defendant that he was going to do everything possible to prove that the officers acted unlawfully that night.

          Conveniently, both Fort Lauderdale police officers turned on their body-worn cameras late, so the cameras failed to capture the audio of this initial interaction between police and Defendant. However, context of the footage, such as how far apart the two groups were, corroborated Defendant’s position that they screamed at him and ordered him to stop, as opposed to kindly asking if they’d be willing to speak with them. Moreover, Mr. Dobrinsky interviewed Defendant’s friend whose story matched that of the Defendant’s.

          Mr. Dobrinsky filed a Motion to Suppress and produced the defense witness to be deposed by the prosecutor’s office. After nearly a year of advocating for the dismissal of the case due to the illegal detention, Mr. Dobrinsky was finally successful. The Prosecutor dismissed both felony charges on the morning of the hearing on Mr. Dobrinsky’s Motion to Suppress.

          Outcome: Case Dismissed

        • Charges: DUI (ENHANCED)

          Case #: 19*****MU***

          Date: September 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant fell asleep at the wheel at 5AM while stopped at an intersection. His car remained stop at a green light and was seen by police to be obstructing traffic. Police knocked on the Defendant’s window several times before Defendant eventually awoke. The police promptly ordered Defendant to not only put the car in park, turn the vehicle off, but also to open the door and step outside of the vehicle. Defendant submitted to a DUI investigation and, upon being arrested, agreed to submit to a breath test. The results of that test revealed a blood alcohol level of approximately three-times over the legal limit.

          Knowing that the case looked grim, Defendant hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to help in any way they could. Partner Larry Meltzer and Senior Associate Stephan Dobrinsky worked on the case for years, never agreeing to a DUI plea. They filed and argued numerous Motions to Suppress in which they argued that the police unlawfully subjected Defendant to a criminal investigation before observing enough suspicion of alcohol impairment.

          After numerous filings and legal arguments with the Court, the prosecutor finally agreed to amend the DUI charge to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. Defendant did not receive jail and was not convicted guilty of any crime.

          Outcome: Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving No Conviction, No Jail

        • Charges: DUI

          Case #: 19*****MU***

          Date: August 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant left with her significant other from a bar in Davie at around 4AM. She forgot to turn her vehicle’s headlights on. Shortly after leaving, Defendant was pulled over by a Davie Police Sergeant. That Sergeant allegedly observed dui indicators including an odor of alcohol, red and droopy eyes, difficulty retrieving her license, etc. Moreover, Defendant made an admission to having consumed 3 or 4 beers.

          Defendant agreed to participate in standard DUI field sobriety exercises. Based on her performance in those exercises, Davie police arrested Defendant for DUI. Defendant allegedly refused to provide a breath sample. Defendant is a Spanish speaker and had trouble understanding everything that was being told to her that night. Though Defendant claims to have requested an interpreter or Spanish speaking officer, the Davie police officers spoke only English to her. These same officers failed to capture any part of their investigation on video, nor did they document, in any way, Defendant’s alleged refusal to submit to a breath test.

          Associates Stephan Dobrinsky and Justin Duran prepared the case and proceeded to trial with the Defendant. Stephan Dobrinsky conducted lengthy and effective cross examination of both police officers involved, specifically highlighting each of their failure to gather any video evidence or evidence of any kind, despite having numerous opportunities to do so. While the officers attempted to use the fact that their department is not fitted with body-worn cameras, after Mr. Dobrinsky’s cross examinations, it became apparent that the officers conducted a lazy and haphazard investigation.

          The Defendant decided to exercise her right to remain silent and no testify at her trial.

          During closing arguments, Mr. Dobrinsky again stressed the laziness demonstrated by the Davie Police Department. Despite having Defendant in their custody for hours, on the side of the road and in their own police headquarters, they gathered no evidence in this case. Mr. Dobrinsky pointed out the opportunity the officers had regarding the cameras within their police department that would have shown Defendant. Moreover, officers could have used various other methods to demonstrate how Defendant appeared, sounded, and interacted that evening. Overall, their failure to do so represented reasonable doubt in this case. After over an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict. The defendant was acquitted.

          Outcome: Acquitted at Jury Trial

        • Charges: Battery on Law Enforcement Officer, Simple Battery

          Case #: 19*****CF***

          Date: June 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was drinking alcohol with a female neighbor in the courtyard of his apartment complex. At one point, the neighbor began yelling and accusing Defendant of grabbing her genital area. Defendant eventually went inside his apartment at which point he began arguing with his wife. A witness and other neighbor called the police.

          When the police arrived, Defendant was still inside of his apartment with his wife. Two Hollywood Police officers continuously knocked on Defendant’s door, interacting with him through the window, asking him to come outside. Eventually, Defendant opened his front door only slightly, still not agreeing to come outside. One of the officers then grabbed Defendant’s arm, pulled him outside of his home and slammed him onto the ground. Hollywood Police arrested Defendant not only for the reported battery but also for allegedly hitting and kicking the officer during his arrest.

          Defendant came to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help. In addition to his liberty being at stake, his ability to remain in the country was also on the line as he was not a United States citizen. Senior Associate Attorney Stephan Dobrinsky investigated the case and took the sworn depositions of the police officers and witnesses involved.

          Mr. Dobrinsky asserted to the State Attorney’s Office that the police officers’ conduct in this case constituted what essentially was an illegal burglary and battery on their part. Specifically, law enforcement, without a warrant, unlawfully grabbed the Defendant and pulled him out of his home.

          While negotiating with the prosecutor’s office, Mr. Dobrinsky worked closely with Defendant’s immigration attorney to try to find an outcome that would protect Defendant in immigration court as well as criminal court. Defendant was ultimately successful in that he was able to resolve his case by pleading to misdemeanors only, and no battery charge, no convictions, and no jail.

          Outcome: Charges reduced, no jail, no conviction

        • Charges: Aggravated Battery (Shooting)

          Case #: ************

          Date: June 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was accused of shooting another man multiple times in the stomach and was initially labeled the aggressor. Our client reached out to us to explain he was acting in self defense. We obtained audio of the 911 call as well as witness testimony that proved our client reacted in self defense and was justified in his shooting. The State had no choice but to dismiss the charge and return his firearm.

          Outcome: Felony charge dismissed

        • Charges: Domestic Violence

          Case #: ************

          Date: June 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery. He was accused of punching his brother in the face and threatening him with a baseball bat. This occurred at a very stressful time for the family when a loved one was on their death bed. The family retained our firm to try to mend things and bring the family back together. After contacting the State Attorney’s Office, all charges were dropped and the brothers are back to normal.

          Outcome: Felony charge dismissed

        • Charges: Battery on a Person Over 65 years of Age

          Case #: 09*****CF***

          Date: May 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was home with his wife and their 5-month-old baby. They decided to order pizza delivery. When the food arrived, they saw that the delivery person was the same man they had previously had unpleasant encounters with. The police alleged that Defendant refused to sign the credit card slip and at that point, the delivery man backed away to contact his manager and accidentally dropped Defendant’s pizza box.

          Defendant was alleged to have at that point attacked the alleged victim by punching him twice in the body. The alleged victim was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Defendant was arrested for Battery on a Person Over 65 years of Age, which is a felony charge that carries a possible prison sentence and a mandatory felony conviction.

          Defendant’s wife called Meltzer & Bell, P.A. late at night after Defendant was brought to jail. Senior Associate Attorney Stephan Dobrinsky spoke with her and walked her through what the next steps would be. Mr. Dobrinsky ensured a reasonable bond for the Defendant, and then proceeded to investigate the case.

          Mr. Dobrinsky communicated with Defendant and his wife and then reached out to the prosecutor’s office as to why they should decline to press formal charges in this matter. Not only was the victim’s rendition as to what started the argument false, but Defendant’s wife would have testified that she heard the alleged victim saying loudly and multiple times “c’mon hit me…hit me.” This would corroborate Defendant’s story that it was the delivery guy who was the first aggressor and not the Defendant.

          Soon thereafter, the State Attorney’s Office agreed with Mr. Dobrinsky and declined to file any charges against the Defendant.

          Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

        • Charges: Counterfeit Registration

          Case #: ************

          Date: May 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client was pulled over for a traffic stop and arrested for having a counterfeit registration and a counterfeit temporary tag. After retaining our firm, we contacted the State Attorney and provided proof our client was tricked into believing his vehicle was in compliance with the law. All charges were then dismissed.

          Outcome: Felony charge dismissed

        • Charges: Cannabis Sale/ Violation of Probation

          Case #: ************

          Date: April 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client was on felony probation for carrying a concealed firearm and fleeing and eluding a police officer. Within weeks of being placed on probation, he was arrested and charged with selling cannabis within 1000 feet of a park in Miami Beach. Client was facing five years in prison and the prospect of becoming a convicted felon. He hired our firm to represent him on these serious charges. His new case was completely dismissed and he was re-instated on probation without any violation.

          Outcome: Felony charges dismissed, Client re-instated to probation

        • Charges: Driver’s License – Ignition Interlock

          Case #: ************

          Date: April 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client successfully completed five years of Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device after being convicted of multiple DUIs. However, he failed to attend an appointment with his Traffic School and was kicked out of his Special Supervision Program to have his license re-instated. After re-applying to the program, the Bureau of Administrative Reviews requested he complete another five years of Ignition Interlock. Client then retained our firm and we contacted the Bureau to appeal their decision. Within weeks, our appeal was granted and his requirement for Ignition Interlock was dropped.

          Outcome: Ignition interlock removed

        • Charges: Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon Domestic Battery

          Case #: 09*****CF***

          Date: March 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Back in 2009, Defendant came from Jamaica visiting his family in south Florida. During an argument with his aunt and sister, he allegedly committed a battery on one of them and threatened and chased the other with a sharp kitchen knife. Defendant fled the scene prior to police arriving on scene. He soon after got on a plane back to Jamaica. A warrant for his arrest was issued and remained pending and active up to 2021, when Defendant and his family came to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help.

          Defendant’s entire core family lives in south Florida. Since 2009, he has not been able to return here to visit family due to the existing warrant for his arrest. He and the family turned for help to get the warrant and case dismissed so that Defendant could eventually move here to be with his family. Senior Associate Stephan Dobrinsky spent the necessary time to conference with Defendant and his family. The relatives involved in the case gave Mr. Dobrinsky a detailed explanation of the events that took place in 2009, and more importantly, explained why they did not want to prosecute and hoped the State Attorney’s Office would drop the charge.

          After interviewing the family members and preparing affidavits, Mr. Dobrinsky approached the State Attorney’s Office and argued why their office should consider dismissing the case. After weeks of negotiations, the prosecutor did agree to dismiss the case in its entirety. The case was dismissed along with the arrest warrant without the Defendant ever having to be arrested on the warrant.

          Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

        • Charges: Domestic Battery

          Case #: ************

          Date: March 2021

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Our client was accused of striking a family member with an open palm on the face. He was successfully employed long-term and would have been fired if he was convicted. After hiring our firm to represent him pre-file, we contacted the State Attorney. After a full review of the case, the charge was dismissed.

          Outcome: No charges filed

        • Charges: Auto Theft Investigation

          Case #: ************

          Date: March 2021

          Jurisdiction: Dade County

          Facts: Our client previously gave a false police report about his stolen vehicle, a first degree misdemeanor offense. After hiring our firm to explain that he did so under duress for his and his family’s life, we accompanied him to the police station to talk to detectives. After presenting evidence and laying out all of the circumstances of the false report, police chose not to charge client for the misinformation.

          Outcome: No arrest made

        • Charges: Trespass

          Case #: 21******MM40A

          Date: November 2020

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant went out to the Hard Rock Casino with a cousin of his. The cousin became intoxicated and caused both he and the Defendant to be kicked out of the casino. While attempting to arrange for a family or friend to come and pick his cousin up, Seminole Police officers got involved. When somebody arrived to take Defendant’s cousin home, the police officers ordered Defendant to leave in that car as well. While Defendant had no problem leaving the premises, he tried to explain to the officers that he did not want to go in that car with them nor was he legally required to do so. While attempting to explain that, the officers arrested Defendant for trespass.

          The Defendant has been employed as a Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent for a decade. It was very likely that he would lose his job if the Broward State Attorney’s Office decided to formally file the trespass charge against the Defendant. After speaking with associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky at length, the Defendant decided to retain Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to represent him.

          Mr. Dobrinsky maintained constant contact with the prosecutor in charge of making the decision of whether or not to file the charge. Mr. Dobrinsky explained to the prosecutor what the Defendant’s point of view and intentions were at the time. Moreover, Mr. Dobrinsky provided significant mitigation regarding Defendant’s involvement in volunteer work in his community. After weeks of going back and forth, the prosecutor finally agreed to decline the case, thereby dismissing it without Defendant ever being charged with a crime.

          Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

        • Charges: Driving Under the Influence

          Case #: 2020MM*****

          Date: October 2020

          Jurisdiction: Escambia County

          Facts: Defendant, who is from Broward County, was in Pensacola for a week on a business trip. On his way home back to his hotel one night, Defendant nearly swerved off the road and was stopped by Pensacola police officer. That officer allegedly observed indicators of alcohol/impairment in addition to the driving pattern, so he requested a DUI investigator meet him on scene.

          Defendant was respectful and compliant with the officers as he waited on scene. Once the DUI investigator arrived, Defendant agreed to participate in field sobriety exercises. Defendant did not perform well on those exercises. He was then arrested for DUI and he refused to give a breath sample. The entirety of the investigation was captured on body-camera, which showed Defendant to be calm, cooperative, and respectful, however there were some significant indicators of impairment shown on video.

          Defendant met with partner Larry Meltzer and senior associate Stephan Dobrinsky. He decided to hire them as he felt they gave him the best chance at success with the case. Defendant had a good job and a thriving career that required him to be able to drive throughout and outside Florida. It became apparent that a DUI conviction would not only cost him his job but also would jeopardize his entire career.

          After a thorough review of the case, the attorneys and the Defendant agreed it was not a particularly good case for trial, as there was more than enough evidence on video for the State to prove its case. Thus, Mr. Dobrinsky began gathering mitigation about Defendant’s job, clean history, and his progress in DUI class and treatment. Mr. Dobrinsky approached the prosecutor in Escambia County to discuss a possible breakdown to a reckless driving based on this mitigation. After months of negotiations back and forth, the prosecutor finally agreed to permit the Defendant to plea to a change of charge to Reckless Driving. Crucial in this process was Mr. Dobrinsky’s ability to get material proof that Defendant would definitively lose his job upon a DUI conviction.

          By convincing the prosecutor to change the charge to a reckless driving, Defendant avoided a DUI conviction that would have cost him his job and career. Moreover, the was able to avoid a suspension of his driver’s license as well, which is one of the mandatory penalties for a DUI conviction. Defendant was thrilled that despite not having a good case for trial, his attorneys were still able to help him avoid a DUI conviction in his case.

          Outcome: DUI CHARGE REDUCED TO RECKLESS DRIVING

        • Charges: Leaving the Scene of an Accident

          Case #: 20*****TC***

          Date: January 2020

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was charged with misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Having a career as a schoolteacher, Defendant had to find a way to get the case dismissed. She turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help.

          Given that the facts of the case made it difficult for trial, the best possible way of achieving dismissal was through getting the case into the State Attorney’s Office’s Diversion program. However, the charge of Leaving the Scene of an Accident is generally precluded from such a diversion program.

          The client met with partner Larry Meltzer and associate Stephan Dobrinsky to try to find a way into the diversion program. Mr. Dobrinsky gathered as much information and documentation about the client’s career, personal life, and positive contributions towards her community. Mr. Dobrinsky provided everything in a letter to the State Attorney’s Office, and they agreed to make an exception and allow the client into a lengthy diversion program.

          The client satisfied all her conditions of the diversion program and Mr. Meltzer and Mr. Dobrinsky were able to get her case dismissed earlier than scheduled. The client may now expunge the case from her record.

          Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

        • Charges: DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE

          Case #: 19*****TC***

          Date: October 2019

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was charged with misdemeanor Driving While License Suspended. Defendant had multiple DUI convictions in his past, and in this case was driving on a suspension that resulted from the most recent DUI conviction. Thus, the Broward State Attorney’s Office was seeking jail time in this case.

          The Defendant hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A. and associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky met with Defendant and began formulating a plan. Upon reviewing the client’s full driving history, Mr. Dobrinsky laid out a plan for the client as to how he could get his driver’s license reinstated. With Mr. Dobrinsky’s direction, the client was able to satisfy all of the DMV’s conditions and eventually got his license valid.

          Because of the Defendant’s driving history, the prosecutor’s office still wanted him to do jail time, despite him now having a valid license. Perhaps even more important was that had the client been convicted of this charge, it would have served as the “third strike” within 5 years and resulted in a 5-year license revocation. The client could not afford that to happen.

          Mr. Dobrinsky remained persistent in negotiations, providing continuous mitigation and argument as to why the prosecutor’s office should be lenient with the client. Eventually, they agreed to reduce the charge and not require jail nor probation. With the change of charge, the client’s license remained intact.

          Outcome: HARGE REDUCED- NO JAIL, NO PROBATION, NO LICENSE REVOCATION.

        • Charges: Prostitution

          Case #: 19******MM10A

          Date: August 2019

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant worked at a spa in Hollywood, Florida. One day, Hollywood police decided to do an undercover operation to investigate a tip that prostitution was occurring within this spa. The police decided to send in an undercover detective who met with the Defendant inside the spa. The Defendant provided the detective with a menu of their legal spa services and the detective made his selection.

          Once in a massage room, the detective alleged that Defendant massaged the detective’s genital area and then negotiated a price for “full on sex.” The police allege that Defendant then got naked and that is when the undercover detective gave a “take-down signal,” and the facility was stormed by several police officers. The Defendant adamantly denied these allegations and noted that these officers made it a point to destroy any internal surveillance cameras within the spa.

          The Defendant had never been charged with a crime before. Not yet being a citizen of the United States, she could not afford to take any type of plea or sentence on this case. She turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help.

          She met with Larry Meltzer and Stephan Dobrinsky and they prepared a defense for trial in this case. Mr. Meltzer and Mr. Dobrinsky pleaded with the State Attorney’s Office to drop this case, as there was concerning behavior by the undercover detective and an alarming lack of evidence in the case. Even though this was a prepared and organized “sting” operation, Hollywood police made no effort to record any of the interactions between Defendant and police, nor did they preserve or document any evidence of criminal activity. The prosecutor’s office would not drop the case, so the parties proceeded to trial.

          At a bench trial, Stephan Dobrinsky cross-examined the undercover detective. It turned out that the detective had two different phones on him during this operation, yet he used neither of them to record these events. Moreover, the ongoing call he had to his fellow officers so they could listen in was not recorded on their end either, even though they had the ability to do so. Mr. Meltzer then took testimony from the Defendant herself, giving a radically different version of events than that of the detective.

          Ultimately, the judge made a quick and succinct “NOT GUILTY” finding for the defense.

          Outcome: ACQUITTED BY JUDGE

        • Charges: Felony False Report of Bombing

          Case #: 20******CF10A

          Date: January 2020

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Defendant was struggling with mental health issues and was residing in a residential treatment program. Defendant allegedly said to other patients at the facility that he was going to return to the facility and ‘shoot-up’ the staff and then die by suicide by cop. Defendant had been hospitalized for acute mental illness both before and after this incident. Defendant never took any steps towards carrying out this threat.

          The Broward Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney’s Office, despite knowing of Defendant’s mental illness and despite him not having actually taken a step towards carrying this threat out, decided to file against the Defendant a second degree felony charge of a False Report of Bombing or Gun Violence. He faced the possibility of prison, jail, probation, and/or a felony conviction.

          Defendant was residing out-of-state and had no idea of the existence of this warrant. He was arrested in New York and held for several weeks before eventually being extradited down to Broward County. Defendant’s family turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help.

          Associate Attorney Stephan Dobrinsky immediately got to work on the case. Once Defendant arrived to Broward County, Mr. Dobrinsky swiftly got the Defendant a bond with no additional conditions, which allowed him to go back home to his family outside Florida.

          Mr. Dobrinsky then prepared a legal memorandum and sent it to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for their consideration. The legal issue was the distinction between somebody merely threatening future violence, as in this case, and what the statute was actually intended for, which is a false report of an ongoing or imminent threat of violence- like falsely reporting a bomb having been planted somewhere or a person about to use gun violence in a school.

          Upon review of Mr. Dobrinsky’s legal memorandum, the prosecutor’s office agreed to dismiss the case outright.

          Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

        • Charges: FELONY CARRYING A CONCEALED FIREARM WITHOUT A PERMIT

          Case #: F20-*****

          Date: April 2020

          Jurisdiction: Miami-Dade County

          Facts: Defendant was driving home from work when he was pulled over by police for not having his vehicle’s tag registered. The officer asked Defendant if he had any weapons in the vehicle to which he responded that he had his firearm in his driver’s door panel next to him. Police seized the gun and once they found that Defendant did not have a conceal-carry permit, they arrested him.

          Defendant had been employed with Miami-Dade County. His wife had recently lost her job due to COVID-19. As a result of this arrest, Defendant was suspended without pay. Defendant was facing difficult times and needed to somehow resolve this case favorably and swiftly, despite being in the middle of COVID-19. The outcome of the case would determine whether Defendant would be reinstated or terminated from employment with the county.

          Once Defendant retained Meltzer & Bell, P.A., attorney Stephan Dobrinsky quickly investigated the case. Mr. Dobrinsky soon realized the law was in the Defendant’s favor as to the issue of whether the gun was truly concealed as defined by Florida law. The gun was in a door panel that was not enclosed, there were no items covering the gun, and Defendant had not behaved in any manner so to try to conceal the gun.

          After doing the requisite research and gathering the evidence needed, Mr. Dobrinsky filed a Motion to Dismiss the case, arguing that as a matter of law, the gun was not concealed.

          The prosecutor then changed the State’s offer to reduce the charge to a second-degree misdemeanor, no conviction, no jail, and no probation. The Defendant resolved his case and is expecting to get reinstated with the county.

          Outcome: CHARGE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR- NO JAIL NO PROBATION

        • Charges: Felony Domestic Battery by Strangulation

          Case #: 20******CF10A

          Date: April 2020

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: Police responded to the Defendant’s home in response to a domestic violence call. His girlfriend at the time reported to the officer that during an argument, the Defendant choked her, threw her to the ground, pinned her down, and punched her in the face multiple times. The Defendant was arrested for Felony Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

          The Defendant came to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help, looking for somebody to argue for his innocence. He adamantly denied these allegations. The Defendant met with partner Larry Meltzer and associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky. They immediately got to work on the case, with the hopes of convincing the State Attorney’s Office to decline to file any charges in this matter.

          Mr. Dobrinsky got in touch with the alleged victim, who indicated she no longer wished to prosecute. He prepared and sent to her an affidavit of waiver of prosecution. Given the seriousness of the allegations, the State Attorney’s Office wasn’t likely to simply dismiss this matter just based on that alone.

          Mr. Dobrinsky communicated with the prosecutor and discussed several shortcomings with their case, including inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s statements, as well as the fact that the injuries were not consistent with the extent of the violence she first reported to the police.

          After several weeks, the State Attorney’s Office declined to file any charges in this case. The Defendant’s record remains clean and he can continue volunteering as a firefighter.

          Outcome: NO CHARGES FILED

        • Charges: Leaving After the Scene of An Accident

          Case #: 20******MM40A

          Date: November 2020

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was driving when he hit a parked car in his neighborhood. Defendant panicked and made the mistake of leaving the scene and driving home. Police were called and eventually matched the description of the vehicle as well as the damage seen on Defendant’s Car. They charged him with Leaving the Scene of An Accident.

          The Defendant was a young professional working in the medical research field. Keeping his record clean and being able to expunge the case from his record was of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, the State Attorney’s Office would not agree to drop the case or allow him into their diversion program.

          The Defendant hired Stephan Dobrinsky at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Mr. Dobrinsky worked tirelessly to provide enough documentation and mitigation to the State Attorney’s Office in efforts to negotiate a deal that would involve a diversion program with some added length and conditions. After months of negotiations, Mr. Dobrinsky was successful in obtaining that opportunity for the Defendant.

          Defendant entered and successfully completed that diversion program. Once he did so, the Prosecution dismissed his case. Thereafter, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. assisted Defendant in expunging the case from his record. The Defendant continues to strive in his career.

          Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

        • Charges: Felony Driving while License Revoked

          Case #: 20******CF10A

          Date: February 2020

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was pulled over while driving on an already revoked license, due to having three prior convictions of driving while license suspended. He was arrested for the felony charge of driving while license revoked.

          Facing a felony record and potential incarceration or probation, the Defendant came to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help. He met with associate Stephan Dobrinsky and discussed the personal and financial difficulties surrounding his license suspension, including his being the main provider for his children.

          Mr. Dobrinsky immediately got to work on the case by pulling the Defendant’s full driving record and contacting the Broward State Attorney’s Office, explaining the Defendant’s financial hardships that caused the suspensions in the first place. The State Attorney’s Office eventually agreed to file the charge only as a Misdemeanor.

          Shortly thereafter, Mr. Dobrinsky was able to secure a plea offer that involved no conviction, no jail, and no probation. The Defendant resolved his case for only a court fine and is now eligible for a hardship license with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

          Outcome: CHARGE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR – NO CONVICTION, NO PROBATION

        • Charges: Felony Violations of Probation

          Case #: 18******CF10A

          Date: July 2018

          Jurisdiction: Broward County

          Facts: The Defendant was pulled over for an expired tag and eventually detained and arrested for driving with a suspended license. Police searched the Defendant’s pockets and allegedly found a vape pen with liquid THC inside of it. He was then arrested for felony possession of THC.

          The Defendant was a young man with no past adult criminal history but was now facing a felony charge. He and Stephan Dobrinsky, associate attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., set out to do everything possible to avoid a felony plea or conviction in this case.

          Because the traffic stop was valid and the Defendant’s license was suspended, the search appeared lawful. The device was found in the Defendant’s pocket. Thus, that only left the option of contesting whether the State could actually prove that this substance was in fact THC.

          Mr. Dobrinsky deposed the BSO chemist who tested the substance and opined that it was positive for THC. In deposition, the chemist was forced to concede that the chemist could not know, based on the type of testing BSO does, what the source of the alleged THC is, and whether it is derived from a synthetic source or an actual cannabis plant.

          Based on this testimony, Mr. Dobrinsky filed a statutory Motion to Dismiss, arguing that based on the definitions in Florida statute of both THC and mere cannabis, the State would not be able to show that this substance was THC and not just misdemeanor cannabis.

          The State Attorney’s Office finally agreed to reduce the charge to misdemeanor cannabis and allowed the Defendant to resolve his case without any convictions, and without any jail or probation.

          Outcome: FELONY THC REDUCD TO MISDMEANOR CANNABIS

        • Felony Violations of Probation

          Facts: Defendant had previously been placed on probation for two different felony theft cases. He had violated his probation before. Defendant had picked up a new felony fleeing & eluding case in West Palm Beach and was serving a year prison sentence for that case. He still had to deal with the pending Broward county Violation of Probation charges arising out of the same fleeing & eluding incident.

          Defendant’s goal was to resolve his Violations of Probation in a manner that would not require him to do additional prison time following his sentence for the West Palm Beach case. However, because of Defendant’s prior criminal history and status on probation, he scored at a minimum of approximately 4 years in Florida State Prison. Prior to retaining Meltzer & Bell, the prosecutor’s offer was the bottom of the guidelines, which would have required him to do about years more of prison.

          Defendant’s family turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help. Associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky got to work right away. He communicated with both the Defendant and his family and gathered significant mitigating information and documents to present to the prosecutor as to why Defendant should not receive additional prison time.

          After weeks of negotiating, the prosecutor changed the plea offer to resolve both Violations of Probation to 13 months prison. Defendant did not have to do one day more of incarceration past his Palm Beach Sentence, despite scoring several years more on the bottom of the sentencing guidelines.  He was released with no probation to follow.

          Outcome: TIME-SERVED

        • FELONY CARRYING A CONCEALED FIREARM WITHOUT A PERMIT

          Facts:Defendant was driving home from work when he was pulled over by police for not having his vehicle’s tag registered. The officer asked Defendant if he had any weapons in the vehicle to which he responded that he had his firearm in his driver’s door panel next to him. Police seized the gun and once they found that Defendant did not have a conceal-carry permit, they arrested him.

          Defendant had been employed with Miami-Dade County. His wife had recently lost her job due to COVID-19. As a result of this arrest, Defendant was suspended without pay. Defendant was facing difficult times and needed to somehow resolve this case favorably and swiftly, despite being in the middle of COVID-19. The outcome of the case would determine whether Defendant would be reinstated or terminated from employment with the county.

          Once Defendant retained Meltzer & Bell, P.A., attorney Stephan Dobrinsky quickly investigated the case. Mr. Dobrinsky soon realized the law was in the Defendant’s favor as to the issue of whether the gun was truly concealed as defined by Florida law. The gun was in a door panel that was not enclosed, there were no items covering the gun, and Defendant had not behaved in any manner so to try to conceal the gun.

          After doing the requisite research and gathering the evidence needed, Mr. Dobrinsky filed a Motion to Dismiss the case, arguing that as a matter of law, the gun was not concealed.

          The prosecutor then changed the State’s offer to reduce the charge to a second-degree misdemeanor, no conviction, no jail, and no probation. The Defendant resolved his case and is expecting to get reinstated with the county.

          Outcome: CHARGE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR- NO JAIL NO PROBATION

        • Charges: Aggravated Assault with a Firearm

          Facts: The Defendant, a senior citizen, was in his apartment complex where he resided and also worked as the maintenance manager. The Defendant encountered in the elevator a younger individual who was part of a moving crew. That individual was loud and aggressive towards the Defendant, even yelling at him.

          The Defendant went back to his apartment. Knowing that the moving crew was still outside, and being in fear, the Defendant obtained his lawfully carried firearm. He then walked down the stairs towards the moving crew. The alleged victim claimed he pointed the gun at him. The two other witnesses with the alleged victim conflicted with one another. One claimed the Defendant pointed, while the other stated clearly that he did not. The investigating officer could not find probable cause to arrest the Defendant based on this conflict, in that one of the witnesses/victim’s friend’s statement agreed with the Defendant’s statement.

          Still, the Broward State Attorney’s Office deemed it appropriate to charge Defendant, in his 70’s, with his first criminal charge ever. He was charged with felony aggravated assault with a firearm. On top of everything else, the Defendant was diagnosed with cancer while this case was pending.

          Associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky met with Defendant and his daughter several times. He eventually sat down with the prosecutor assigned to the case to explain why this case must not proceed. While Mr. Dobrinsky could have set the case for trial, he wanted to first try to dispose of the case without placing the unnecessary stress of a looming trial date on the Defendant. He urged the prosecutor to subpoena the victim for a conference with the prosecutor at the state attorney’s office, betting that the victim would either not appear, or if he did appear, the prosecutor would find the victim not credible. After doing so, at the next court date, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.

          Outcome: Case DISMISSED

        • Charges: Felony Battery on Person over 65, Domestic Battery

          Facts:The Defendant, a senior citizen, was arrested for domestic battery against his also elderly wife. On top of having to experience being arrested for the first time at such an age, he was also precluded from going back to his home due to the ‘No Contact’ order entered by the magistrate Judge against him and in favor of his wife, the alleged victim.

          By the time the Defendant’s family retained Meltzer & Bell, three weeks had already gone by, during which time the Defendant could not return home and could not contact his wife. All the while, the State Attorney’s Office was dragging its heels in making a decision as to whether to actually file formal charges against the Defendant.

          Once Meltzer & Bell was retained, associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky made contact with the Defendant, the alleged victim, and family members. Based on the victim’s conversations with Mr. Dobrinsky, he prepared a waiver of prosecution for her to review and sign under oath. He also immediately filed a Motion to Delete the No-Contact Order. Lastly, he contacted the State and explained why they needed to decline charges immediately.

          Within just one day of Meltzer & Bell being retained, the State Attorney’s Office decided to drop the charges.

          Outcome: NO CHARGES were filed by the state.

        • Charges: Grand Theft and Violation of Probation

          Facts:The Defendant was in his car stopped at a traffic light when another car began to drive erratically and stopped horizontally in front of his car. Defendant got out of his car to see what was going on. At that point, the car drove forward only to double back and head straight at the Defendant. Not knowing what to do, and fearing for his life, Defendant grabbed a piece of metal from the bed of his truck and swung at the vehicle, making contact with the back windshield.

          Days later, police came to Defendant’s door and arrested him for criminal mischief. Defendant made video-recorded statements. These statements were somewhat problematic. While he claimed self-defense, he also admitted to being angry and offered to pay for the damage.

          Associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky met with the Defendant to understand his perspective of the events. He then took the depositions of the alleged victim and two of the police officers involved in the investigation. Throughout these depositions, Mr. Dobrinsky dug up significant issues in both the alleged victim’s story, as well as glaring mistakes made by the investigating officers. After the depositions, the alleged victim conveniently changed her tune and informed the prosecutor that she no longer wished to prosecute.

          Mr. Dobrinsky set the case for trial. The State Attorney’s Office dismissed the case.

          Outcome: Case DISMISSED

      • Charges: Sexual Battery

        Facts: The Defendant had been residing with a woman he had recently become involved with. One day, he arrived home to find the alleged victim lying on the floor of the bathroom following some form of a suicide attempt. The Defendant moved her to the bedroom. At some point, he went through her phone and saw that she had been romantically involved with somebody else.  They began to argue. At some point during or after the argument, the two engaged in sexual intercourse.

        Shortly thereafter, the two were outside the residence speaking. She began accusing the Defendant of raping her while she was sleeping or unconscious. While doing so, the alleged victim was secretly tape-recording the conversation with her mobile phone. While the Defendant initially denied such allegations, he eventually responded to the victim’s question about why he “did it” indicating it was out of anger or revenge.

        The alleged victim later called the police. The police took her statement, listened to the recorded conversation, and then arrested the Defendant. Later, police interrogated the Defendant on video. While the Defendant denied the allegations and denied making any type of confession on recording, his statements to police were somewhat problematic.

        Defendant was facing a sexual battery charge that not only exposed him to a possible 15-year prison sentence, but also a life-time sex offense designation if convicted as charged.

        Given the seriousness of this allegation, Defendant quickly turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help. Partner Larry Meltzer and associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky met with the Defendant several times, reviewed all of the discovery, and began to take depositions of the investigating officers.

        As far as the victim’s story goes, the attorneys knew that there were significant inconsistencies and problems with both her believability as a witness and the reliability of her statements. However, the crux of the case really was the secretly recorded conversation between Defendant and victim.

        In Florida, with some limited exceptions, it is unlawful to record somebody’s private communications without their knowledge and consent. Furthermore, a person’s unlawfully recorded communications and any evidence derived therefrom are not allowed to be used in the prosecution of that person for a crime. Thus, Mr. Dobrinsky prepared and set for a hearing a Motion to Suppress the illegal recording, any testimony of what was said in that recording, and any evidence obtained as a result of that recording, including the police’s interrogation of the Defendant regarding that recording.

        Now, despite the Defendant having given what was basically a recorded statement of guilt, the prosecutor knew her evidence, and case, were in jeopardy. After months of negotiations and depositions, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to a felony battery, a non-sexual offense which would not require sex offense registration. Defendant accepted the deal and pled to the felony battery charge. After serving a short county jail-sentence, Defendant was released onto probation.

        Outcome: Charges REDUCED

      • Charges: Possession of THC

        Facts: The Defendant was found to be in possession of a vape pen allegedly containing liquid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). He was arrested and charged with felony possession of THC. The Defendant, having not yet obtained citizenship in the United States, needed to obtain the best possible result under the circumstances. He turned to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help.

        The search and seizure in the case was valid. There was also little to no argument to be made that the Defendant was in fact in possession of this vape pen that contained the alleged THC. Thus, the one remaining avenue was to challenge the State’s ability to actually prove the contents of the vape pen, specifically the presence of THC.

        To that end, associate attorney Stephan Dobrinsky took the deposition of the Broward Sheriff’s Office drug analyst who tested the evidence in this case. During that deposition, Mr. Dobrinsky got the analyst to confirm certain deficiencies in BSO’s methods. Specifically, that they are not able to say whether this alleged THC originated from a plant or from a synthetic source.

        Thereafter, Mr. Dobrinsky filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that based on the language in the drug possession statutes, and that the State cannot say where this THC originated from, that the State could not possibly prove whether this substance qualifies as “THC” or merely “cannabis,” the latter of which would be merely a misdemeanor.

        On the day that the Motion to Dismiss was set for a hearing, the prosecutor’s office finally agreed to reduce the charge to a mere misdemeanor offense. Defendant was not convicted guilty and received no jail time and only a short county probation sentence. Perhaps most importantly, this outstanding result will help the Defendant’s chances of achieving citizenship status in the United States.

        Outcome: Reduced Charges

      • Charges: Possession of Cannabis

        Case #:19000432MM30A

        Facts:

        Davie police stopped the Defendant and his friend while they were walking around in a gated community at 3AM. The officers claimed they conducted a ‘pat down’ of the Defendant due to concerns for officer safety. Officers then reported that after the pat down, Defendant stated that he had marijuana in his pocket. Pursuant to that alleged statement, officers searched the Defendant and discovered marijuana.

        Outcome: Mr. Dobrinsky filed a Motion to Suppress all evidence and statements, arguing that the police illegally detained the Defendant, and then proceeded to illegally search him as well. In this Motion, the credibility of the police officers involved was significantly called into question. Mr. Dobrinsky had his Motion to Suppress set for an evidentiary hearing. The State Attorney’s Office dismissed the case prior to that hearing.

      • Charges: Possession of Oxycodone with Intent to Deliver
        Possession of Hydrocodone with Intent to Deliver
        Possession of Alprazolam with Intent to Deliver

        Case #:17012401CF10A

        Facts:

        The Defendant was stopped outside of his vehicle by police who were responding to anonymous reports of narcotics dealing pertaining to Defendant’s vehicle. The Defendant consented to a search of his vehicle. During the search, police found significant amounts of narcotics hidden in various areas of the car. Defendant was arrested and charged with three different Second Degree Felony drug possession with intent to distribute charges, which carried a combined maximum possible punishment of 45 years in Florida State Prison. Through diligent and creative investigation, Stephan Dobrinsky obtained various pieces of evidence, such as surveillance footage and anonymous 911 calls, all of which suggested that the narcotics found inside the vehicle were actually planted there without the Defendant’s knowledge or consent. Mr. Dobrinsky provided this evidence to the State Attorney’s Office. He also discussed with the prosecutors the issues they would have proving constructive possession, since Defendant was apprehended outside of the vehicle and there had been more than one recent occupant to the vehicle.

        Outcome: Mr. Dobrinsky was able to convince the State Attorney’s Office to dismiss all charges against the Defendant!

      • Charges: Felony Battery By Strangulation (Domestic)

        Case #:19-007209CF10A

        Facts:

        The Defendant was charged with Felony Domestic Battery by Strangulation, a crime punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. The Defendant’s girlfriend searched his phone and discovered that he was unfaithful. A severe verbal argument ensued, which later became physical after the Defendant’ mother arrived at the home. The defendant’s girlfriend threw her cellphone at the Defendant and the Defendant then punched her and strangled here to the extent that she could not breathe. The Defendant’s girlfriend called 911 and police arrived and began to investigate. Statements were taken from all parties involved, including the Defendant, who admitted to holding her by the neck with his right hand and pushed her to the floor. Several scratches and injuries upon the Defendant’s girlfriend were readily visible to law enforcement. Based upon the Defendant’s admission and the injuries seen by law enforcement, the Defendant was arrested by felony battery by strangulation, a third-degree felony.

        Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained before the state had filed formal charges against the Defendant. The firm immediately went to work and obtained a witness statement from someone who was an eye-witness to the events giving rise to the Defendant’s arrest, who saw the girlfriend as the first aggressor in this incident and was grabbing our client by the hair and our client defending himself from her attack. This witness statement was provided to the filing attorney for the State. Based upon the firm’s efforts in obtaining this witness statement, the State DID NOT file any charges against the Defendant!

      • Charges: Felony Possession Of Controlled Substance and DUI (Second Offense w/in 5)

        Case #:18-023840MU10A

        Facts:

        The Defendant was charged with Felony Possession of Controlled Substance, punishable by 5 years in prison, and Driving Under the Influence, a second DUI offense within five years of a prior DUI conviction which carries a mandatory jail sentence and a five-year driver’s license revocation. The Defendant’s vehicle was stopped by Officer Malave of the Sunrise Police Department for repeatedly stopping and starting his vehicle near an intersection and for violating a flashing yellow light by stopping and remaining stationary at the intersection. Officer Malave approached the vehicle and made contact with the Defendant. Upon making contact with the Defendant, the Officer noticed that the defendant had the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech ; and the Defendant was incapable of formulating complete sentences. The Defendant would nod off in mid-sentence and was completely incoherent at times. After making those observations, Officer Malave, a female called for the assistance of two male officer’s due to the Defendant’s condition and physical size. The male officers loudly ordered the Defendant out of the car on multiple occasions, but the Defendant would not comply. The Officers attempted to forcibly remove the Defendant from the vehicle, but the Defendant resisted those efforts by bracing, pulling and stiffening his body so that the officers could not move him. The Defendant was slammed to the ground, which the officers took as a refusal to perform roadside exercises and then incorrectly read the Defendant implied consent, which only applies to breath tests. Officers noticed that there ere three cans of beer in the vehicle as well. The Defendant was arrested for DUI and was NOT taken to the Breath Testing Facility and DUI Room, but only the Broward County Main Jail. The Defendant was never asked to submit to a breath test. After the Defendant’s arrest, Officers discovered 27 pills located in a tackle box in the Defendant’s vehicle which ultimately were revealed to be anabolic steroids.

        Partner, Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell prepared for trial. During preparation, the firm filed several Motions in Limine (Motions to Exclude Evidence) that asked the court to exclude any reference to roadside exercises or the Defendant’s alleged refusal top perform them as the Defendant was not offered the roadside exercises and, thus, never refused them. Additionally, the court was asked to exclude any mention of a refusal to submit to a breath test or failure to give on as, again, one was never offered. Finally, the court was asked to prohibit the State from discussing the anabolic steroids as such pills, although a controlled substance, are not those of an impairing or intoxicating nature.

        Outcome: After receiving the Motion, the state conceded and was compelled to drop all DUI related charges. Meltzer & Bell was also able to have all felony drug charges dropped as well.

      • Charges: Driving Under the Influence

        Case #:18024321MU10A

        Facts:

        The Defendant was charged with Driving Under the Influence. Officers of the Davie Police Department were alerted by a concerned citizen that our client was leaving The Billiard Club, a pool bar, in an extremely intoxicated state and about to drive. The Officer approached the vehicle as the car was in reverse, ordered the Defendant to stop the vehicle and conducted a wellness check and noticed the Defendant had bloodshot eyes, the odor of an alcoholic beverage, and extremely slurred speech. Based on those observations, the officer asked the Defendant to perform roadside sobriety exercises, to which the defendant refused. The Defendant was placed under arrest for DUI and was asked to submit to a breath test, but, again refused.

        Outcome: Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer and Bell began to prepare for trial and researched case law in an effort to suppress or throw out the stop of the Defendant’s vehicle and all evidence that followed the stop as being unconstitutional and based upon a lack of reasonable suspicion as the Defendant had done nothing to justify her vehicle being stopped. The firm and Mr. Meltzer researched a similar factual scenario in State v. Sliviak in which the stop was suppressed based upon a lack of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in an almost identical situation. This case law was presented to the State prior to trial. Upon receiving it, the State agreed and dropped the DUI charge.

      • Charges: Trafficking THC and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell

        Case #:185235CF10A

        Facts:

        The Defendant was charged with Trafficking in THC and Possession of Marijuana with intent to deliver. The Trafficking charges were punishable by a 15 year minimum / mandatory prison sentence. The Defendant was being investigated by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for Possession of Cocaine with intent to Sell and Trafficking in THC. Broward Authorities met with the Defendant During the Palm Beach investigation and obtained verbal consent to search his residence for any illegal drugs. The Defendant accompanied law enforcement back to his residence to conduct the search and gave his full consent to search the entirety of his home. The Defendant directed the authorities to his garage which contained 3,165 grams of fresh marijuana, 2,205 grams of THC Extract Wax; 7,415 grams of THC oil vape pens among other drug related items. The Defendant admitted Post-Miranda that all of the drugs found in the house were his; he was selling them for profit and that he had approximately $50,000.00 in cash that were drug-related proceeds in his closet. The evidence was concrete and overwhelmingly against our client. He was basically dealing drugs out of his home for a living in trafficking amounts. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. began investigating the case and doing everything possible to prevent and mitigate the imposition of the 15 year minimum/mandatory sentence from being imposed.

        Outcome: After all was said and done Meltzer & Bell’s work resulted in only 90 days in Broward County Jail for our client followed by a 6 year term of supervision. If convicted, our client would have received anywhere from 15 to 30 years in prison, but thanks to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. he did not.

      • Charges: Violation of Probation

        Case #: 15001671CF10A

        Facts:

        While on probation for Aggravated Battery, the Defendant was arrested on three separate occasions in two different counties. The arrests were for misdemeanor domestic battery, driving on a suspended license with leaving the scene of an accident, and felony drug possession. In total, there were seven different allegations as to how he violated his probation. The Defendant was facing a minimum sentence of nearly 3 years in prison, and a potential maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. To make matters worse, he was being held in jail without the possibility of bond.

        Outcome: Stephan Dobrinsky worked swiftly and diligently on the case so to devise a plan that would avoid any prison time and get the Defendant reinstated on his probation and released from jail. Despite the numerous violations, the Defendant was soon released from custody and reinstated on his probation. The new misdemeanor domestic battery was dropped.

      • Charges: DUI Enhanced with Breath Result over a .15

        Case #:18-xxxxxxxxx

        Facts:

        The Defendant was charged with Driving under the Influence (Enhanced) with a breath alcohol content over a .15 and proceeded to trial on June 16-17, 2019.  The Defendant was observed by Officer Del Pino of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department  carelessly exiting a McDonalds parking lot in the City of Fort Lauderdale by cutting across three lanes of traffic and causing other vehicles on the road to hit their brakes on short notice. The Defendant thereafter headed North proceeded to a turning lane featuring a flashing red arrow where she stopped and disobeyed the traffic signal when it had turned green. While stopped at the green light, Officer Del Pino continued to observe our client as she consumed a cheeseburger while the light remained green. The client failed to see the officer who was stopped right next to her in his fully marked patrol vehicle. Our client eventually proceeded through the green light and was followed by Officer Del Pino and eventually stopped by him. Prior to stopping her vehicle, our client failed to pullover right away and once she pulled into a parking lot failed to fully stop her vehicle until ordered to do so  by Officer Del Pino. Officer Del Pino made contact with our client and noticed that she had the odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was slow and lethargic in her movements. Our client also admitted to consuming three glasses of wine prior to driving. Based on these observations, Officer Del Pino called Officer Jason Carter, a member of the DUI Task Force for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to conduct a DUI investigation consisting of three roadside sobriety exercises, among other things, that are scientifically validated to detect impairment in suspected DUI drivers. The roadside exercises were done  in front of the Officers’ Body Worn Camera. The first exercise was the HGN Test which is used to detect impairment by alcohol by observing movements of the eyes. During that exercise our clients eyes failed to smoothly pursue the Officers “pen” during the exercises and demonstrated nystagmus, both of which indicated the client was impaired by alcohol and her alcohol content was above the legal limit. The next exercise was the walk and turn exercise. During that exercise, our client started before she was supposed to, failed to touch heel to toe on multiple steps as instructed; raised her arms more than six inches for balance; turned improperly, and took an incorrect number of steps despite confirming with the officer on video that she was supposed to only take 9 steps up and back immediately before beginning the exercise. The last exercise was the one leg stand during which our client counted incorrectly, placed her foot down on more than one occasion, raised her arms for balance and generally appeared impaired while on video. The Defendant was then arrested for DUI and was requested to submit to a breath test. Prior to ultimately consenting to the breath test, our client repeated the same questions to Officer Carter about the consequences of refusing the test for approximately 45 minutes. After finally deciding to submit to a breath test, the Defendant’s result turned out to be over twice the legal limit .161 g/210L  and .162g/210L.

        Despite the perceived nature and strength of the evidence against our client, Partner, Lawrence Meltzer of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. proceeded to trial. During trial, Attorney Meltzer masterfully cross-examined the Officer Carter as to her observations and as to the Defendant’s performance on roadside exercises and was able to illicit testimony from him that he actually doubted the Defendant’s intoxylizer results and that statement was actually captured on his own body worn camera. Additionally, Attorney Meltzer, confronted the Broward Sherriff’s Office Intoxylizer Maintenance Technician with the Sheriff’s Office’s own records demonstrating that that the intoxylizer was not working properly on the day it was tested for use during the calendar month of my client’s breath test. More specifically,  Meltzer & Bell demonstrated through diligent research of the maintenance records that the machine that our client blew into indicated there were five different log-ins during testing within a 13-minute period and that said machine was tested simultaneously and in the same manner as another intoxylizer that reflected only one log-in through the entire testing cycle. The maintenance technician claimed that the reasons for the multiple log-ins were because the machine “timed out” when she was compelled  to walk away from the machine to tend to some other unidentified duty or duties. Attorney Meltzer argued to the jury that the multiple log-ins indicated the machine was defective and the maintenance technician was not credible as to her claim the machine was in compliance based upon the fact that both machines being tested should have had multiple log-ins if she had to walk away from them both.

        Outcome: The Defendant was found NOT GUILTY by a jury!!!! This was Mr. Meltzer’s 257th win at trial in regards to DUI!!!!

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