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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

        • 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: 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 #: 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: 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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