State v. J.J.; Case No: 562019CT000783 (St. Lucie County)
DUI and Criminal Traffic
St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office
Our client was pulled over at 2:30am near Midway Road in St. Lucie County. She was alleged to have violated the 'Move Over Law' and for taking an illegal right turn on a red light. The deputy who pulled her over smelled alcohol on our clients breath and testified that she stumbled as she exited her truck. He decided to call the deputy who specialized in DUI enforcement for St. Lucie County and who is considered a "drug recognition expert" which under Florida law permits him to testify to the involuntary jerking of someone's eyes also referred to as nystagmus. This deputy put our client through a variety of field sobriety exercises and he determined "based on his expertise" that our client was impaired. We disagreed. So we set it for trial and made a number of arguments. For one, we vigorously cross examined the deputy on the validity of using nystagmus to make a reliable determination as to alcohol intoxication. Secondly, we argued that the field sobriety exercises that were conducted were also not a fair way to determine whether or not our client was impaired. The entire encounter was video taped and the deputy made a few crucial errors during his administration of the field sobriety exercises. Because we have thoroughly reviewed the exact training manual (NHTSA) that the deputy learned from during his education we were able to cross examine him and expose his mistakes to the jury. After a two and a half hour deliberation the jury returned with its verdict. Needless to say, the prosecution teams reaction after the verdict was read was nothing short of shocked. NOT GUILTY.