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03 Feb 2014

 

State Drops DUI Based on Lack of Proof of Actual Physical Control

The Defendant, Ajax Monroe (not his real name), was arrested for this DUI on 12/12/12. The

underlying charge had, allegedly, occurred on 8/14/11. Ajax was hospitalized as a result of the

accident. He was arrested on a warrant.

Ajax retained Jeffrey H. Garland on 4/9/13 to represent him in connection with this matter, not being

fully satisfied with the way the case had been previously going. Attorney Garland immediately

requested medical records from the hospital; ambulance records from the St. Lucie County Fire

District; and detailed photographs of the pickup truck involved in the single-vehicle accident.

The State’s theory of prosecution was fairly simple. There was another individual at the accident

scene who was barely injured. He denied that he was driving the vehicle. The State was perfectly

willing to believe that individual’s story, because a shoe was found on the driver’s side floorboard.

The prosecutor reasoned that the location of the shoe corroborated the “witness’s” story.

Attorney Garland discovered that the ambulance “run report” showed that Ajax was found half in

and half out of the passenger side of the pickup truck. His head was on the ground. The records

showed that Ajax was unconscious, and that he remained unconscious en route to the hospital. The

paramedic report demonstrated that Ajax was unconscious for an extended period of time due to

injuries sustained in the collision. The paramedic also reported that Ajax was only wearing one shoe.

The other shoe was found on the driver’s side floorboard.

The prosecutor asserted that Ajax was simply trying to get out of the pickup truck, because the

driver’s door was “jammed” shut. The pickup truck had suffered devastating damage as a result of

the rollover accident. The prosecutor was never able to reconcile his theory with the facts. How

could Ajax move to get out of the truck when he was struck unconscious by the force of the impact?

Hospital records showed both head and ankle injuries.

While the DUI case was pending against Ajax, the witness was arrested for statutory rape, then

sentenced to prison. The State could choose between trying the DUI with the testimony of a

convicted child molester, or without the child molester’s testimony.

Months passed after St. Lucie DUI Attorney Garland provided the medical and ambulance records to the

prosecution. The State finally decided to drop all charges by filing a nolle prosequi on 1/14/14.

 

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