The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.

2500 Rhode Island Avenue
Suite B
Fort Pierce, FL 34947

Call Now For A Personalized Case Evaluation

(772) 489-2200

The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.

DUI Cases

  • October 10, 2017

Julie Banner (not her real name) retained Port Saint Lucie criminal defense Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland for her appeal. She had been convicted of DUI and sentenced, among other things, to 120 days in St. Lucie County’s Crossbar Hilton. She was not a happy camper. Attorney Garland moved for an appeal bond to secure Banner’s release pending appeal. An appeal bond was denied on the grounds that there was supposedly no reasonable likelihood of success on appeal. Attorney Garland appealed the trial court’s denial of appeal bond and was again given a “thumbs down”. Although the trial and appeal courts denied appeal bond, the conviction was reversed on 5/23/17. The appeal tribunal found that St. Lucie County Judge Yacucci had improperly excluded a defense expert witness. Funny how an appeal bond was denied because there were supposedly no grounds for…Read More

  • June 6, 2017

Julie Banner (not her real name) was convicted of DUI at a jury trial in St. Lucie County. Judge Yacucci sentenced Banner to 120 days in jail. St. Lucie County DUI defense Attorney Jeffrey Garland was retained to pursue the appeal. Garland immediately moved for stay of sentence and an appeal bond. Judge Yacucci denied the motion on the basis that the appeal was not taken in good faith on grounds fully debatable. Judge Yacucci did, however, mitigate the sentence by 30 days. Banner was compelled to stay in jail to “serve out” the balance of the jail sentence. Garland appealed the denial of appeal bond, but that appeal was denied. Banner was resolved to challenge the unjust conviction, even though she was forced to endure a 90- day jail sentence, and to complete all probationary requirements. The appeal focused…Read More

  • July 26, 2016

Tugboat Captain’s Coast Guard License Saved Via Motion to Correct Sentencing Error Tugboat Captain’s Coast Guard License Saved Via Motion to Correct Sentencing Error Blaine Masters (not his real name) was charged with felony DWLS. After paying for not one, but two other lawyers, he plead out to the felony and got “just” 120 days in jail with no probation. He was adjudicated guilty of the felony. After learning what would happen to his license to operate tugboats, Blaine consulted with Attorney Jeffrey Garland. After a cursory review of the discovery and driving history, Garland realized that there was no legal basis for the felony charge: Blaine was guilty of only a 60-day misdemeanor. Garland filed a Motion to Correct Sentencing Error on 7/13/16 – just eight days after Blaine was sentenced. The State agreed that the sentence was illegal.…Read More

  • March 24, 2015

Rodney Rockaway (not his real name) was arrested for DUI and possession of cannabis under 20grams on 10/20/13 by the special investigations unit (SIU) of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Officeand by Officer Michael Acevedo of the Fort Pierce Police Department. Initially, Rockaway “wentwith” the public defender’s office. Later on, he retained Jeffrey H. Garland on 2/25/14. After obtaining discovery, Attorney Garland filed a motion with Judge Kathryn Nelson seeking to obtain an authorization for issuance of a subpoena duces tecum to the laboratory for testing records. Judge Nelson granted the motion on 5/2/14. The laboratory was Wuesthoff Reference Laboratory, which is located in Melbourne, Florida. The documents requested from Wuesthoff Reference Laboratory included the “laboratory procedure” for cannabis testing. Page 7 of the provided materials explained that a single urinalysis is insufficient to establish impairment: A single positive urine…Read More

  • February 3, 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…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

Following his January 31, 2007 arrest, BMH immediately retained Jeffrey H. Garland for his DUI and administrative suspension arising out of the DUI arrest. Attorney Garland immediately made a public records request to the DHSMV for the documents relating to the administrative suspension. Upon review of these documents, it was determined that BMH had been mirandized before he was read implied consent. A strategic decision was made, therefore, to subpoena both officers involved in the arrest to the formal review hearing. An affidavit was prepared for the clients execution. The clients affidavit echoed the information in the police reports, to-wit: Upon being advised of his Miranda rights, BMH specifically requested to speak with an attorney. BMHs affidavit specified that none of the law enforcement officers involved clarified the conflict between the Miranda advisement and the implied consent warning. Consequently, BMH…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

CW was charged with DUI causing property damage arising out of an accident on November 27, 2006, in Sebastian, Indian River County, Florida. Witnesses told police that CWs full-size Chevrolet pickup began to fishtail after she pulled away from a traffic light on U.S. 1. There was a light rain, and the road was wet at the time of the incident. It had just turned dark. CW nearly regained control of the vehicle, but it sideswiped a telephone pole. Although the impact was sufficient to break the pole, the pickup remained operable. CW pulled the vehicle off the road at the next intersection. When CW got out to inspect the damage, her dog also slipped out. The dog was, apparently, confused by the impact and the new surroundings. The dog wandered away. An Indian River County Deputy arrived at the…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

PMC was driving a motorcycle on November 20, 2004, at about 10:35 P.M. He had the misfortune of colliding with the rear of a vehicle at a stoplight-controlled intersection. Subsequently, PMC was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, Florida, for treatment. At the hospital, a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) trooper arranged for a legal draw of PMCs blood. Attorney Garlands investigation initially focused on the blood test results. In its discovery materials, the State provided only two pages. One page simply concluded that the blood-alcohol concentration was 0.166 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The second page was a chain of custody which showed the date and time of receipt by the Indian River Crime Laboratory. The defense investigation needed much more laboratory data in order to evaluate the blood testing procedure. The defense moved…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

On September 9, 2008, St. Lucie County Circuit Judge Larry Schack entered an order suppressing a blood sample from use in the Pye case. The State subsequently dropped all 16 counts on October 1, 2008. The circumstances of this suppression are outlined in a separate article. See DUI cases. The DUI article addresses the suppression issue, but other issues which were important to the resolution of the case as well. The blood tests were suppressed by order of the court due to the fact that the client was misled regarding the need to give blood where there was no probable cause. The court found that the consent to give blood was coerced. Each of the troopers at the scene were asked whether they observed any evidence of impairment by drugs or alcohol. Each of the troopers responded that they did…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

DRM was arrested on March 21, 2008. She was charged with DUI and refusal to submit to testing. The case arose out of a single car accident. DRM had been convicted for a DUI occurring less than two years before. She had also refused to “blow” in the previous DUI. The refusal to blow after a previous refusal can, under certain circumstances, constitute a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. In addition, the driver license would be revoked for a period of 18 months. The refusal charge “ups the ante” in connection with the defense of these types of charges. The DUI charge was a second offense which, among other things, carried a minimum mandatory 10 days in jail and a 5-year license revocation. DRM was just 25 years old and had three…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

NRB was arrested for DUI on February 10, 2008. PSLPD Officer Jennifer Cuty also charged NRB with a criminal refusal to submit to testing after a previous refusal resulting in a suspension. 316.1939(1), Fla. Stat. In this case, the State sought four months county jail on the refusal charge. NRB was highly motivated to avoid such a jail sentence, as would be most persons facing similar time. NRB located Jeffrey H. Garland through the Treasure Coast DUI Defense Group. Upon being retained, Attorney Garland jumped in to search for evidence to contradict the affidavit of refusal to submit to breath, urine, or blood test. Officer Cuty executed the refusal affidavit. In so doing, Officer Cuty swore to the following statement: “I did inform said person that he or she commits a misdemeanor, if said person refuses to submit to a…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

State v. EHB, St. Lucie County Case No. 562008CT000264A On January 20, 2008, Port St. Lucie Police Officer Jennifer Cuty arrested EHB for DUI. She also notified the drivers license office that EHB had blown a .152 and .146 on the Intoxylizer 8000. Officer Cuty portrayed a case of overwhelming guilt, a claim which would completely unravel under close scrutiny. Shortly after her arrest, EHB contacted the Treasure Coast DUI Defense Group website, through which she retained Jeffrey H. Garland. A cursory examination of the arrest affidavit suggested an obvious DUI. Officer Cuty asserted that EHB made a wide turn from Port St. Lucie Boulevard northbound onto U.S. Highway 1. She asserted that EHB was driving 10 mph below the speed limit, was weaving within her lane, and that her car twice crossed lane markers. At that point, Officer Cuty…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

SM was charged by Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC) with DWLS in St. Lucie County on July 25, 2007.  The ticket and accompanying report showed that SM was driving on the Turnpike to a family event in Fort Lauderdale.  He was residing in Orlando at the time. The trooper alleged that SM was driving on a suspended license, because his license were suspended on June 16, 2007, in connection with a DUI in Orange County.  SM had retained an Orange County attorney to handle the DUI case.  That attorney promptly requested formal review of the suspension.  The drivers license office had issued a temporary driving permit on July 6, 2007, which expired on August 7, 2007.  This permit was restricted to business purposes only. The defense conceded that attending a family event is not an activity which would be authorized under…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

MPD was arrested for DUI with property damage on December 24, 2007, at 5:07 P.M.  This was not to be the Christmas Eve that he had hoped for.  The stockings were not hung by the chimney with care at St. Lucie Countys Cross Bar Hilton. Police were dispatched to a single car accident in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  No one was in the car when Port St. Lucie Police Officer Jennifer Cuty arrived. Officer Cuty met with MPD who admitted driving the car.  According to Officer Cutys report, MPD said he took the turn too fast and hit the light pole.  As she was speaking with MPD, Officer Cuty said she smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage.  She described MPDs speech as mumbled and slurred; his balance poor to the point of falling over; eyes watery and bloodshot; and…Read More

  • October 4, 2012

On August 10, 2007, KWR was arrested by the Vero Beach Police Department for DUI. The police alleged that KWR walked across a bar parking lot to get in his vehicle, then ran a stop sign. Still, the police did not make a stop. They waited for KWR to drive several miles to a Burger King. After KWR had left the drive-thru, a VBPD car fell in behind him. Following his arrest, KWR retained Jeffrey H. Garland to represent him in connection with the DUI and the formal review hearing. The defense investigation would later document that the stop sign was twisted about 30 dgrees, perhaps due to hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The stop sign, as a result, no longer reflected light from an approaching car and was, effectively, invisible at night. The investigation also established that the driveway…Read More

  • September 25, 2012

RKG (not real initials) was employed as a deputy sheriff. On June 1, 2005, he was arrested on felony warrants charging prescription fraud and doctor shopping. The next day, he retained Jeffrey H. Garland. On July 21, 2005, the State formally charged doctor shopping by failing to disclose information. The alleged criminal act occurred on May 18, 2004. The defense investigation uncovered cell phone records which proved that RKG called the dentist’s after-hours telephone number. The same records demonstrated that the dentist called RKG back. After this telephone conference, RKG went to a hospital emergency room for treatment. The defense investigation established that RKG truthfully and completely disclosed his health care providers to the emergency room personnel. The defendant was given a prescription for a controlled substance by the emergency room, but only after full disclosure. RKG, two days later,…Read More

  • September 25, 2012

Jeffrey H. Garland was retained by Walter Rothe for BUI Manslaughter and felony BUI charges which arose from a July 31, 2005 boating accident. The case was extensively litigated on both blood alcohol testing and causation. Attorney Garland has authored a synopsis of the information developed in the Rothe case relative to blood alcohol testing. The synopsis refers to “ethanol” which is the correct chemical name of the type of alcohol generally consumed in alcoholic beverages. There are many different types of “alcohols” in the sense the chemists use the term. There are important chemical differences between these alcohols. Robert Parsons is a criminalist at the Indian River Crime Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida. He is permitted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to forensically test blood for ethanol content. Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., is an expert witness who…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

The 19th Circuit  State Attorney’s office has a practice of not notifying defendants, their lawyers, or the misdemeanor court when the State chooses to “upfile” a misdemeanor DWLS charge to a felony. It is not known why the State persists in this practice, which Attorney Garland has observed over the course of many years. Common sense suggests that the State would either want to give notice in order to avoid a speedy trial dismissal or to have the defendant arrested on the “capias” for the more serious felony charge. In this case, D.U. was issued a citation for DWLS on July 1, 2011. The citation constituted a notice to appear for a criminal violation, because it required her to appear for arraignment on a specific date, to-wit: July 19, 2011, at 8:30 A.M., before Judge Nelson at the St. Lucie…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

In this unusual and fact sensitive case, J.L. (not his real initials) was at the Pier 2 bar, which is located aside Lake Okeechobee just south of Okeechobee City. According to Deputy Gracie’s arrest affidavit, a bouncer reported seeing J.L. pull his pickup truck forward, thereby striking a tree. Based on this, Deputy Gracie responded to the scene, performed the usual tests, and arrested J.L. for DUI. Deputy Gracie never observed J.L. in a motor vehicle. J.L. was transported to the Okeechobee County Jail, where he refused to provide a breath test. He did, reportedly, admit to drinking four or five beers, but denied being involved in an accident or driving a vehicle. Shortly after his arrest, J.L. retained Jeffrey H. Garland to handle the DUI. The initial investigation established that there was absolutely no damage either to the pickup…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

JAB was cited for DWLS with knowledge by a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Deputy on March 17, 2008.  JAB attempted to explain that he was driving for work-related purposes and, in fact, showed the Deputy a restricted license issued by the Bureau of Administrative Review pending the outcome of his formal review hearing. JAB had previously been arrested for DUI with injury and property damage.  The new arrest for DWLS would violate the terms of his pre-trial release and could have resulted in his being returned to jail without bond. He would then have languished in jail until his underlying DUI case was disposed of. If the prospect of returning to jail without bond were not problem enough, JAB was faced with the prospect of losing eligibility for a restricted license for a period of one year if he was…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

B.J.W. (not his real initials) was arrested for DUI in Okeechobee City on November 13, 2010. His driver’s license was taken from him when he allegedly refused to submit to breath testing. The Formal Review Hearing took place on December 28, 2010. At this hearing the Defense offered no evidence and called no witnesses because Attorney Garland had identified defects in the documentation. The principle defects had to do with improper notarizations and/or police attestations. The “arrest summary report”, for example, contained an illegible signature. It was impossible to determine whether the scrawl belonged to a law enforcement officer. Although a law enforcement officer may attest to a document, the signature must show the name of the officer and his status as an officer. In this case the illegible scrawl did not establish either the name or status. The scrawl…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

T.L. (not real initials) was arrested for DUI in Okeechobee County on 9/19/10. The stop of T.L.’s vehicle was “good” because he was driving far in excess of the speed limit. T.L. refused to submit to the breath test after his arrest and after appropriate implied consent warnings were given. Shortly thereafter, T.L. retained Jeffrey H. Garland. T.L. had been arrested for DUI on 12/3/06 in Broward County. He subsequently plead no contest to that charge and was sentenced to first offender penalties. Attorney Garland discovered, however, that the driving history erroneously showed that T.L. had refused to submit to breath testing during the course of the 12/3/06 DUI arrest. The Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) upheld a suspension for T.L.’s refusal to submit to testing in the 9/19/10 arrest. As a result of the erroneous entry, T.L. was told…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

B.A. was arrested for DUI in the early morning hours of October 11, 2009, in the parking area of Fort Pierce’s South Beach Jetty Park. According to the Arrest Affidavit, B.A. was “sleeping” in the driver’s seat. SLCSO Deputy Benjamin Deblieck said that the driver had difficulty awakening, had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, and failed all standardized field sobriety tests. Dep. Deblieck placed B.A. under arrest and transported him to the St. Lucie County Jail. At the jail, B.A. refused to submit to a breath test. Attorney Jeffrey Garland immediately filed for a formal review hearing. The challenge: the suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test. Attorney Garland subpoenaed no witnesses to the hearing. The hearing officer was required to base his ruling upon the documents submitted by the arresting officer. Attorney Garland moved to…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

J.W.B. was arrested for DUI on April 2, 2009. He retained Jeffrey H. Garland one week later. J.W.B. was arrested for DUI on an isolated stretch of rural road in St. Lucie County. Police responded to a call from a nearby resident who wondered why a car was stopped at approximately 2:30 A.M. at the end of the caller’s driveway. In any DUI case, the State must prove that the accused was in “actual physical control of a motor vehicle”. In this case, the initial responding deputy, David Leigh, could place J.W.B. behind the wheel, but did not actually see J.W.B. drive. Garland identified actual physical control as the primary issue in the case. The defense investigation established that the car had a “shredded tire”, which would have made driving the car nearly impossible. However, “nearly impossible” would not have…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

D.E.O. was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) on March 13, 2007. He promptly retained Jeffrey H. Garland to represent him in connection with the matter. The case was initially prosecuted as a misdemeanor via a “citation”, which acted as the charging document. The defense was well aware that the BUI charge might be “upgraded” to a felony, because the Defendant had two prior DUI convictions. There was also the possibility of additional charges stemming from a minor boating accident. The misdemeanor case was set for trial on Thursday, May 24, 2007. Whether the case could be tried at that time, or pled out, was unknown. The defense strategy was not to waive speedy trial, because the first misdemeanor docket call fell just 18 days before expiration of the misdemeanor speedy trial period. Once the 90-day misdemeanor speedy trial…Read More

Page 1 of 2:12»