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.