Garland Discovers Erroneous Driving History Entry/Bureau Of Administrative Review Corrects Error/Client Receives Driving Permit
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 that his license was suspended for 18 months with no eligibility for a permit. T. L. advised Attorney Garland that he had, in fact, provided a breath sample during the 2006 DUI arrest.
Attorney Garland obtained certified records from the Broward County Clerk of Court which confirmed the client’s story, to wit: he had actually blown and been cited for unlawful breath alcohol.
Based upon this information, Attorney Garland went to the Fort Pierce BAR to correct the erroneous entry. Much to its credit, the BAR did agree that the 2006 entry was erroneous and immediately corrected the records.
Attorney Garland secured a certified copy of the corrected driving history. He presented the corrected driving history to the Okeechobee County Prosecutor. The plea agreement was appropriately reduced to the mandatory minimum sentence for a second DUI conviction within 5 years. There would be no additional charge for refusing to submit to testing after a prior refusal. T.L. would be eligible for a driving permit after serving the first 12 months of the 5 year Driver License Suspension.
Moral: Driving histories should not be accepted at face value. They often contain errors and omissions. These errors can sometimes be exploited to secure a lesser sentence, avoid a driver license suspension, or to secure issuance of a permit. In T.L.’s case the prosecutor had been seeking a much longer jail sentence because of the record showing a prior refusal. Thankfully, the plea offer was reduced to the minimum after the driving history was corrected. T.L. would become eligible for a driving permit much sooner because the error was corrected.