Orlando, FL (PRWEB) June 23, 2012
21 year old Ashley Anderson offered a state trooper a bribe of $3,000 to get out of a DUI arrest Thursday, as filed in case No. 2012-CF-008120-A-O. The alleged offer, possibly made in desperation to avoid an arrest and possibly even a suspended driver's license, was rejected on the spot. According to news source the Orlando Sentinel, not only did it not have the intended effect of buying Anderson her freedom, but it's added another charge to her arrest, case number 2012-CT-005992-A-O in Orlando court records. Florida Criminal Defense Attorney David Katz says it may have been the absolute worst move she could make for her DUI case.
Anderson was originally pulled over for speeding without any signs of erratic driving, according to state troopers. And although the arresting officer's report states she smelled like alcohol, she declined to take sobriety tests or a breath test, which Katz says could have left the arresting officers with relatively little evidence – but the bribe offer makes her case much more complicated.
“Bribing is illegal on its own,” said Katz, a defense lawyer at Katz and Phillips, PA. “On top of that, offering a bribe makes it look like you're guilty. Why would you try to bribe your way out if you weren't actually breaking the law in the first place? It's not conclusive, but it's how a court will look at it.”
Katz says that there are much safer ways to respond if suspected of driving drunk. “The best thing to do is cooperate. If an officer truly suspects you're drunk you'll be going to jail for the night. An attorney, not a bribe, is your best chance.”
Anderson allegedly offered the cash twice during her arrest, and now faces a felony bribery charge along with the DUI. Troopers say they warned her once after the initial bribe offer.
About David Katz:
David S. Katz is a founding partner at Orlando-based defense firm Katz & Phillips, PA. Formerly he served as the Seminole County Intoxilyzer Specialist and has trained prosecutors in DUI trial skills. Katz has helped suppress breath test results in hundreds of cases, and regularly teaches seminars and Continuing Legal Education classes on DUI defense strategy. Katz can be reached at 321-332-6864.