...the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, acquitting Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins’ client of all charges.
Sarasota, Florida (PRWEB) March 25, 2013
Criminal and DUI defense lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo recently won an acquittal at trial for her client, who was charged with driving under the influence.
According to the court documents, the 60-year-old driver was stopped by a Sarasota Sheriff’s department deputy for driving erratically. The deputy observed an odor of alcohol and bloodshot, watery eyes, and the driver admitting to splitting a bottle of wine over dinner with a friend. A deputy from the department’s special DUI unit was called in to assist with the roadside investigation.
The deputy’s report shows that he performed the Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze test on the driver and noted all six clues that, based upon his training in this field sobriety test, would indicate that blood alcohol levels were over the legal limit. The driver performed additional field sobriety tests as requested, upon which the deputy believed that she did poorly. She was arrested for DUI and transported to the jail, where she gave breath test samples 90 minutes after her arrest, showing levels of .077 and .069. These are under the legal limit. At this point the deputy requested a urine test to check for the presence of drugs, and the defendant complied. The test results were negative for drugs in the driver’s system.
The defendant was referred to Attorney AnneMarie Rizzo at the offices of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins by former clients of Ms. Rizzo. Once retained in the case, Attorney Rizzo maintained her client’s innocence adamantly, mounted an investigation and defense, and scheduled the case for trial.
According to the court documents, the State Attorney’s office retained the services of an expert witness for trial, Patrick Murphy, a forensic toxicologist with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Mr. Murphy was retained to perform retrograde extrapolation of the breath test data, an application of scientific theory attempting to relate the defendant’s alcohol test results back to the time of arrest to prove that she was legally drunk while driving. Prior to trial, Attorney Rizzo filed a motion to exclude the testimony of this witness for the State, based upon his lack of qualifications and foundation to assert this scientific theory. The State strongly argued the relevance of Mr. Murphy’s testimony and qualifications; however, upon conclusion of Ms. Rizzo’s cross-examination of Murphy, the judge decided without hearing further arguments to exclude this testimony of the State’s scientific theory from the case. After hearing the facts of the case and the arguments of both Attorney Rizzo and the prosecutor, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, acquitting Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins’ client of all charges.
A former Assistant State Attorney, Florida criminal and DUI defense lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo has extensive trial experience, earning a reputation as an zealous and aggressive client advocate. Currently rated “Superior” (10 out of 10) by independent lawyer rating service Avvo.com, she has trained law enforcement officers and prosecutors across the state of Florida regarding evidence-based prosecution and trial advocacy in the areas of criminal traffic and domestic violence. A graduate of University of Florida and University of Florida Levin College of Law, Ms. Rizzo now works with Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins on the criminal defense side, protecting the rights of clients.
Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins
Founded in 2004, Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins is a Florida criminal defense law firm. Its team of aggressive attorneys fights cases involving DUI, license suspensions, drug charges, juvenile offenses, battery and other crimes. Telephone calls are answered seven days a week, and case consultations are free. The firm has offices throughout Florida in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando and Clearwater. For more information about the firm and criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Rizzo, call 1-800-FIGHT-IT or http://www.fightyoursarasotadui.com