Persistence Pays Off for Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins DUI Defense Attorney AnneMarie Rizzo, Convincing State Attorney to Reduce DUI Charges to Reckless Driving for Client

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A client of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins, arrested for DUI, had charges recently reduced to reckless driving by the State due to efforts by DUI defense lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo.

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DUI Lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo

The prosecutor refused multiple times, but Attorney Rizzo persisted, not taking no for an answer.

Florida DUI and criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Rizzo of the law firm of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins recently persuaded prosecutors to reduce DUI charges against her client to reckless driving, with no formal conviction.

According to court documents, the driver was stopped by a deputy with the Sarasota Sheriff’s office DUI squad after he was observed weaving and speeding through Siesta Key Village, a retail area. The deputy, trained in DUI arrest procedures, observed signs of impairment: odor of alcohol, slurred speech, red face and bloodshot, watery eyes. The deputy reported that the driver fumbled when asked to locate the required documents, and was slow to act and lethargic.

The driver admitted to drinking 3 beers at a local bar. At this point, the deputy performed a horizontal nystagmus exercise (a field sobriety test) and noted that she observed all 6 clues of impairment, along with vertical gaze nystagmus. The driver refused to perform all other field sobriety tests. The deputy then made an arrest for DUI and the defendant was transported to jail, where he refused to perform a breath alcohol test.

The defendant called Attorney AnneMarie Rizzo at the offices of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins and retained her for representation in the case. Attorney Rizzo investigated the case thoroughly, and, due to legal issues in the case, asked the State Attorney’s office several times to reduce the charges to reckless driving. The prosecutor refused multiple times, but Attorney Rizzo persisted, not taking no for an answer. On the Friday evening before Monday morning jury selection, the prosecutor conceded and agreed to reduce the DUI charges against Ms. Rizzo’s client to reckless driving with no formal conviction, leaving the client the option to seal the record.

For more information from the attorneys at Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins about DUI traffic stops and field sobriety tests, go to:

AnneMarie Rizzo
A former Assistant State Attorney, Florida criminal and DUI defense lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo has earned a reputation as a zealous and aggressive client advocate through extensive trial experience. Rated “Superior” (10 out of 10) by independent lawyer rating service, 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. For additional information about DUI and criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Rizzo, go to

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, sex crimes, 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 go to


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