Judge Grants Motion to Suppress All Evidence in DUI Case; Charges Completely Dismissed

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Florida DUI defense attorney AnneMarie Rizzo of the law firm Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins recently argued a successful motion to suppress evidence that resulted in a complete dismissal of DUI charges against her client.

DUI charges were dismissed recently for a client of Florida criminal and DUI defense law firm Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins, due to a successful motion to suppress evidence argued by lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo.

According to court documents, a 911 call was made by a concerned citizen reporting a vehicle parked on the roadway near their home with a man inside, passed out behind the wheel. Firemen and paramedics from the Sarasota County Fire Department were the first responders on the scene. After making contact with the driver and believing him to be impaired, they removed his keys so that he was unable to leave the scene.

According to court documents, the first of three North Port police officers arrived at the scene. Upon investigation, the officer decided that a police officer trained in DUI stops should evaluate the driver, and called for one of the department’s DUI officers to respond. Fire department personnel then left the scene, as there were no medical issues. The DUI officer, who is also a trained Drug Recognition Expert, arrived and evaluated the driver, administering a series of field sobriety tests. Believing the driver to be impaired because of poor performance on these tests, the DUI officer arrested him and transported him to jail. He was administered a breath test which registered a blood alcohol level of .254, nearly three times the legal limit.

The driver, who also had a previous DUI conviction, immediately retained DUI defense lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins. Ms. Rizzo began her own investigation of the incident, taking depositions of all parties, including the firemen and paramedics who responded to the scene. She recognized several legal issues with the case and filed a motion to suppress all evidence.

According to court documents, prior to the motion hearing, the prosecutor’s office offered to resolve the case, but the offer was unacceptable to Ms. Rizzo’s client and he declined. At the hearing, Attorney Rizzo argued the legal issues of the case and the judge, after weighing the arguments from both parties, agreed that the defendant’s constitutional rights had been violated by the police and granted the motion that all evidence collected in the case would be suppressed. The case against the defendant was then dismissed.

AnneMarie Rizzo

A former Assistant State Attorney, Florida criminal and DUI defense lawyer AnneMarie Rizzo has earned a reputation as a passionate and aggressive client advocate. 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, 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 http://www.fightyourdui.com.

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