June 2011 Updates

1-car accident kills 1, injures 2

Image by steeleman204 via Flickr

Demchenko v. State, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 496 (5th Jud. Cir., Feb 18, 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed/Discharged – DUI motion to suppress denied (J. Donna Miller).  Appellate court found that requirements  in s. 901.15 F.S. where not satisfied to provide exceptions to warrant requirement.  Driver first seen in parking lot of fast food restaurant passed out behind wheel.  Employee of restaurant approached with keys to automobile in hand.  Not all elements of crime where witnessed by arresting officer. Compare Bonett v. State, 6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 547a (18th Jud. Cir., Jun 7, 1999)(tooting my own horn).

Gadson v. DHSMV, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. (7th Jud. Cir., Dec 29, 2010): Writ of Certiorari Granted – DHSMV tries to retroactively permanently revoke a persons driving privilege for a 1988 DUI manslaughter based on a 1996 amended statute.  Court says “no.”  Good case to refer to for similar DHSMV power grabs.

Netterville v. DHSMV, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 512 (Mar 24, 2011): Writ of Certiorari, Granted – Hearing officer stepped out of his role as neutral arbiter when he introduced documents on behalf of driver as driver’s attorney objected.  Classic case of a typical DMV hearing officer.

Wolf v. State, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 515 (5th Jud. Cir., Mar 11, 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed – Appeal of denial of motion to suppress (J. Donna Miller).  Defendant charged with DUI.  Act of approaching cars in a parking lot and pressing key fob and getting into car that lights blinked and fact that it had a “dealer tag” was insufficient to justify investigatory stop.  Court emphasizes need for reasonable suspicion before “investigatory stop” can take place.  Police must have a well-founded and articulable suspicion of criminal activity.  A “hunch” at best, is not best enough.

Williams v. State, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 519 (11th Jud. Cir., Feb 25, 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed – Prosecutor commenting on defendant’s silence (again). This time it happened during closing argument. Standard is not abuse of discretion but harmless error.  Case cites many cases regarding the broad Florida protections of a defendant’s silence.  Good case.

Not trying to pick on J. Donna Miller.  It just caught my eye that she had two cases appear this month and both were reversals.

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