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Thomas S. Hudson

Thomas Hudson’s Answers

17 total


  • Can anyone explain what's going on in Sarasota with the Intoxilyzer machine, and what decision is being made December 13th 2011

    Pertaining to the Intoxilyzer 8000?

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There is a large consolidated hearing scheduled in Sarasota County, including judges from both Sarasota and Manatee Counties, on December 2, 2011. The 12/13 date is probably just a status conference to see if a decision has been reached. I am active in the issue, and will be representing 10-15 of the defendants in that hearing. Do not expect an answer to come before the 12/13 date. Many judges are scheduling status hearings for late December or early January.

    The issue involves whether the Florida Administrative Code adequately protects Florida citizens from malfunctioning Intoxilyzer machines, since many machines were perfectly compliant with the Code, and yet were measuring ridiculously high breath volumes. In addition, the machines mis-measuring the highest breath volumes were also recording the highest breath alcohol levels.

    On last issue. When it was reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that the machines' breath flow sensors were malfunctioning, the FDLE response was not to shut the system down, but to quietly instruct the county Agency Inspectors not to keep records of breath volumes anymore. The courts will also be deciding if this hiding of the malfunction was a violation of the defendants' right to due process of law.

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  • What is the typical sentencing for battery on a leo in conjunction with dui 2nd offence

    battery waas a bogus charge. is it possible to beat this

    Thomas’s Answer

    The range of penalties is up to five years in prison, but a lot depends on your personal circumstances, the nature of the battery and your previous criminal record (besides the prior DUI). All in all, I would be more concerned with the Batt LEO than the DUI. It is a felony, and the DUI is still a misdemeanor, even though it is a second offense.

    Many DUI's are won on the basis of an illegal traffic stop. If your stop was constitutionally defective, then the Batt LEO might get thrown out, too.

    Our website, www.DUISarasota.com, can give you a lot of information. Or you can call us anytime. We are in Sarasota.

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  • Can i move from Pennsylvania to Florida and transfer my dui responsabilities

    I presently live in Pennsylvania but want to move to Florida but i still owe on court costs and fines and still have classes to take. Can i get everthing switched to Florida and do my classes here?

    Thomas’s Answer

    Your question is more dependent on Pennsylvania law than on Florida law. Some jurisdictions (including Florida) allow "mail-in" probation, so that it isn't even necessary to get Florida's acceptance of you as a probationer. You should inquire with the lawyer who represented you in Pennsylvania to see if this is possible in your case. Otherwise, it may be necessary to go through the Interstate Compact. However, I would inquire about the possibility of mail-in (or even the possibility of moving for an early termination of your Pennsylvania probation if you have done a substantial part of it, completed your special conditions and not had any violations.

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  • I have a hardship license and will be moving across town soon. Can i drive between my old house and new house while moving?

    .

    Thomas’s Answer

    It is important to realize that there are two levels to this question: what the law actually is and what the cop thinks. It is small comfort to have the judge dismiss the case after you have spent the night in jail because the officer didn't understand the law. Having said that, there is one more consideration: the time of day. In my experience, very few officers are going to give you a hard time in the daytime. After dark, you should have specific answers in mind as to why you are behind the wheel, and (it perhaps goes without saying) do NOT have the smell of alcohol on your breath. In general, however, it is my experience that judges would agree that this driving falls within the rubric of "driving necessary to maintain livelihood" as specified by the statute.

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  • DUI post conviction/ Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

    Okay, long story short...arrested for DUI...pleaded gulity to Negligent Driving.. As part of my probation I have to attend an oupatient alcohol rehab outfit, who in turn force me to go to two AA meetings a week. Before this, I did not realize ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    There is nothing inherently theist about AA. The program refers to a "higher power" but this can be anything you conceive it to be, including "fate" "the conscience of the community," your inner consciousness or even the opinions of the members of your home group. No belief in anything supernatural is required. If you are going to a group that is too religious for you, then just go to a different group. There are all different types of groups and they are everywhere. Sounds like you just got started with the wrong group.

    As a lifelong religious skeptic, I find nothing offensive in anything spiritual about AA, as long as you approach it with a "live and let live" attitude. I would not participate in the Lords Prayer either, but most of the meetings I've ever attended usually end with the "Serenity Prayer," which is much less sectarian, and is very useful to remind ourselves not to sweat the stuff we can't control. If you think of that "prayer" as a reminder for yourself, I think it's easier to take.

    Good luck.

    Tom Hudson http://www.DUISarasota.com

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  • DUI

    I am curious of a certain situation. I have a friend that is male 46 who recently was charged with a DUI in So. FL. History is 2 years ago DUI with help of attorney reduced to wreakless driving. Prior offenses were DUI in N. Carolina now over 10 y...

    Thomas’s Answer

    In Florida, there is no mandatory jail for a first offense DUI or for a second offense if the most recent conviction was more than five years ago. However, a second DUI within 5 years carries 10 days of mandatory jail, and most judges will give considerably more. A third DUI when the most recent conviction was less than ten years ago requires at least 30 days in jail. However, Florida law allows time spent in a state-sanctioned alcohol program to count against the jail time, so that is often the best way to go.
    A complete chart of the Florida DUI penalties is available on my website:
    http://duisarasota.com/dui_penalties_in_florida.htm
    Good luck.

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  • Possible punishment for DUI arrest

    OUR SON WAS ARRESTED FOR DUI WHILE DRIVING OUR CAR HE IS AN ADULT

    Thomas’s Answer

    It sounds to me like you are asking whether you have any responsibility for his crime. If so, the answer is no. You didn't drive under the influence, and so you don't have to worry about criminal culpability. However, you should be concerned that you might be legally liable for anyone that he injures while driving your car. Florida is one of a minority of states that considers an automobile a "dangerous instrumentality." This means that any damage that is caused by someone driving your car is chargeable to you and to your insurance. If he were to go out and injure someone while driving your car, the lawsuit would list you and any other registered owner of the car as a defendant.

    But you can't be punished criminally for his DUI in your car. Good luck.

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  • Procedures for defending a DUI charge

    my son was arested for DUI this week end he was pull over by a bikecycle cop down town melbourn at a stop sign he did not blow because he said he was not drinking so he was taken to jail he go to court 1-27-09 what should he be doing now befor co...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Your son should IMMEDIATELY talk to a competent DUI lawyer. He has only ten days to demand a hearing on his license suspension. If he doesn't get the demand in to the Department of Motor Vehicles within that time, he will lose his license for one year, with the first 90 days of the suspension being absolute hard time with no driving whatsoever. After that, from day 91 to day 365, he may be eligible for a Business Purpose Only license, which will allow him to drive for purposes of maintaining his livelihood.

    Don't fool yourself that they cannot prove a DUI without a breath test. If your son truly wasn't drinking, they may proceed against him on a DUI Drugs. Even the smell of a beer on a person's breath is enough for the State to get the case to a jury, so you really ought to consult somebody who knows what he or she is doing in DUI cases. Preferably, you should find a lawyer who has taken (or teaches) the NHTSA DUI and Field Sobriety Test Class, and someone who knows the protocols for being a Drug Recognition Evaluator.

    You didn't say whether your son has ever had a DUI before. If he has, then it is even more crucial that he contact a lawyer ASAP so that important evidence is not lost. The best DUI lawyers will immediately go out to the scene and take pictures, so that you can catch them if the police try to make things up later. Good luck.

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  • Fl. dui laws

    I was convicted of a dui3 within 10 years.Does this by Fl. law carry a prison sentence? I was also driving on a suspended license.

    Thomas’s Answer

    A third-time DUI conviction in Florida is a third-degree felony if the third conviction is within ten years of any previous conviction. A third degree felony carries up to 5 years in prison. However, this is not the same thing as a mandatory prison sentence. Most of the time, a person convicted of felony third-offense DUI will get some local jail time and a lot of probation. Many times, the state will charge the case only as a misdemeanor even if the most recent conviction was within ten years. This is because most felony prosecutors haven't tried a DUI case in years. DUI cases are very complicated, and most felony prosecutors would rather keep them in county court as a misdemeanor, rather than having to re-learn all of the DUI law and procedure that they had to learn when they were just starting out.
    In short, a third offense DUI can carry a prison sentence. However, the vast majority of felony DUI defendants do NOT go to prison.

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  • Consequences under FL DUI laws for 4th DUI conviction

    In the state of Florida, after the 4th Dui Convition (even though 2 of them are not moving violations) is the anything that can be done to get a drivers lisence for work only? ANTTHING?ANYWAY? Help!!!-ITrying to buy own business but unable to get ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Florida requires that a fourth conviction for DUI be treated as a felony, with imprisonment up to five years. This is so no matter how long ago the prior convictions were. (Section 316.193(2) and (3), Florida Statutes).

    There are so few good ways to get a Florida DUI off your record, that it is often more advisable to spend the money to move to a state with less severe penalties than it is to try to vacate your old convictions. Florida does not recognize the difference between driving while impaired and sleeping in your car waiting for your ride to come. This is a sad state of affairs which merely encourages people to drive home while under the influence. However, in a state which recognizes a separate lesser charge of "being in 'actual physical control' of a vehicle while impaired," (and there are a number of such states) you might be able to get a hearing that is more fair.

    In addition, many states (I know Ohio is one) will grant a limited license even when there was a lifetime suspension, after a prolonged period (like ten years) without driving.

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