A Clay County woman is now facing multiple charges in Jacksonville, including a felony, in what appeared to start as a DUI investigation. Police pulled the driver over for speeding about 2 a.m. in Jacksonville Beach, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. A passenger in the car took off running before police could speak with the person, but the officer smelled marijuana and asked for the 22-year-old driver to step out of the car, the newspaper reported. The woman continued to try to get back to her car before being handcuffed and put in the back of the patrol car, the newspaper reported. After the woman said the handcuffs hurt and she couldn’t breathe, the office loosened the cuffs and lower the windows in the car, but the woman escaped and was eventually run down in a cemetery, the newspaper reported.
She is now facing four charges – escape, resisting an officer without violence, DUI and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. The escape charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The remaining charges are misdemeanors, but clearly the escape and resisting charges could have both been avoided if the driver would have simply complied with the officer and not left the police cruiser. She is also facing a traffic ticket for speeding, though that is the least of her legal issues at this point. There is no reference to alcohol in the newspaper report of this Jacksonville DUI Case. Most people automatically assume alcohol in a Jacksonville DUI Case, but driving impaired can include narcotics as well. In this Jacksonville DUI Case, the officer reported smelling marijuana when he approached the car. Jacksonville DUI Cases involving marijuana can be more difficult for the state to prove, partially because there is not a simple breath test that can show the level of intoxication, like there is for alcohol. And because there was another person in the vehicle when it was pulled over, this does not mean the driver was smoking the marijuana. The driver’s actions following the initial arrest, though, could lead a jury to draw the conclusion that she was impaired in some fashion, if for no other reason than she tried to flee to avoid the officer. There are specific procedures officers must follow when making Jacksonville DUI Arrests and, in many cases, police departments have officers who are specifically training in these procedures making the arrests. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney knows these rules inside and out, and will review the case against you or your loved one to make everything was done by the book.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.