Hernando DUI Convictions May Be Reversed For Newly Discovered Evidence

The media has finally picked up on the story. Numerous DUI convictions in Brooksville, Florida, may be reversed because of newly discovered evidence that the breath test machines used at the Hernando County Jail were not in substantial compliance with administrative rules.

Moreover, officials at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the prosecutors at the State Attorney’s Office waited more than two months to make those disclosures to the individuals accused and the criminal defense attorneys tasked with representing them. What happened to duty to disclose exculpatory evidence?

Read the article here: 50 Hernando DUI cases could be in jeopardy due to security breach

More than 15 people who were charged with DUI over the past year entered pleas to DUI without knowing that their breath test reading might have been excluded. In many of those cases, the breath test reading is the main evidence against the person accused. In how many of those cases did prosecutors stand by without telling the judge, the person accused, or the person’s attorney about the problems with Hernando County’s alcohol testing program?

According to the article, Assistant State Attorney Donald “Sonny” McCathran said that he waited to release the information until after the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office could finish its internal affair report. How many DUI pleas were entered during that time period?

Even more troubling, how many people charged with DUI were accused of “refusing” to submit to a breath test during that time period when the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office knew it did not have a “lawful” breath test machine, breath test operator or agency inspector?

Why was Fran Greifenberger employed as an “independent contractor” when the administrative rules required the breath test operator and agency inspector to be an “employee.” Since the rules did not allow a breath test operator to be an “independent contractor” wouldn’t the court be required to exclude all of those breath test readings on the Intoxilyzer 8000?

Florida law clearly contemplates filing a motion to set aside a conviction when newly discovered evidence not disclosed by the prosecutor or arresting agency calls that conviction into question. Anything less would encourage prosecutors not to disclose the truth as they stand by silently when a plea is being entered.

Read more about our recent post about why the Hernando County DUI Breath Test Operator and Agency Inspector Resigned in Brooksville, FL.

One Comment

  1. DUI
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 22:41 | Permalink | Reply

    Stand up and fight back against drinking and driving…people that abuse alcohol and then hop in there care deserve harsh consequences, innocent people and children are killed every day because of this. THINK TWICE BEFORE DRINKING AND DRIVING!

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