Three Florida lawyers who orchestrated the DUI arrest of an adversary attorney should receive a professional death sentence – permanent disbarment, a Florida State judge recommended recently.
The recommendation stems from the DUI arrest of an attorney who was opposing counsel to three other attorneys in a slander lawsuit. The arrested attorney was C. Philip Campbell. He represented a radio personality in a slander lawsuit against another party represented by these three Florida attorneys.
60 days prior to the arrest of Campbell, the three attorneys worked on a plan to have their adversary arrested for DUI. It appeared the arrest was timed to have Campbell arrested during the middle of the slander trial.
Two months before the arrest, one of the three Florida attorneys called his friend who headed the Tampa police DUI unit. He told him that Campbell worked in the same building as the attorney and that Campbell gets drunk all the time and drives home drunk. There is no mention if this attorney told the DUI officer if Campbell was presently intoxicated at time of the tip.
Based on this information, the DUI police officer dispatched a patrol officer to stake out Campbell. However, Campbell was not seen that night.
A couple months later, during the slander trial, the three Florida attorneys saw Campbell walk to a bar. The three attorneys had one of their paralegals talk to Campbell. The paralegal flirted with Campbell and encouraged him to drink alcohol and even bought Campbell drinks herself.
One of the three Florida attorneys called the DUI police officer again and provided this tip. A police stakeout was setup.
By the end of the evening, the paralegal was intoxicated. Campbell offered to call a taxi for her. However, the paralegal told Campbell she needed to get her car from the valet. Campbell confirmed with the valet that the paralegal could keep her car overnight. It was ok. The paralegal insisted that her car be moved to a nearby parking lot. Campbell agreed to move her car to the other parking lot which was two minute drove away.
As Campbell drove the car into the parking lot, the police were waiting to arrest him. The police committed over three hours to the stakeout that lead to the DUI arrest. This based solely on the tip of one of the three Florida attorneys.
If this case occurred in Washington, a skilled DUI attorney, like Jeff Burleson at Burleson Law, PLLC, would file many motions to get Campbell’s DUI arrest thrown out. First, there is a motion to suppress the arrest of Campbell based on the invalid tip. In Washington, police can rely on a tip only if there is sufficient indicia of reliability. State v. Lesnick, 84 Wn. 2d 940 and State v. Z.U.E., 178 Wn. App. 769. Here, the tip was unreliable. First, the tip was provided three hours before the arrest, and three hours before Campbell even drank alcohol. When the tip was received, there was no evidence that a crime was even being committed. Second, he tip was from a person who provided unreliable information in the past. Further, the police never independently corroborated the information in the tip. Instead, the police relied entirely on the tip without any investigation.
There is also the potential defense of entrapment in Campbell’s DUI case. Entrapment occurs when the accused is lured or induced by an officer of the law or some other person, a decoy or informer, to commit a crime which he had no intention of committing. State v. Littooy, 52 Wash. 87, 100 P. 170; State v. Ragan, 157 Wash. 130, 288 P. 218; Seattle v. Gleiser, 29 Wash.2d 869, 189 P.2d 967. In Campbell’s case, the paralegal provided alcohol to him. Further, she insisted that her car be moved to another parking lot. There is the possibility of an entrapment defense here.
Jeff Burleson is a skilled DUI defense attorney. He is a former prosecutor that has prosecuted thousands of DUI cases. He knows DUIs inside and outside. If you have been charged with DUI, contact Jeff for a free consultation.