FL - Casey Anthony prosecutor Jeff Ashton to defend son in DUI case

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reality Orlando, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Reality Orlando

    Reality Orlando Verified Aquaculturalist

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    I'm not a fan of drunk drivers....he's lucky he didn't kill some family out for the evening.

    "Jeff Ashton's son, Alexander Ashton, blew twice the legal limit in a breathalyzer test, but the results got thrown out because the device is considered unreliable.

    Alexander Ashton stumbled trying to hold up his leg during a field sobriety test last October in Longwood.

    When asked if he was embarrassed by the incident, Jeff Ashton said, "No, not at all. I wouldn't be talking to you about this if I was. I would not be representing him in that courtroom, representing him right now."

    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/jeff-ashton-defend-son-dui-case/nHb5F/
     
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  3. rossva

    rossva George Zimmerman: Innocent until proven guilty.

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    I can already see it: Imperfect Justice II; Defending Alexander. I wonder if either Jeff or Alexander will be laughing during this trial? Or if Jeff will throw his son under the bus to garner votes?
     
  4. Velouria

    Velouria Don't Drink the Pinellas Punch!

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    I doubt anyone will be laughing - that is, unless Mr. Ashton tries to claim "ugly coping" and argues his son wasn't drinking, he was out looking for his lost daughter.

    In that case, we'd all be laughing.
     
  5. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Oh boy, that must have been hard. :( Talk about playing both sides. Interesting to know that a breathalyzer can be unreliable.

    Bet LE was thrilled for that nugget to get out. ;)
     
  6. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    I sure wish I lived in Florida. I would vote for Jeff in a heartbeat.

    IMO
     
  7. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    Yup. There's a lot that needs to be done to keep a breathalyzer accurate - calibration, regular types of maintenance, and weekly tests, things like that. One of the first things you do in a DUI case is check the breathalyzer records, because if the LE don't keep them in good working order, the results are inaccurate. It's pretty much routine in our office to file a challenge regarding the accuracy of the breathalyzer for a DUI case, because many departments do not stay up on it as they should.
     
  8. Basmat

    Basmat Former Member

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    I disagree with him defending his adult son in this case. His son was speeding, could not perform the dexterity tests and officers smelled alcohol.

    Even if they could PROVE the breathalyzer malfunctioned, there were other clear signs that his son was impaired.

    The fact that Jeff Ashton is DEFENDING his son knowing that his son could potentially have killed or injured someone else just rubs me the wrong way.

    JMO.
     
  9. grace60

    grace60 New Member

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    Google Sarasota County drops DUI cases. They had to drop about 100 cases. :maddening:
     
  10. rossva

    rossva George Zimmerman: Innocent until proven guilty.

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    Well, his son is, just like Casey Anthony, INNOCENT, till proven guilty. Looks like so far the people responding are automatically assuming Alexander is guilty. By the way, in Florida (at least Brevard County, probably all), it is not a crime to refuse to perform the dexterity tests; you can not be arrested for that alone.



     
  11. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    And the dexterity tests can be difficult to pass - or the police reports summarizing performance can be wildly overstated than what the cruiser video shows. I've seen that more than a few times, where the police report says that a person cannot do something or performs poorly, and the video tells a different story.

    It's important to keep an open mind, at this stage of the game.
     
  12. daisy7

    daisy7 Retired WS Staff

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    TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- How would you like to go to work and get drunk on the taxpayers' dime? That's exactly what happened for 15 Florida Department of Law Enforcement employees who were testing out the state's breathalyzer machines.

    (snip)

    http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/arti...s-before-and-after-getting-drunk-on-your-dime

    Only in Florida... :sigh:
     
  13. Lee Wells

    Lee Wells New Member

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    hello! I am so new to this website. I want to ask a lawyer if Casey can be tried in federal court for making chloroform and causing the death of her daughter. It was found in her car trunk, in HIGH concentrations and so was the smell of death. One lawyer did answer and said, "we don't know that Casey made chloroform." Well, she did search on how to make it, and on and on. Thanks
     
  14. Woe.be.gone

    Woe.be.gone Active Member

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    Give me a break - about the breathalizer being faulty. That's a cop out and if true, they should do away with them.
    Having peeps in high places is an unfair gift (to the rest of us) I guess.
    Is this JA being CA? I don't blame him for trying to help his son, but it shouldn't be done using his position imo.
     
  15. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how...no one ever said chlorofrm caused Caylee's death and not sure what the statute of limitations would be if they could somehow prove she made some, which they probably can't, or they would have done so. They can only prove she looked it up, and that some experts say it was in the trunk. It did not sound to me as though Dr. G. believed chloroform to be the cause of death. JMO
     
  16. Peepers

    Peepers Member

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    Im more of a fan of admitting your mistakes and taking the punishment.
     
  17. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    If the machine is properly maintained and calibrated, it can be very accurate - it's a great tool for LE to have. It's when LE fail to keep up with the machines that problems occur.

    Honestly, having JA as an attorney may not help his son, because it has brought media attention to the case. If you get a halfway decent attorney, most DUIs are plead down to physical control or reckless ops, things like that. Your chances of a good plea are even greater when you have a pliable set of facts, such as a faulty breathalyzer or a possible lack of probable cause. However, they may be less willing to do so in this case because it is receiving more attention than most DUIs would receive.

    I don't think it's using his position, not really. This assumes that he would get favors because of who he is, and I'd like to think that our judicial system is usually better than that. From what I've seen with my job, having a likeable personality and playing fair gets you a whole lot more cachet in defending someone (or for that matter as a prosecutor, trying to get a defense attorney to give up info/set up a proffer), rather than who you are. It's how you treat people that opens doors.
     
  18. Woe.be.gone

    Woe.be.gone Active Member

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    About the possibility of the breathalyzer being faulty - to what degree and how would one's lawyer prove this? They wouldn't have access to the actual breathalyzer gadget that was used to test the person being charged. So I'm curious as to how a lawyer would use the faulty gadget approach as a defense.

    The idea of this tactic hit me the wrong way due to the fact that you must not refuse a breathalyzer test if you are suspected of DUI. But then if you take one, you're saying that the test may indicate you're over the limit when you're not? To what degree do they test faulty when they do? Because if someone blows 2.0 or something, a little this way or a little that way doesn't really matter does it? I'm just trying to understand the truth behind this tactic as I don't think it's fair that peeps who can't afford a good lawyer don't get any breaks when they make potentially deadly mistakes but the rich kids so-to-speak do.

    I'm sorry for JA that his son made this serious error in judgment but I wish the son would get the same punishment that anyone else would get under the law since the charge is a specific one. I don't think we can just brush laws aside because we like someone or are on their side. We can support them and understand what they're going through but not make excuses for them just because we like them. :twocents:

    Oh and I don't doubt that JA's son was targeted too due to JA's political goals. All the more reason that he should have called for a ride or stayed where he was or made any other decision than to get behind the wheel of his car.
     
  19. Woe.be.gone

    Woe.be.gone Active Member

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    One more comment - why isn't JA embarrassed? And if not embarrassed, concerned, disappointed, p.o.'d - all of the things a parent would be when their child risks his and others' lives this way? I'm sorry but he came off a little harsh - kind of opposite of what AnaTeresa suggests, that being likeable and fair gets peeps on one's side.
     
  20. rossva

    rossva George Zimmerman: Innocent until proven guilty.

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    BBM

    Actually, you can refuse to take a breathalyzer test once. You will automatically lose your drivers license for one year, but you will not have a dui on you record.

    Florida Law permits a person to REFUSE to submit to testing one time without any criminal penalty, but there are consequences with regard to your driver's license. If you refuse to take their so-called "tests", the Florida DMV (not the Court) will suspend your license for one year.

    I think his son targeted himself because he was going 68 mph in a 45-mph zone.

    "Florida uses old, antiquated, unreliable, Intoxilyzer Breath testing devices. Many are ten or more years old. The technology is from the 50s and 60s! In fact, the factory warranty on them is only 90 DAYS! The manufacturer states in its warranty that the machines are NOT warranted to be for "any particular fitness or purpose" for which they are designed. Hence, they are saying that these machines are not warranted to be used for the particular purpose they were designed for. <SNIPPED>

    http://www.privatecounselllc.com/DUI-Defense/Breathalyzer-Info.shtml


     
  21. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    What you do is pull the records for the machine - they are supposed to be calibrated every X amount of days, so you check to see if that is done. You see if the reading gives the proper amount. You check to see if it was maintenanced on schedule. You check to see if the person administering the test has kept his certification up to date (like CPR certification). You check to see if there have been any major repairs, and to what part of the machine.

    If the machine is faulty, the reading can't be used. Mostly, this affects "high test" cases where you get a stricter penalty, but for others, where there's very little evidence otherwise that the person was impaired, the loss of the result as evidence kills the case.

    It's actually better not to blow - it's not proof that you are inebriated. Then the case centers on the police testimony and the cruiser video, which don't always add up. There is some wiggle room with the outcome of the test - I don't recall the exact amount off the top of my head, but a case is very pliable if the result is within .02, I believe (guessing here, could be wrong).

    You don't even have to afford a "good" lawyer - DUIs are super easy. Most lawyers can handle them very easily with minimal effort. It's not just for rich kids to get out of. In Ohio, I heard the statistic that 1 in 7 has a DUI. I can tell you that I believe it - and many more have DUI charges which were plead down to other traffic infractions. For some, you can tell by the video that they certainly were under the influence, but for others, you really cannot tell. If they perform well on field sobriety tests, but LE has them take a faulty breathalzyer, that puts them in an untenable position.

    The thing is, there's not one set punishment under the law - things like DUIs are very flexible, and they take into account the circumstances of the case and the person who committed the infraction. The result of the breathalyzer, previous DUIs, how they behaved towards LE, whether they took proactive steps beforehand, whether the prosecutor is inflexible or not - all of these things change what the sentence will be.

    This isn't like a federal crime with set sentencing guidelines. Municipal Courts are pretty free in their sentencing.
     

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