County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW Ė Search and Seizure Ė Stop - Defendantís pattern of driving at inconsistent speeds and weaving within his lane, coupled with the officerís testimony that such driving was consistent with someone who is DUI, justified the stop. Ė Judgment and sentence affirmed. Kronz v. State, No. CRC 03-42 APANO (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. Sept. 13, 2004).

 

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

 

 

HAROLD KRONZ

 

††††††††††† Appellant,

 

v.                                                                                                                                                                   Appeal No. CRC 03-42 APANO

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† UCN522003AP000042XXXXCR

 

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

††††††††††† Appellee.

____________________________/

 

 

Opinion filed __________________.

 

 

Appeal from a judgment and

sentence entered by the

Pinellas County Court

County Judge William Overton

 

J.S. Lucas Fleming, Esq.

Attorney for appellant

 

Chaila Restall, Esq.

Assistant State Attorney

 

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

 

††††††††††† THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendant, Harold Kronzís, appeal from a judgment and sentence entered by the Pinellas County Court. The defendant pleaded no contest to DUI charges, reserving his right to appeal the trial courtís decision to deny his motion to suppress. It is the denial of his motion to suppress that the defendant is asking this Court to review. The standard of review is de novo. See Williams v. State, 769 So.2d 404 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000). After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the judgment and sentence.

††††††††††† In an area known for prostitution and drugs, a deputy observed the defendant engage in activity that indicated prostitution might be taking place. The deputy followed the defendantís vehicle. During the time that the deputy was following the defendant, the deputy observed the defendant driving at inconsistent speeds and weaving within his lane. The deputy observed this activity for approximately one and a half miles. The deputy, who had extensive training and experience with DUI cases, testified that in his opinion the defendantís activity was consistent with someone who was DUI. A stop was made, and the defendant was ultimately arrested for DUI.

††††††††††† In this appeal the defendant claims that his motion to suppress should have been granted because the deputy had no legitimate reason to make the initial stop. This Court disagrees. The deputy observed the defendant driving at inconsistent speeds and weaving from one side of the lane to the other and back again. This unusual driving was not an isolated incident. The deputy testified that he followed the defendant for approximately one and a half miles, and that this unusual driving continued during that time. This was sufficient to establish a pattern. Moreover, the deputy testified that based upon his experience and training, this driving pattern was consistent with someone who was DUI. This Court holds that under these circumstances, the deputy had a reasonable suspicion to suspect the defendant was DUI. Therefore, an investigatory stop was justified. The trial courtís decision to deny the defendantís motion to suppress was proper. See Dobrin v. State, 874 So.2d 1171 (Fla. 2004) (cases cited therein with discussion); and Nicholas v. State, 857 So.2d 980 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003).

††††††††††† IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the judgment and sentence are affirmed.

††††††††††† DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this ______ day of September, 2004.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _______________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† James R. Case

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Judge

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nancy Moate Ley

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Judge

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ________________________
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† John A. Schaefer

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Judge

cc:††† State Attorney

 

†††††††† J.S. Lucas Fleming, Esq.

 

†††††††† Judge Overton