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May 20, 2009 - State v. J.T., Case Number 2007-CT-000786, Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida.
Judge Robery A. Farrance, County Judge, granted the Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Judgment and Sentence for the criminal offense of Driving While License Suspended or Revoked after a motion hearing in Bradenton, Manatee County, FL.
The Bradenton man's license had been revoked as a HTO for almost two years before he retained the Sammis Law Firm to represent him.
We were able to file the Rule 3.850 motion to vacate one of the underlying offenses that caused the habitual traffic offender revocation just a few days before the 2 year deadline passed.
The Manatee County State Attorney's Office refused to consent to the motion so a hearing was conducted. The issue in the case was whether the Bradenton man's plea was involuntary when he did not know the plea would cause a five year suspension, and he did not understand the other rights he was giving up by entering the plea.
The man had been stopped during a Bradenton DUI roadblock or checkpoint when the officer discovered that his driver's licenses was suspended. The Bradenton man did not know that he could have filed a motion to suppress evidence from the stop when he entered the plea. The arresting officer had no recollection of the case. In many of these cases, the underlying facts of the case make it difficult for the State to win these motions at a full hearing.
The Manatee County Judge granted the motion on May 20, 2009. The man's driver's license became valid a few days later when the DMV lifted the HTO revocation.
On June 9th, 2009, the State filed a "nolle prosequi" which dropped the charge of DWLSR for the 2007 underlying offense. The man did not have to enter a plea to any offense because the charge was completely dropped.
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