John Goodman DUI Trial Request for Trial Move Slammed

The trial of the billionaire executive of the Palm Beach Polo Club, John Goodman, for DUI, has been requested to be moved to another county, with his defense attorneys citing excessive negative publicity in Palm Beach. The state attorney’s office is apparently not impressed by the request and at this stage it is doubtful whether the request will be sanctioned.

Prosecutors claim that with a population of 1.3 million, the county has more than enough people to select a non-biased jury to help in making a decision at the trial.

Goodman was arrested after his car, a $200,000 Bentley, veered across the road at a Wellington intersection, now over three years ago and straight into the path of young engineering graduate, Scott Wilson. Mr. Wilson died when his Hyundai sedan was pushed off the road into a canal and he was drowned.

The case has already been reported on this website last week because of the wrongful death lawsuit against Goodman by the parents of Mr. Wilson. Goodman has “adopted” his girlfriend, 6 years his junior, in a move which has been alleged to have been designed to prevent his vast personal fortune being taken if the civil action against him is successful.

Goodman’s attorneys have stated that there has been an unprecedented amount of negative publicity about the case in Palm Beach, partly because of the wealth attached to Goodman’s estate, and it would be unfair for him to be tried in that county. It has been stated that it would be almost impossible to find a full jury of people who had not already been affected by media and other coverage of the story in the county.

Goodman’s attorneys had made the same request before his first trial in 2012, but this was quashed at the time and he was then found guilty of DUI and ordered to spend 16 years in a state jail. The trial was then reopened earlier this year when misconduct had been alleged by one of the original jurors, 70 year old Dennis DeMartin.

Another issue altogether has also surfaced. Goodman’s Bentley was reported to have malfunctioned at the time of the accident. The defense attorneys representing the billionaire have apparently been incensed that the vehicle has not been kept as evidence in the retrial.

Assuming that a venue for the trial is decided on at the end of this week by Judge Colbath, the retrial will be held in January next year.

Most people are not billionaires and their DUI arrests rarely reach the front pages of the national and local newspapers as well as taking up air time on the radio and TV. However, their constitutional rights to a fair trial are just the same as John Goodman’s. If you have just been arrested for DUI in Tampa or anywhere in Hillsborough County or anywhere else in Florida, it is vital that you get an aggressive and dedicated DUI attorney to help you defend yourself against the charge.

If you think that when you are arrested for DUI, you have to accept being convicted, then this is far from being the case. There have been many situations in which people have been arrested for DUI and have wound up with a criminal conviction for something which they did not do. In other cases, they have been alleged to have been over the state limit using unreliable or misleading data. In some situations, the protocol for arresting a DUI suspect is not followed properly. In others, a chemical test for DUI is taken so long after the time the suspect had been driving that it is hard to justify using the test results to determine whether the driver was actually over the limit at the time he or she was driving.


New Citrus Park Football Coach Arrested for DUI in Tampa

If you are a Tampa resident and you think you can sleep it off after a drink in your car, then maybe you would be better off paying out for a cab, or at least make sure you have a nap in the back seat in a legally parked area. The head football coach at Citrus Park Christian School was arrested this past weekend for allegedly being DUI, even though he was not driving at the time and was in fact found asleep in his own car.

Nathan Galan has recently taken up the head coach position at Citrus Park, having coming all the way from Illinois. He is also a teacher at the school. He was apparently found asleep in the driver seat of his auto early Sunday morning. The ignition keys were in place in the front of the car, and the engine of the car was still running. In this state, this means that one is technically in charge of the vehicle. The state limit for an adult non commercial driver of 0.08% does not only apply to a person who is actually driving, but also someone who is in the driver’s seat, as long as the keys are in the ignition.

It seems that officers from the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue were first to find the dozing coach and discovered that he was neither ill nor suffering from a medical condition. When a police officer appeared on the scene, he allegedly smelled alcohol on Galan’s breath.

25 year old Galan allegedly had a BAC of between 0.140 to 0.149% when tested for blood alcohol concentration. This would be nearly double the acceptable limit and, if the testing procedure was accurate, could possibly mean that he was just under the threshold for extra penalties for DUI.

The coach was still in custody when the Sheriff’s Office reported the news of the arrest. Normally, when someone has been arrested for DUI, they might spend the rest of the night in jail before being released. Galan is apparently on a $500 bond.

DUI is taken very seriously here in Florida and many people underestimate the long term effects of a DUI conviction. Even a first time offense can mean a short period in jail, probation, a fine, 5 points on one’s Florida driver license and a commitment to attend community service and / or driver school. As far as someone who is in a high profile job, such as a head coach for a well known football team, it is uncertain what the effects of having a criminal conviction will eventually be, but it is unlikely to be viewed favorably. DUI convictions are mostly misdemeanors, but even these can stay on your record for 75 years – that’s a life time, in reality. Most job applications, especially those involving contact with the public, involve filling in details of any prior convictions, so one drink too many can affect you for the rest of your life.

If you have been arrested for DUI, whatever your public profile, you should consider fighting the charge. There are simply too many disadvantages in the long run if you allow the prosecution to proceed without an effective defense being mounted on your behalf.

There are many ways that an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer can help to get a DUI charge dismissed. The prosecution must be able to prove beyond any doubt that you were under the influence while in command of your vehicle. Tests for blood alcohol concentration are usually taken at some point after you have been asked to leave your vehicle and the extrapolation back to the time you were driving is not always accurate. There are many other possible inconsistencies that occur in DUI arrests which allow skilful and aggressive defense attorneys a chance to vigorously defend you against a DUI charge.