Prominent local attorney Charles Phillip Campbell was arrested last night and charged with DUI for the second time. Campbell is currently representing Todd “MJ” Schnitt in a trial that is underway against Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem alleging defamation of character by the Sponge against MJ and his wife. Bubba the Love Sponge is alleged to have made statements that were false, highly offensive and defamatory in nature thereby causing damage to both Kelly and his wife. Campbell is alleged to have been travelling in his four door gray Nissan when he was observed by a Tampa Police Officer to have allegedly violated the right of way of another vehicle according to an arrest report. When the Officer made contact with Campbell it is further alleged that he witnessed signs of impairment including red and glassy eyes and the distinct odor of alcohol emanating from Campbell’s breath. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s website, this DUI arrest is not Mr. Campbell’s first rodeo with such an allegation, having previously been arrested on July 14, 2008 and recording a breath test of .153 and .156 respectively. It is unknown from either this report or the report from 2008 who Campbell’s Tampa criminal lawyer was or is currently.
Aside from the sensationalism this trial has already produced, this certainly adds to the appeal. Not only are arguably the two biggest morning DJs in Tampa at each others throats in a courtroom, now there is a very prominent attorney accused of driving under the influence on an evening while a trial of which he is lead counsel is in full swing. You really can’t make this stuff up! In reality, Mr. Campbell could be facing a rather stiff penalty should things not go his way on this allegation. For arguments sake and assuming Campbell pled to the DUI as charged in 2008, he is now facing his second DUI within 5 years. If Campbell ends up having to plea to the DUI charge as alleged for his arrest last night he is facing a statutory minimum mandatory 10 days in the Hillsborough County Jail. For purposes of the minimum mandatory, all that matters is that the second dui “offense” date occur within 5 years of the prior DUI conviction. State v. Daly, 15 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 447 (Fla. 18th Cir. Ct. Feb. 4, 2008)11 Fla. Prac., DUI Handbook § 13:1 (2012-2013 ed.). So, for strategy’s sake, a Tampa criminal lawyer making an effort to hold Mr. Campbell’s plea to DUI (should that be the end result) until after July 14, 2013 won’t be beneficial based on applicable caselaw and the way Florida Statute 316.193(6)(b) is written. If he has in fact been convicted of a prior DUI and his Tampa DUI attorney can negotiate a reduced charge of reckless driving the minimum mandatory won’t apply and he won’t likely face a court imposed driver’s license suspension. Otherwise if he does plea to a second DUI within 5 years of a prior he is looking at the following:
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