I read an article today about a man that was arrested in Jacksonville Beach for several criminal traffic charges. The headline read “Man charged with DUI after crashing into store.” Jacksonville Channel 4 News ran the story stating:
“A hit-and-run suspect crashed his SUV into a store while allegedly driving under the influence early Sunday morning. At approximately 1:13 a.m. Sunday Larees Japell Fields, 42, was driving a 2014 Chevy SUV north on Third Street when he drove right into Ashley Gryer clothing store, officials told News4Jax. Police said Fields was fleeing from Jacksonville Beach police after a previous hit-and-run and drove his vehicle right into the store. The oil trails led police straight to him. Fields was taken into custody and booked into the Duval County Jail. The expected amount of damage to the store is about $10,000.” Fields is charged with DUI, leaving a scene, causing damage to persons or property, reckless driving and property damage.”
Fields was arrested for several counts of driving under the influence in Jacksonville. This includes DUI with damage to property. He was also arrested for leaving the scene of an accident in Jacksonville and failing to give information after an accident. He is also facing one count of reckless driving in Jacksonville. The good news for Fields is that no one was injured. If someone was seriously injured or killed, he would have been arrested for a felony and facing a lengthy Florida prison sentence. As stands, Fields has been arrested for several misdemeanor crimes arising from this one incident. The Duval County State Attorney’s Office will now make a filing decision. The case may remain in county court as a misdemeanor. The case could go to circuit court if the state attorney files felony charges. For instance, if the defendant in a criminal DUI case has prior DUI convictions, this case could be filed as a felony. Even if this case remains in county court as misdemeanors, the state attorney will likely seek a more severe penalty due to the aggravating factors in the case.
Fields will want to discuss his possible defenses and mitigation with his Jacksonville criminal lawyer. As stands, Fields is facing eight misdemeanor charges. Depending on the evidence and circumstances surrounding the case, his Jacksonville criminal attorney may be able to prevent certain charges from being filed.