After a long week working in the ICU, a Miami nurse and her friend were driving down to the Florida Keys for a getaway. At one point, a Monroe County officer stopped their car because a license plate tag frame obscured the plate.
After asking for her driver’s license, registration and insurance, the officer observed the nurse’s eyes to be bloodshot and watery, her speech slurred, and her face flushed. The officer also noticed a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage emitting from the inside of the car. A police dog conducted a search and positively alerted to the presence of drugs in the car. As the nurse stepped out of the car, she was observed to be swaying back and forth and unable to maintain a proper balance.
The police found a bag of cocaine under the driver’s seat; a glass jar of marijuana and a pipe inside the glove compartment; a bag of cocaine inside the nurse’s purse; and three unlabeled prescription pill bottles in the inside the center console. The police also discovered needles filled with chlorhexidine and saline water as well as opened beer bottles in the car. The nurse admitted the prescription medications were for her patients. She also said she kept the medication in her pockets and took it with her by mistake.
The nurse was arrested and charged with DUI, possession of cocaine, possession of controlled substances without prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As a result of her arrest, the nurse was terminated from the hospital and disqualified for employment with Florida health care providers licensed under the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Chapman Law Group conducted an independent investigation, which revealed critical information not included in the police reports. Additionally, the firm’s legal research showed the search of the car was illegal.
The State Attorney’s Office considered the information we at Chapman Law Group provided and dropped all charges. In addition, by providing proof that all criminal charges were dismissed, we successfully petitioned AHCA to reinstate the nurse’s eligibility for employment with Florida health care providers licensed under the agency.
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