Child Neglect Takes New Spin In Florida DUI Case

Jacksonville is one of those cities that likes to have fun, drink, and have a good time. However, those fun times end most of the time in criminal charges when children are thrown into the mix. When one is charged with a child related DUI, one should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Naples Daily News, Eliza Sherwood, Valene Clay, and Enrique Martinez, were arrested for driving while intoxicated with a child in the car. They were arrested separately because Martinez, the actual driver of the car, parked the car at a bank, took the baby and fled the scene. Arizona-DUI-Attorney.jpg

Florida DUI cases can be some complicated cases, the majority of which end in arrest. However, normally child neglect charges do not stem from the DUI arrests. When this happens, things can become very complicated for the accused and can make a lighter punishment turn heavy in a heartbeat.

It appears from the article that all three have been charged with DUI’s; unfortunately for each, however, is the charges each faces in addition to the DUI charges. For Clay and Martinez, each face separate charges of child neglect without great bodily harm for having their 8 month old child in the car with them while they were driving drunk.

Sherwood is being charged with a battery in addition to a DUI. The reason for her extra charge was that after the police went to speak to Martinez, Martinez told the police that Sherwood punched him in the face when he stopped the car.

One of the rules that governs attorneys in the legal system is that attorneys are not allowed to represent multiple defendants in the same case. However, this rule does not weaken any of the defendants’ cases. In the case of Martinez, for example, Martinez has been charged with child neglect without bodily harm, a charge which can lead up to 5 years in prison and massive fines, in addition to the DUI charge.

However, if Martinez were to obtain an experienced Jacksonville DUI and child abuse defense attorney, Martinez’s attorney could bring to light the mitigating factors in his case, including such factors as:

– Martinez parked the car after he realized the error of his ways
– Martinez refused to subject the child to an even worse situation possibly than the one the child was in before
– Martinez fled the scene and went to his Aunt’s where the child could be properly taken care of until Martinez sobered up
Factors like these can and will be brought up to help lower the penalty of the charges and possibly help to have them dropped in Martinez’s case as well as others in like situations.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Three arrested for being drunk with infant in car, deputies say, Naples Daily News staff report, Naples Daily News