It was back in 2014 when Robert Velazco had just picked up Leticia Suri for a “good night.” It was only moments after that when Velazco sped through a red light at an intersection and struck Alex Rodas, 34, who was riding his scooter. Velazco kept on driving. That is when Suri bolted from the vehicle and ran to a Miami-Dade cop who she instructed on how to find the man who just engaged in a hit and run accident. Suri, who acted as a star witness for the case, happened to be a prostitute so she herself took a risk just by going to the police to tell what Velazco had done.
While red-light cameras caught the pick-up truck in the act, it wasn’t clear who was driving. The statement provided by Suri was what police needed to convict Velazco for not only of hitting the young father but also for operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. Although the driver attempted to throw the blame on Suri, another witness attested that it was a man behind the wheel. Without the statement provided by Suri, Velazco wouldn’t be facing the 20-year prison sentence he recently received.
This case shows just how serious DUI charges can be and the impact they can have on your life. To make matters worse for Velazco, he had several other run-ins with the law prior to this incident. And judges overseeing these types of cases only frown upon that. According to Fox News, Velazco had racked up nearly 20 convictions before this DUI arrest, one that involved him sexually abusing a minor. He pleaded guilty to this charge back when he was charged with the crime. Some of the other convictions include 11 for cocaine possession, some for burglary, and even grand-theft.
And because Rodas suffered extensive injuries including brain trauma and broken bones, Velazco could potentially be hit with a personal injury lawsuit if the victim decides to pursue legal action.
The truth is, a DUI offender is likely to face much more serious consequences when they commit more than one crime at the time they decide to drive drunk. For Velazco, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the seriousness of the crimes he committed but would have likely been given a shorter sentence had he remained on scene and didn’t attempt to flee.
Arrested for DUI?
If you were recently arrested for DUI in and are now faced with penalties, don’t hesitate to contact Henson Law Firm in PLLC today. Having legal representation for your case could potentially help get your charges reduced or dismissed depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. There are plenty of cases where a defendant’s rights were violated, even when they committed a crime, and it is the duty of a DUI attorney to determine if this has happened in your case.