As reported by the New York Post two nights ago, New York Jets Star Safety Marcus Maye was charged with DUI after alleged car crash. Mr. Maye allegedly was driving a black Mercedes GLE43 SUV when he allegedly hit a Volvo XC60. Florida Highway Patrol (“FHP”) observed damage to the front right of the Mercedes and damage to the left rear of the black Volvo XC60. According to the police report, the Trooper observed a black male with glasses who seemed unware of what was occurring. The Trooper approached the vehicle and saw that there was vomit on the driver’s side door and on the floor itself. The Trooper immediately smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth. The driver had glossy/bloodshot eyes and slurred/slow speech. The driver was also unable to locate his driver’s license. When Mr. Maye got out of the vehicle, he was slow to walk and had a sway in his balance.
Mr. Maye was allegedly asked to performed Field Sobriety Exercises which he refused. Mr. Maye was then arrested and charged with DUI by FHP. Mr. Maye refused to provide a breath sample. The police report noted that there is a video of this incident. I have watched many FHP DUI dash cams videos during my time as a prosecutor. The video will very likely show the interaction with Mr. Maye and the Trooper as well as Mr. Maye sitting in the backseat of the patrol car subsequent his arrest. Additionally, the presence of vomit is the most damning piece of evidence against Mr. Maye in his DUI case. Every potential jury member knows what that means and he would have an uphill battle to prove he wasn’t impaired at the time of driving. I once watched a video where the driver vomited on camera while speaking to law enforcement. Needless to say, it didn’t go to trial.
Subsequent his arrest, he was charged via information with three separate counts: Driving under the Influence, Driving under the Influence with Property Damage or Injury, and Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage. The regular DUI and the Leaving the Scene of the Crash with Property Damage are both 2nd degree misdemeanors in the State of Florida. Usually they are only punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail but DUI is a hybrid offense where it can be punished by up to 6 months in the county jail. The DUI with Property Damage Charge is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in the County Jail.
There is some good news for Mr. Maye. The DUI and the DUI with Property Damage or Injury arise out of the same transaction or occurrence and as such, Mr. Maye cannot be convicted of both offenses. The Broward County State Attorney’s Office should have just filed the DUI with Property Damage or Injury. At trial, the DUI would be a lesser-included offense anyways of DUI with Property Damage. Thus, filing both DUI charges was unnecessary. However, that is where the good news ends for Mr. Maye.
Also stated in the article was that Mr. Maye is being sued by the driver of the vehicle he allegedly hit in excess of $30,000. The reason damages sought are in excess of $30,000 is because the Plaintiff’s attorney wants to ensure this case ends up in Florida Circuit Court as that amount is the minimum amount for the case to be heard in Circuit Court. As stated in Plaintiff’s Complaint, “That as a direct and proximate result of the negligent operation of the aforementioned vehicle by the Defendant (Marcus Maye), as aforesaid, the Plaintiff, was seriously and severely injured, in among other areas, the neck and back.”
If Plaintiff truly is seriously and severely injured, that could be a huge problem for Mr. Maye. That is because the Leaving the Scene charge and DUI with Property Damage could both be elevated to felonies. Thus, if the Plaintiff was injured and Mr. Maye knew or should have known the crash would cause injury, Mr. Maye could be charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injury. That charge is a 3rd degree felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The same is true for the DUI charge.
If the Plaintiff’s injuries are much worse than initially thought, the State could up the charges to DUI with Serious Bodily Injury. That is a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in the Department of Correction. Actual knowledge of injury is immaterial for this charge. If he were charged and convicted of either, it would be nearly impossible for him to escape a jail cell.
Mr. Maye better hope that the alleged victim’s injuries aren’t as severe as the victim in the case involving Andy Reid’s son because if they are, not getting a mega contract will be the least of his worries.
Matthew F. Tympanick is an Attorney in Sarasota, Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Law where he served as a Public Interest Fellow and as a Staff Editor on the UMass Law Review. He was previously a felony prosecutor in Sarasota, Florida. In over three years as a prosecutor, he prosecuted thousands of domestic violence cases and driving under the influence offenses. You can follow him on Twitter @Tympanick20.