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Lawyer wears wire attempting to catch other lawyer

Posted on February 15, 2010 3:00 AM EST

In an unusual case, prosecutors requested that a criminal attorney as part of an investigation wear a wire in an attempt to catch another lawyer allegedly involved in fraud. The defense lawyer represents a Homestead man currently charged with DUI manslaughter that resulted in the deaths of three children. Gabriel Delrisco is currently facing charges in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. Apparently, victims' family members requested that Delrisco provide untrue testimony regarding where he was drinking prior to the accident in an effort to beef up the civil lawsuit. The family encouraged Delrisco to say that he was drinking at a Homestead bar and strip mall in an effort to sue a defendant with deep pockets. In exchange, the family would request a lighter prison sentence at the conclusion of the case. Very often, the next of kin in cases where family members are killed have a significant impact on the length of sentence sought by state prosecutors.

The Miami criminal defense lawyer representing Delrisco relayed the information to the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office. As a result, an investigation was opened and the defense attorney was requested to wear a wire in an effort to implicate the attorney who filed the civil suit. Apparently, the wire did not aid the investigation and the case has been closed. As the investigation became public, animosity between the Miami criminal defense attorneys are brewing. The defense attorney representing the civil lawyer suspected of fraud commented that the cooperation with prosecutors was unprecedented and that he was stunned regarding the unattractive prospect of a criminal defense attorney posing as an undercover informer for the police.

Delrisco is facing 50 years in state prison for the death of ten year-old boy, a seven year-old and four year-old girl. Court records indicate that the defendant's blood alcohol limit was more than three times the legal limit. He is charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter with each count carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years. He is also charged with battery on a firefighter for fighting with a person attempting to remove him from the twisted wreck that used to be his SUV. Delrisco is facing a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for this offense. It is unclear what sentence prosecutors are seeking in the case, but Delrisco is believed to have a past DUI record and an abominable traffic record.

Obviously, the most serious DUI charge is that which results in the death of another. However, other misdemeanor DUI charges can land a person behind bars. The Florida legislature has passed laws in an effort to curb DUI recidivism. If anyone is found guilty or enters into a plea on second DUI within five years of a first DUI conviction, that person faces a 10 day minimum jail sentence. Anyone found guilty or entering into a plea on a third DUI with ten years of two previous DUI convictions, they are facing a 30 day minimum jail. Bear in mind that these are minimum penalties and prosecutors routinely ask for significantly more time on these types of cases.

Crash Suspect's Lawyer Wears Wire for Sting Operation, The Miami Herald, February 15, 2010.
Categories: DUI, Fraud