1 of 3 county judges charged with DUI pleads guilty against counsel’s advice, gets probation
A suspended Florida judge accused of twice taking the bench while intoxicated has pleaded guilty, against the advice of her defense counsel, in a drunken-driving case over a rear-end accident in which another motorist was injured.
“I am going to plead guilty because I am guilty,” Judge Gisele Pollack tearfully told Miami-Dade County Judge Andrea Wolfson during a Thursday hearing. “I am guilty of letting myself down and I am guilty of letting my community down … I am not here to make excuses.”
One of three Broward County judges charged with driving under the influence since November, Pollack was sentenced to six months of probation; a six-month driver’s license suspension; a $500 fine; and 75 days of community service, according to the Daily Business Review (sub. req.) and the Sun Sentinel. She must also wear an alcohol monitor for 60 days.
Pollack had been advised by her defense lawyers to plead no contest to the misdemeanor. They hoped that would protect her in an expected civil case by the other driver in the accident, which occurred a little over four months ago. Pollack has publicly discussed her alcoholism. She and her legal counsel say she was sober for 19 years, but that she began drinking again last year in the aftermath of the death of her mother and an adult son becoming permanently disabled.
She is fighting a suspension from the bench without pay which was imposed in May by the state supreme court. A hearing is scheduled in November.
Another Broward judge charged in a DUI case in June after reportedly striking an entry gate and a parked sheriff’s vehicle in the courthouse lot one morning took a plea last month. Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal pleaded no contest to reckless driving and was sentenced to community service. An investigator said the judge explained she had taken Ambien to help her sleep the previous evening, the Daily Business Review reports.
Still pending is a DUI case against a third Broward jurist, Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato. She was arrested last November in Boca Raton.
How We Can Help
If you, a friend or a family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed criminal law attorney who has been practicing law since 1987. He is available whenever you need him to defend your rights. Please learn about our firm at www.FerrisLawFirm.com.