We have been covering the Bubba the Love Sponge Clem defamation trial from the beginning, including the unfortunate timing of his opposing counsels’ very public driving under the influence arrest in Tampa that served to delay the trial a bit. For a quick recap: attorney Charles Phillip Campbell Jr. was arrested for his second DUI (the first one occurring in 2008) after leaving a local Tampa bar. He refused to take a blood alcohol test and his ordeal delayed the trial another week.
Now it seems that there is a little more to the night at the bar than may initially meet the eye. Reports this week have been swirling around a possible set-up by the law firm that was representing Bubba the Love Sponge Clem in the case with Campbell. My Fox Tampa Bay reports that the police officer that made the arrest was tipped off by a phone call as to the whereabouts and activities of Mr. Campbell, and that was not the first time that he received a call about Mr. Campbell drinking and driving. The Times quotes Sgt. Ray Fernandez on the questionable situation, “What he told me is that this guy goes to Malio’s and that he drinks and that he drives home. I also received this phone call prior, a month prior, also where we also tried to locate that defendant and we didn’t.”
There’s nothing wrong with getting tips but two calls did make Campbell’s defense team begin to question the situation. Here are the details the Times reports that turn this tip into a potential setup: the phone calls were made from the office building of opposing law firm and the woman he was drinking with the night he was arrested was a paralegal that worked for the very firm he was in the middle of a public trial with. Campbell was also arrested for his DUI in the paralegal’s car. At this point, Campbell’s attorneys not only seek to have the Bubba the Love Sponge Clem trial declared a mistrial but the team is also looking into the details of the DUI.
Sure the police can pull over an individual based on a tip. In fact, it is not necessarily uncommon for a bartender or restaurant owner to alert authorities if they fear a patron may be attempting to drive or engage in another activity in an impaired capacity. The reality is the tip is nothing more than a heads up—the driver in question still has to actually be driving under the influence and the police have to trust the information enough to go looking for the individual.
Whether your Tampa DUI arrest was the result of a tip or just bad luck, the attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel P.A. can help you fight your case. We have seen all types of DUI arrests over the years and know the relevant laws and defenses when it comes to getting you the best results possible. Give us a call today for an obligation free consultation on your case.