Miami Beach Resident Claiming to Be Lebron James’s Stepfather Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

In the early morning hours of February 12, 2014, a man claiming to be the stepfather of LeBron James was arrested by police in Miami Beach.  47 year old Eddie Gene Jackson was pulled over by police near the intersection of Washington Avenue and 20th street at 3:45 am after he was seen driving fast and taking a hard break at a stop sign in front of an officer.  Jackson told the officer that he was from Ohio but worked in Miami and that his stepson was LeBron James.  Jackson then went on to show the officer an NBA Championship ring and handed the officer a card from the Fraternal Order of Police along with a badge saying it belonged to a friend.  The officer observed that Jackson had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and smelled like alcohol.  Jackson refused to take a breathalyzer but failed subsequent field sobriety tests, leading him to be arrested for a DUI and driving on a suspended license.  According to some biographies of LeBron James, Jackson dated James's mother at one time, but it is unclear what the relationship between the athlete and Jackson is now.  Jackson served time in prison at the beginning of James's NBA career for mail and mortgage fraud.

Besides Jackson's apparent claim to fame regarding his relationship with a famous Miami Heat player, this is not a particularly complex DUI case.  While Jackson has a criminal past, he does not appear to have a prior DUI, at least during the "wash out" period required by Florida law.  As such, the charges he faces related to drinking and driving are for a first time DUI and refusing to take a breathalyzer.

For the DUI, Jackson is facing up to 6 months in jail, a $500-$1000 fine and loss of his license for somewhere between 180 days and one year.  Added to that will be the penalty for refusing the breathalyzer, something which is required by Florida law.  Regardless of the outcome of the DUI case, Jackson is facing additional penalties for refusing the breathalyzer, namely suspension of his license for an additional year. 

Jackson faces an additional charge not related to allegedly drinking and driving, but for driving with a suspended license.  In Florida, this is a criminal offense, not a traffic violation.  Because of this, Jackson is facing more penalties and an additional misdemeanor.  For a first time offense for driving with a suspended license, Jackson could get up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.  This is quite different from driving without a license at all, which could result in any number of different combinations of fines and jail time depending on the circumstances.