The case against a Lyft driver in Tampa was dropped this month when prosecutors failed to produce evidence of a crime, new sources report. According to local reports, a Lyft driver was charged for failing to abide by county laws that apply to ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. These companies allow drivers to use their own vehicles for transportation services, competing with local taxi and limousine businesses.
In order to use their vehicles for Lyft, drivers must pass background checks and own a reliable vehicle, but the cars are not registered with the transportation commission. Because of this, the commission wants to crack down on drivers who aren’t registered, such as ridesharing operators.
In a recent case, the transportation commission slapped a client of Taracks & Associates with a misdemeanor charge for failing to abide by county codes. “They couldn’t prove the charge,” said Attorney Frank Kerney of Taracks & Associates. In fact, Kerney says that prosecutors are dropping similar charges in other cases as well. “In some cases, charges are being dropped,” he said, “I am optimistic and I hope this issue will be resolved. I hope drivers won’t be cited for future infractions.”
The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office commented as well. “We couldn’t prove all the elements of the crime,” said a spokesperson for the office, “In particular, we couldn’t establish the car was actually being used as a for-hire vehicle.”
Without this piece of information, the prosecution’s case unraveled. However, the State Attorney’s Office plans to continue seeking convictions.
In this recent case, the driver was cited with several charges: unlawfully procuring, aiding, or abetting an unlicensed person; failing to purchase the correct insurance coverage; and driving without a public driver’s license.