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Clovis Watson IV gets time served on reduced charge of driving without a valid license

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Clovis Watson IV, 30, was sentenced last week to one day in jail, with credit for one day served, after pleading nolo contendere to a charge of driving without a valid license.

Watson was arrested on July 21 on a felony charge of driving without a valid license as a habitual offender. At the time, he was on probation on a previous charge of driving without a license.

Watson was pulled over for having a non-operational headlight on June 3 and cited for driving without a license as a habitual offender. Watson has an extensive history of driving infractions, including an arrest on November 24, 2021, for driving without a license–second or subsequent offense. He was designated a habitual traffic offender for a period of 5 years on September 23, 2021. He has also been cited in the past 18 months for failure to drive in a single lane, failure to yield, failure to display a tag (twice), and illegal window tinting (twice).

Governor DeSantis issued an executive order on July 6, assigning John Durrett, State Attorney from the 3rd Circuit, to the case because of conflicts of interest for Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. and State Attorney Brian Kramer.

On September 8, Watson entered a plea of nolo contendere to a lesser charge of driving without a license, a misdemeanor, and agreed to a sentence of time served and court costs ($326). Judge William Davis accepted the plea, and Chase Larsen was the prosecutor. Watson was represented by Robert Rush.

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On September 12, Watson also entered a plea of nolo contendere to violation of probation in the previous case and was sentenced to one day of jail, with credit for one day time served. His probation was revoked and terminated, and adjudication of guilt was withheld. He was ordered to pay $50 for costs of prosecution. The plea was accepted by Judge William Slaughter II.

  • This is Bull$hit only 1 day he has a history of driving without a license he going to keep doing because daddy is sheriff

  • Felony habitual traffic offender gets off. Wonder if his daddy got off too? Wonder what an arrangement like that actually cost?

    Next time he gets behind the wheel…Tree, meet Clovis IV., better yet, concrete pillar, (keeps the tree safe), meet Clovis IV.
    If that doesn’t happen, take his hands or feet to keep him from driving next time. Seems to work as a deterrent in some middle eastern countries.

    Better than having him kill someone else doing something he’s NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING!

    Those laws we have, they work so well preventing criminals from continuing to commit crimes.

      • He probably didn’t help any lawyers make any money. Roberts son, Jake Rush, is the attorney for the sheriffs office.

  • This is common. I’ve worked in bailbonds industry for many years thru this state and I’ve seen people get less. It’s obvious that most of you guys have been around the criminal justice system.

    • Yes people get less but I know of someone with less charges getting 10 days. And 30 hrs community service.. just saying.

  • What??

    That is a lesser fine than rolling through a stop sign with valid license, insurance, and registration……

  • I wonder which one of you guys have ever sat in a courthouse? This is so common. Where is the privilege before you guys speak bring some facts. Personally I’ve had several DWLSR in many counties in this State. All I would do is pay all the fines or tickets before court and the courts would drop it to NO.VALID DRIVERS LICENSE. This is common not only just in Florida but in most states. I remember when Alachua county would give three days for DWLSR.

    • What about the fact “His probation was revoked and terminated”? With all of those previous offenses, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Essentially hitting the reset button on his legal problems could easily be misinterpreted as favoritism or a conspiracy – particularly knowing how polarized people are regarding race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

      • Again sir this is common. To me he paid off all.his fines and tickets. Therefore the courts lowered his sentence. I personally know ofany case like this

    • I sat in a courthouse many times. Multiple offenses of driving while license is suspended is criminal traffic, not civil traffic. Driving without a valid tag is also treated differently after multiple infractions.
      Thanks for playing though.

  • Well I suppose this sentence could be favoritism to the Sheriff’s son but then again, I don’t think this is an unusual “sentence” for driving without a license.

    Some on here say the man has a history of driving without a license, and to that I say just how do you know?

    No matter what sentence was given to this man, somebody would be screaming favoritism and I personally don’t think anyone, including the Sheriff’s son, ought to be sentenced based on who his father is, nor should he be punished for who his father is just to prove lack of favoritism.

    • Vicki, the prior charges are in the article.

      I agree, he shouldn’t be punished for his relationship to the sheriff but he shouldn’t go unpunished for that same relationship either. If I read the story correctly, he has been charged as a habitual traffic offender for driving without a license in the past. Here he is again, driving without a license so obviously he could care less about the “laws” in place.

      In today’s society, eventually too many of those 2nd, 3rd & 4th chances end up hurting an innocent person. I don’t want to be or want a family member to be that innocent person.

  • Wow!! Y’all mother f’ers gave me a year for my third time driving with no valid dl which made me habitual and came with 5 year suspension with probation. Clovis Watson himself would of been ripped apart for such light sentence given. Fock Y’all in Alachua County.

  • If this was in Marion County or another judicial circuit I would say sweet deal but here in Alachua County. This is common. I am.a licensed surety agent and because he is the son of the sheriff is because it’s public . I know a case in Alachua County where the individual has three dui convictions and over twenty DWLSR. this person never did more then a few days in jail. He has the money to bond out, to pay his fines and attorney fees. This is common it called our justice system. I don’t personally know Mr. Waston but from what I’ve heard of the sheriff and Judge that sentenced both are guys of integrity.

  • His dad should make him spend a few weekends down at the jail anyway, especially since dad is probably the one stuck paying $10K+ for arguably the best attorney in town.

  • Sheriffs son much. Love the free pass daddy gets him. I think I saw him driving off of NW 6th and 16th. Must be nice.

  • Forgot to mention. Daddy had to step in. You all can’t imagine how many men in DoC would be lining up to make this boy their beeeyotch.

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