If you were pulled over for a suspected DUI offense, you are required by Florida's implied consent laws to submit to a lawfully requested chemical test. Although you can't be forced to take the test, refusing might come with legal consequences for your driver's license and criminal case.
In court, prosecutors can often argue that the fact you refused shows that you knew you were guilty. This argument is sometimes called the "consciousness of guilt" argument. Additionally, a refusal comes with a longer administrative suspension. Because a second refusal can be charged as a separate crime, it is important to demand a formal review hearing within 10 days after your arrest if you are accused of refusing a breath, blood or urine test.
Considering the difficult and complex situation you may find yourself in, it is important that you consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can effectively represent you through the process and defend you in the courtroom.
If you are accused of refusing a chemical test, you need an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC are committed to providing professional and aggressive representation using their legal understanding and courtroom experience.
Their dedication to protecting your individual rights and due process will help you move in the direction that offers the best opportunity to resolve this situation in a way that keeps you from dealing with the harshest potential consequences.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over the details of your pending case, call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message. The attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC proudly represent individuals accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes in Brevard County.
We represent clients arrested in the cities and towns in Melbourne, including Melbourne, Palm Bay, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, Merritt Island, Rockledge, Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral and West Melbourne.
Our criminal defense attorneys also represent clients in the counties surrounding Brevard County including Volusia County, Indian River County, Osceola County and Orange County, FL.
Florida's implied consent law states that any person who accepts the privilege of operating a motor vehicle within the state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test.
Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(a) specifically states that:
Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test.... The chemical or physical breath test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reason to believe such person was driving or was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages....
Additionally, Florida law provides that in DUI cases involving serious bodily injury or death, an officer may use reasonable force if necessary to require the driver to submit to the administration of a blood test. Even if you refuse, reasonable force may be used to draw blood for a BAC test under these circumstances, although the officer needs a valid warrant or exigent circumstances to take your blood by force.
If you are lawfully arrested for a DUI and refuse to submit to a BAC test, you will be subjected to an administrative license suspension after a refusal for 12 months for a first refusal or 18 months if your driving privileges have previously been suspended for a refusal to submit.
Additionally, you may be charged with a criminal misdemeanor for a second refusal. The penalties for the second refusal to take a BAC test are in addition to the standard penalties for a DUI.
The additional inconvenience and legal issues that come with a DUI refusal can be difficult to deal with. This is why working with a qualified criminal defense attorney is paramount to finding an acceptable solution to the case.
An experienced attorney will be able to help you address the administrative and criminal process in the most expedient and productive manner possible. The lawyers at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC have dealt with many DUI refusal cases and can be counted on to draw from these experiences to develop a strong defense strategy to help find a favorable solution to this stressful legal problem.
Call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation today. The attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC proudly represent individuals in and around Brevard County, Orange County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Indian River County and Osceola County.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 18, 2018.