Florida DUI: Refusal To Submit Laws And Defense
After pulling you over for a suspected DUI, a Florida police officer may ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test, a blood test or a urine test. If you decline to submit to the test, you will likely be charged with a DUI refusal. This charge can come with very serious penalties. If you have been charged with a refusal to submit to DUI test, you need zealous legal representation. Please contact an experienced Tampa DUI defense attorney for immediate help.
Florida Law: DUI Refusal
In Florida, if you are arrested for a DUI, you are required to submit to a breath test, chemical test, or a blood test. This is because the state has an ‘implied consent’ law. Under the law, as long as a Florida officer has probable cause to suspect intoxicated driving, declining a DUI test is prohibited. The officer is required to warn you that the refusal to comply will result in punishment. The penalties for a DUI test refusal in Florida are as follows:
- First offense: one year suspended license; and
- Each additional offense: 18 months suspended license and up to one year in prison.
Further, you can be fined up to $1,000 for each offense and a judge may order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, at your expense. A DUI refusal can be a very serious crime, it is critical that you have aggressive legal representation.
Defending Your Case
Not all criminal charges are legitimate. In a DUI refusal to submit case, the prosecution must still prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. It is important to get your case in the hands of a DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible. Some key points your attorney will consider when crafting a defense strategy include:
Probable cause: The officer must have had probable cause when he or she was initially stopping you. If the officer did not have probable cause, your attorney may be able to suppress the DUI refusal evidence. Without that evidence, the prosecution’s case will fall apart.
Implied consent warning: As was previously mentioned, Florida police officers have an obligation to warn you about the consequences of a DUI test refusal. If your officer did not adequately warn you, or misled you, the refusal evidence may be dismissed.
Did refusal actually occur: What constitutes a refusal? Sometimes a police officer will just decide that generally uncooperative behavior counts as a refusal to submit to a DUI test. That’s not allowed under Florida law. It is possible that you never actually refused to submit to a DUI test after all.
Reduction of punishment: Everyone makes mistakes. You DUI refusal charge might be legitimate. If so, your attorney can help negotiate with the prosecution to limit your punishment.
Contact An Aggressive Tampa DUI Defense Attorney
Dealing with any type of criminal charge is stressful and intimidating. At The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group, we have extensive experience helping Floridians charged with DUI and DUI refusal violations. Our defense team will comprehensively review the details of your case, and will work hard to aggressively fight on your behalf. Please do not hesitate to contact our Tampa Bay office at 813-242-4404 to learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free legal consultation.