Fort Myers, FL – All DUI investigations in Florida will conclude with the suspect being asked to take a chemical test to detect the presence of alcohol or controlled substances. The suspect can refuse, but there will also be penalties associated with their refusal. These penalties are similar to the ones given by the state for a DUI charge, but there are some differences. For more direct information about a specific refusal case, anyone who was recently charged should get in touch with a licensed attorney.
Implied consent law
Florida’s implied consent laws that are printed on all driver’s licenses issued by the state say that driving privileges also require the driver to submit to a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine when asked by a law enforcement officer.
After a suspect is taken into custody they will be shown and read an implied consent form. The states the law and lets the suspect know what may happen if they refuse the test. The statute that contains this implied consent law gives the state the authority to punish people who refuse a breath test. While the state can introduce evidence that the person refused the breath test at trial, the refusal does not necessarily prove the defendant’s guilt. There are also situations where the defense attorney can have a refusal excluded from evidence if the police officer did not properly inform the suspect of their rights under the implied consent law.
Penalties for a refusal
A first refusal carries an automatic one year long driver’s license suspension. After a second time in the same situation with the refusal, the driver will have an eighteen month suspension. A first refusal is also a misdemeanor that can result in fines and up to one year in jail. When someone loses their license, there are various forms of administrative review through the department of highway safety and motor vehicles. The person can either try to contest the suspension or receive a temporary hardship license that will allow them to drive to work.
The relevant burdens of proof are also different for criminal cases versus licenses suspension cases. Because the suspension is a civil penalty, the burden of proof on the state is lower. Criminal charges must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Attorneys who handle the criminal aspects of the case can also give advice related to an administrative suspension.
Local defense attorneys can help
Anyone who is experiencing issues related to a DUI arrest can contact an experienced defense attorney in the Fort Myers area. Michael Raheb is a lawyer who can handle all aspects of a DUI case from arrest to trial or dismissal.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901