When police officers believe drivers are under the influence while driving, they will pull over their vehicles. Upon doing so, officers will request drivers to take a breathalyzer test or perform a field sobriety screening to see if they are, in fact, under the influence of alcohol. Although drivers can technically refuse to take a breathalyzer screening, they often face steep penalties for refusing. The penalties related to refusal are often just as severe as those for driving under the influence. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a driver who refuses to take a breathalyzer test will not still face a charge for DUI in Florida.
When a driver is pulled over by the police and charged with a refusal offense because they choose not to take the breathalyzer test, they may still have a strong and valid defense for how to beat the charge in a Florida court. Working with a reputable legal defense attorney will ensure you have the best chance of beating a DUI refusal charge in Florida.
How Is A Driver Charged With Refusal In Florida?
After a law enforcement officer suspects a driver is driving under the influence, they will demand a person to take a roadside field sobriety test. Afterward, the officer will then ask the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test using a handheld device. This device is used to measure the blood alcohol content level of a driver by screening the air they blow through the machine. Typically, a person is considered as driving under the influence if their blood alcohol content level is over 0.08%.
If the officer who stops the driver has a reasonable cause to suspect the driver is impaired, they can further request a driver to go to the station for observation to determine if they are impaired. From there, they often ask the driver if they are willing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine screening for drugs or alcohol. A driver in this position has a legal right to speak to an attorney before providing a sample. If a driver refuses to do so, they will be charged with criminal refusal. At this point, a court will determine if a driver had a reasonable excuse for refusal at the time of the request. It is crucial to note that these types of cases can be very difficult for offenders to argue in court alone.
How A DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You
There are several legal defense options available for those charged with DUI refusal in Florida. Working with a skilled attorney will ensure all options are explored when it comes to your case. One of the most common defenses applied in DUI refusal cases involves determining whether an officer violated an offender’s rights. It is crucial for arresting officers to follow the laws regarding DUI testing and procedures. Those who are requested can argue in court that their rights were violated in an attempt to have the DUI refusal and DUI charges dismissed or reduced.
Proving that an arresting officer violated your rights would essentially mean that you will have to prove that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, to begin with. This is a difficult argument to make, but it is possible when working with a skilled DUI attorney. Attorneys will review all the details pertaining to your arrest to determine if the officer was performing roadblock stops or if they were following proper protocol at the time of the stop. If this argument is not applicable, there are some instances where you may be able to make a plea deal.
What Will Happen If I Enter A Guilty Plea?
One of the biggest issues surrounding a guilty plea for a DUI refusal is that a person who admits to this offense often faces severe consequences. A refusal test can result in steep fines, license suspensions, and a permanent criminal record.
There are some common circumstances that could happen in your court hearing that would ultimately lead to your charges getting thrown out. In some circumstances, the arresting officer does not show up to court. When this occurs, you can make an argument against why you did not take the test effectively with an experienced attorney.
Furthermore, individuals could argue that their rights were violated by denying their right to a speedy trial within a fair amount of time. As previously mentioned, a violation of a person’s rights is cause for a case to be dismissed in court.
If the prosecuting attorney makes a critical mistake on the case or the facts and details surrounding the arrest provide a successful defense then it is possible to make a valid argument for dismissal in Florida DUI court.
There are some scenarios in which a driver does not refuse a breath test and they blow over the legal limit. In these cases, it can be a costly mistake to plead guilty. Unfortunately, many first time offenders believe a guilty plea will speed up their trial and help them get their licenses back sooner. IT is crucial to realize before making any guilty plea that you will have a permanent record, a license suspension for up to a year, steep fines, and possible jail time.
It is important to note that drivers always have a basic right to remain silent and not say anything that can be used against them in the court of law. The less the offender discusses with the police, the more likely it will be that an attorney can help them fight their charges.
A Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
If you are facing charges for DUI refusal, it is crucial to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. With over 150-years of combined experience, attorneys at Musca Law have helped many clients successfully beat DUI refusal charges in Florida. Contact our law firm today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free case review to see what legal options are available for you.