Implied Consent in Florida. What Is It and Why Should I Care?
June 16, 2023
In Florida, the implied consent law refers to the legal principle that drivers automatically consent to chemical testing, such as a breath, blood, or urine test, to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if they are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
Understanding Implied Consent:
The implied consent law is based on the understanding that driving is a privilege, and by obtaining a driver's license, individuals agree to cooperate with DUI testing when requested by law enforcement. If a driver refuses to submit to a lawful test of their BAC in Florida, there are consequences under the state's implied consent law. The penalties for refusing to take a breath, blood, or urine test can include:
Administrative License Suspension:
Upon refusal, the driver's license is immediately suspended. For a first refusal, the suspension can last for one year, and for subsequent refusals within ten years, the suspension can last for 18 months.
Refusing to take a BAC test may lead to enhanced criminal penalties if the driver is subsequently convicted of DUI. The refusal can be used against them as evidence in court, and it may result in longer license suspensions, fines, probation, mandatory DUI education programs, and even jail time.
Review the Arrest Process:
I will closely examine the events leading up to your arrest to determine whether law enforcement officers followed proper procedures. If there were any irregularities, such as failure to inform you of the consequences of refusal or coercive behavior, we can challenge the validity of the implied consent law application in your case.
Evaluate Constitutional Rights:
Implied consent laws must comply with constitutional protections. We will explore whether any violations of your Fourth Amendment rights occurred, such as an unlawful traffic stop or an unreasonable search and seizure. If such violations took place, we can file a motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result.
Develop Defense Strategies:
Implied consent is only one aspect of your defense. We will consider all available strategies, including challenging the credibility of the arresting officer, questioning the accuracy of field sobriety tests, or presenting alternative explanations for observed behavior that may cast doubt on the prosecution's case.
Facing a DUI accusation is a daunting experience, but understanding implied consent and working with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. By thoroughly examining the circumstances, challenging the evidence, and exploring potential constitutional violations, we can build a strong defense strategy to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome.
Remember, this blog post is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult with a criminal defense attorney to obtain personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation. With a robust defense strategy and experienced legal representation like that provided by the Law Office of Juan C. Calama, you can navigate the complexities of implied consent and work towards a favorable resolution in your DUI case.