11th Sep 2015
Many criminal defense attorney in Broward County have represented defendants who refused to take a breath test when they were pulled over and suspected of driving while under the influence (DUI). Since Florida is an implied consent state, a criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain that refusing to take a breath test can result in many serious repercussions.
According to Florida law, all drivers provide their consent to have their blood, urine or breath tested if they are lawfully arrested by an officer who has the requisite probable cause that the suspect is driving under the influence.
If a suspect refuses to take a test for the first time, he or she can lose his or her driver’s license for one year. For the second offense, a potential loss of the license for 18 months can transpire. The second and subsequent offense can also cause the suspect to be jailed and face other consequences associated with misdemeanor convictions in Florida.
Being convicted of the underlying DUI charge can mean that you face jail time, installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and large fines. Simply refusing to take the test does not guarantee that you will not be convicted of a DUI as law enforcement can rely on other evidence to support the charge. The prosecution is permitted to use your refusal as an inference that you knew that you were driving under the influence and this is the reason you refused to take the test.
While the penalties for refusing to take a test may be distinguishable from those convicted of a DUI charge, you should carefully consider the consequences and discuss your options with a DUI lawyer. This is especially important when you have already lost your license previously for refusing to take the test.