Getting arrested for a DUI can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first offender who has no previous experience with the DUI arrest procedure in West Palm Beach. With that said, a skilled DUI attorney can make things simple for you. Contacting a lawyer ensures that you have someone on your side, investigating on your behalf, and fighting to protect your interests. If you have been charged with a DUI get in touch with an attorney today, and know that you are in good hands.
According to DUI arrest procedure in West Palm Beach, a person is taken to the breath alcohol testing center, which is in the Palm Beach County Jail in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Upon arrival at the jail, there is a commencement of what is called a ’20-minute observation period’ where the arresting officer is supposed to sit next to or near the person they have arrested or close enough to see them the entire time.
The 20-minute rule is to make sure that the person who has been arrested does not contaminate themselves for a breath test, and that is to make sure they do not eat, drink, cough, burp, regurgitate, consume any alcohol, chew any gum, or do anything else that might interfere with the breath test.
Taking a Breath Test
After 20 minutes have passed, the person is brought to the breath alcohol testing room, is marched in handcuffs, placed in front of a video camera, and is asked a series of questions mostly biographical: their name, their age, their height, their weight, their address, in accordance with DUI arrest procedure in West Palm Beach.
After stating these on the record, on camera, the officer will then identify themselves by name, give their reason for arresting the individual, and ask the person if they are willing to consent to a breath test. If a person consents, they are turned over to the breath test technician and the test is administered right then and there. Normally, there are two samples given within a period of 10 minutes. And then, after the tests are given, they are processed further.
Implied Consent and Consequences of Refusal
If a person does not consent, then officers remind the person of implied consent. The implied consent law is on a person’s Florida driver’s license that says: “By accepting your driver’s license, you agree to consent to any tests as requested by a law enforcement officer to determine whether or not you have any alcohol or drugs.”
The officer will make the individual aware of the consequences for refusing a breath test. The consequences for refusing to consent to a breath test are, year long license suspension and 18-month license suspension for a second or subsequent refusal. In addition, the fact that they refused a breath test can be used against them in court. If they have refused before, and this is a second or subsequent refusal, they are committing a misdemeanor, an additional misdemeanor once they are charged for refusing to take a breath test.
Questions a Person May Have and Questions an Officer May Ask
A person can ask what their rights are, whether they are allowed to talk to a lawyer or not, and they can ask the police officer to clarify things. After the person either refuses or agrees to takes the breath test, the police will read them their Miranda Rights and begin questioning.
In the case of a DUI, a driver is read Miranda rights after they have been pulled over, arrested, taken to jail, and been given the opportunity for a breath test because that is when the police will begin asking questions about where the person was coming from, how much they have had to drink, and whether they are impaired or not.
Drivers can get a lawyer for a West Palm Beach bond hearing, however, typically there are no bond hearings for a DUI. Most people arrested for a DUI in West Palm Beach, whether it is a first offense or a third or fourth offense, are released within eight hours of being taken into custody unless there is an accident with an injury or the police officer who arrested that person thinks that they might be a flight risk. Another exception to getting a bond hearing is if a person is an out-of-area resident or non-resident of the state, and the police suspect the person may not return, they can request something like a $500 bond.
When Should a Person Contact a Lawyer
An individual should contact an attorney for a DUI case within 24 hours of being released from the jail. They do not have to call right away, the DUI arrest procedure in West Palm Beach can be strenuous, so an individual can go home, and get a good night’s sleep, take a shower, and think about what happened to them the night before.
That being said, individual should contact an attorney certainly within 24 hours so that one can start working on the investigation while it is fresh and also to preserve their rights as it relates to their driver’s license. Whether they took a breath test and blew over the legal limit, or whether they refused to take a breath test, there are consequences that follow immediately after a DUI arrest.