In the State of Florida, there is an implied consent law. As a condition of the State giving people license to drive, which is considered a privilege here in Florida, a person is impliedly or previously consenting to any requests for a blood, breath, or urine test for drugs or alcohol. Implied consent in West Palm Beach DUI cases can become a contentious issue and can make things more difficult for the defendant/arrested party. The refusal of a breath test can lead to the escalation of charges, further complicating a person’s case. If an individual has been charged with a DUI and has failed to consent to a breath test, they should work with a skilled DUI lawyer that can advocate for them.
Role of Implied Consent in DUI Cases
The role of implied consent in West Palm Beach DUI cases is that if a person gets arrested for DUI, they are going to be asked to take a breath test, the officer will ask for a breath test, or may even ask for a blood or urine test. However, they cannot force a person to do that, only in certain circumstances like if someone is seriously injured or dead and they actually hold them down and strap the person to a chair and take their blood but most instances we do not have that and so it is a voluntary compliance with that law.
Refusal of a Breath Test
If a person does not consent to the breath test, it is called a refusal and implied consent will be read to them at that time. An officer would state their name, inform the individual of why they have been pulled over and would request that they submit to a breath test. Then the officer will explain that if the person refuses to submit to a breath test, their license can be suspended for up to one year (if it is their first refusal) and a suspension of 18 months if it is the second refusal.
The individual could also result in a misdemeanor charge, and can be used as an aggravating factor in court and could potentially even result in another criminal charge. During a stop, the driver has no right to speak to a lawyer, it is only if they are arrested and law enforcement wants to interrogate the person in custody, that they have the right to a lawyer.
Right to an Attorney
During a traffic stop, a person does not have a right to a lawyer and when they are asking the individual to take a breath test, they may voice their desire to speak with their lawyer but they do not have a right to consult with a lawyer regarding whether or not they should give a breath test because they consented to give that breath test as a condition of a person getting a license. Plus the legal definition is that giving a sample of is not a statement, and so the Miranda rules do not apply and they are not entitled to an attorney at that point. It is only following the DUI investigation that someone is entitled to an attorney.
The individual’s attorney will have knowledge of implied consent in West Palm Beach DUI cases. The lawyer can attempt to protect the rights of their potential client. If an individual has refused a breath test during a DUI investigation, they should consult a compassionate and capable attorney that can help.