The Good News and The Bad News After a DUI Refusal in Tampa, FL
In many Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) cases, the main evidence used by the State to prove the offense is a chemical test that indicates the driver’s breath or blood alcohol content was over the legal limit of .08.
The good news is that when the driver refuses to take the breath, blood or urine test, the State is without that important evidence. The State will argue that the refusal shows “you thought you were guilt.” If you didn’t think you were guilty then you would consented to the chemical test. Your attorney, however, can argue numerous other reasons for the refusal. The jury often understands that a refusal may have nothing to do with whether you thought you were guilty or not.
The breath test has been excluded in several counties because the prosecutors for the State of Florida are refusing to turn over the “source code” of the machine, called the Intoxilyzer 8000. Courts in Sarasota County, Manatee County, Orange County, Seminole County and now Lake County have excluded breath test evidence on this basis in certain cases. Many people “refuse” to take the breath test because they know that the machines are not accurate. If you knew that courts were throwing out the results across the State of Florida would you risk your good name and a possible criminal record on taking a test that you believed might lead to an inaccurate reading?
The bad news is that Florida DUI laws attempt to compensate for this lost evidence by making harsher penalties for individuals that decline to take a chemical test, including an increased administrative suspension of your driver’s license by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). If you have been charged with DUI and refused to take a chemical test, it is important to fight that administrative suspension. You only have 10 DAYS to file a demand for a formal review hearing. There is no downside to fighting the administrative suspension and many times a Tampa DUI attorney can help you get a 42 day driving permit while your attorney fights the suspension. If you win the hearing (which does occur fairly often, especially when a critical witness fails to appear) then you will get your driver’s license and full driving privileges back while you fight the DUI case.
Contact the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your DUI Refusal Case at 813-250-0500 or visit our main website to learn more information about hiring a Tampa DUI Lawyer to fight your alleged “refusal” case.
In many of these refusal cases an aggressive defense can cause the prosecutor to offer a plea to a reduced charge of reckless driving which has much lower penalties, including no suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, a reduced charge of reckless driving, especially if adjudication is withheld may lead to substantially lower automobile insurance rates saving the driver thousands of dollars over the next three years. If you were arrested for driving under the influence (“DUI”) after refusing to submit to a breath test, contact an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your case.
Find out more about DUI refusal cases in Hillsborough County, Polk County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Pasco County at our main web site. Tampa DUI Attorney.
Refusal to Submit to DUI Testing
316.1939 Refusal to submit to testing; penalties.–
(1) Any person who has refused to submit to a chemical or physical test of his or her breath, blood, or urine, as described in s. 316.1932, and whose driving privilege was previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, and:
(a) Who the arresting law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances;
(b) Who was placed under lawful arrest for a violation of s. 316.193 unless such test was requested pursuant to s. 316.1932(1)(c);
(c) Who was informed that, if he or she refused to submit to such test, his or her privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended for a period of 1 year or, in the case of a second or subsequent refusal, for a period of 18 months;
(d) Who was informed that a refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, if his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, is a misdemeanor; and
(e) Who, after having been so informed, refused to submit to any such test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer
commits a misdemeanor of the first degree and is subject to punishment as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) The disposition of any administrative proceeding that relates to the suspension of a person’s driving privilege does not affect a criminal action under this section.
(3) The disposition of a criminal action under this section does not affect any administrative proceeding that relates to the suspension of a person’s driving privilege. The department’s records showing that a person’s license has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood shall be admissible and shall create a rebuttable presumption of such suspension.
If you have been charged with DUI after allegedly refusing to take a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine, contact an experienced Tampa DUI Attorney at 813-250-0500 to discuss your case and how to best fight the charges against you to avoid a DUI conviction.