How Implied Consent Law Can Impact Your DUI Case
When you’ve been pulled over and the police want you to take a test to determine the alcohol content of your breath, urine, or blood, you may have considered refusing. That’s less evidence against you in court, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t so simple. Your choice is impacted by implied consent.
You may not be sure how implied consent law can impact your DUI case. To better understand this, read more below or reach out to a DUI lawyer at Hersem Law.
What Is Implied Consent?
If you have a license, you’ve given implied consent to be tested if the police have probable cause to suspect you’re driving under the influence (DUI) and are arresting you for this offense. But how does implied consent work?
When you get your license, part of your agreement is that you will accept a sobriety test if you’re pulled over and arrested for alleged drunk driving. It’s implied that if you have a drivers license, you consent to the test. However, the arresting officer must read you Florida’s implied consent warning, explaining the possible repercussions of a refusal.
If you take that consent back, your license will be impacted. It doesn’t matter if you’re sober or not. If you refuse to provide a sample of your breath, urine, or blood, your license will be suspended for one year if this is the first time you’ve refused. If you’ve been pulled over and refused a sobriety test before, your license will then be suspended for 18 months—plus you could be facing criminal charges for your second refusal.
This doesn’t mean that you should always comply with the officer’s request to submit to testing. It’s important to note that if you submit to a breath test and the results come back above .08, your license will automatically be suspended for a period of six months, if this is your first offense.
Additionally, you will have just given the State more evidence to use against you in court—so sometimes, it is better to refuse to submit and to accept the longer administrative license suspension. It all depends on your unique situation.
Your License Suspension
A license suspension may not sound that serious, especially if you’re going to be in court for your DUI case anyway. Here’s the problem—even if the DUI charges are eventually dismissed by the State, you won’t get your license back until the automatic suspension expires. That’s because you failed to uphold the agreement you made when you got your license.
This is an administrative suspension and is completely separate from the criminal DUI charges you may be facing in court. Now, you have two things to worry about: You may lose your license and even spend some time in jail for driving under the influence.
Here’s the good news—whether you provided a sample or refused to do so, your DUI lawyer can help you fight your license suspension.
You only have ten days after your arrest to challenge the suspension, but, depending on the details of your case, this could mean the difference between driving for the next year or not being able to.
For example, the police officer may have failed to read you the implied consent warning. That violation of due process means any evidence obtained after it may be inadmissible. It may also invalidate the license suspension since your refusal is only punishable if it comes after the reading of the implied consent warning.
What You Can Do to Defend Your Case
You have options to defend your case with a DUI lawyer, even if you fail the sobriety test. Your DUI lawyer can work to defend your case and gather evidence to support you. In some cases, you may not lose your license at all.
When you’re charged with drinking and driving, your lawyer can seek to gather evidence and witnesses that support your version of events. Your DUI lawyer can also represent you in Florida court so you don’t have to worry about taking the wrong steps. You can instead let your lawyer handle the details of your defense.
Talk to a DUI Lawyer in Tampa About Implied Consent
Accused of a DUI? It’s frustrating to learn firsthand how implied consent law can impact your DUI case. Luckily, the lawyers at Hersem Law can help. We have the tools you need to defend your case, starting with a free strategy session with our lawyers. When you’re ready, call 813-251-7291 or fill out the online contact form below.