If police stop you because they suspect that you are driving under the influence, it must be based on probable cause. In other words, there must be a set of circumstances in place that would make it reasonable for an officer to stop you.
Criminal defense lawyers may be able to help if you have been accused of a DUI in Miami. You would benefit from having strong legal representation fight for your rights.
Breathalyzer in a DUI
While there can be a variety of reasons that would lead a police officer to conclude a driver is impaired, such as swerving in and out of lanes, it still requires that further investigation be conducted. One of the ways this is done is through a breathalyzer test.
Whether you were involved in an accident or an officer pulled you over, you may be required to take a breath test. This helps to determine the presence of alcohol.
If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, it could cause further problems. That’s because Florida enforces implied consent laws.
Under implied consent, if you are operating a motor vehicle, you have automatically given consent to be tested. This includes a chemical test and a breathalyzer.
This law goes even further in that if a driver is involved in an accident that results in serious injury or death, reasonable force may be used by a police officer to get the suspected driver to submit to a blood test. In other words, it is best to take the breath test when an officer requests it.
Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer
There are penalties for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. If you are lawfully arrested for a DUI in Miami, not only could you be facing charges for that, but you could also be charged with a criminal misdemeanor for refusing the breath test.
A first offense could result in the suspension of your license for a year. A second and subsequent offense could result in a suspension of your license for 18 months. In addition, you could be facing first-degree misdemeanor charges.
Keep in mind that a breathalyzer isn’t the only determining factor in charging someone with a DUI. There are other types of evidence that will be considered as well.
If you go to court, a judge may consider the results of your breath test to be critical in the case. Or, they may not place as much weight on that. Instead, other factors may be considered, such as a blood test showing the presence of alcohol or physical evidence such as open cans of beer.
In fact, you may take a breath test and be under the legal limit. However, if you cannot walk a straight line or you caused an accident, you could still be found guilty of a DUI.
Contacting Criminal Defense Lawyers
With the consequences of a DUI in Miami being potentially severe, you could benefit in seeking legal counsel immediately. A lawyer may be able to help fight your charges and reduce the penalties you are facing.
If you were asked to submit to a breath test and you refused, you will definitely want to seek help from a lawyer. If you believe that the results of the test were the only factors considered and you showed no other evidence of impairment, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Seeking legal counsel from a qualified attorney at Falk & Ross Law Firm can help better understand your legal rights and how they can be protected. Contact us today for a free consultation – 877-663-5110 or 305-741-6997.