Posts Tagged ‘DMV’

Taking the Breath Test: You’re On Your Own!

April 16, 2010

If you’re arrested for DUI, you’ll be asked to take a breath test.  You may not realize it, but when you get a driver license, you agree in advance to take the test (check the small print on your license). If you refuse, the Department of Motor Vehicles  ( )will suspend your license for a year. If you’ve refused before, the suspension will be 18 months, and you’ll be charged with a crime for the refusal (a first-degree misdemeanor).

The officer who administers the test is supposed to tell you what will happen if you refuse. But you don’t have the right to talk to a lawyer before you decide whether to take the test. Now, a Florida appellate court has specifically ruled that the officer does NOT have to tell you that you don’t have the right to talk to a lawyer before deciding. The officer only has to explain the direct consequences of a refusal.

The process might seem backward, but it’s the law in Florida. First you get arrested, then you decide whether to take the breath test, then you talk to a lawyer.

Don’t skip the third step. Exercise your right to talk to a lawyer before deciding how to plead to a DUI charge!


DMV Misinforms About Right to Hearing

March 15, 2010

A prospective client called today about a DUI case. The client had gone to the Wilson Boulevard DMV office to apply for an administrative hearing on his license suspension, only to be told that he was not eligible for a hearing because he had refused the breath test. WRONG! I can’t imagine why anyone at DMV would misinform someone about his rights under the law. I hope that this was just a mistake by someone new who misunderstood the rules and that a supervisor intervenes before anyone else is turned away.

If, heaven forbid, this were to happen to you, cite the statute,, and hold your ground! Better yet, call an experienced DUI lawyer before your 10 days runs out!