In Florida, as in other states, driving under the influence is a charge that is taken very seriously. The penalties for DUI conviction in Florida are severe and often include automatic license suspension, fines, and jail time. Many people wonder what they should do if they are stopped for DUI in Florida.
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If you are stopped… Read More
The Fourth Amendment constitutionally limits what law enforcement may do and the actions a police officer may take when attempting to gather evidence to use against you in a criminal proceeding. This is the amendment that addresses issues of search and seizure. The United States Constitution prohibits law enforcement from forcing their way into your home or onto your property to look for evidence, or to take anything they find suspicious, unless certain conditions are met.
One pivotal aspect of the Fourth Amendment is that it does not apply to most public places. The law says that if you’re… Read More
To blow or not to blow when you’re stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence is a question I am asked with some frequency. It’s not an easy one to answer. DUI arrests are two-pronged. They involve criminal charges as well as administrative challenges in the form of the DHSMV hearing you’re permitted to schedule within 10 days of your arrest to address the issue of retaining or losing your driver’s license. Taking or refusing a breath test affects both factors.
Unfortunately, Florida law does not allow you to request or consult with an attorney before you decide whether or not to take a breath test. The law makes a distinction between something you’re entitled to (a right) and something you elect to do (an option), and taking a breath test is an option. As long ago as 1986, in the case of State v. Hoch, 500 So.2d 597 (Fla. 3d DCA 1986), the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that a citizen’s Sixth Amendment right to an attorney doesn’t apply to breath tests, because your life, liberty and freedom don’t hang in the balance. Nor do Fifth Amendment rights… Read More