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Florida’s strict DUI protocols leave much to interpretation

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DUIMajor changes in litigation, along with adjustments in the handling of driving under the influence convictions has made Florida one of the toughest states on DUI cases. It is one of the only charges where adjudication cannot be withheld, a legal maneuver that is often seen as a reasonable resolution to criminal offenses, including drug convictions and certain felonies. This essentially means any DUI plea, even a misdemeanor count, will always result in a conviction.  There is little to no room for the same agreeable outcome as the previously mentioned offenses, where penalties are still in place but the conviction is not.

A DUI investigation can begin before a driver is even pulled over, with officers sometimes following and noting seemingly impaired driving. The other scenario is quite unnerving, and yet often produces the same result. If, upon reaching an accident scene, strange behavior on behalf of the at fault driver is expressed or an odor of alcohol or marked signs of other intoxicant use are observed, there is likely probable cause to begin an official DUI investigation. Questioning by the investigating officer will ensue, including inquiries as to whether any alcohol was consumed Before a blood alcohol test can be administered, a field sobriety test must first be performed, the results of which are often objective and open to different interpretation. Regardless, if the suspect is deemed impaired, an arrest is made, and perhaps the most shocking thing about Florida law is that once this happens, the driver’s license is immediately suspended. The arresting officer will physically take the license upon admittance to jail. Considering at this point there hasn’t been a court appearance yet, the immediate and automatic drivers license suspension is a function of the Department of Motor Vehicles and independent of the criminal case.

Contrary to some belief, refusing to take a breathalyzer is not, on it’s own, an indication of guilt to the DUI charge, but instead brings the additional charge of a Refusal. Due to the severity of punishment that comes with a failed BAT test, which include set minimum sentences for DUI convictions, and the fact that there is no chance of adjudication being withheld, careful consideration should be made on how to proceed. For instance, evidence of a breathalyzer reading above a .08 is concrete and absolute, as is the suspended license. Refusing a blood alcohol test is not nearly as convincing of a person’s guilt as a tangible reading on a blood content test. Of course, refusing the test results in a suspended license, but a DUI results in not only a suspended license, but minimum sentencing and a guaranteed conviction.  These strategies vary significantly on a case-by case basis The best person to assess the right move to make if ever in this situation is an attorney. Knowing the consequences of each possible action and reaction can be crucial in determining how things will turn out. A competent attorney can not only inform you of your rights, but will know how to interpret Florida’s hardwired DUI laws and assess your situation.

Issues like this are why Adam Brofsky offers his services as a leading Criminal Law Attorney Miami. A founding partner of The Bauer Brofsky Law Firm, P.A., among the leading South Florida Law Firms, Adam Brofsky specializes on a broad range of legal matters related to criminal defense, personal injury, and juvenile dependency. With his meticulous attention to detail and steadfast commitment to each client, he has successfully defended and protected the rights of numerous individuals across Florida.

By providing exceptional one-on-one attention to every client, Mr. Brofsky provides invaluable guidance and direction in times of great needs. Know your rights. Do not let the system victimize you. Contact us at (305) 712-7979 or

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