Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Know Your Rights For Tampa DUI

If you are stopped by the police on suspicion of DUI, you need to know what your rights are under Florida state law:

Right to remain silent – under Florida law, you have the right NOT to answer any questions that could possibly incriminate you.  If you really have had something to drink, tell the officer that you would like to speak with an attorney before questioning.  You don't have to be rude, just ask politely. When asked how much you've had to drink, ask to speak with your attorney first.  Don't say "a couple," it never works, you're probably going to jail anyway.  You need to accept that and not give them any additional reasons to be found driving under the influence.

Right to refuse field sobriety test – under Florida law, you do not have to take a field sobriety test.  However, you should know that this will lead to your arrest.  One you’re arrested, you have a right to legal counsel.  The refusal to take a field sobriety test can be used against you at trial by prosecutors – which is why it is important to speak with a Florida DUI attorney as soon as possible.  Better to refuse than have video of you falling all over the place.

Right to refuse a chemical test – while you can refuse to provide a sample for chemical testing (blood, urine, breath), taking the test is usually not in your best interest if you have had too much to drink.  However you must keep in mind that refusal could result in your losing your driver’s license for one year, even if you are not convicted of a DUI.  However, Florida DUI law does give you the right to consult with a lawyer before submitting to any chemical (breath, blood or urine) test.  Also keep in mind everything you say and do is on video when they are asking permission to do a breath test.  Just say "yes" or "no" and stand up straight. That video will be used against you along with anything else you talk about during your jail visit. Exercising your right to remain silent is golden. Again, don't be rude, but you do have this right.

Understanding these basic rights – and calling a Florida licensed DUI attorney as soon as possible – can help you protect yourself from the legal consequences of a DUI offense.

If you’ve been arrested for a Florida DUI, you need a DUI defense attorney with the experience to ensure you get a fair hearing.  When your freedom is on the line, contact a Florida licensed DUI attorney and criminal defense attorney Zonald E. Spinks at 813 413-5352.

This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications  

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