Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Matassini Law Firm
FREE Consultations Available
813-217-5715
TAMPA
Matassini Law Firm > Blog > Criminal Defense > Do Florida Alcohol Testing Requirements Violate Your Constitutional Right against Self-Incrimination?

Do Florida Alcohol Testing Requirements Violate Your Constitutional Right against Self-Incrimination?

On the surface, agreeing to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test as part of a driving under the influence (DUI) traffic stop might seem to flout the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects individuals from incriminating themselves. However, these rights do not affect blood or breath alcohol testing requirements imposed in every state in the country because of an implied agreement to this testing that you make when you apply for a license to drive.

The Florida implied consent law takes a hard line on refusal of BAC tests. While police cannot force you to take these tests, the Florida statutes explain the harsh consequences you immediately face, including the following:

  • Suspension of driving privileges for one year for a first refusal or up to 18 months if prior refusal suspensions exist on your record
  • Misdemeanor charges levied in addition to any other applicable charges
  • The admissibility of your refusal as evidence against you in criminal proceedings

Although the BAC testing requirement may amount to self-incrimination, because you have agreed to it in exchange for your driving privileges, it is not unconstitutional. If you have been stopped and tested and found with a BAC level high enough to qualify for a DUI — or if you have been stopped and refused a BAC test ― you may still possibly mount an effective defense.

When you retain experienced legal representation as early as possible in the criminal process, your Florida DUI attorney has many opportunities to refute the evidence against you. Whether your lawyer cites a traffic stop without probable cause, testing equipment malfunctions, officer inexperience or another of several other defenses, the prosecution may agree to reduce the charges to reckless driving — or drop the charges completely.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorneyÕs advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneyÕs need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay personal injury lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa personal injury lawyers, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
888-377-0011
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609
GET DRIVING DIRECTIONS
+