Convicted of a DUI without a bac?A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) crime is a severe driving offense and can result in you receiving a large fine, losing your driving privileges for months to years, and/or even jail time. Driving whilst intoxicated is an offense in the State of Florida, it is proved by the impairment of a person’s ‘normal faculties’ or unlawful blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08% or above. Such an offense encompasses both alcohol and drugs, prescribed or illegal, as long as it has impaired your ability to drive. Usually, on the scene of a DUI case, officers will utilize field sobriety tests, but it was found that four out of every ten drivers stopped for DUI in the State of Florida refused to take a breath test.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in the State of Florida, then it is best to have a DUI attorney on your side. Here at The Ticket Lawyers, we provide a dedicated attorney-client relationship, whereby our lawyers are experienced in dealing with your cases such as your own. Tell us if you have been involved in such a case, using our phone number (855)-323-8488, and we will be able to organize a free consultation.
Can you be convicted of a DUI Without a Blood Test?
In most states, including Florida, DUI/DWI law states a person can still be charged and convicted without a chemical test or if it is not available to the prosecutor for whatever reason (e.g., ruled inadmissible or equipment failed). In such scenarios, other pieces of evidence can be utilized by the prosecutors to ensure a conviction.
The prosecutor at trial commonly will use evidence, including the officer’s police report and footage of the defendant’s performance in field sobriety tests. A field sobriety test is typically conducted by the arresting officer at the side of the road to test the driver’s potential impairment. If these test results suggest you were inebriated and thus not fit to drive, then you could still be convicted, even if your bac cannot be proved via a chemical test.
Can you Refuse to Submit a Blood Test in Florida?
Despite the law stating that you cannot be forced to take a breath, blood, or urine test in most scenarios involving a DUI, Florida is allowed to force a blood bac screening on a person if they’re unconscious. This is regardless of whether they have previously been arrested for a DUI. A forced blood test is allowed if a person is injured in a car accident or if they’ve been stopped for a third DUI offense. If the person is conscious, then a blood test can be refused.
Can you get a DUI without Taking a Breathalyser?
Florida law, as per Florida Statute 316.1932, includes something known as “implied consent.” Implied consent in relation to a DUI case means that as soon as you drive on Florida roads, you are essentially consenting to a breath test if an officer asks. This means you absolutely have to provide a breath test if an officer asks so.
Some argue you cannot be physically forced to take a breath test, and it is, in fact, illegal for an officer to force you to take a breath test. However, the cost of saying no to a breath test is often far greater than just taking the test. If you refuse to take a breath test, considering there is still a potential you could still be convicted with a DUI due to other pieces of evidence, you will be faced with a range of other potential penalties. Examples include:
- Large fines.
- Jail time.
- Automatic license suspension for up to 18 months.
- Automatic vehicle impoundment.
In conclusion, as with missing blood tests, yes, you can still receive a DUI conviction even if you refuse a breath test, and you could even receive additional penalties for doing so. This can be possible by going through surveillance or observation in severe cases.
Can you be convicted of a DUI Without Driving?
The simple answer to this is yes, and you can be convicted for a DUI even if you were not driving. This is due to the fact the first element that the State must prove in a DUI case is that you were driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, as per the description of a DUI provided in Florida Statute 316.193. The term “actual physical control” allows a person to be convicted with a DUI even if they were not driving. This addition to the law means that even if you are sleeping in your car, as long as you are intoxicated, you could be convicted with a DUI offense.
The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that “actual physical control of the vehicle” means the defendant must have been physically in the vehicle and possess the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether the defendant was actually operating the vehicle at the time. Therefore in Florida, the penalties for being under the influence and being “in actual physical control” of your vehicle are the same as if you were to be actually driving and on the roads.
What Evidence is Needed for a DUI Conviction?
A DUI conviction is very different from an arrest, and this only requires officers to have probable cause that you were guilty. A prosecutor will require more examples of credible evidence to prove that you were guilty of driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt. A criminal defense attorney may develop a strategy against this, but it is important you know what a prosecutor will look for in a DUI case to land a conviction.
- Field sobriety tests – Before you are placed under arrest, it is common for an officer to request you submit to one or more field sobriety tests to evaluate your impairment. These are commonly recorded via an officer’s dashcam, your attorney may use this footage in your defense if appropriate. These tests can be problematic due to the subjectivity and the number of extraneous variables, such as uneven pavements and poor lighting, that could all unfairly affect your performance in a field sobriety test.
- Chemical tests – Breathalyser tests and blood or urine samples can all be used as evidence in your DUI/DWI case as a means to assess your blood alcohol concentration. If your BAC is above 0.08, this will provide the foundations to a DUI conviction and is a perfect example of evidence that can be used against you. A criminal defense lawyer can dispute DUI charges because of these test results for a range of reasons. For example, something as little as burping can negatively affect your test results because of the gas escaping your body, leading to a false positive.
- Police report – The officer who arrests you is required by law to submit a number of documents regarding their account of circumstances leading up to your arrest for a DUI. The officer will recount your performance on any field sobriety tests, the reason for them pulling you over in the first place, your own demeanor at the scene, and any other details that could be useful as evidence.
- Any witness reports – The fourth part of useful evidence would be any witness accounts of the incident. If you driving under the influence led to others being involved or others witnessing what you did, then they can write their account, and this will then be used as evidence to better understand what happened on the lead up to your arrest.
If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI and face a possible conviction, tell us today. Here at The Ticket Lawyers, our expert DUI lawyers will be able to offer legal advice and representation for your case.
How Much Will a DUI Attorney Cost in Florida?
There are multiple reasons for why it would be best to consider hiring an attorney after you’ve been arrested for a DUI, but many are put off by the potential cost. In the State of Florida, the average cost for a DUI attorney relies significantly on the lawyer’s experience and the details of your case. The fees for a criminal defense lawyer can average at $4,000 for a total DUI sum but can even be upwards of $7,500 – $10,000 if the case is considered a felony. An attorney’s fees will be based upon a range of factors. For example, if you accept a plea or instead decide to take the case to trial. A DUI attorney is able to charge thousands of dollars when the client chooses to accept a plea, and significantly more if the case has to go to trial.
From the time of your arrest to the time the case is finally resolved, the entire legal case can last on average between 6-12 months. Because of the heavy potential penalties a DUI conviction carries, the cost is often a second thought when you realize what you could be up against. Contact The Ticket Lawyers as soon as possible to find out what our firm can do to help.
Is it Worth it?
Florida is becoming even more strict regarding the enforcement of DUI laws; therefore, convicted drivers often face drastic penalties. If you wish to investigate and contest your DUI charge, then it is always best to consult a lawyer specializing in this law. An attorney will be able to advise you on the best possible way to challenge your charges in an attempt to reduce or get rid of them. They will be able to face the prosecutors on your behalf and do whatever they can to help your case.
If this is your second or third DUI charge, this will carry even more severe penalties than the first. If this occurs, you should definitely consider seeking legal aid. A lawyer may be able to reduce your charge to a “reckless driving” or “wet reckless” charge, the consequences of such are lesser.
Contact The Ticket Lawyers Today!
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI case, then do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. Our team of defense attorneys are experienced in dealing with many DUI cases and will be dedicated in ensuring you are not convicted with such an offense. DUI convictions can be very serious, so it is critically important that you seek the legal experience of a lawyer on our team.
Contact us today to organize a free consultation with our lawyers so that we can provide any legal advice you may require and allow you to better understand the legalities of your own case. Call The Ticket Lawyers as soon as possible to find out what we can do to help using our number (885)-323-8488.