Fort Lauderdale Confusion Doctrine Attorneys
No two DUI stops are exactly the same, and the sequence of events is not always identical. Sometimes, an officer may ask a driver to take a breath, urine, or blood test before reading them their rights. In other cases, a police officer may read a driver their rights and then ask them to submit to a chemical test. In this latter scenario, drivers may become confused about their rights, and may not understand what they are legally obligated to do.
In these cases, it may be possible to get evidence pertaining to a refusal thrown out of court under the confusion doctrine. A Fort Lauderdale confusion doctrine attorney can review the facts of your case and challenge the refusal.
The Miranda Warning and the Confusion Doctrine
Any time police place someone under arrest, they are required to read them the Miranda warning. Under this warning, anyone under arrest has the right to:
- Remain silent
- An attorney
- Have an attorney provided if they cannot afford one
Sometimes, police officers read the accused the Miranda warning and then ask them to submit to a chemical test. This results in confusion, because the accused may think they are not legally obligated to submit to the test under these rights. Unfortunately, all motorists are required to submit to these tests under Florida’s implied consent law and a refusal will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension.
Using the Confusion Doctrine to Challenge the Refusal
Any time proper procedure is not followed by law enforcement and it results in an arrest or charges being filed, it can serve as a defense. This holds true for chemical test refusals, as well. Police officers are required to warn motorists about the implied consent law, and the consequences they will face if they refuse the breath test. If the accused then states that they are confused about their rights and legal obligations, the officer must explain what those are.
A court will typically not allow evidence pertaining to a refusal to be thrown out of court if the individual did not indicate their confusion at the time they refused the test. To successfully challenge a refusal, you should work with a criminal defense attorney that can subpoena the officer that attempted to administer the test. The officer can then testify and corroborate your story that you said you were confused. Additionally, if the Miranda warning was read after the implied consent warning, it will make challenging the refusal much more difficult.
Our Fort Lauderdale Confusion Doctrine Attorney Can Advise on Your Case
If you have refused a breath, blood, or urine test because you thought you had the legal right to do so, and that refusal is now being used against you, our Fort Lauderdale confusion doctrine attorney at Meldon Law can help. We know how to challenge the DUI stop, and the events that followed, and get important evidence deemed inadmissible in your case. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.