In this article, our office revisits the frequently asked question, “Should I submit to a breath test if I am charged with a DUI in Pinellas County.” In previous posts, we addressed the consequences of refusing a breath test and the potential benefits of refusing a breath test. In this new article, the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater discuss one scenario where it may be detrimental to you if you refuse the breath test.

Police car at night with its lights on for a DUI stop

The Case of the “Second Refusal to Submit to Testing”

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in St. Petersburg, Clearwater or the surrounding areas of Pinellas County, you should know that there is a significant difference if you refuse the breath test for a first time, and if you refuse a breath, urine or blood test for a second or subsequent time. In most cases, if it is your first ever arrest for DUI and you refuse to submit to breath, urine or blood testing, you will be eligible to apply for a hardship license. Our highly qualified Clearwater DUI Attorneys guide our clients through this process and submit the appropriate paperwork with the DHSMV.

The Enhanced Penalties of a “Second” Refusal

If you are charged with a DUI and you have previously been arrested for a DUI where you refused a breath, urine or blood test, you may face the additional criminal offense of “Refusal to Submit to Testing” under Florida Statute 316.1939. A second refusal carries with it an eighteen-month suspension of your privilege to drive. Unlike a first offense, you are not eligible to immediately apply for a hardship driver’s license.

Potential Jail Time for a “Second” Refusal

A criminal charge of “Refusal to Submit to Testing” associated with a second refusal to take a breath, urine or blood test is frequently viewed by both the State Attorney’s Office and the local judiciary as a charge that is worthy of jail time. This is true even if your previous DUI arrest was reduced to Reckless Driving. In fact, it is not uncommon for the prosecutors to seek and the judiciary to impose jail sentences of 30 to 60 days for the “second refusal” offense.

We are Lawyers that Can Help

During your meeting with a top-rated Clearwater DUI Lawyer with our team, we will discuss the unique facts and circumstances of your case and discuss any proactive steps that you might take to secure the most favorable and lenient resolution. Our attorneys can also file a challenge with the DHSMV in an effort to invalidate the eighteen-month suspension of your license – but we only have ten days from the date on your citation to file that challenge. Time is of the essence to attempt to preserve your privilege to drive.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or a “Refusal to Submit to Testing,” call our office at 727-578-0303 for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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