Do you have the right to talk to a DUI Lawyer when you are suspected of driving under the influence in Florida?

As a Jacksonville DUI Defense Attorney, I have read thousands of Jacksonville, Clay County, and Nassau County DUI arrest and booking reports. In almost every report, the police follow the same procedures.

Once you are pulled over, the officer approaches your car. Inevitably, he or she will smell the odor of alcohol coming from your breath. You will then be asked to get out of your car and at this point, the officer is evaluating your every move. The officer will watch how you exit your car and walk off the roadside. At this point, you will be asked if he or she can evaluate your eyes. If he or she decides you flunk that test, you will be asked to perform field sobriety exercises. It is your choice. If you elect to try them, the officer will eventually read you your rights.

In those rights that are read to you, the officer will tell you that you have the right to consult with a lawyer and the right to have a lawyer with you before going further. The words are very direct, but if you ask for a DUI attorney at that point, you will not be allowed to call one. The Florida courts have decided that during a DUI investigation, you do not have the right to consult with a lawyer. That being said, why on earth do the police tell DUI suspects they have that right? It confuses the suspect and can lead to possible suppression of any further evidence because when you consent to do these exercises, that consent must be voluntary. How can you voluntarily consent to perform exercises if the police are advising you of rights you do not have?

Even after you are arrested for DUI in Florida, you are told, again, you have the right to consult with a DUI lawyer before deciding to blow into the breathilizer. Again, if you ask for a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer before you blow, that request will be denied. It does not make sense, but can lead to issues with the evidence the state attorney can use against you. You should consult with an experienced DUI Defense Law Firm in Jacksonville to discuss your case.