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How to Fight an Administrative Suspension in Blood Cases



Understanding Administrative Suspensions in Blood Cases

Administrative suspensions in blood cases occur when a driver is arrested for a DUI and a blood test is involved. These suspensions are immediate and can have severe consequences if not addressed promptly. Understanding the process and knowing your rights is crucial in fighting an administrative suspension.

Key Steps After Receiving Notice

Upon receiving notice of an administrative suspension, you have only ten days to request a formal review hearing. This hearing is your opportunity to contest the suspension. It’s essential to act quickly and gather all necessary documentation, including the citation, refusal affidavit, blood alcohol analyses affidavit, and the officer’s probable cause affidavit.

The arresting officer is trained to submit the following items in a blood case:

  • The Citation: This document outlines the charges against you.
  • The Refusal Affidavit – HSMV Form #78054: This form is used if you refused to take a blood test.
  • Blood Alcohol Analyses Affidavit – FDLE Form #15: This affidavit contains the results of the blood test.
  • Officer’s Probable Cause Affidavit: This affidavit details the officer’s reasons for believing you were under the influence.
  • Post-Dated Suspension Order: This order suspends your license unless the correct citation was issued and personally served to you by the officer.

After you receive the notice, you should retain an attorney to demand a formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office in Tampa, FL. Acting quickly is crucial because you only have ten days to make this request.

What happens after a person arrested for a DUI involving a blood test receives notice of an administrative suspension? You only have ten (10) days to demand a formal reviewing hearing to contest the administrative suspension.

It’s important to understand that the hearing is your chance to present evidence and argue against the suspension. This may involve challenging the validity of the blood test, questioning the officer’s probable cause, or presenting other relevant evidence.

For more detailed information on DUI formal review hearings in Florida, you can refer to our comprehensive guide.

Additionally, if you need assistance with securing a hardship license during this period, you can find more details in our guide on getting a BPO hardship license.

Prerequisites for Blood Testing in DUI Cases

How to Fight an Administrative Suspension in Blood Cases

Florida law outlines specific prerequisites for blood testing in DUI cases under sections 316.1932 and 316.1933. These prerequisites must be met for the blood test results to be admissible in court. Understanding these requirements can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Section 316.1932: Medical Facility Requirements

Under Section 316.1932, the driver must be at a medical facility for treatment, making a breath test impractical. Conditions such as severe injuries or medical impairments that prevent a breath test are necessary. An ambulance qualifies as a medical facility, but a patrol car does not.

Here are the key points for Section 316.1932:

  • Medical Facility Requirement: The driver must be receiving treatment at a medical facility, such as a hospital or an ambulance.
  • Impracticality of Breath Test: The driver must have a condition that makes a breath test impractical or impossible. This could include severe injuries or medical impairments like a tracheotomy or missing roof of the mouth.

These requirements ensure that the blood test is only administered when absolutely necessary and under appropriate medical supervision. Failure to meet these prerequisites can result in the blood test being deemed inadmissible in court.

What are the prerequisites for blood testing under Section 316.1932? The driver must be at a medical facility for treatment, and a breath test must be impractical or impossible due to severe injuries or medical impairments.

It’s crucial to understand these conditions because they form the basis of challenging the admissibility of blood test results. If the arresting officer did not follow these guidelines, the evidence gathered might be thrown out.

For more details on the steps to obtain a BPO hardship license after a DUI arrest, you can refer to our comprehensive guide.

Section 316.1933: Serious Bodily Injury or Death

Section 316.1933 applies when a DUI incident involves serious bodily injury or death. In these cases, the officer must have probable cause to believe the driver was under the influence. The driver does not have the right to refuse the blood test, and the officer may use reasonable force if necessary.

Key points for Section 316.1933 include:

  • Probable Cause: The officer must have probable cause to believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Serious Bodily Injury or Death: The incident must involve serious bodily injury or death. Serious bodily injury includes major injuries to organs, loss of a limb, or internal injuries.
  • No Right to Refuse: The driver cannot refuse the blood test under these circumstances.
  • Reasonable Force: The officer is permitted to use reasonable force to obtain the blood sample if necessary.

Understanding these points is crucial for anyone involved in a DUI case with serious consequences. The lack of a right to refuse and the use of reasonable force are significant factors that can affect the outcome of the case.

What are the requirements for blood testing under Section 316.1933? The officer must have probable cause to believe the driver was under the influence, and the incident must involve serious bodily injury or death. The driver cannot refuse the blood test, and the officer may use reasonable force if necessary.

For more information on the DUI formal review hearings in Florida, you can refer to our detailed guide.

These sections of Florida law are designed to ensure that blood tests are conducted under appropriate and legally sound circumstances. If these conditions are not met, the blood test results can be challenged, which can be a critical aspect of your defense strategy.

Understanding the prerequisites for blood testing in DUI cases is essential for anyone facing an administrative suspension. If you believe that these prerequisites were not met in your case, it is crucial to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the law and build a strong defense.

Section 316.1933: Serious Bodily Injury or Death

Section 316.1933 is a critical part of Florida DUI law that comes into play when a DUI incident involves serious bodily injury or death. This section allows law enforcement officers to conduct blood tests without the driver’s consent under specific conditions. Understanding these conditions is essential for anyone involved in such cases.

Evidence Requirements

To justify a blood test under Section 316.1933, certain evidence must be present. This evidence includes probable cause, serious bodily injury, or death. Here’s a breakdown of what is required:

  • Probable Cause: The officer must have probable cause to believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Serious Bodily Injury or Death: The incident must involve serious bodily injury or death. According to Florida law, serious bodily injury includes major injuries to organs, loss of a limb, or internal injuries.
  • No Right to Refuse: The driver does not have the right to refuse the blood test in these circumstances. The officer may use reasonable force if necessary.

What is probable cause in the context of DUI? Probable cause is a reasonable belief, based on facts and circumstances, that a person has committed a crime. In DUI cases, this could include erratic driving, the smell of alcohol, or failed field sobriety tests.

It’s important to note that the officer does not need to make a lawful arrest before conducting the blood test under Section 316.1933. This provision ensures that critical evidence can be gathered even in urgent situations.

For example, in the case of State of Florida v. Banoub, 22 Fla. L. Weekly D2104 (Fla. 2nd DCA), the court concluded that a delay of approximately four hours between the driving and the testing was not unreasonable. The court found support for this conclusion after considering how the body metabolizes alcohol.

If you find yourself in a situation where a blood test was conducted under Section 316.1933, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the legal requirements involved. This knowledge can be vital in challenging the admissibility of the blood test results.

For more information on how to challenge the legality of a DUI stop, you can refer to our guide on defending your rights in unlawful DUI stops.

Officer’s Use of Reasonable Force

Under Section 316.1933, if the driver refuses to comply with the blood test, the officer is permitted to use reasonable force to obtain the blood sample. This provision ensures that vital evidence is not lost, but it also raises important questions about the limits of police authority.

What constitutes reasonable force in obtaining a blood sample? Reasonable force is the minimum amount of force necessary to obtain compliance without causing undue harm or injury to the individual.

In these situations, the officer must act within the bounds of the law and ensure that the force used is proportionate to the circumstances. Any excessive force can be grounds for challenging the validity of the blood test results.

Understanding these nuances can be crucial in building a strong defense. If you believe that the officer used excessive force or did not have probable cause, it is essential to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of your case.

For more insights into the legal process and your rights, check out our comprehensive guide on DUI formal review hearings in Florida.

By understanding the specific requirements and legal nuances of Section 316.1933, you can better prepare yourself to contest any administrative suspensions or criminal charges resulting from a DUI incident involving serious bodily injury or death. Knowledge is power, and having the right information can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.


Fighting Administrative Suspensions for Blood Test Refusals

When a driver refuses a blood test, specific conditions must be met for the refusal to be valid under Section 316.1932(1)(C). The driver must be at a medical facility, and a breath test must be impractical or impossible. The officer must have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence.

Conditions for a Valid Refusal

For a refusal to be valid, the driver must be awake and coherent to refuse the test. The hearing officer will determine this during the formal review. If the refusal is deemed valid, the administrative suspension will stand. However, if the conditions are not met, the suspension can be contested successfully.

How to Fight an Administrative Suspension in Blood Cases

Understanding the nuances of blood test refusals is crucial for anyone facing an administrative suspension in Florida. Here are the key elements you need to know:

  • Medical Facility Requirement: The driver must be at a medical facility, such as a hospital or an ambulance. A patrol car does not qualify.
  • Impractical or Impossible Breath Test: The breath test must be impractical or impossible due to the driver’s medical condition.
  • Reasonable Cause: The officer must have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence. This could include signs of impairment, the smell of alcohol, or open containers in the vehicle.
  • Awake and Coherent: The driver must be awake and coherent to refuse the blood test.

What are the conditions for a valid blood test refusal? The driver must be at a medical facility, the breath test must be impractical or impossible, the officer must have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence, and the driver must be awake and coherent to refuse the test.

If these conditions are not met, the administrative suspension can be contested. This is where having an experienced attorney from Leppard Law can make all the difference. Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of Florida DUI laws and can help you navigate the complexities of your case.

Upon receiving notice of an administrative suspension, you have only ten days to request a formal review hearing. This hearing is your opportunity to contest the suspension. It’s essential to act quickly and gather all necessary documentation, including the citation, refusal affidavit (HSMV Form #78054), blood alcohol analyses affidavit (FDLE Form #15), and the officer’s probable cause affidavit.

Steps to Contest an Administrative Suspension

Contesting an administrative suspension involves several critical steps:

  1. Request a Formal Review Hearing: You must request a formal review hearing within ten days of receiving the notice of suspension. This is your chance to challenge the suspension and present your case.
  2. Gather Documentation: Collect all relevant documents, including the citation, refusal affidavit, blood alcohol analyses affidavit, and the officer’s probable cause affidavit.
  3. Consult an Attorney: Retain an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and represent you at the hearing.
  4. Prepare Your Defense: Work with your attorney to build a strong defense. This may include challenging the validity of the refusal or the officer’s reasonable cause.
  5. Attend the Hearing: Present your case at the formal review hearing. Your attorney will help you argue against the suspension and provide evidence to support your claims.

What happens after receiving notice of an administrative suspension? You have ten days to request a formal review hearing to contest the suspension. Gather all necessary documentation and consult an attorney to prepare your defense.

It’s important to understand that the burden of proof lies with the hearing officer. They must determine whether the conditions for a valid refusal were met. If any of the conditions are not satisfied, the suspension can be overturned.

For example, if the driver was not at a medical facility or was not awake and coherent to refuse the test, the refusal may be deemed invalid. Additionally, if the officer did not have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence, the suspension can be contested successfully.

Challenging an administrative suspension can be a complex process, but with the right legal representation, you have a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome. At Leppard Law, we understand the intricacies of Florida DUI laws and are dedicated to protecting your rights.

For more information on how to navigate the DUI legal process, check out our comprehensive guide on DUI formal review hearings in Florida.

Understanding the specific requirements and legal nuances of blood test refusals can make all the difference in contesting an administrative suspension. By acting quickly and securing the right legal representation, you can protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome.

For additional insights into DUI licensing issues, explore our detailed guide on Florida DUI Licensing Guide.


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What are the steps to request a formal review hearing for an administrative suspension?

To request a formal review hearing for an administrative suspension, follow these steps:

  1. Receive Notice: Upon receiving the notice of suspension, you have ten days to act.
  2. Request Hearing: Submit a request for a formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office.
  3. Gather Documentation: Collect necessary documents such as the citation, refusal affidavit, blood alcohol analyses affidavit, and officer’s probable cause affidavit.
  4. Consult an Attorney: Seek legal advice from an experienced DUI attorney.
  5. Prepare Your Defense: Work with your attorney to build a strong case.

What happens if the officer did not have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence?

If the officer did not have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence, the suspension can be contested successfully. Reasonable cause includes signs of impairment, the smell of alcohol, or open containers in the vehicle. Without reasonable cause, the evidence gathered may be inadmissible, significantly weakening the prosecution’s case.

Can a driver refuse a blood test if they are not at a medical facility?

A driver can refuse a blood test if they are not at a medical facility. Under Section 316.1932, the driver must be at a medical facility for the refusal to be valid. If the driver is not at a medical facility, such as a hospital or ambulance, the refusal may be deemed invalid, and the administrative suspension can be contested.

What constitutes a valid refusal of a blood test under Section 316.1932(1)(C)?

A valid refusal of a blood test under Section 316.1932(1)(C) requires specific conditions:

  • Medical Facility: The driver must be at a medical facility.
  • Impractical Breath Test: A breath test must be impractical or impossible.
  • Reasonable Cause: The officer must have reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence.
  • Awake and Coherent: The driver must be awake and coherent to refuse the test.

If these conditions are not met, the refusal may be deemed invalid.

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Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

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Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your administrative suspension case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

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