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20-30 Minute Rule to Request Lawyer Chemical Testing in Florida DUI

Fort Myers, FL |

I was in a car accident, don't even remember it, only being taken to the ER. I had two beers two hours earlier. While at the ER the police read me my rights but did not arrest me. They told me of informed consent and asked for a blood test. I requested to confer with a lawyer several times as I had some confidential questions to ask before submitting my blood, but was refused. I never refused my blood. I also believe I had a concussion so I wanted an advocate there for me as I was lucid, but my information processing skills were not sharp. I have read that you have 20-30 minutes to contact a lawyer after being read informed consent., and I was wondering if that is true and if I should have been given a lawyer. I was mirandized. I gave them my blood anyway but was concerned with the process

Also, while I was mirandized, I was never actually arrested. I was discharged from the hospital about two and a half hours after the accident.

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Attorney answers 6


The third district court of appeals has ruled that a person does not have a right to an attorney prior to deciding whether or not to take a requested test. There is no 20-30 minute rule. In cases of serious bodily injury or death, the officer's can forcibly extract your blood. In cases where you are not conscious or not lucid enough to answer their question, they can take your blood since you agreed to give it when you got your license (hence the name implied consent). Each case is factually different and you should discuss your with a local attorney. Good Luck

Although AVVO answers provide a starting point, nothing replaces the opinion of a qualified DUI defense attorney knowledgable about the Judges and prosecutors near you. You should consult a local lawyer for legal advice.


There is a 20 minute observation period prior to taking a breath test. However, in my 19 years of criminal practice I have never heard of 20-30 minutes to request a lawyer.

Have you been arrested? Did you give consent to have your blood drawn? Do you know if there were any injuries to anyone as a result of the accident? If so, what type or degree of injury?

Answers to these questions will help me evaluate your situation.

Call me and I would be happy to discuss the situation with you.

Larry McMillan



What I read somewhere was 20-30 minutes to contact a lawyer, not to request, and it begins from the moment they read you implied consent. I actually have no idea if anyone was injured in the accident. I was not given an accident report or a case number, and I have been unable to find this information out as the officers or deputies who interrogated me did not identify themselves. The hospital doesn't know anything, the tow company doesn't know anything. I did eventually give my blood because I was told I could not speak to a lawyer and if I didn't give my blood my license would be suspended. They gave me no information and this is the most frustrating part of all of this. I was not arrested, but I was read my rights before being questioned. I was released from the hospital on my own and I would assume that if anyone were seriously injured, I would have been arrested and not been let go. But that's just an assumption.

Larry Thomas McMillan

Larry Thomas McMillan


This may be just the officer's following standard protocol regarding an accident where this is evidence that you were under the influence. I presume that your blood has been sent to a lab for analysis. Once the results are returned, you may be contacted by law enforcement, or a warrant could be issued for your arrest.



The last thing I was told as the officer was leaving was I'd hear from the State Attorney's Office, I'm assuming whether charges would be filed or not.


I agree with Mr. Katz. I add only that it turns out to be a good thing the blood was drawn and you were not deemed to have "refused" to allow the sample to be taken. Two beers two hours before will result in a blood alcohol level in the range where there is a statutory presumption of non-impairment.


I agree with Mr. McMillan, I have never heard of the 20-30 minute rule to contact an attorney. I would strongly recommend you retain a criminal defense attorney.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for informational purposes. The facts of each case are different and unique, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under attorney-client privilege, so that competent and quality advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions


I agree with the responses of the answering attorneys.


You do not have any right to an attorney at that point. It doesn't make a lot of sense but that is the rules we play by. Blood draw cases without serious bodily injury or death can be complicated for the state. You need a DUI attorney in your area. Blood results can be higher than breath, alcohol might be used to sanitize the site (an alcohol swab is approximately 1000 times the legal limit at 70-85%), the state has the burden to show the consent was voluntary just to name a few common issues. It sounds like your consent might not have been voluntary.

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