Formal review hearings in Florida center around very few issues. Luckily for you, one of those issues is whether or not Implied Consent laws were read properly. The hearing officer must determine whether or not you knew that your license would be suspended for 12 months prior to providing a breath sample.
There are several other issues addressed, such as whether or not the officer had probable cause to initiate a traffic stop or request roadside exercises. Although you do not face any jail time or a criminal conviction should you lose your formal review - you will be without a license for 90 days because you refused to provide a breath sample. It is important that an experienced attorney reviews your case.
Benjamin Fernandez, Esq.
Maybe. A proper reading of implied consent is an issue at the formal review hearing and if this portion wasn't read correctly, one wonders if anything else was, as well.
Misstatements of law can be a grounds to suppress the evidence. On the other hand, there is appellate authority that says that the driver needn't be told of all the consequences of refusal; if the officer warned the driver of "at least one adverse consequence that would result from the refusal," then the refusal is admissible.
As usual, it's complicated. I suggest consulting with a lawyer experienced in these matters for assistance.
I agree with my colleagues, there is a script that must be read by statute when an officer is informing you of the consequences of a refusal. If the officer misinformed you of the consequences then your submission to the test was not voluntary. This can be utilized in both the administrative hearing and the criminal case.
Michael Mastrogiovanni, Esq.
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