DUI Refusal Cases in California
What Constitutes a Refusal?
In California, when arrested for DUI, the law obligates the arresting officer to inform the suspect of the obligation to undergo either a blood or breath test. The suspect has the choice of test but does not legally have the right to refuse a test. A refusal occurs when an individual declines to take the chemical test after being properly advised by the arresting officer.
Arrested for a DUI and facing DUI refusal charges? Contact us today!
Legal Consequences in California for Refusing a DUI Test
In California, refusal to submit to a chemical test has significant legal repercussions. If a suspect decides to decline a chemical test, the arresting officer should read the required chemical test admonition which explains that a person must submit to a test without the right to consult with an attorney and that the consequences of a refusal could lead to a one to three-year license suspension and the and potential jail time upon a DUI conviction.
The law in California allows an arresting officer to use reasonable force to take a blood sample without a person's consent. In Los Angeles County, arresting agencies do not normally force a blood sample, but merely cite the suspect for DUI with a refusal enhancement based on the other evidence including the driving pattern, performance of field sobriety tests, and objective symptoms of impairment. In the absence of a good explanation, the fact of the refusal can also be used as evidence against the defendant in Court.
California's Implied Consent Laws
California operates under implied consent laws, meaning by driving in the state, individuals implicitly agree to undergo chemical testing when lawfully arrested for DUI. Refusing a test can result in administrative penalties, including license suspension.
Field Sobriety Tests vs. Chemical Tests
Field sobriety tests are physical and cognitive assessments performed at the scene to gauge impairment. They include tasks like the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand. On the other hand, chemical tests (breath or blood tests) measure the concentration of alcohol or drugs in a person's system.
Potential Defenses for DUI Refusal Charges in CA
Defenses against DUI refusal charges may include disputing the validity of the officer's request, arguing lack of proper advisement, or challenging the circumstances leading to the refusal.
Impact of Refusal on Legal Proceedings
A refusal can significantly impact a DUI case, serving as evidence against the defendant in court. It may also affect plea bargains and sentencing, potentially leading to harsher penalties.
Legal Process Following a DUI Refusal Arrest in CA
Following a DUI refusal arrest in California, individuals may face administrative and criminal proceedings. Understanding and navigating these processes require legal expertise.
Why Choose Gold and Witham Long Beach DUI Lawyers?
Gold and Witham are esteemed DUI lawyers in Long Beach, California, known for their extensive experience and successful track record in handling DUI cases, including refusal charges. Their expertise in California DUI laws and dedication to defending clients facing DUI charges, including refusal cases, makes them a top choice for legal representation.
In Orange County, some arresting agencies, including Irvine and Newport Beach Police Departments, have a reputation for using force to take a blood sample in a refusal case. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Orange County or Los Angeles and have refused to submit to a test, you are facing additional DMV and Court penalties and it becomes even more important that you consult with a DUI Attorney with experience in how to avoid a lengthy license suspension and jail time at Court.
Contact our team today for a free consultation!