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Chemical Test Refusals in California DUI Cases

A lot of times, for whatever reason, people decide to refuse taking a blood or breath test when the police pull them over and want to arrest them for a DUI.

I'm not really clear why people do this.  It's obviously a bad move.  If you've done this, you can rest assured the DMV is going to try to take your driver's license away for one year with no restrictions.

That's the worse penalty that comes with refusing to take an alcohol test when police pull you over in Los Angeles county. 

There is a reason they do that and have such a harsh penalty.

Implied Consent in California

It's because when you get a driver's license, you basically consent to having the police take your blood or breath if they think you're driving under the influence of alcohol.

So, if you violate that agreement that you signed when you get your driver's license, then they're going to take it away from you for a year.

Chemical Test Refusals in California DUI Cases

So, if you've got one of these DUIs in Los Angeles because you refused, you've got a very difficult battle.  You definitely want to hire an attorney like me who's been doing this for 26 years.

I've handled hundreds of these cases knows what the police have to do in order to get a legitimate refusal DUI in order to get that year from the DMV taking your driver's license and there's going to be extra penalties when it comes to these refusal DUIs in LA county.

This is definitely the time to get an attorney.  You've made one mistake by refusing to take the test.

Don't compound that mistake by not getting an attorney by your side who knows what they're doing.

Police Will Read An Admonishment

The police have to basically tell you and read you an admonishment that says:

  • if you don't take this DUI breath test or blood test,
  • the DMV is going to take your driver's license away for one year automatically.

Then they have to register and write down what you said in response to that and they have to sign it under penalty of perjury.

So, those are the rules.  If they don't do that, then they're not going to be able to get a DUI by way of a refusal. 

They might not be able to get a DUI at all, because if you refuse and they didn't take your blood or breath, how do they prove that you were under the influence.

Some people say that they're told that you should always refuse to take the test.  Whoever is telling people that is wrong.

You technically have the right to refuse to do the field sobriety test and you can refuse their little hand-held device, but you can't refuse to give your blood or breath if they ask you to do that.

So, I think it's imperative that it's time to let a professional take over and help you if you've been arrested for a DUI because of a refusal because of all of the bad ramifications that come along with that refusal.

Reviewing the Evidence in Your DUI Arrest

The first thing that I do is look to make sure, once I get the police report, that the police did everything the right way:

Reviewing the Evidence in Your California DUI Arrest
  • they had to read you the admonishment about losing your driver's license for a year;
  • they had to give you an opportunity to take a blood or breath test.

Sometimes the police are so lazy, they're trying to force a person to take a breath test, when the person wants to take a blood test.

They don't want to drive all the way to the hospital or a police station that can actually administer a blood test, so they can keep it and give it to an expert to analyze. 

So, for them, it's easier to do a breath test, so a lot of times they're trying to force people to do that breath test.

If we can prove that, then that would obviously be inappropriate and we might have a chance to get your DUI case thrown out or at least the refusal aspect of it thrown out.

Reason Why The California Law Are Harsh on DUI Refusal

The reason why they are so harsh on these refusals is because without this weapon for the police/prosecutors, they wouldn't be able to get anybody for a DUI.

Because if everybody just refused to take the test, then they wouldn't be able to prove people were driving under the influence.

So, they've got to have this weapon which basically says, if you refuse to take that test when the police say they think you might be under the influence, we're going to automatically assume that you're driving under the influence.

We're going to take your driver's license away for a year and we're going to convict you of a DUI.  The only way you can get out of that is if you can rebut the assumption.

This means if you can show that you weren't DUI when the police came in contact with you. 

Obviously, that latter part is a very difficult thing to do because you're usually taken into custody at that time and locked in a jail cell for a number of hours.

So, how are you going to be able to prove that you weren't under the influence.

I have had some clients, believe it or not, who have been able to quickly go get a test after the police let them go.

However, often times the police do not let you do and you can't get a test and it's very difficult to rebut that assumption, so you end up with a DUI.

Criminal Defense for Los Angeles DUI Cases

So, in the first place, it's always a bad idea to refuse to take a blood or breath test because the deck is stacked against you in these DUI cases in Los Angeles, California.

Criminal Defense for Los Angeles DUI Cases

In the second place, if you have done that, don't make the mistake of going in there and handling it yourself.

Get an attorney who has experience with refusal DUI cases in LA county.  It's a huge county.  There's 38 courthouses.  I've been to every single one of them.

My name is Ron Hedding.  I'm the founding member of The Hedding Law Firm.  I stand at the ready to help you.

Pick up the phone.  Ask for a meeting with me and I will do everything I can to protect your rights, your reputation and freedom.

Hedding Law Firm is a top-rated criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.

Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0963.

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI law issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.