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Breath Test Refusal in a Los Angeles DUI Case


Over the course of the past twenty five years of defending DUI cases in Los Angeles, I have seen many clients refuse to take the breath test associated with a DUI and believe that they made the right choice under the circumstances.

Because driving in California is a privilege and not a right, I find myself breaking bad new on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this is typically the wrong move to make because you make the police and prosecutor’s jobs much easier to prove you guilty. Since it would be near impossible to prove anyone guilty of a DUI if they all just refused to take the test, the legislature has passed stiff sanctions for those who refuse to take the breath test.

If you do not take the test when a law enforcement officer asks you, it is automatically presumed that you were DUI and you lose your drivers license for one year. This is a rebuttal presumption that is very difficult to get around. You and your attorney must prove that you were not driving under the influence or the jury is instructed to find you guilty. It is no easy task to prove someone is not guilty of a DUI under these circumstances.

Driver’s License Suspension

In court the prosecutors are fairly reasonable when it comes to striking the refusal aspect of the DUI, as long as you do not have any prior criminal record and were not involved in an accident or extreme speeding.

The problem comes with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), because they will not strike the refusal unless your DUI attorney can beat them at the DMV hearing. This is a huge problem because it will cause you to lose your license for a year with no restrictions. Preparing for the DMV hearing is all important and it is nice to know whether you have a chance from the beginning.

If you have a DUI pending in one of the Los Angeles courthouses, I encourage you to come in for a consultation so we can investigate all of the avenues that are available to you in dealing with this all important matter.

I have a motto that I live by when it comes to a DUI cases, “if you have to do it, do it once, do it right and never do it again!” I have handled thousands of DUI cases over the years and have a pretty good feel for all of the courthouses in LA and know what it takes to get you a result that you can live with.

I take pride in sitting down with my clients, helping to take the stress away associated with their DUI and gaining a plan to be successful resolution. This is where a savvy DUI attorney can do you the most good. He or she can give you a realistic view of what can and can not be accomplished with your case so you can gain a peace of mind and move forward with you life!

Experienced Breath Test Refusal Lawyer

It is never a good idea to not take the breath or blood test if the police ask you to related to a DUI case. The problem with this strategy is that the law is set up to punish you for this type of action. If people could simply refuse to take the test, then the authorities would never be able to get anyone of a DUI.

However, all is not lost if you refused to take the DUI test. Many times we can get the prosecutors to dismiss the refusal portion of the DUI and simply proceed with a regular DUI. To beat the DMV we will have to show that the police messed up one of the requirements for a refusal DUI.

If you have refused to take a breath/blood test after you have been pulled over you are going to definitely need an experienced and skilled attorney to be your advocate.

Implied Consent Law in California

In California there is an “implied consent” law which states that drivers in California implicitly consents to submitting to a breath/blood test if suspected of drunk driving and refusal may have consequences. Our lawyers are here to assert defenses on your behalf if you have are facing this type of legal situation of refusing to take a breath test.

We will examine all the evidence that led up to your arrest. Even though refusing a breathalyzer test may result in driver license suspension, our goal as your attorney is to keep you from going to jail, to keep your driver license from getting suspended, and to basically get you the best results we can possibly get.

Although there is no proof of your blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest, your refusal may be used to show guilt and the penalties can be harsh resulting in license suspension, jail time, and possibly alcohol abuse programs.

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Downtown Los Angeles Metro – DUI Courthouse

We have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases in this courthouse over our many years of practice. Division 60 is the arraignment court in downtown Los Angeles for DUI related cases. We are frequently in this particular court dealing with the prosecutors and the judge regarding DUI cases. Our experience related to DUI cases in the Metro Courthouse has been invaluable and extremely effective in successfully resolving DUI cases in Los Angeles for our clients.

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Ronald D. Hedding

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