Pursuant to the “Implied Consent” law in California, if you are granted the privilege to drive and issued a driver’s license, you have also implicitly agreed to submit to a chemical test of your breath or blood at the request of law enforcement, even if that consent is not expressly given by you. As such, if a law enforcement officer requests that you submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath during their driving under the influence investigation, you must agree to take one or the other. The fact that you previously submitted to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test during the field sobriety tests, does not satisfy the requirement for submitting to a chemical test. If you don’t participate in one of these chemical tests, the law enforcement officer will consider your case a “refusal.” This is true, even if you provided a sample later, either because you changed your mind, or the law enforcement officer obtained a warrant for a sample.
With a refusal, you will likely be subject to enhanced penalties through the Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the status of your driver’s license, including a mandatory, automatic, one-year suspension on your driving privileges. In a refusal situation, this suspension will be imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, regardless of the outcome in the criminal DUI case. Additionally, you will be required to regularly attend and complete a much longer nine-month alcohol offender education course prior to getting your driver’s license reinstated. Once you are eligible to have your driver’s license reinstated, you may also have to pay higher reinstatement fines and fees at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A refusal will also likely have a significant impact on your criminal case. In refusal cases, prosecuting agencies will typically file an enhancement pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23612. The refusal enhancement will generally result in additional criminal penalties, including, but not limited to, additional custody time and increased fines and fees.
At the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC we understand that for many people in southern California, driving is an essential part of our everyday living, especially for those who commute or live in areas where public transportation is not always readily accessible or convenient. We believe it is critical that you not only understand the charges you are facing in court, but that you also comprehend the full extent of all of the possible consequences that may result if convicted. We are fully committed evaluating the evidence in each case and exploring all possible defenses and avenues of negotiation that may be available under the law, depending upon the circumstances of your individual situation.
If you have already been charged or anticipate being charged with a DUI refusal in the Murrieta area, contact your Murrieta DUI lawyer at the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC for your free, confidential case consultation now. Your future and your freedom deserve to be taken seriously by an experienced attorney who is committed to quality representation and compassionate advocacy, every step of the way.