Potential Enhanced Penalties for Refusing to Take A Chemical Test After Being Arrested on Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Many people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs wonder whether it is in their best interest to refuse to take a chemical test.

In California, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal, pursuant to California Vehicle Code §23152(a)(b). If a police officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, California Vehicle Code §23578(b) requires drivers to submit to a breath or blood test to determine their alcohol/drug content. These tests occur either at the police station or a hospital.

In applying for a California driver’s license it is a prerequisite that drivers agree to submit to a chemical test if an officer suspects them of driving under the influence. Refusing to complete such a test may cause a prosecutor to add an enhanced and separate charge to a DUI, of refusing to complete a chemical test.

Examples of the additional penalties that may be required are: jail time, longer probation, longer alcohol programs, the installation of an ignition inter lock device (IID) and possible higher fines.

Not submitting to the chemical test may potentially also have consequences at the DMV, which could result in a license suspension that is substantially longer than a driver who completed a chemical test.

An officer who is dealing with a driver who he suspects is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is required by law to admonish or warn the driver that refusing to take or complete a chemical test may result in jail time and a possible license suspension. This warning must be read to drivers verbatim to give them an opportunity to reconsider their decision to not submit to a chemical test. If an officer fails to properly give this refusal advisement to the driver there would be a good argument by an experienced DUI defense lawyer that the driver is not guilty of refusing and therefore is able to avoid the extra penalties that may be otherwise imposed. This defect may also be beneficial at preventing a license suspension at the DMV.

Another defense to a refusal allegation is that the driver for medical reasons was unable to complete the chemical test. For example, if the driver has asthma and is not able to supply sufficient breathe to analyze in the breathalyzer then they are required by law to submit to the remaining tests.

The attorneys at Hoffman & Associates, have over 30 years of experience in the courtroom defending DUI cases, all of which have their own distinctive facts and circumstances. A skilled courtroom lawyer will be able to identify potential errors that are present either on the surface of the police report or other technical errors that are not apparent to a less experienced attorney. Identifying these potential errors is critical and essential to getting a DUI charge dismissed or reduced.

California Vehicle Code §23578(b) states: In addition to any other provision of this code, if a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, the court shall consider a concentration of alcohol in the person’s blood of 0.15 percent or more, by weight, or the refusal of the person to take a chemical test, as a special factor that may justify enhancing the penalties in sentencing, in determining whether to grant probation, and if probation is granted, in determining additional or enhanced terms and conditions of probation.

Effective Negotiation Through Plea Bargaining by an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

A skillful and knowledgeable DUI lawyer with years of courtroom experience can use different types of weaknesses to effectively plea bargain, reduce potential charges and penalties, as well as get complete dismissals of all charges. An experienced Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County DUI Attorney has had the time to create strong relationships with judges and prosecutors, which gives them the tools to change the perception of the client to a more positive image than what is read about in the police report.

By presenting resumes, letters of recommendation, and any other positive information about the client Hoffman & Associates begins to immediately mend the negative images that are displayed in the police report.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you did not submit to the chemical test, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles, San Diego, or Orange County DUI Defense firm like, Hoffman & Associates, to protect all of your legal rights and decrease the potential consequences that this legal problem can create.

Client Reviews
I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time... Micaiah Botts
My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
I have been working with Mr. Hoffman for over 11 years. I have seen first hand his genuine dedication to his clients, and how his experience, knowledge and passion have gotten clients fantastic results. He treats each of his clients as his only client, and takes the time to develop detailed strategies and defenses for each individual case. I have never hesitated to refer Mr. Hoffman to anyone who has asked me for a good Criminal Defense attorney. He is a fantastic attorney!... Neeta P.
I had a DUI issue recently. I have never had a problem with the law as serious as this one. I did panic a bit after and knew I had to get a lawyer to help my future. I researched the Web and read the reviews for awesome DUI Lawyers. Hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. Ron's 30 years experience and step by step guidance helped me with my case. Jonie was amazing with keeping me calm. Ron Hoffman is a great lawyer and I would refer any friends or family to him... Manuel Gomez
Ron was so accommodating and professional. With a Firm like his you wouldn't expect him to be as accessible, but he immediately returned phone calls, was easy to communicate with and was very sympathetic to my situation. He went above and beyond and was able to get a better result than I'd hoped or expected. I highly recommend Ron Hoffman and his firm. He made a difficult and anxiety fueled process bearable and made me feel safe. He is a lovely man. One does not wish to need a criminal attorney, but if you do need one, Ron's the guy to call... Teri A.
Ron and his team were the perfect pairing for what I needed taken care of. Every step of the way he was extremely helpful and informative (not his first rodeo). His work ethic and attitude were exemplary and it showed with the results of using his services. I would recommend anyone I know to give Ron a call if they need help in his realm of expertise. Many thanks Ron and associates!... Donald N.
I didn't hire a lawyer for my first DUI... What a mistake! Ronald goes above and beyond with his art and knowledge of custom strategy according to your case. lawyer of the year (every year)... Adam R.
I hate lawyers. They are hard to get a hold of, greedy and unreliable. Ron is the opposite of all these things. He deserves 6 stars, and I very much recommend him. He helped me through my case with nothing but kindness, understanding, and knowledge and eventually got it dropped. Thanks for everything Ron!... Avi Z.