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Refusal in a Southern California DUI Case

Refusal as an Enhancement in a Southern California DUI Case

When a person is charged with a DUI, they will be charged under the California Vehicle Code. If the person has also refused to take a blood or breath test, there will be additional penalties imposed due to the refusal.

The refusal is not an additional charge. In certain situations, a person can be charged with an additional crime along with the DUI. For example, if a person does not cooperate with officers, he or she may be charged with resisting arrest. Similarly, if a person has a pending court appearance and they do not come before the Judge, they can be charged with a failure to appear.

In comparison, a refusal is not an additional charge, it is an enhancement to the DUI charge. Several factors may add to the penalty of a DUI as enhancements. If a person is found speeding at the time they are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, or if a person has an unusually high blood alcohol level, it will be considered an enhancement to the original DUI charge.

An enhancement does not require a person to make additional appearances in Court, or before a Judge, but it does add significantly to the penalty of a DUI. It may be additional probation, time in jail or hours of community service.

Enhancements can be reduced with a strong argument or defense prepared by a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney. If an enhancement can be reduced or dismissed, it may save the person an extended period of time in jail as well as reduced fines or probation.

Potential Consequences of a DUI Refusal

When a person has been charged and convicted of a driving under the influence charge in Southern California, they face a certain range of possibilities, whether it be in the form of a fine, jail time, probation of all of the above. When a person has the additional enhancement of a Refusal, they will be given additional penalties on top of those already imposed by legislation for the DUI.

How much the additional penalty for the Refusal is depends on several different factors that the Court will consider. They will consider the person’s criminal background, as well as the circumstances of the refusal. If a person has been charged with a DUI several times in the past and they have refused before, they will face a higher sentence on account of the refusals than a person who has nothing on their record. Similarly, if a person has never gotten a DUI and tried in good faith to take both the breath and the blood test but were unable to, they might get the refusal dismissed or reduced.

Legislators have established the following legal guidelines for imposing a sentence for a refusal enhancement:

First OffenseSecond OffenseThird OffenseFourth Offense
Additional Jail Time48 Hours in Jail96 Hours10 Days18 days

Remember, these are additional penalties that will be added on top of the sentence that will be imposed by the DUI. A refusal is an enhancement and not a separate charge of its own. If your DUI charge is dismissed, the refusal will be as well. Without a DUI charge, the refusal has no merits to stand as its own charge.

Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog - Refusal