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Top DUI Refusal Attorney, Matthew Ruff: 310-527-4100

If you were arrested for a DUI and stand accused of refusing to take a chemical test you must take immediate action to save your ability to drive for the next year. If you are not sure the officer is accusing you of being a "refusal" look on the pink piece of paper you were given, if it has the box checked that you "refused to submit to a chemical test" the DMV will begin to process that paperwork and commence a one year suspension before you ever get to Court. Many innocent folks are wrongfully accused of refusal to complete a breath or blood test because most cops lack the patience to complete their obligations under law or simply misunderstand breath testing procedures. In California, Refusal to take a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest can result in serious consequences to your drivers license at the DMV and increased penalties if convicted of a DUI in Court. However, an allegation of a "Refusal" by the arresting officer does not always mean that the person was a "Legal Refusal" in accordance with the law. It is well settled that Before the DMV may suspend a driver's license for failure to submit to a chemical test, the DMV must make four findings: (1) the officer had reasonable cause to believe the person was driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; (2) the person was arrested; (3) the person was told that if he or she refused to submit to, or did not complete, a chemical test his or her license would be suspended; and (4) the person refused to submit to, or did not complete, such a test. The question whether a driver "refused" a test within the meaning of the statute is a question of fact. To comply with the law, the Courts have ruled that a driver should clearly and unambiguously manifest the consent required by the law. Consent which is not clear and unambiguous may be deemed a refusal. In determining whether an arrested driver's conduct amounts to a refusal to submit to a test, the court looks not to the state of mind of the arrested driver, but to the fair meaning to be given the driver's response to the demand he submit to a chemical test. The important thing to understand is that you can only challenge the refusal allegation if you take action and request a DMV hearing with 10 days of the arrest.

There is a litany of reasons why a person arrested for DUI fails to complete a breath or blood test. In almost every case there is a police officer that either mistreats the person or fails to properly advise the person of his or her legal requirements and sometimes confuses them with conflicting advisals. Nowadays, it is commonplace for the police officer to ask the arrestee to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening test or portable test (PAS) in the field, this test is optional and it must be explained to the person taking the test, it usually is not and the failure of the policeman to do so can cause confusion when the person is asked again to take a second breath or blood test.

In a DUI case it is not uncommon to see a driver arrested and refuse to submit to a chemical test. When this happens the attorney will look for a defense to the refusal in order to get around the suspension and revocation the DMV seeks to impose. One possible defense is known as officer induced confusion.

It is well recognized in law that when an officer simultaneously reads a driver his implied consent warnings (no right to refuse a test and no right to consult with or to have an attorney present during its administration) in conjunction with the Miranda admonition (right to refuse interrogation and to have an attorney present at all stages of a police interrogation, etc.), it will likely induce confusion.

Therefore, in cases where a driver has been given Miranda insists on the presence of an attorney before choosing a test the courts have recognized that he [or she] may have been confused by the two warnings and the officers failure to clarify and explain the difference. In such a case the refusal to take a test has been held not to be a refusal within the meaning of California Vehicle Code section 13353. (Rust v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1968) 267 Cal.App.2d 545, 547.)

Another recurring problem regarding DUI refusals is when the person agrees to a breath test, attempts to complete the test but is unable to do so. Very often, the arresting officer will mark the person down as a refusal when in fact they did not refuse anything. An experienced DUI Lawyer who has fought and won refusal hearings is necessary if your drivers license is important to you. If you are found to be a refusal at the DMV, they will suspend your license for one to three years with no ability to get a restricted license for work.

Examples of successful defenses to refusal cases include: illegal arrest, insufficient advisal by the cop, medical issues particularly after car accidents, police misconduct, just to name a few. For example, in one recent case, the client was pulled over in Kern County on the 5 freeway. He was arrested for DUI and allegedly refused all chemical tests upon being advised by the CHP officer of his requirements under California law. The client had a prior and therefore was facing a mandatory 2 year revocation if the action were upheld. Not deterred, Matthew handled the DMV hearing and alleged that the client's constitutional rights were violated. The DMV hearing officer agreed and a set aside was ordered. Thereafter, the criminal case for the DUI was dropped and the charges dismissed.

In another DUI refusal case, Matthew defended a client arrested while pulling into the Redondo Beach Marina. The client was arrested for DUI but did not give any tests, other than the FST tests in the field. The attorney was able to present the defense that the client was not properly admonished of the legal requirements. The El Segundo DMV agreed with Matthew and set aside the suspension.

DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff has a stellar track record in obtaining set asides for refusal allegations at the DMV. A number of legal defenses exist to fight refusal accusations and Matthew knows them all and has used them successfully at the DMV and in Court. The consequences of losing your DMV hearing are severe, choose the lawyer that has nearly 20 years experience saving drivers licenses for good hard working people who deserve a second chance. Call Matthew Ruff today for a free consultation at 1-877-213-4453.

 

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