DUI Refusal Cases

Top Tier California DUI Refusal Attorney

Former District Attorney Office Experience

☎️ Call Matt Directly on His Cell: 310-686-1533

Why hire Matthew to fight your refusal DUI charge? First, he has nearly 30 Years Defense Experience and is a nationally recognized TOP TIER DUI LAWYER. Second, he has a proven track record of success. Lastly, he knows the local Court and the specific DMV hearing officer where your case will be heard, giving you a tactical edge. Matt has one of the highest set aside rates for refusal cases in the state of California. What is a set aside? It means the DMV dismisses or "throws out" the refusal thereby saving the client from the mandatory 1-3 year suspension of their driving privilege.

Refusals Are Different! Matthew Knows!

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.

The Highest Success Rate!

On December 18, 2023 Matthew was successful in getting the DUI and refusal charges dropped in Long Beach Court for a case which involved the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. The deputy stopped the client after he responded to a 911 call reporting a drunk driver. The client appeared disoriented and was displaying signs of alcohol intoxication including slurred speech, unsteadiness and a strong odor of alcohol. Field sobriety tests were performed with unsatisfactory results. The client was arrested for driving under the influence and subsequently refused all chemical tests. The District Attorney filed VC23152a charges with a refusal allegation. In Court Matthew negotiated a complete DISMISSAL of the DUI charges and the refusal allegation was dropped.

On August 16, 2023 Matt obtained a SET ASIDE of a refusal suspension after a hearing at the Commerce DMV. The facts are as follows: Client was stopped in Los Angeles County after the officer claimed to observe the client speeding, making an abrupt turn and "almost colliding head on into the center median". Upon contact the officer detected an odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes, slurred speech and an unsteady gait. A PAS breath test was performed which showed a result of .20 BAC. Client was placed under arrest for driving under the influence and was informed of his requirement to submit to a chemical test, he refused to take any additional tests. The officer claimed to have admonished the driver of his requirements under California law to submit to a test and the consequences of failing to complete a test. However, the attorney obtained to body-cam video of the arrest which told a different story. Matt argued the law was not complied with and his clients rights were violated. The DMV agreed with Matthew and SET ASIDE the suspension.

On June 21, 2023 Matt won a DMV hearing on a refusal DUI case in El Segundo Driver Safety. The client had been stopped by Palos Verdes Estates Police for failing to stop for a stop sign . While speaking with the client the officers observed bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and an odor of alcohol, later they saw unsteady gait and poor performance on FST. The client refused a preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS). The client was arrested for VC23152 (DWI) and a chemical test was requested pursuant to California law. The officer claimed she initially agreed to a blood test but upon arrival at Torrance Memorial Hospital she allegedly became uncooperative and refused to submit to the blood test or a breath test at the request of the officer. Matt listened to the client who told him she actually did not refuse and the officer was a jerk and was being aggressive. Matt obtained the body-cam video and was able to show the client was actually right, she never refused! The DMV agreed with Matt's presentation and SET ASIDE THE REFUSAL SUSPENSION.

Matthew was retained by a client arrested for DUI refusal in Hermosa Beach California. The officer stopped his vehicle because she claimed "he almost hit her" while she was standing on the road near an accident investigation. The officer claimed the client smelled of alcohol and slurred his speech. He was given field sobriety tests (FST) and allegedly failed. He was arrested for DWI and a chemical test was requested. The officer reported he refused and demanded to speak to a lawyer. The officer confiscated his license and served him with an order of suspension. He hired Matt who was able to stop the suspension and get a formal hearing. At the hearing the DMV attempted to delay the case to get more evidence, including the testimony of the police officer, Matt objected and demanded a set aside of the action. The Los Angeles County DMV decided in Matt's favor and SET ASIDE THE REFUSAL SUSPENSION.

Matt won a refusal hearing and the client got his license returned and SUSPENSION SET ASIDE on July 7, 2021 after his client was arrested by LAPD at a DUI Checkpoint. The client refused all field sobriety tests and later refused both the breath and blood tests after he was arrested. Matt got the criminal charges dropped and later went on to win the refusal hearing at the El Segundo Driver Safety Office after he got the cop to admit procedures were not followed during his client's arrest.

Recently , Matthew got a NOT GUILTY verdict after trial on a DUI refusal case occurring in Westchester. The case proceeded to trial in the Los Angeles Airport Court. The city presented three police officer witnesses who testified the client was pulled over after he cut off a police car. The officer claimed the client was impaired when he saw bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteady gait and the client nearly falling over upon exiting the car. Matthew cross examined the cops and established the observations could have been attributed to medical problems and the age of the client. The Court agreed with Matt and granted his motion for acquittal.

On March 2, 2018 Matthew obtained a SET ASIDE of a Refusal for a client arrested in El Segundo. The client was detained by police after she struck a utility truck doing construction on El Segundo Blvd. Officers responded and observed bloodshot and watery eyes, odor of alcoholic beverages and slurred speech. The client was arrested for VC23152 and transported to the station. Although the DMV paperwork showed she was fully admonished about the consequences of failing to submit to a breath or blood test, she refused and officers obtained a search warrant. Her blood was taken and later showed a BAC of .28. The police wrote the case up as a "forced blood draw" which is the same as a refusal. Matt demanded a formal APS hearing and contended the client was NOT properly admonished. After a hearing the DMV sided with Matthew and threw out the one year suspension.

Matthew was retained by a client arrested for DUI and refusing to submit to a chemical test in Redondo Beach. The client was the owner of a food truck and the loss of his license would be devastating on his business. Matt left no stone unturned in finding a defense and uncovered records showing the breath machine was malfunctioning rather than the officer's assertions that the client was not blowing hard enough. He brought in an expert to testify at the DMV hearing and it paid off, the suspension of his license was SET ASIDE.

Matthew Ruff has the highest success rate among attorneys that handle DMV hearings in Los Angeles California. In one recent case he was successful in obtaining a set aside of the one year license suspension in a DUI refusal where the client was arrested in Redondo Beach. The police alleged that the client refused to take a chemical test even though he blew into the breath machine several times. Matthew uncovered a malfunction in the device that had nothing to do with the client. This evidence was presented to the dmv at a hearing in El Segundo. After receipt of the evidence the hearing officer agreed with Matthew and dismissed the license suspension. Subsequently, in court Matt was able to get the related criminal DUI charges dismissed as well.

What many people do not understand is that a refusal to submit to a breath or blood test in a DUI case has two ramifications. The first is the APS consequences of up to a three year revocation of your California driver's license. The second is the criminal enhancement that is tacked on to the VC23152 charges in Court, they carry potential mandatory jail. The good news is a lawyer who has experience with these issues, such as Top Rated DUI Refusal Lawyer Matthew Ruff, can very often avoid these punishments for clients if contacted early.

There is a litany of other 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, Officer Induced Confusion, 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.

The defense of Officer Induced Confusion is another viable basis to contest the DMV Suspension in a refusal case. The defense requires that 1. The Officer actually confuse the driver, 2. The Officer was or should have been aware of the confusion, and 3. The Officer did not attempt to clear up the confusion. The most common examples of this defense are when the cop improperly administers a PAS test without advising the client properly and when an officer advises the driver of Miranda upon arrest then requests a chemical test. Matt was won cases using this innovative defense.

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 DMV 1 Year Suspension.

Is a person arrested for DUI entitled to speak to an attorney and consult with counsel before choosing which test to take? The answer is no. Under California law the person must be told he or she does not have the right to speak with a lawyer before deciding which test to take or before they decide to take a test at all. Likewise, the Courts have held that a driver does not have the right to have an attorney present before consenting to take one of the tests. The appellate courts have noted that one of the purposes of the refusal law was to prevent delay in the choosing of the test, because evidence of intoxication rapidly dissipates. However, if a driver asserts his or or right to speak with an attorney during the encounter, the officer must properly advise the driver and failure to do so could be a violation of the law.

What about if the Officer improperly admonishes the driver that his or her license "may" be suspended, does this constitute a valid refusal? No, the law is clear, the officer must properly advise the driver that his or her license will be suspended or revoked. Matt has won many cases due to the mistake by the officer with regard to the legal requirements of the admonishment.

What if the officer gives the required admonition but fails to read it completely? When a police officer gives an incomplete admonition about the consequences of refusing a chemical test, California law may limit or prohibit the mandatory suspension. Indeed, California Appellate case law offers relief in these situations where the advisal is grossly inadequate or incomplete and Matt has saved licenses in these cases.

The criminal charges of DUI Refusal are unique in that the prosecutor's case consists almost entirely of circumstantial evidence. This is important because the law gives the defense attorney a huge advantage in dealing with such evidence and here's why. In California if the circumstantial evidence is capable of two reasonable interpretations and one points to guilt and the other points to innocence, the Judge or Jury must adopt the interpretation that points to innocence and if warranted a finding of acquittal is mandatory. This effective use of this law has been used multiple times by Matthew to obtain NOT GUILTY verdicts for his clients.

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 well over 25 years experience saving drivers licenses for good hard working people who deserve a second chance.

Call Matthew Ruff today for a free consultation toll free at 1-877-213-4453.

Contact Matthew J. Ruff Attorney at Law Today!

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