Your Rights and the Consequences of a DUI Offense in California


What are Your Rights after being Convicted of a DUI Offense?

You have varying rights throughout the defense process of a DUI. Understanding these rights can aid you to fight your case. First, you should be aware that you maintain a constitutional right to receive help from an attorney if you have been arrested for driving under the influence.

A capable San Jose DUI attorney will begin to work from the outset at weakening the government’s case that has been brought against you.

When you have been stopped by law enforcement officers, you have a legal requirement to provide the officer some form of ID, together with your address, a phone number, and information pertaining to your insurance.

To be arrested, the police officer has to give you your Miranda rights. If you are aged 21 or more, there is no legal necessity to take a handheld breathalyzer test when you have been stopped. You do, however, face immediate license suspension if you were to refuse a blood/ breath test at a later time when taken to the police station.

The Fifth Amendment does work in your favor, and you can remain silent. Should the arresting officer ask you how much you have drunk, you may choose not to answer. Further, you have every right to consult with an attorney.

What Happens if you have refused a Blood or Breath Test?

If you have been arrested in the state of California for a DUI offense, by law, there is a requirement to undergo either a blood or breath test. The law of “implied consent” states that a police officer can ask for a breath, blood, or urine test, providing you have been lawfully arrested and given that the arresting officer has reason to believe you were driving under the influence.

In this case, you have no other option but to be tested.

If you Refuse a Blood or Breath test, what are the Penalties?

The refusal to take a test may result in immediate suspension of your driving license, in addition to considerable fines. A first refusal on your part will result in the license being suspended for a period of one year. For each additional refusal, your license will be suspended for an extra year. What’s more, each time you make a refusal, there is a fine of $125.

Making a refusal to undergo a chemical test will in no way aid your chance to avoid a conviction. If you do refuse, it is true that the state cannot prove the level of alcohol in your blood, but the prosecution will likely make the argument that you refused on condition that you were more than sufficiently intoxicated.

Are you able to fight a DUI Refusal Charge?

You can, if you prefer, fight your own case. And if you wish to do so, you should employ the services of an experienced DUI attorney so that you are advised throughout about the appropriate processes to be followed. After all, DUI laws can be particularly confusing.

With the help of an experienced DUI attorney who understands the laws in California, your charges can be reduced and may be entirely dropped.

A knowledgeable DUI attorney may use the following factors to argue in your favor:

Unlawful DUI arrest: If it were to be proven that no lawful reason exists for the police officer to have pulled you over or arrested you, the charges that have been brought against you for refusing a blood or breath test will in all likelihood be completely dropped.

Failure to inform: The arresting officer is required by law to inform you of any and all consequences should you choose to refuse a breathalyzer test. Your attorney may attempt to see the charges dropped if the officer failed to convey this to you.

Finally, just to make things clear if you are facing a DUI charge:

Will you need to attend court?

The court processes involved for a DUI are lengthy and complex, and it is likely that you will have to appear in court one time, if not more, for your arraignment.

Will you lose your driver’s license?

If you are arrested for a DUI, it’s an automatic process to have your license confiscated. Your license may be lost for a lengthy period of time unless you engage the services of an accomplished DUI attorney to help you with your defense.

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