Refusal and Consciousness of Guilt – What You Need to Know
When you're pulled over during a routine traffic stop, you may be asked to perform a breath or chemical test to see if you're driving under the influence. You can technically refuse, but there are consequences to doing so. Furthermore, you're not allowed to refuse after you have been arrested. Learn all about these charges and what you need to do to defend yourself on this page.
According to California Vehicle Code 23612, there's a level of “implied consent” present whenever an officer stops you for a chemical drug test and has reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence. This is inherently biased against the driver, as police officers can make almost anything sound like reasonable cause.
Then, if you refuse to submit to a test after a peace officer tells you to do so, and they've explained the test's nature, this can be used in a court of law to show that you're cognizant of your own guilt. It's important to be aware of this caveat so you can properly defend yourself once in court.
Note that, to the court, silence itself can also be inferred as a refusal to submit to a chemical test. This doesn't necessarily prove that you are guilty alone, but it can easily sway a jury or judge against your side. Contacting a California terminal defense attorney is important for this reason alone.
After you've been arrested, you are not allowed to refuse a DUI breath test or chemical test under the aforementioned “implied consent” laws. Refusing to do so anyway results in ancillary criminal charges.
Different Types of Tests
There are various types of DUI chemical or breath tests you can take. Under some circumstances, you can ask to take a different type of chemical or blood test than the one the officer proposes.
Furthermore, you are allowed to refuse blood tests if you have certain medical conditions, like a blood clotting disorder or a heart disorder for which you are taking anticoagulants.
Penalties for Refusal
If you refuse to take a legal chemical or DUI test after being arrested, you may face:
- enhanced penalties if you are convicted of a DUI after the fact, as this will make you look more guilty
- losing your driver's license after a period of time
Defenses for Refusal Charges
A California criminal defense attorney can help you overturn charges of refusal or cause your DUI trial or hearing to swing in your favor with the following defenses.
You Were Incapable of Giving a Test
Sometimes, bodily functions just don't cooperate and you weren't able to generate the requisite amount of breath or urine, for example.
The Officer Didn't Have Probable Cause
If the officer's reasonable cause to demand a chemical or DUI test can be shown to be insufficient, this can poke holes in the prosecution's side of the story.
Contact a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Ultimately, it's crucial that you contact the law offices of Peter James Chambers. With years of experience helping defend regular folks like you from criminal charges, we're well-equipped to fight hard to beat your DUI case and mitigate the damage of drug test refusal. Contact us today for a free consultation.