If a refuse the breath test, is it possible I can beat the DUI case? 28 Answers as of June 18, 2013

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
Yes, IF you have the right attorney.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/20/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
If you refuse it then your license will be suspended for refusing. If they have enough other proof they can still convict you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/9/2012
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
Yes, it is possible. Refusal to take a test is but one element that can be raised by the prosecution at trial, to establish guilt. It is not an irrebuttable presumption of guilt. Other factors within the police report, and in the driver's evidence, can work to effect an acquittal, even with a refusal. Hire an attorney, you definitely need that. He can gather all the evidence in your case, discuss your options with you, and work out a favorably disposition for you.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/8/2012
Law Office of John Schum, LLC
Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
Thank you for contacting my office for answers to your questions. Please understand that my responses are general in nature and the law often focuses on specific facts. Before making any legal decisions, you should go over all the facts and specific circumstances of your situation with a lawyer. Additionally, my responses do not create an attorney-client relationship. Your comments to me are confidential and I cannot repeat them. However, I am not representing you on this matter, unless we later establish a formal attorney-client relationship. Now to provide a response to your question. It is possible to beat a DUI without a breath test but under certain circumstances, the State may still be able to get a conviction. I encourage you to have a lawyer to help you with this case and the judge will try to get you to either use the public defenders or hire your own attorney. This is important because the DUI will stay on your record forever and if you get stopped again the punishment may increase significantly or mean mandatory jail. There are ways to challenge and win these cases but that requires having an attorney that knows the law. If you are going to try to do it yourself, that will be difficult. The maximum punishments for a first offense are one of the following: a fine between $150 and $1,000; not more than 72 hours of community service or between 48 hours and 5 days in jail. Your license will be suspended for a year and you will need to have an ignition interlock system installed in your vehicle if you want to drive. There is also a requirement for a substance abuse assessment and a 14 hour course. If you cannot win the case, I could probably help keep the fines and any other punishment towards the lower end of the range.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 11/6/2012
Law Office of Edmund P. Allen Jr. | Edmund P. Allen Jr.
Yes, if you have a good lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/6/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You will end up being charged with dui and refusing the breath test, which has the potential of causing an even long driving privileges suspension. Take the test. Better yet, do not drive after drinking alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    It's possible, but the fact of your refusal is admissible against you in court. How you did on field sobriety tests, how you looked on video, etc. are all important.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Deaver & Deaver, PLLC | Benjamin W. Deaver
    It is possible to beat a DWI with or without a breath or blood test.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, but you will need to hire a DUI specialist. Refusal cases are great because they lack evidence of BAC, but prosecutors will try to hit you even harder by assuming your BAC was over 0.20%. You will also get a longer license suspension. You need to hire a lawyer fast, because you have only 10 days to save your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Unfortunately for you it isn't quite that simple. If all that was required to beat a DUI was to refuse a breath test, then every suspected drunk driver would do the same. However, it is still possible to completely beat a DUI or get it significantly reduced to a lesser offense if you refuse or even if you take a breath test. The one you do not want to refuse is the DataMaster at the police station because such a refusal results in the automatic loss of your license and other severe penalties. If you have been charged, seek counsel from an experienced DUI attorney. The consequences are too severe to do it alone.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It depends upon the other facts of the case. What was your driving like? How did you perform on any field tests? If you did any. Did the arresting officer have a dash cam in his patrol car to video the stop? Let's assume that you refuse the breath test, which you have a right to do. And by chance you win the DUI. You still have to deal with Department of Licensing. For refusing to submit to a breath test, DOL will suspend your license for a MINIMIUM of one year, and during that time, you cannot have an occupational license. No driving for one year, regardless of the outcome of the DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
    Almost no one id found not guilty of a DWI unless the prosecutor cannot prove operation of the vehicle. The best you are going to do is to get a DWAI violation as opposed to a DWI misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes. It is possible. However, unlikely. The refusal of a chemical test by a driver will result in a one-year suspension of your driver's license. When you are arrested for DUI in California, the officer must tell you that you are required to submit to either a breath or a blood test. If the officer fails to tell you this, your refusal is not valid and, therefore, you have a better chance of not acquiring a DUI conviction. Relying on the mistakes of the police department is a long shot but it is worth hiring an attorney to investigate this for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Anything is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Yes, it is possible to beat a DUI charge in MA if you refuse the Breath Test (BT). In fact, by refusing the BT you increase your chances of success at trial tremendously. With BT evidence, the jury will be told that if they find that you were the driver and you were operating the vehicle on a public way, that so long as they believe that the BT evidence is valid then they MUST convict you of DUI (in MA the charge is actually OUI, which stands for Operating Under the Influence). Without the BT evidence, the Commonwealth (DA) must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that your ability to operate the motor vehicle was diminished by your consumption of alcohol. Without the BT, they must prove this through Field Sobriety Tests (FST) and the witnesses' observations. They witness is typically the police officer and his opinion is susceptible to bias and is really merely his opinion. Lawyers will almost always tell people not to take the breath test if they want any chance of beating an OUI charge. You may have an excellent case. I would need to know more facts to evaluate your position. If you do not already have an attorney, you can reach me at the numbers below to discuss the details of your case. There is no fee for the consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC | Louis J. Meyer
    It is possible. There are other factors, such as the field sobriety test, what the officer claims you said or how you acted. If you have any witnesses. Finally, if the stop was captured on video.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If you are referring to a Preliminary Breath Test at the location of the stop, you can refuse to submit but be aware that refusal of this test automatically entitles the officer to place you under arrest and request a full and formal test to determine blood alcohol concentration. If you refuse to provide a sample for determination of your blood alcohol concentration, this refusal is itself a gross misdemeanor crime in Minnesota. Not having that test might make it more difficult for the state to prove DUI but it might be easy to prove "refusal".
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    Not necessarily, I would recommend speaking to an experienced DUI lawyer to discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    There are two forms of breath test. You can refuse the portable test at a roadside stop without consequence, but if you refuse the formal breath test back at the station then you will suffer a suspension of your driver's license. Further, the police can still make reference to your refusal as consciousness of guilt at trial, a fact upon which many people have been convicted even though they refused. Talk with a good lawyer about all the specifics of your case as this is a case where the details will matter and review all of the information at this link: http://fairlielaw.net/practice-areas/field-sobriety-testing-and-chemical-testing/. You should also look at the rest of the DUI pages near this link as many of them may be relevant.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/21/2013
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    There are defenses to a refusal case. They include challenging reasonable suspicion for the stop, probable cause to charge and whether there was reasonable basis to refuse. You should have your case reviewed by experienced legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    Unlikely since the refusal itself is illegal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/18/2013
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