Pasadena DUI Refusal Defenses

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For many people who have been charged with a Pasadena DUI refusal offense, they may be told that effectively challenging the refusal allegation is simply not possible. Under the law, all drivers in California are considered to have provided implied consent to breath or blood testing if lawfully arrested on suspicion of DUI. Refusing to take a test is against the law pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23612 VC. Someone who is arrested on suspicion of a Pasadena DUI offense who subsequently refuses to submit to breath or blood testing will typically be charged with driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC along with a refusal allegation

The following are examples of the potential defenses that may be raised in fighting a Pasadena DUI refusal charge:

Lack of Probable Cause to the Stop the Vehicle or Arrest the Driver

An officer must have reasonable or probable cause before he or she can justify pulling over a vehicle or arresting someone for a crime. In Pasadena DUI cases, the reason stated is often a violation of the California Vehicle Code or other law. Once an officer observes a driver in violation of the law, that driver can be pulled over in order to address the violation. The officer will interact with the driver and may form the opinion that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The officer further needs reasonable cause that the driver was under the influence before he or she is allowed to arrest the driver. Typically, this is accomplished by having the driver perform field sobriety tests or provide a breath sample on a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (“PAS”) device. The officer may also rely on the defendant’s own admission that he or she had previously consumed alcohol.

The driver can challenge the stop and/or arrest by making a motion to suppress pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC. This also applies to defendants who refused testing. If successful, all evidence obtained as a result of the improper stop or arrest would be suppressed and the case would likely be dismissed.

The Driver Was Not Driving Under the Influence

For a refusal allegation to be upheld against a Pasadena DUI defendant, the prosecutor must be able to establish that the defendant is guilty of driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC. If the prosecution is unable to prove impaired driving, the refusal allegation would not apply to the driver.

Failure to Provide Proper Admonition

Under the law, a law enforcement officer must give an admonition regarding chemical testing and the results that would occur if the driver refuses to test. This includes the fact that the driver would be charged with DUI with a refusal allegation in addition to the fact that the driver would lose his or her license for at least a year. If the Pasadena law enforcement agency did not provide a comprehensive admonition or if this information was not communicated clearly, the defendant may have a strong argument that any subsequent refusal was not willful or knowing.

Incapacitation of the Driver

There may be situations where a person who has been arrested for a Pasadena DUI is physically unable to understand a refusal admonition and is thus unable to refuse or consent to chemical testing. This is often the case where the driver has just been involved in a collision and may have suffered a concussion which affects his or her ability to take in and process information. It may also be the case where another medical condition affects a person’s ability to either understand directions or clearly communicate consent. One thing that would not excuse a driver’s refusal to test occurs where the incapacitation was the result of voluntary intoxication. This means that being too drunk to consent to testing is not a defense to a Pasadena DUI refusal allegation.

If you have been charged with a DUI refusal in Pasadena, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a Pasadena DUI Lawyer immediately. Pasadena DUI Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who knows how to effectively defend those charged with DUI offenses, even where there is a refusal allegation.

For more information about Pasadena DUI refusal defenses, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Pasadena DUI Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 626-345-1899.

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