San Jose DUI Breath Tests
Understanding your rights and options is critical when facing criminal charges related to drunk driving in San Jose, CA. While refusing a breath test may seem like an appropriate response at the time, doing so could lead to additional legal trouble.
After an arrest, the best course of action is to consult an experienced San Jose defense attorney who can help assess your situation and present a defense on your behalf. If you need help with a DUI or breath test refusal, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation with a San Jose DUI lawyer. Call us at (408) 217-8818.
How Our San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help If You’re Arrested for a DUI
Being accused of driving under the influence or refusing to take a chemical test after being arrested in San Jose, California are serious accusations with severe consequences.
If you find yourself in this position, here’s how Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law can help:
- We can explore whether there are any pre-trial motions to exclude evidence
- We will review the breath test procedures and results and challenge them
- We will fight to get your license back, if applicable
- We will negotiate with the prosecutor to see if there’s a resolution that can be found before going to trial
If you need help with a DUI-related charge in San Jose, CA, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll explain our legal services and how we can help you minimize the potential penalties you may face.
Overview of San Jose DUI Breath Tests
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in San Jose, chances are you will be subject to a breath test. They are used by law enforcement to measure the amount of alcohol present in your system. It’s important to understand how they work and your rights regarding refusing to take one.
Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Tests
A preliminary alcohol screening test is a roadside test used by police officers to determine if a driver is impaired. If they believe you’re under the influence, they will ask you to take this roadside breath test.
An officer may use the results of a PAS test to justify an arrest. The arresting officer will also likely testify about the driver’s appearance and behavior leading up to the PAS.
Generally, you may refuse a PAS without legal penalty if you meet the following criteria:
- Anytime before being placed under arrest
- You are at least 21 years of age
- You are not on probation for a DUI offense
If any one of these conditions does not apply to you, refusing a PAS may result in an automatic driver’s license suspension or other penalties, depending on the circumstances.
Post-Arrest Breath Tests
A post-arrest breath test is an evidentiary chemical test administered after you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence. The post-arrest breath test aims to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
The BAC result obtained from the post-arrest breath test will be used as evidence in court against the driver in a DUI case unless your lawyer is able to have this evidence excluded.
What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breath Test in San Jose, California?
California’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to chemical testing if they are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. This means by the simple fact of driving on the roads of California, you agree that you will do this. If a driver refuses to submit to testing, they will face penalties, including:
Automatic Suspension of Driver’s License
Under California law, if you refuse to take the required breath, blood, or urine test, your driver’s license will be immediately suspended for one year. This suspension applies regardless of whether you are later convicted of DUI.
Increased Penalties If Convicted of Underlying DUI
If you are later convicted of the DUI charge after refusing the breath test, you can expect to receive increased penalties than you would’ve received if you hadn’t refused. These penalties include increased fines and mandatory jail time.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Accused of Refusing a DUI Breath Test in San Jose, California?
While it’s not impossible to defend against a refusal, it is challenging. The following are the most common defenses to fight a DUI breath test refusal:
No Lawful Arrest
Since the implied consent law in California only applies if there is a lawful arrest, proving the absence of that can be used to nullify your refusal. Accordingly, if police officers failed to follow proper protocol or acted outside their jurisdiction, any evidence obtained cannot be used against you in court. You could win your administrative hearing and retain your license.
No Notification of the Consequence of Refusal
The law requires a police officer to clearly explain the consequences associated with a breath test refusal. If an officer does not do this prior to asking for your sample, it’s possible that any evidence obtained cannot be used against you.
Unable To Complete the Test
Your actions may not count as a refusal if, at the time, you were suffering from injuries that made it impossible for you to complete the test. However, this defense is not applicable in situations where you caused your own injuries.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our San Jose DUI Breath Test Lawyers
While refusing the chemical test may seem like an attractive option at first glance, this strategy could result in a suspended license and increased penalties should you be convicted of the DUI.
If you’re facing a DUI or a breath test refusal in San Jose, California, we can help. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation with a San Jose DUI breath test attorney.