What Charges You Can Expect by Failing or Refusing a Breathalyzer
What kind of penalties can you expect for failing a breathalyzer? What if you refuse to take the breathalyzer? Clearly, getting a driving under the influence charge can be problematic to say the least. You should always consult with and hire a local and experienced DUI lawyer to help in your case. You have no other good options, as representing yourself is a big mistake. This blog guide can help, but if you're currently dealing with a DUI charge, you need a lawyer.
What can you get pulled over for?
You likely are pulled over for driving oddly, or you get into an accident, or make a mistake such as speeding or running a stop sign. Once the officer pulls you over, he or she will as some questions, such as if you've been drinking or using drugs. If the officer feels it's clear you are under the influence, he or she may not even give you a breathalyzer, instead arresting you (which can occur if you are clearly drunk). In cases of an accident, if you hurt someone you may face felony charges.
What charges can you expect if you fail a breathalyzer?
If you fail a breathalyzer test, you will be arrested. What's the same for all states is the blood alcohol limit, which is .08%. What's different is how you will be charged. One state may suspend your license for longer than a year for a first time offense, while another may suspend it for less. Jail time can be different. Fines can vary. Probation is also different. This is where a local professional DUI lawyer can help. You may not know the charges you face. If this is your first time offense, most states are relatively lenient, as the charges will be much less. Also, states all have laws for further penalties if you've received multiple DUI charges.
What if you refuse a breathalyzer?
This too can vary from state to state, as the laws are different. Some states will automatically suspend your license for six months if you refuse a breathalyzer, while lessening the penalty if you take it and fail. So, in some states it's actually smarter to take the breathalyzer, especially if this is your first offense.
What other tests can you expect?
You are often asked for field sobriety tests: walking backwards, standing on one leg, saying the alphabet backwards, and so on. If you fail these, it can give the officer reason to test with the breathalyzer. In some cases, however, you can refuse to take the field tests at no further charges to you.
Who can help?
You definitely need an experienced DUI lawyer, even if this is your first offense. Quite often you can strike a plea bargain deal for lesser charges. Unfortunately, most DUI charges stick, and you'll get some penalties. But most does not mean all; your right is to have a fair trial to plead your case, and you may just prove your innocence.