Refuse A Breath Test? Get A Lawyer's Help

When you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Nassau County or anywhere in New York, refusing a Breathalyzer test may seem like a good idea. And depending on your circumstances, it may have been in your best interest not to blow. In other cases, refusing a Breathalyzer test may do more harm than good.

However, by the time you look for a defense attorney, what you did or did not do during the stop cannot be changed. So right now, you need to hire an experienced lawyer with proven strategies to address charges of refusing a breath test.

Experienced DWI Lawyers With Proven Defenses

At Lerner & Lerner, P.C., we have an established criminal defense practice with a strong focus on DWI. We handle these types of cases for drivers in Nassau County and across Long Island every day, including those involving refusing a Breathalyzer test. Backed by 50-plus years of combined experience, we find practical ways to address any type of circumstance. So even if you refused the breath test, we have defenses available to you.

Understanding Implied Consent Laws And Refusing A Breath Test

When you obtain or renew your driver's license, you agree to follow the regulations and vehicle operating procedures of your state. You also agree to implied consent laws, which require that you provide proof of insurance when asked by an officer, as well as consenting to Breathalyzer tests, field sobriety tests and blood or urine tests when suspected of drunk driving. By refusing a Breathalyzer test, you are actually breaking the law.

In the eyes of the law, driving is a privilege, not a right. If you refuse to blow when asked, your license is automatically revoked, and you will not be eligible for a conditional license until you plead guilty or are found guilty. This could take months, depending on the court's schedule to hear your case. If you go to trial, are found not guilty of all charges but lose the refusal hearing, you must serve the one-year revocation and cannot get a conditional license. It is a loophole in the law.

The Two Sides Of Your Refusal Case: Criminal Charges And Loss Of License

If you refuse a Breathalyzer test, you will face two primary challenges: the criminal charges for DWI (yes, even without the breath test results you can still be charged and convicted of DWI) and the DMV refusal hearing. Regardless of whether or not you are convicted of the DWI criminal charge, you will still face penalties for refusing the Breathalyzer test.

In the past, if the arresting officer did not show up to the administrative hearing to provide testimony as to the refusal, the courts would often drop the case. However, this is no longer a trend; the courts can and will proceed on paperwork alone.

The burden of proof is low at refusal hearings, and the courts tend to render guilty verdicts more often than not. However, our lawyers are still prepared with solid strategies to defend your position. We ask questions such as:

  • Was there reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the stop?
  • Were you aware that you were refusing the Breathalyzer test?
  • Was the refusal actually voluntary?

After refusing a Breathalyzer test, it is important to find a qualified lawyer right away. As soon as you retain our services, we immediately begin to research the best possible defenses for your specific circumstances.

Get Help Quickly To Protect Your License

Refused a breath test? Contact our Nassau County, NY, attorneys at 516-741-4100.

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