Chemical Test Refusal

As a prosecutor, Richard was a member of a specialized unit which focused exclusively on Nassau County Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs cases. As part of this appointment, Richard attended police trainings on DWI detection, DWI policing policies, police testimony, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTS), and breathalyzer technology. With this background, Richard is uniquely qualified as a Nassau County DWI Lawyer to represent you or your loved one who is accused of a crime. Our firm knows how to help you protect your license, protect your record, and protect your freedom.

Chemical Test Refusal Nassua NY

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Chemical Test Refusal Defense Attorneys in New York

Being pulled over and questioned by the police in New York can be a scary experience. It’s even more so when you are accused of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and asked to take a chemical test to determine if you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These tests measure the blood alcohol content levels in your system and if they show that you have consumed more than the legal limit, you will be arrested and taken to the station.

However, sometimes drivers refuse to take the chemical tests, or in cases when they do submit to the test, they sometimes wonder afterwards if it was the right thing to do. It’s important to know that whether you should submit to a chemical test in NY depends largely on the situation. But if you do decide to refuse a chemical test in New York, there can be legal consequences.

If you or a loved one refused a breathalyzer, blood, saliva or urine test after being pulled over in NY and are being charged with a DWI and refusal to submit to a chemical test, contact an experienced DWI attorney in Nassau County today. A qualified chemical test refusal lawyer in NY can help you defend your rights and fight your charges.

What is a chemical test refusal?

When an officer suspects you of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs, they may ask you to submit to a breathalyzer, blood or urine test to determine your blood alcohol content level. Although you have the right to refuse the test, doing so comes with consequences. For example, refusing a chemical test can be used against you in court as evidence of a “consciousness of guilt.” Also, the refusal is considered a civil violation and warrants a hearing with a DMV Administrative Law Judge.

Listed below are the specific penalties for refusing to take a chemical test when you have been pulled over for a DWI:

    • First offense: If you refuse to submit to a chemical test and you have not been convicted of any intoxicated driving charge (DWAI, DWI, Aggravated DWI, DWI Drugs, or DWAI Combined Influence) within the past 5 years, then it is considered your first offense and you can face civil penalties. These penalties include the revocation of your license for up to one year (longer for commercial drivers), a civil penalty of $500 and a “driver responsibility assessment,” which costs $250 a year for up to three years.
    • Repeat offenders: If you have been convicted of a driving while intoxicated charge (DWAI, DWI, Aggravated DWI, DWI Drugs, DWAI Combined Influence or Zero Tolerance) within the past five years, or you refused a chemical test during that time and had your driving privileges revoked, then a refusal to submit to a chemical test is considered a repeat offense and the penalties are more severe. The penalties for repeat offenders include an 18-month license revocation (this can be 10 years for commercial drivers) civil penalties up to $750, and a “drivers responsibility assessment” of $250 for three years.

Furthermore, if your license has been revoked, the DMV requires evidence of an alcohol evaluation or the completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program before reinstating it. Because the penalties for refusing a chemical test can be so severe, having a qualified chemical test refusal attorney on your side to put forth a strong defense is critical to your success.

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At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we have years of experience representing people accused of DWI and Aggravated DWI crimes in Nassau County. We understand the best strategies for building a case, and we’re not afraid to defend your rights in court. For a free consultation with our knowledgeable Nassau County DWI defense attorney, give us a call today at (516) 939-1529 or contact us online.

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What happens if you refuse a chemical test in New York?

New York and every other state in the US have implied consent laws. Implied consent law is a legal procedure designed to discourage people from refusing to submit to chemical tests if they are pulled over and suspected of DWI. It basically states that if you’re using public roads to drive, then you’ve already implicitly submitted to a breathalyzer test if requested by an officer after being pulled over. However, an officer must have reasonable grounds to suspect you of drunk driving before asking you to submit to a chemical test. If not, the evidence they collect during the stop can be deemed inadmissible in court.

Although the breathalyzer test is the most used chemical test and the most well-known, it is not the only one. Some of the other chemical tests used by officers include:

      • Breath
      • Saliva
      • Urine
      • Blood
      • A portable breathalyzer test (PBT)

The portable breathalyzer test is often used by police officers on the scene to determine if you are sufficiently impaired to warrant an arrest. However, the other types of chemical test that are administered at the police station are considered more accurate and are admissible in court. For blood tests, which are sometimes requested when accurate breath samples aren’t possible, a warrant is required unless you submit to it on your own.

Because it’s not always clear what your rights are and which tests you must or should submit to, it’s important to contact an experienced DWI attorney who can review the specifics of your case and help you understand your rights.

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Should you refuse to submit to a chemical test?

When an officer suspects you of a DWI in New York and asks you to submit to a chemical test, it’s difficult to know what to do. On the one hand, if you were driving while intoxicated you risk testing above the legal BAC levels and being charged with a DWI offense. However, if you refuse to submit to the test, you are breaking implied consent laws, so there is a good chance you’ll be arrested anyway.

It’s important to understand that the roadside chemical test is not admissible in court. However, if you refuse the roadside test you’ll be arrested and asked to take another chemical test in the station, which are admissible in court and generally more accurate than the roadside breathalyzer test.

If you do decide to refuse chemical tests, for whatever reason, you will have two charges to fight in court. One is the refusal charge and the other is a Driving While Intoxicated charge in NY. To beat the refusal charge, your attorney must prove that the arresting officer had no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to warrant the traffic stop and the chemical test. However, this is not easy to do, so in many instances, even when people beat their DWI charges they still have their license suspended for the refusal.

Contact the chemical test refusal attorneys in NY

At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we’ve helped many clients in Nassau County beat their DWI and/or chemical test refusal charges. Our attorney has specialized experience in DWI law and understands the complexities of the New York legal system and how to navigate the law on your behalf.

At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we know how important it is for you to beat your DWI charge in NY. That’s why we work passionately and diligently on your behalf and on behalf of all our clients. For a free consultation and case review with a knowledgeable DWI and chemical test refusal lawyer in NY, contact us at (516) 939-1529 or online.