Philadelphia, PA criminal defense attorney Brian Fishman explains why in most cases it’s not a good idea to refuse a blood or breath test.
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So I’m often asked whether or not it was a good decision to give chemical testing meaning breath or blood testing once arrested for DUI? And, of course, I’m usually asked that question once that decision’s already been made and you do not have the right to speak to an attorney when making that decision. However, I will say that in most incidences it is my advice that people do submit to chemical testing. And that is that they agree that if they are arrested for DUI that they agree to give either blood or breath tests depending on what the officers ask. And the reason I say that is that in Pennsylvania if you refuse chemical testing and you are ultimately acquitted of the DUI, you’re still facing one of the biggest punishments of a DUI and that is a one-year license suspension from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation just for the refusal.
So if that’s what you’re most concerned about then you should give the chemical testing, you should submit to it, and then let me do what I can to see if I can show the stop was an illegal one and get the results of the chemical testing suppressed. Now I will say that if you are someone who has had DUI problems in the past, and they are in the recent past such as within the last 10 years and you know that this is your third or maybe fourth DUI and your license is maybe already suspended as a result of those, that’s a situation where you may want to consider not giving the breath or blood testing because then we may be able to make an argument that you weren’t under the influence at the time of the arrest. But in 95 percent of situations where DUI it’s the first time you’re being arrested, which is often the case, my advice is that you do submit to chemical testing either breath or blood.