In Pennsylvania, when you get a driver’s license, you give the police and state troopers “implied consent” to test you for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol if they stop you and have reason to suspect you are doing so. The cop is supposed to test you within two hours of driving, and if he asks you to take a breathalyzer, he’s supposed to observe you for at least twenty minutes before he tests you. Those who refuse to take the tests are treated as though they were driving drunk, regardless of whether they actually were or not.
If you have been stopped and arrested for Driving Under the Influence and a police officer decides you have refused to take a breathalyzer test, urine test, or have your blood drawn for a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test, you will automatically lose your license for a year. The cop or state trooper will send paperwork to PennDot, otherwise known as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the agency in charge of issuing driver’s licenses, and PennDOT will suspend your license. The paperwork the cops send in is a request for suspension, and once PennDOT receives that request, they will send you a notice that says you have to hand your driver’s license in to them. The letter will tell you that you have thirty days to appeal the suspension. When you get that letter, immediately call an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney, such as Sean Logue and his associates at Logue Law Group. The attorney you hire will file the appeal immediately, stating that you did not refuse to take the test and that the refusal paperwork sent to PennDOT was not proper. A hearing will be scheduled once the appeal is filed.
You will not have to hand in your driver’s license when the appeal is filed. The hearing will be scheduled for a date a couple months down the road, and at that time a judge, generally a Common Pleas Court hearing judge, will hear the case. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation attorney will be there, as well. The police officer or state trooper who arrested you will be in attendance, as well as the person who gave or tried to give you the BAC test. The judge will listen to both sides, and examine all the evidence, and will decide if you did or did not refuse.
Remember that sometimes, what appears to be a refusal to submit to a BAC test is simply a miscommunication or a misunderstanding of directions on your part. It’s also possible that the police officer didn’t give you enough time to agree. All of these are possible defenses. This is why it’s so important that you give your attorney every detail of your traffic stop and arrest. He needs to know these things, so he knows what defense strategy or strategies to use.
Also, in the case of this specific license suspension, you only have a few days to file an appeal. Defending yourself rarely ends well, especially in a hearing on this matter. It’s vital that you hire an attorney the minute you get that letter from the state, and allow him to defend you.
If you have had your license suspended for Driving Under the Influence because you supposedly refused a breathalyzer, you will need the services of a criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI defense. The Logue Criminal Defense team has the training required to defend you. Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas, including West Virginia and Ohio. Call today to schedule a consultation with Sean Logue and his associates at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. You can contact us online, as well.
It’s important that you call an attorney immediately! The longer you wait to hire representation, the harder it becomes for you to keep your license.