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What Happens If I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test In Orange, Texas?

Whiskey with car keys and handcuffs concept for drinking and driving

A breathalyzer test is a diagnostic tool often used by law enforcement to measure the alcohol content in the air you exhale. This measurement helps estimate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), indicating how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. To perform the test, you would typically blow into a device known as a breath analyzer. But what are the ramifications in Orange, Texas if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

Implied Consent Law

In Texas, when you obtain a driver’s license, you automatically agree to the implied consent law. This law mandates that any licensed driver must submit to a breath or blood test if lawfully arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, before an arrest, activates significant legal repercussions once you are arrested. It’s crucial to remember that this consent becomes effective the moment you are lawfully detained for suspected DWI.

What Happens When You Are Arrested for DWI in Orange, Texas?

When you are arrested for DWI in Orange, TX, and choose to refuse a breathalyzer test, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and provide you with a written notice of suspension. You’ll be given a temporary permit, but you must request a formal hearing within 15 days to contest this suspension. If you miss this deadline, the suspension will proceed.

If you continue to refuse the breathalyzer, the officer may seek a warrant for a mandatory blood draw. This step involves presenting probable cause to a judge, who may then authorize the collection of a blood sample without your consent. In cases involving serious injuries or prior DWI convictions, this process is more likely to be pursued. It’s important to note that refusing a blood test when a warrant is issued can lead to severe consequences, including an extended suspension of your driver’s license.

Potential Consequences of Refusing the Breathalyzer in Orange County, Texas

Once the arresting officer confiscates your license and issues a temporary permit, you have 15 days from the arrest to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. If you do not request this hearing or fail to prove the officer lacked probable cause, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days. For repeat offenses within 10 years, the suspension can extend up to two years. This process is separate from any criminal proceedings but equally critical. Legal guidance from an expert attorney can help to ensure that all actions taken work towards securing your freedom and your reputation.

Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer can also impact your court proceedings. In Texas, your refusal can be presented as evidence against you, suggesting you knew you were intoxicated. This doesn’t violate your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Instead, it’s seen as an acknowledgment of guilt. To navigate these challenges, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Jim Sharon Bearden Jr., based in Orange, Texas. Jim Sharon will use his expertise and experience as both a judge and an attorney to help you understand and defend your rights.

Navigating a DWI Charge in Orange, Texas

Legal Representation

When you face a DWI charge, securing a knowledgeable attorney is crucial. A skilled lawyer will first review your arrest details, which is essential for building a defense, whether it’s your first offense or not. Attorney Jim Sharon Bearden Jr. has a deep understanding of DWI test devices and calibration and can leverage his expertise to potentially prevent a driver’s license suspension or avoid severe penalties.

Defensive Strategies

Your defense strategy might include challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer or field sobriety tests. It’s important to know that you have the right to consult an attorney before undergoing any DWI tests. If you decide to refuse the tests, this could lead to a criminal DWI refusal offense, but with competent legal help, it might be possible to present a reasonable reason for the refusal. Lawyers experienced in DWI cases can identify unique defenses based on the specifics of your case, which could significantly affect the outcome.

Navigating dangerous legal waters without counsel can put your freedom and your reputation at stake. Instead, let The Bearden Law Firm be your guide, and contact us at our online contact form or at 409-883-4501 for a free consultation.


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