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Refusing FSTs does not assure acquittal, says Fairfax DUI lawyer

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Refusing FSTs does not assure acquittal, says Fairfax DUI lawyer

Refusing FSTs does not automatically assure acquittal, but can strengthen your defense, nonetheless, against a Virginia prosecution alleging driving under the influence of alcohol. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, this is all the more reason for a Virginia DWI suspect to consider limiting what s/he says or does in the first place. On top of all that, police sometimes even arrest for alleged DUI / driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, people who have not even consumed alcohol nor drugs or medicine that might adversely affect their driving. The less contact you as a suspect have with police, the better, so long as you are doing so lawfully and without your avoidance of police amounting to evidence that can be used against you for prosecutorial claims of your having a guilty conscience nor consciousness of guilt.

Why does refusing FSTs not assure my getting acquitted for an alleged Virginia DUI violation?

As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I know that everything that a police officer observes about you is going to get processed or mis-processed by the police officer, which is all the more a reason to be refusing FSTs. The more data you provide a law enforcement officer (LEO), the more data the police officer will have available to confuse him or her all the more, to misconstrue, to mis-remember, to mis-state, and to prevaricate about (as to police officers who lie, and putting a uniform and badge on an LEO does not cloak them with honesty). This is why it is so important for you to know and apply your Constitutional Fifth Amendment right to remain silent with the police and your Fourth Amendment Constitutional right to not consent to police searches, as well as your right under Virginia law to refuse field sobriety testing (sometimes called SFST testing or standardized field sobriety testing, developed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation. This is also why it is important to make no more bodily movements with the police that is legally required, where ordinarily your only required bodily movements with the police is to go where they tell you.

Should I refuse blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing via breathing into a machine or having my blood drawn?

The penalties can be significant and sometimes downright harsh for refusing BAC testing after being lawfully arrested for violating the Virginia DUI laws, whereas the only legal sanction for refusing FSTs is that the judge and jury is permitted to consider that refusal in determining whether the prosecutor has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of violating the Virginia DUI law. If you are contemplating driving / operating a motor vehicle in Virginia within twenty-four hours of consuming beer, wine, alcohol or liquor, at least do yourself the favor of learning what are the penalties for Virginia DUI offenses and for refusing BAC testing, as well as knowing all your foregoing rights. (And beware being prosecuted for obstruction of justice if you refuse BAC testing after a court search warrant has been issued for BAC testing with you.) While we are at it, if you are going to drive a motor vehicle after drinking beer, wine or liquor, at least make sure that your clothing, hair and general appearance look presentable and not disheveled, unkempt, or, worse, having unzipped pants or other indicators of impairment. If there is any vomit or urine on you or in your car, do not be in the driver’s seat if you have consumed any beer, wine or alcohol.

What if the Virginia police officer claims my breath smells strongly of an alcohol odor; that my eyes are bloodshot, watery or glassy; that I stumble; or that I have slurred speech?

The foregoing question underlines why it is so important to overcover risk and to not drive a car within 24 hours of consuming alcohol. My saying that tells you how serious this is, because if everyone followed that advice, I would have virtually no Virginia DUI clients as to alcohol consumption. When police encounter you, you need to look out for number one / yourself, and not be concerned about police claims (not always honest) of feeling disrespected if you will not talk with them or are refusing FSTs. At the same time, other than exercising your foregoing rights, do not unnecessarily act disrespectful to nor irate at the police. If any LEO mistreats you, bring that up with an appropriate lawyer at a later time.

Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan Katz would much prefer for everyone to follow his foregoing recommendations, rather than to have you in the position of having to pay a lawyer to defend you in court, and to deal with the anxiety that often accompanies waiting for your court date. Nonetheless, if you do get charged with violating any Virginia DWI or criminal law, you will be in great hands with Jon Katz and his firepowerwith Jon having successfully defended hundreds of DWI defendants, and having been trained by one of the nation’s premier SFST instructors, including conducting hands-on field sobriety testing of people who have consumed alcohol. Call 703-383-1100 for your free initial in-person confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case .