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Refusing a Field Sobriety Test

As a Portland DUI attorney, many of our clients have to deal with the fact that they failed a field sobriety test and it is now being used as evidence at trial. Often, they say they regret ever taking the test and wish they had just refused. These tests are difficult to do in low stress environments and are made even more difficult when administered during a stressful traffic stop. Unfortunately, there is an implied consent in Oregon to submit to a field sobriety test for the purpose of determining whether a driver is under the influence behind the wheel.

If you refuse to submit to a field sobriety test, that refusal can used as evidence against you at trial. This means that a jury will hear that you refused to take the test and the implication will be that you refused because you could not pass. This can have serious sway with the jury who will see this as a negative when it comes time to decide guilt or innocence.

However, a skilled Portland DUI attorney can fight this perception. Unlike a chemical refusal, there are no legal penalties for refusing a field sobriety test. A refusal is essentially treated the same as a failure. Therefore, if you are asked to take a field sobriety test, refusing and failing will have the same impact on any charges you may wind up facing.

Some people simply plead guilty to their drunk driving charge without speaking to a lawyer. The assume there is nothing the lawyer can do for them, so they think they will save some money and just plead guilty. In general, this is is a mistake. An attorney can investigate your case in order to identify any issues the prosecution may have. This way, you can be sure that your liberty is being defended by an experienced litigator.

If you have been charged with DUII in Portland, you need the help of a skilled Portland DUI attorney. The lawyers at Kroll & Johnson will aggressively challenge all evidence against you and fight to get you the best outcome possible for your drinking and driving charge. If you have been charged with DUII in Oregon, contact us today for a free consultation.

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