If you are charged with DUI and you refused to submit to a blood, urine or breath test, the Department of Public Safety will immediately try to suspend your license and all of your driving privileges for anywhere from 90 days to one year. This occurs prior to any criminal DUI trial in the vast majority of cases and is automatically entered against you unless you appeal the decision within ten calendar days after you have received the letter notifying you of the intent to suspend. Filing an appeal does not postpone your suspension.
If you try to drive while your license is suspended and the police catch you, even more penalties may apply, in addition to an extension on the suspended license. Choosing to get behind the wheel even one time could put you in a dangerous position as the consequences stack up. If you don’t have a lawyer to help you handle the administrative hearings and the criminal case, you could end up with mistakes that cost you for years.
You may receive a temporary license when you first refuse a test but bear in mind that this is only valid for 45 days from the date of the arrest and it cannot be extended or renewed for any reason or period of time. The test refusal hearing is carried out by the circuit court judge or a county court judge. There will be no jury and the judge announces his or her decision at the end of the hearing.
The state bears the burden of proof to show that you were operating the vehicle under the influence of intoxicant beverages or other substances and that at the scene, you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. The burden of proof that the state must bring forward in such a case is not nearly as high as in a criminal trial. However, you should still be prepared with what you need to know about protecting your rights and the right Starkville DUI defense lawyer is an invaluable asset as you prepare to move forward with a defense claim.