On Tuesday, movie star and director Mel Gibson finally saw his July 2006 Southern California DUI conviction expunged from his record. Gibson’s arrest in the summer of 2006 riveted the nation after Gibson allegedly threw an anti-Semitic tantrum subsequent to his being taken into custody, in which he unleashed a fusillade of insults and racist remarks, including saying that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Judge Lawrence Mira consented to clear Gibson of his Los Angeles DUI charge because the actor/director had conformed to the terms of his probation, which included attending AA meetings, paying nominal fines, and avoiding further arrests for driving under the influence.
Had Gibson consulted a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI lawyer after he had been pulled over on PCH for driving around 85 mph, he likely would have been advised against behaving rudely and aggressively towards the deputy officer who made the arrest.
That being said, being courteous to an arresting officer does not mean being compliant or submissive. In fact, if you’re overly forthcoming about your activities, you can exacerbate your legal woes. Admitting to “only having had a few drinks,” for instance, can significantly complicate your case.
Under what conditions can a suspect refuse an alcohol test? The law is murkier than most people realize. You can refuse under certain circumstances; but under other circumstances, refusal can constitute a criminal offense. For instance, if you’re on probation for driving under the influence of Los Angeles, or if you’ve just been arrested, you must take a test. (And if you’ve been arrested under suspicion of drug use, you may also have to take a urine test.)
You can also be penalized if you delay taking a test. That said, if the conduct of the arresting officer contributed to or caused the delay, then said delay may not actually constitute a refusal, legally speaking. If the police do not advise a suspect about penalties for refusal, the court can choose to ignore a refusal, even if one did in fact take place. According to Southern California law, arresting officers can obtain blood samples for BAC testing by force if need be. For instance, if a suspect has passed out at the wheel and has evinced signs of DUI, an officer can take a sample — even in spite of the suspect’s unconsciousness.
For help navigating the complexities that have resulted from your DUI arrest, turn to attorney Michael Kraut. For many years, attorney Kraut worked as a DUI prosecutor in Los Angeles. He knows how to critically dissect prosecutorial arguments and brings to bear a tremendous and detailed knowledge of how Los Angeles DUI cases are fought. He also boasts an impressive academic pedigree (Harvard Law School).
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.