Law Offices of Michael Steven Sherman, P.C.

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What Happens When You Refuse a Chemical Test in Pennsylvania?


If you are being charged with refusing to submit to a breath or blood test, it is important to understand the laws and penalties correctly. Refusal cases are complicated because there are actually two separate cases. One case is for the DUI and one case for the refusal.

What the Law Says

The concerning statute is Title 75 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 1547 which states:
Any person who drives, operates or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests of breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of blood or the presence Of a controlled substance…

What does it mean?

Simply put, if you drive in Pennsylvania, you have already given your consent to submit to breath or blood testing for DUI if ordered to do so by a police officer. Refusing to do so is a violation of Section 1547.

What are the penalties?

A violation of Section 1547 carries the penalty of a 12 month license suspension. That suspension will increase to 18 months if you have a previous DUI conviction or a refusal. You could be subject to a $500 restoration license restoration fee. If you had two refusals in the past, the restoration fee is $2000. These penalties are in addition to whatever penalties you may face on the DUI charge. So if you refuse and are conviction of DUI, you may end up with a 24 month license suspension.

Also keep in mind that if you have two previous DUI convictions, a refusal will turn your DUI into a felony offense.

There is hope

There is an appeals process for the Administrative License Suspension but the appeal must be filed within 30 days. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney who tackles tough DUI cases may be able to identify issues in your case that can be challenged. Citizens like you have trusted Attorney Mike Sherman and he has proven to be a life-saver for many. He is a different type of attorney. He’s the kind who is willing to fight for you.

What is the Mike Sherman Difference?

Mike Sherman has unique experience and knowledge which he uses to protect his clients.
  • Mike Sherman is a former attorney for the Pennsylvania State Police. He knows both sides of the law and uses that knowledge to benefit his clients.
  • Mike Sherman wrote “the” Pennsylvania textbook on Pennsylvania DUI law, Driving Under the Influence Law and Practice.
  • He uses a scientific method to investigate your case. Relying on his deep understanding of forensic science, he picks apart the evidence against you and looks for errors that he can challenge. He then carefully prepares your case with the goal of highlighting these issues and putting you in the best possible position.

If you are facing a serious charge, don’t delay. Call now to set up your free consultation at

412-471-5000

Request your free telephone strategy session