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Refusals in DUI Cases: How to Avoid the Stigma

Almost all DUI lawyers have agonized over how to handle the fact that a client refused to take a breath test following arrest. Starting in voir dire, the criminal defense attorney needs to help the jury understand reasonable doubt, burden of proof, and the fact that a defendant plays no role in submitting evidence at the time of arrest. Further, the defense attorney should touch upon these concepts during the opening statement, when cross-examining the arresting officer, and during the closing argument.