The most routine defenses used for DUI cases..
A DUI sentence in New Jersey can bring significant and long-lived consequences, including the revoking of your driver’s license, high fines, and even possible jail time. Having a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney raise all available defenses to the charges can be critical to steer clear of these and other unwanted outcomes. A variety of DUI defenses may apply to your DUI cases, some are more common than others.
Violating Your Constitutional Rights
You have key rights under the U.S. Constitution that police officers must abide by and follow when they arrest you for DUI. An example, the 4th Amendment protects your right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Consequently, a police officer may not pull you over when driving for no reason. The police officer must have “reasonable suspicion or just cause” that you have committed a crime or a motor vehicle offense. If the officer does not have “reasonable suspicion” to pull you over to begin with, then you may be able to have all evidence gathered during the traffic stop and used to charge you with DUI suppressed. As a result, this evidence would be dropped or dismissed at any trial of the DUI charges against you.
Similarly, if a police officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI, the officer must inform you of your Miranda rights under the U.S. Constitution. These civil rights include the right to a lawyer, the right to a court-appointed public defender if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the right to remain silent, and that the prosecutor can use any statements that you make after being consulted of your rights against you in court. If a police officer arrests you without advising you of these rights, any evidence gathered after your arrest may be inadmissible.
Faulty Sobriety Tests
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has standardized several field sobriety tests to measure intoxication. These tests include the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) tests. Police officers use the results of these tests as evidence of intoxication in drivers. However, state law does not permit the use of the HGN results against you in court. In addition, other factors, such as medication, weather conditions, age, injuries, health conditions, and officer training, also can affect the outcomes of these tests. Therefore, you may be able to challenge the results of these field sobriety tests in court.
Similarly, some officers use unorthodox field sobriety tests to measure intoxication. Some of these tests might require you to touch your finger to your nose, recite the alphabet backward, or count backward. The NHTSA has not sanctioned any of these tests, so they should not be used as evidence of your intoxication in a DUI case.
Police Improperly Following Protocols
In some cases, police officers fail to properly maintain their necessary certifications or follow procedures required by law. For example, police officers who use Alcotest7110 devices or breathalyzers in New Jersey must undergo training and certification. Each device also must be inspected and calibrated regularly. If an officer uses the device on an individual in a DUI case and is not properly trained or certified, the test results may be inadmissible in court. Likewise, if the device has not undergone proper calibration or inspections, it may not produce a reliable result.
Likewise, police officers must observe individuals for a full 20 minutes before administering a breathalyzer test. Items such as chewing gum, vomit, and other substances can impact the test reading if this observation period does not first occur. If an officer does not follow this procedure, the breathalyzer tests may be invalid.
Police officers also must follow specific procedures when procuring blood samples to measure intoxication. These procedures differ from those used by hospitals or medical personnel. A failure to follow these procedures can result in inadmissible test results.
When your driving privileges are on the line, turn to The Law Offices of Douglas I. Krompier located in Monmouth County. We are family lawyers as well as criminal defense lawyers. Call (732)431-9188. Or email us with a brief description of your situation.