DWI Defense Strategies in New Jersey
Parsippany DUI Lawyer
Many people who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol
or drugs forget the fact that they are legally presumed innocent until
proven guilty. Unless the prosecutor assigned to your case can demonstrate
beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime of drinking
and driving or drugged driving, you cannot legally be convicted on charges of DWI.
Forgetting this fact, a large percentage of those who are charged with
DWI give up any hope of fighting the case and they end up pleading guilty
to the charges. In a large percentage of cases, this is an enormous mistake,
for the simple fact that it is nearly always possible to effectively fight
drunk driving charges.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Foolproof
The evidence which a police officer uses to make an arrest for DWI is very
often entirely unreliable and should not be used in court to support a
conviction. For example, the standardized roadside field sobriety tests
– including the One-Leg Stand, the Walk-and-Turn and the Horizontal
Gaze Nystagmus – are notoriously subjective and have even been described
as being "designed to fail." Simply put, success in the field
sobriety test depends in large measure on whether or not the law enforcement
officer wants you to pass or fail.
Even when the officer is entirely impartial and makes no mistakes in explaining
or administering the tests, they are anything but scientifically accurate;
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency responsible
for developing the tests, admits that they have margins of error ranging
from 12 to 92 percent. In other words, a DWI suspect could fail these
tests while being entirely sober. By subpoenaing the recorded footage
from the police car dashboard video camera, your
Parsippany DWI attorney may be able to show the court that you were not intoxicated and that your
ability to drive a vehicle was not impaired.
Challenging the Validity of DWI Chemical Tests
While more scientific than the field sobriety tests, the breath and blood
tests which are used to obtain evidence that a DWI suspect is intoxicated
are still not entirely reliable. To begin with, the breathalyzer test
does not directly measure the suspect's blood alcohol concentration
(BAC). Instead, it determines how much alcohol is present in the breath,
which may be a result of residual alcohol in the suspect's mouth.
The test can even trigger a false-positive when acid reflux, diabetes or
other physiological conditions cause the breath to have a chemical composition
which is similar to the breath of someone who has been drinking. Breath-test
machines have also been demonstrated to be susceptible to radio frequency
interference from sources such as scanners in the police statement. Your
attorney may also be able to invalidate the test results by obtaining
copies of the maintenance and calibration records for the machine, to
demonstrate that it was not capable of delivering a reliable result.
Unlawful Traffic Stops in DWI Investigations
Even if the police have a watertight case against you and there is no way
of disputing the truth of the evidence, it may still be possible to have
the charges dismissed by demonstrating that the evidence was obtained
only by violating your constitutional rights. Under the Fourth Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution, you are legally secure against unreasonable
search and seizure. In plain terms, you cannot be searched or arrested
unless a law enforcement officer has a warrant or probable cause to believe
that you have committed – or are in the process of committing –
a crime. Your attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress the evidence
in the case after aggressively cross-examining the officer to reveal that
he or she pulled you over without probable cause.
These are only a few examples of strategies that can be used to defend
against DUI charges. Take the first step in your case by
contacting The Law Offices of Christopher G. Porreca, P.C. or filling out a
free case evaluation!