Ways to Defend a DWI Case in New Jersey
The last thing you want after drinking or using drugs, recreational or prescribed, is to wind up getting arrested for a DWI. Penalties for a DWI in New Jersey can be severe, including the loss of your driving privileges, spending time in jail, and paying thousands of dollars of fines. Thankfully, an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney can use a variety of potential defenses to successfully challenge your DWI charges in court. The following explains some of the best ways to defend a DWI case in New Jersey. To discuss your specific defense strategy with skilled DWI lawyer who can help, contact us at (201) 793-8018. A member of our team can address your questions and explain how we find the best defense for your DUI charge depending on the unique facts of your case.
Arrested for DWI in a Parked Car, but I wasn’t Driving
If police find you pulled off on the side of the road smoking a joint or drinking a beer, they may arrest you for DWI even though your car was not moving at the time that they saw you. Similarly, if you pull over to the side of the highway or park in a parking lot and fall asleep in your vehicle, you may be charged with a DUI under certain circumstances. Essentially, if you fall asleep in a car while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, police wake you up and subsequently conduct a DWI investigation, they may still arrest you even though they did not observe your vehicle in motion. This is especially true if you were involved in any kind of traffic collision while intoxicated.
In this type of situation, a New Jersey DWI defense attorney may argue that the police cannot establish that you consumed alcohol or drugs prior to driving; there may be a reasonable doubt about whether you started drinking or took drugs after you parked your car. This can be a particularly effective defense if there are multiple people drinking or smoking in a parked car. In that situation, the prosecution may have additional difficulty proving that you drove, given that you may have switched places with one of your passengers. There may also be reasonable doubt about whether someone else parked the car before you and your friends started drinking or smoking in the vehicle. This is often referred to as a proof of operation defense.
Identifying Problems with Blood and Urine Tests for DUI
DWI prosecutions in New Jersey often depend on chemical test results. These results often come from blood or breath tests that put you above a .08 blood alcohol concentration or that establish the presence of drugs or alcohol (or both) in your system. Sometimes there are breakdowns in this testing process. For example, a top New Jersey DWI lawyer may identify irregularities in the accuracy or calibration of a breath testing machine. They could also notice problems with how a DUI blood draw was conducted. For instance, a nurse may use the wrong cleaning solution on your arm, the blood may be improperly stored or otherwise contaminated, or the police or testing laboratory may not have established a proper chain of custody for your blood sample. These defenses do not exist in every case, but a New Jersey DUI defense attorney with extensive experience in this area can often identify inconsistencies or problems that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Using an Illegal Traffic Stop to get a DWI Dismissed
Police must have a valid reason to pull you over before conducting a DWI investigation. This reason for the stop cannot have been based solely on a hunch or based on the area where you were driving, unless you were stopped at a valid DWI sobriety checkpoint. The police must have specific, articulable facts that led them to believe that you violated a traffic law or otherwise engaged in illegal activity. If they did not have such a reason justifying the traffic stop, your defense attorney may be able to argue that your roadside detention and the police’s DWI investigation violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unlawful searches and seizures. This can potentially result in the dismissal of your DWI case, depending on your particular situation and who you have representing you.
What if I wasn’t drunk until after my DWI arrest?
In certain situations, particularly if your blood alcohol concentration is at or barely above .08 at the time of your breathalyzer test, and particularly if you pulled off the road prior to you arrest, your defense attorney may be able to argue that you were still absorbing the alcohol at the time you were driving your car. Alcohol absorbs gradually over time, so it is possible that you drank your last drink, drove your car before you had reached the .08 limit, you absorbed more alcohol during the DWI investigation, and that post-driving alcohol absorption placed you over .08 only after you had parked your car. This is a technical defense that only works for certain factual scenarios, but a knowledgeable NJ DWI lawyer will be able to identify whether it applies in your specific situation.
Who can Help with my DWI Case in New Jersey?
If you are looking for help fighting charges for a DUI, William Proetta and the DWI defense lawyers at Proetta & Oliver are here for you. We have successfully defended clients charged with DWI in Jersey City, Hoboken, Kearny, Weehawken, Secaucus, Edgewater, and throughout New Jersey. For more information about our aggressive defense representation, call (201) 793-8018 or contact us online today.