Mount Holly Criminal Lawyers: Technicalities Get DUI Charges in New Jersey Dismissed
Getting arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in New Jersey. The current law does not allow for any plea bargaining on behalf of the defendant. To beat a DUI charge, you need a competent and experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who knows the law and what is required for a DUI charge to stick.
A criminal defense attorney must be creative in helping their client get their DUI charge and other evidence dismissed, usually on a technicality. Technicalities are not easy to prove, but if the defense attorney is able to provide reasonable doubt that procedures were not followed correctly, then the DUI charges could be dismissed or downgraded to a lesser charge with a lighter sentence.
Proper Procedures Required for All Field Sobriety Tests
A blood alcohol reading is hard to dispute, unless you know the specific protocol for obtaining a blood sample. In New Jersey, officers are required to obtain a warrant to draw blood from a driver presumed to be intoxicated. Telephonic warrants are commonly issued by judges on call when police officers are able to provide probable cause for the test. The procedure for drawing blood is very specific and any deviation from that protocol can be grounds for dismissal of the DUI evidence. A doctor or registered nurse must draw the blood sample, iodine swabs should be used in lieu of alcohol swabs that can affect the accuracy of the test, and calibrations and maintenance performed on the machine that reads the blood alcohol level can be called into question.
A criminal defense attorney can request an independent reading of the blood to confirm the state’s charges. If the blood sample was thrown away by state officials, this could lead to suppression of the evidence since an independent test could not be performed. Drivers facing DUI charges who are injured in a crash can easily question the evidence if they were unconscious or unable to speak on their own behalf. Statements made by the driver to emergency personnel cannot be submitted as evidence if they were made prior to the Miranda Rights being read.
Challenging Breathalyzer Tests in New Jersey
Breathalyzer tests and field sobriety tests are often challenged by the defense attorney in a DUI case. Breathalyzer readings can be dismissed if the officer did not follow specific guidelines for administering the test. The machine must be properly calibrated prior to testing, the mouthpiece on the device must be changed between each breath, and all electronic components unrelated to the machine must be removed from the room where the test is being administered. Officers must also be able to prove that the suspect did not burp or vomit for 20 minutes before the test was administered or the evidence can be suppressed.
Usually, whenever a driver suspected of driving under the influence refuses to take a breathalyzer test, they are automatically presumed guilty and face a loss of license for up to ten months. For a breathalyzer refusal to be considered valid, the police officer must be able to prove that they clearly asked the question of whether the suspect will take the breathalyzer test. They must also prove that the suspect clearly answered no, not once but twice for it to be considered a valid refusal.
Dismissal of NJ DUI Charges Based on Missing Evidence
If the prosecution fails to produce evidence requested by the defense, the judge could dismiss the DUI charges. Now that dash cams are being used in police vehicles, defense lawyers can prove police officers did not follow proper procedures when arresting their client and request that charges be dismissed. Conversely, dash cams can also provide a lot of evidence that a defendant was intoxicated at the time of the arrest. Poor balance, slurring words, and nonsensical talking offer hard evidence that can make a strong case for the prosecutor.
Experienced Mount Holly Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Provide Aggressive Defense for Those Charged with DUI
If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey, you need an experienced Mount Holly criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio. Call our Mount Holly criminal law firm located in Moorestown, New Jersey at 856-242-7300 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. Conveniently located in the heart of South Jersey, Michele Finizio, Esq. serves clients throughout Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County and Salem County as well as Cherry Hill, Moorestown, and Mount Holly.