Jersey City, NJ- If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI in New Jersey you are likely aware of the tough road ahead of you. New Jersey has strict DWI laws with serious penalties, including jail time, license suspension, and costly fines. The legal ramifications are just one facet of a DWI charge; it can affect your job, your personal life and your future. Don’t take this charge lightly, and hire a New Jersey DWI attorney to work on your defense.
When most people of think of a defense, they think of an attorney arguing before a court their client is innocent of the charges against them. But that is just one aspect a DWI defense; the burden is on the State to prove the charges against you and the State’s failure to do so is a viable defense even when the accused is, in fact, guilty.
After you receive a summons, you will be scheduled for an arraignment. This is a formal and important court appearance where you hear the charges against you. You should never plead guilty at an arraignment before reviewing the discovery (police reports) and speaking with a DWI lawyer.
The decision about whether to plead guilty or push your case to trial is not an easy one; each has its own set of benefits and consequences which you may not be aware of or understand. They are also not mutually exclusive, meaning that you must often be willing to go to trial in order to get the best plea offer. As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney I understand these issues and know how to manage them in your best interest.
In New Jersey, plea bargaining is not allowed on a DWI charge. The prosecutor is not permitted to reduce the charge. Only if the defense can convince the prosecutor there is a major flaw in the State’s case may a prosecutor dismiss or downgrade a DWI charge.
There are a number of strategies I can employ in your DWI defense. One of them would be to challenge an officer’s probable cause and the prosecution’s proof of intoxication which relies on officer observations, your performance in field sobriety tests and the results from a breath test.
Firstly, we will examine whether an officer had reasonable suspicion to stop you to begin with. A law enforcement officer must have a valid reason to stop any driver. An officer must observe you driving erratically, speeding or committing other traffic violations. If an officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop to you, the DWI charge may not hold up in court.
Before asking you to consent to field sobriety tests, an officer must have reason to believe you are intoxicated. They are taught to look for blood shot eyes, slurred speech and whether the driver is unsteady on their feet. There are a host of reasons other than intoxication a person can exhibit these traits.
The prosecution’s proof of intoxication will most likely rely on the results of a field sobriety test and the results from a breath test or blood test. A person can perform poorly in field sobriety for a variety of reasons such as medications they take or a chronic medical condition.
New Jersey uses the Alcotest breathalyzer in spite of the numerous court challenges the testing method has faced. If these machines are not calibrated regularly the results can be inaccurate and challenged in court. A diabetic can register high-blood alcohol content even if they have had nothing to drink.
There are other defenses to a DWI allegation, such as lack of operation, necessity or challenges to blood or urine tests, when appropriate. Exploring all possible defenses is essential for an accused person to have hope of avoiding conviction.
An effective DWI defense depends of analyzing all the necessary evidence and developing a strategy to challenge that evidence. A defense attorney is necessary throughout the entire DWI adjudication process. I have the advantage of being able to offer all of my clients in Clifton, Elmwood Park, Jersey City and Newark the individual attention their case deserves. I will cater your defense strategy to meet your needs and desires. From beginning to end, you will benefit from my representation and possibly avoid a DWI conviction.
If you would like to discuss your DWI charges contact me at my Newark office.