55 Things You Need to Know about Your New Jersey DWI Case

Four things that may make a difference in your New Jersey DWI case:

  1. If witnesses are not available, the State may not be able to prove its case against you.  It is important that your lawyer press the State to make sure that the facts can be proven against you, otherwise, fight your case all the way. If witnesses don’t appear on the trial date, your case may be dismissed or the charges against you may be reduced.
  2. Evidence that is exculpatory may prove your innocence.  Your lawyer must be aggressive in getting all discovery in your case to determine how the facts or lack of facts can help you.
  3. According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, your DWI case is to be resolved within a time-frame of 60 days. If the prosecutor is unable to provide all evidence within that time period, some evidence may be excluded from your trial.  While the 60 day time period is just a guideline, it must be used to compel the State to provide what is needed to defend your case properly.
  4. The results of the breath or blood testing can be kept out of your case if enough problems are found with the testing. Blood cases are extremely complex. Make sure the lawyer you hire to fight for you is trained in forensic sciences and has hands-on experience with the Alcotest.

Six facts that must be proven before you can be found guilty:

  1. Who you are
  2. You were the driver
  3. You were operating a motor vehicle
  4. You were in the New Jersey township where the court is located
  5. Your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit, or your ability to drive was negatively affected by alcohol or drugs
  6. You were impaired while in control of your motor vehicle

Fourteen things you need to keep track of before, during, and after your DWI stop:

  1. What you did in the 24 hours before you were arrested?
  2. What and how much did you drink?
  3. How did the officer act throughout the stop, arrest, and processing?
  4. Why did the officer say that he or she stopped you?
  5. Did the officer tell you that you had to take the field sobriety tests, or did the officer tell you that you legally did not have to do them?
  6. What instructions did the officer give you during the road-side tests?
  7. How did you perform during the field sobriety tests?
  8. Did you make any statements to the officer?
  9. Where were you taken for the results of any chemical tests?
  10. Did anyone witness your stop and/or arrest?
  11. Did an officer observe you for twenty minutes before the breath test?
  12. Were you told of your right to take an independent test?
  13. How long was it between your stop and the breath or blood testing?
  14. Is there anything in your medical history that could affect the physical or chemical testing?

Seven crucial components for your defense:

  1. A thorough investigation of the alleged facts surrounding your charges
  2. Using a Motion to suppress the stop or arrest
  3. Ability to Cross-examine law enforcement in court
  4. Solid knowledge of Constitutional law and rights
  5. A thorough understanding of field sobriety testing
  6. A thorough understanding of the legalities involved in breath, blood and urine testing
  7. An attorney who is experienced in New Jersey DWI defense

Before your trial, here are two things your attorney needs to do:

  1. Prepare your case as if it is going to trial, obtaining all the evidence against you, filing strategic motions when applicable.
  2. Explore all possible options to resolve the case in your favor without having to go to trial.

Two ways that an officer can find himself or herself discredited during courtroom testimony:

  1. By making statements that are inconsistent
  2. By failing to remember and state key facts in your case

Five rules that must be followed by law enforcement when administering breath tests:

  1. The officer must have lawfully stopped you
  2. Probable cause to believe you are intoxicated must exist for an arrest to take place
  3. You must be either operating or have physical control of your vehicle with an intent to operate it
  4. Probable cause to believe you are under the influence of alcohol is required for an officer to request that you take a breath test
  5. The officer must have followed all the correct procedures and be currently certified to operate the machine

Four things to think about in deciding to go to trial:

  1. What will be the effect of a conviction if you just plead guilty?
  2. How strong is the evidence against you?
  3. Consider that New Jersey does not offer drivers convicted of DWI or Refusal a hardship license or a probationary license.
  4. Weigh all of the costs of a plea versus a trial and how a conviction would affect your job, your relationships, and the other resulting effects of a conviction to determine how hard you need to fight the case against you.

Five motions that may be filed before your court date:

  1. A motion that states that you were stopped illegally, and therefore, any evidence based upon the stop should be thrown out
  2. A motion that states that you were subjected to an unlawful search
  3. A motion that states that there was no probable cause to arrest you
  4. A motion that states that you were not properly given your Miranda rights
  5. A motion that states more evidence is needed in your case

Seven pre-trial motions that can result in dismissal of the DWI:

  1. Contesting the stop as unconstitutional
  2. Contesting the roadside tests administered as unconstitutional
  3. Challenging the constitutionality of the stated probable cause for arrest
  4. Challenging the reading of your Miranda rights
  5. Challenging the methods used to administer your roadside tests
  6. Challenging the maintenance and operational standards of any devices used in your arrest
  7. Challenging the qualifications of the individuals who operated testing devices in your case
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Evan Levow - instructor of field sobrietyState V. Chun Button
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