What YOU Need to Know about Your DWI Case

4 things that may be very helpful to your case:

  • If all the witnesses are not available to prove the State’s case.
  • If there is exculpatory evidence which would prove your innocence.
  • The Administrative Office of the Courts has directed that DWI cases are to be resolved in 60 days. If the State cannot provide all the required discovery, it is possible (though unlikely) that your case can be dismissed, or the State may be prevented from introducing certain evidence at trial.
  • There may be evidentiary problems in proving your blood alcohol level.

6 of the facts that must be proved before you can be found guilty:

  • Your identity
  • As a driver
  • Of a motor vehicle
  • In the Township, while
  • Your blood alcohol level was over the per se limit or
  • Your ability to drive a motor vehicle was substantially impaired (driving under the influence)

14 things you should note right away.

  • What your itinerary was prior to arrest.
  • Your consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Your observations of the officer.
  • The officer’s stated reasons for stopping you.
  • Whether the officer asked or ordered you to take roadside tests.
  • What were the officer’s instructions for the field sobriety tests.
  • Your performance on roadside tests.
  • Statements you made to the officer.
  • What the results were of any breath or blood tests.
  • Whether there were witnesses to your arrest.
  • Whether you were observed prior to a breath test.
  • Whether you were advised of your right to take an independent test.
  • How long you were kept after testing.
  • What is your medical background.

What are 6 items crucial to your defense?

  • A good investigation of the facts.
  • Vigorous cross-examination.
  • A sound understanding of constitutional principles.
  • A sound understanding of field sobriety testing.
  • A sound understanding of breath testing and blood testing.
  • An experienced attorney.

What must your attorney do before trial?

  • Obtain all relevant reports and information about your stop and arrest,
    and make appropriate pre-trial motions in the proper time period.
  • An understanding of the Municipal Court system:
  • Although most states allow for a jury trial in DWI matters, there is no right to a jury trial in New Jersey.

How the arresting officer’s testimony can be discredited:

  • Inconsistent statements.
  • Failure to recollect.

5 requirements which must be followed for chemical and roadside tests to be valid:

  • The officer must have had a reasonable suspicion that you were violating the law.
  • The officer must have had probable cause to arrest you.
  • You have to have been operating or about to operate the car.
  • The officer must have probable cause to ask that you take a chemical test.
  • The officer must give you your Miranda rights after you are arrested, if he is going to interrogate you.

What are 2 key pieces of information which must be learned in deciding to go to trial?

  • An estimation of the weaknesses and strengths of the State’s case against you.
  • The effect of a conviction.

How to determine whether you should go to trial.

  • It’s a cost benefit analysis. How much is it worth to defend my case?
  • What effect will this arrest have on my license and when will I be able to drive?
  • If your blood alcohol was over the legal limit or you refused a test, and if you are convicted, you may not be able to drive at all for a long period
    of time.

How to save your license if you’re found guilty in court?

  • Unfortunately there are no probationary or hardship licenses in New Jersey.

What 5 preliminary motions should be filed (if relevant to your case)

  • Motion to suppress evidence on the grounds that you were unconstitutionally stopped.
  • Motion to suppress evidence on the grounds that there was an unconstitutional search and seizure.
  • Motion to suppress evidence for lack of probable cause to arrest.
  • Motion to suppress statements on failure to give Miranda rights.
  • Motion for Discovery of additional evidence.

If these motions are not filed, your case may not be dismissed when it should have been. You may not be told about evidence which would prove your innocence.

7 defenses in pre-trial motions:

  • Contest the constitutionality of the stop.
  • Contest the constitutionality of the administration of roadside tests.
  • Contest the constitutionality of the probable cause to arrest.
  • Contest the constitutionality of the Miranda rights.
  • Contest the manner in which roadside tests were given.
  • Contest the operability of the testing machine.
  • Contest the constitutionality of any search and seizure.