What are the defenses to DWI in New Jersey?

August 23, 2018
by We can Help Law

In New Jersey, there are various defenses to a DWI charge.  The defenses will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of the DWI stop and arrest, however, there are some general defenses and considerations that all individuals who are accused of DWI should consider when dealing with a DWI charge.


Challenging the Stop.

An individual who is charged with DWI may be able to challenge the reason for the motor vehicle stop.  In order for a police officer to stop a vehicle, the officer needs reasonable suspicion that a traffic and or criminal violation of the law is occurring.  If the officer does not have sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle, all subsequent evidence may be suppressed.  If the evidence is suppressed it will not be able to be used in the DWI prosecution and the DWI charge will likely be dismissed.


Challenging the Field Sobriety Tests

An individual who is charged with DWI may also challenge the field sobriety tests that the officer had the individual do on the side of the road.  In most circumstances, the officer will have the individual do three tests.  An eye test known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.  A walk and turn test and a one-legged stand test.  If the officer does not properly administer these tests and or does not properly record the results, the tests may be challenged in court in conjunction with defending the DWI.


Challenging the Breath Test Results

Finally, an individual who is charged with DWI may be able to challenge the breath test results.  The breath test results typically come from a device known as the alcotest.  Depending upon the way in which the machine was operated, the tests may be deemed unreliable and the results may not be inadmissible in the DWI prosecution.  If this occurs, the DWI charge may be dismissed depending upon the other evidence that the state has.


If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI and would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your DWI charge call our office or click on the contact us tab.  One of our attorneys will speak with you and the charge and possible defenses.