Why Do I Need A DWI Attorney?
Drunk driving cases are frequently more complex than one might think. Let’s begin with the “driving” part of “drunk driving.” Sometimes people are charged with drunk driving even though no police officer saw the person driving. This could happen if a car is stopped alongside a highway. Other times, a person may be in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that is parked along a cub or in a parking lot.
New Jersey’s drunk driving law applies when a person “operates” a motor vehicle. Over fifty years ago, Justice Francis of the Supreme Court of New Jersey wrote that if it were up to him, the term “operate” would be interpreted according to its common usage meaning that the vehicle would need to be driven. However, the High Court elected not to interpret the term that way. The result is that operation can be proven with evidence that the accused intended to operate the vehicle at issue while in intoxicated state. Intent to operate can depend on many factors such as whether the engine was running, whether the heat or air conditioning was on and whether the driver’s seat was reclined. In other cases, recent operation may be proved by evidence relating to the particular circumstances of the case such as where the vehicle was spotted and whether the hood was still warm. As you can see, even what would seem to be a simple element to prove, operation of a motor vehicle, can depend on many factors, which is why it is critical to have a knowledgeable Hackensack DWI Attorney in your corner.
How intoxication is proven
In most cases, the prosecution will try to prove that the defendant was intoxicated by relying on evidence relating to the defendant’s blood or breath samples that were collected shortly after the defendant’s arrest. Essentially, this becomes a fight over whether the prosecution can prove the reliability of a piece of paper. The prosecution will argue that this piece of paper shows that the motorist’s blood alcohol concentration was elevated. However, a skilled Hackensack DWI Attorney will sift through the prosecution’s evidence to find weakness in the State’s case. For example, to rely on the key piece of paper, the prosecution must be able to demonstrate that the device used to analyze samples of the Defendant’s blood or breath samples was in proper working order at the time that the device was utilized. Moreover, the prosecution will need to establish that the proper protocol was followed when collecting the blood or breath samples.
The prosecution will also frequently rely on what police officers like to refer to as standardized field sobriety tests. In the typical case, two of the “tests” on which the State will rely are not “tests” at all and the third “test” has never been shown to be reliable in New Jersey. A knowledgeable DWI defense attorney will develop a strategy to attack the State’s evidence and to bring out evidence of sobriety that a court might not otherwise consider.
Call Scott Gorman, an experienced Hackensack DWI attorney today to being defending against the charge of DWI.