Quite often it is the defendant's belief that they would have little defense against evidence obtained during the DWI traffic stop, such as an improperly administered field sobriety test. Some might believe they have little options when it comes to defending themselves against the arresting officer's trial testimony. What most defendants fail to truly understand is that, by having an experienced NJ DWI attorney representing the case before the court, the situation is much easier to face.
Handling Police Testimony
In the eyes of many individuals, police officers seem to generate an almost instant credibility as quickly as they take the witness stand. However, they make human mistakes like the rest of us, and that includes making mistakes during drunk driving arrests. An attorney can expose any mistakes made by the arresting officer during the arrest and processing of a defendant.
Credibility And Training
If a DWI case makes it to trial, one of the things a defense attorney will attempt to do is discredit the police officer(s) testifying for the prosecution. Attorneys will try to use any indiscretion made by the officer during the collection of evidence or the arrest itself against him or her in an attempt to get certain evidence thrown out.
The DWI defense attorney can dissect the officer's training and experience in New Jersey's complicated DWI laws and regulations. Things like Alcotest® certifications or the existence of probable cause may be topics that will come up during police officer questioning.
Were all of the proper procedures followed during the defendant's field sobriety testing? Here, the attorney will direct the court's attention to the officer's experience and training on making the determination that the defendant was intoxicated, and not simply tired or possibly suffering from a medical condition that might have been responsible for their inability to properly perform the field sobriety tests. A stumble by the defendant during testing may be able to be explained by an experienced DWI attorney as a misstep, or the result of a previous medical injury that might have limited the mobility of the defendant.
Complex Chemical Testing
One of the other mistakes that police officers make when arresting an individual on DWI charges in New Jersey is failing to follow the procedures and guidelines involving administering chemical breath tests on an individual to determine blood alcohol content within their system. New Jersey uses the complicated Draeger Alcotest® 7110 MKIII-C breath analyzing system to calculate blood alcohol content levels. Certification is required to operate this machine.
Due to its complexity, officers must follow procedural methods in maintaining the proper working order, as well as the precise administering of the Alcotest® equipment. The attorney might challenge the officer on things like whether they followed New Jersey's 20 minute observation rule or whether they properly changed the mouth guard between testing.
Hire A New Jersey DWI Lawyer Before Pleading Not Guilty
There are several other strategies for handling New Jersey police testimony that an experienced DWI attorney might take advantage of during their client's DWI trial. Incomplete police reports or improper procedure all play a critical role in their client's charges. For more information on your rights following a