Challenging a DWI in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

Challenging a DWI in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

A DWI charge can have a large and lasting impact on your life. For example, a DWI can lead to heavy fines and even jail time. Additionally, it will mean having a criminal record. A criminal record can impact your ability to secure gainful employment, procure certain housing, pursue higher education, and can be detrimental to child custody arrangements. As a result, it is important to understand that you may be able to challenge your DWI charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge a DWI on the following grounds:

Illegal Stops:

A law enforcement officer must have a valid reason to pull a driver over. If your attorney is able to prove that there was not a valid reason for the stop, evidence gained from the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.

20-Minute Rule:

Officers must conduct an assessment of the driver’s condition before administering a breathalyzer test. In New Jersey, the assessment must be at least 20 minutes. If this protocol was not followed, it is possible for charges to be dismissed.

Field Sobriety Tests:

When pulled over for a suspected DWI, drivers are typically asked to conduct a series of tests to determine their level of intoxication. The three main tests include:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test
  • The One Leg Stand test
  • The Walk and Turn test

Before the tests begin, the driver must fully understand what is expected of them. As a result, when before administering these tests, the officer must not only read the instructions of the test to the driver but demonstrate it as well. If an individual fails a test, the officer may arrest them for a DWI. However, you may be able to prove that the field sobriety test was invalid. This can be done by proving:

  • The officer did not read all the instructions
  • The officer did not demonstrate the test
  • The officer did not inform the individual that he or she may remove high heels
  • The individual has health issues preventing them from passing the test

If you are facing charges for a DWI, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our firm will advocate for you. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can begin building your case.

Contact our Firm 

 If you need assistance with any intellectual property, traffic violations, or business law matters, contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation.