DWI Defense: Developing A Strategy With Your New Jersey DWI Lawyer
Entering a court room unprepared is never wise, especially when defending against a charge as serious as DUI. The only way to reliably beat such a charge is to meet with a New Jersey DWI lawyer and come up with a plan for your defense. This involves:
1. Picking a Plea
The first step in mounting a criminal defense is determining how you choose to plea in court. Depending on how strong you think your case is, you may choose to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser punishment or not guilty in hopes of beating the charge entirely. You also have the option of pleading conditionally. This involves admitting to the crime but objecting to certain aspects of the case, such as how the evidence was gathered. Discuss each option in detail with your New Jersey DWI lawyer, and make sure you know all possible outcomes before you decide.
2. Assessing the Evidence
If you decide to plead not guilty, the next step is to assess the evidence that will be used against you. The most common pieces of evidence in DUI cases include:
- Driving Observations– The police officer who pulled you over may accuse you of running red lights, crossing the highway line, driving too quickly or too slowly, or otherwise handling the vehicle inappropriately.
- Appearance and Behavior– The officer may report that you had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or enlarged pupils.
- Field Tests– The officer may claim that you could not walk in a straight line, recite the alphabet, or otherwise demonstrate your mental competence.
- Breath Tests– The officer may make you take a breathalyzer test. If your blood alcohol level is above .08 percent, you are legally impaired.
After assessing all the evidence, your lawyer will try to directly disprove it. Many police jurisdictions, for example, use outdated breathalyzer machines. If this is the case, your New Jersey DWI lawyer will examine the machine in question and try to prove that it gives false positives. If successful, this will undermine the case against you.
3. Offering Explanations
While some evidence can be directly disproved, other types are harder to undermine. If a police officer testifies that you appeared drunk or failed to pass a field test, this evidence will stand unless you can demonstrate that the officer is lying. In this case, your New Jersey DWI lawyer will look for alternative explanations for your behaviors. Fatigue, stress, and poor health can each explain why you failed to pass a field test or drove unsafely. Likewise, bloodshot eyes and enlarged pupils may result from allergies or prescription medications. The more plausible these alternative explanations are, the less guilty you will look.
New Jersey DWI Lawyer Douglass Herring has the training and experience to plan and mount successful DUI defenses. For more information on defending your rights, visit our website or call (609) 321-8060 today.