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Clients’ Rights

You Have Defense Options When Charged With Drunk Driving

On the surface, drunk driving seems like an unambiguous crime backed by clear evidence. Many people assume that if they are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), they have no real choice except to plead guilty – especially if they submitted to and failed a breathalyzer test.

But before you decide you are out of options, contact Michael J. Beatrice, P.C., Attorney at Law. Attorney Beatrice has over 40 years of criminal law experience, including previous experience as a prosecutor, and with his help, you may realize that the DWI charges against you are not as black-and-white as you may have thought.

Examining And Challenging The Evidence

Numerous aspects of the traffic stop and the evidence can be challenged, and may not hold up to scrutiny. Examples include:

Accuracy of breath-test results: These devices, commonly referred to as breathalyzers, are not foolproof or completely reliable. The machines require regular maintenance and calibration. A subpoena of the service records for the device in your case could show that it was overdue for maintenance or had a history of problems. Additionally, Mr. Beatrice may be able to challenge the way in which the test was administered. If the officer made a mistake or deviated from the testing protocol, it might have tainted the test results.

Legality of the traffic stop: A traffic stop that ends with a DUI arrest does not need to begin with suspicion of drunk driving. But the officer does need a legitimate reason to pull you over (usually reasonable suspicion of a crime, an observed driving violation or vehicle issue). If the officer cannot cite a legitimate reason for pulling you over, it may be deemed an illegal stop and all evidence obtained during the stop could potentially be suppressed.

Violations of protocol: Police officers must go by the book when conducting a traffic stop – especially when administering field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests. If the officer deviated from protocol and potentially biased the outcome of tests, it could weaken the state’s case against you.

Mitigating The Potential Consequences You Face

In New Jersey (and nearly every other state), prosecutors will likely try to use any previous DWI/DUI offenses against you in order to seek a higher sentence. Mr. Beatrice will closely examine your criminal record and, when possible, argue for why previous offenses cannot or should not be used to increase the penalties you’re currently facing.

Details like this are one of the factors that set Mr. Beatrice apart from other New Jersey defense attorneys. He digs into the specifics of your case and your history to ensure that you receive the most comprehensive representation throughout the duration of your case. His firm may not be the cheapest option available, but high-quality representation is worth paying for — especially when your future is on the line.

Contact The Firm For A Free Case Evaluation

Based in Mahwah, Michael J. Beatrice, P.C., Attorney at Law, serves clients throughout the surrounding region. To discuss your criminal charges and defense options in a free initial consultation, call 201-897-3570 or fill out an online contact form.