Common DWI Defenses in New Jersey | What to Know

If you were charged with a DWI in New Jersey, you may be wondering what your legal options are. Continue reading to learn more about common DWI defenses and speak with our skilled Middlesex County DWI attorney.

What defenses can an attorney use to mitigate or clear your DWI charge in New Jersey?

While New Jersey takes DWI charges very seriously, there are some cases where your attorney may be able to use a line of defense to mitigate your consequences, or even rid them entirely. Some common defenses include:

  • Illegal Stops: New Jersey laws when it comes to stopping a vehicle on the road. A New Jersey law enforcement officer needs a valid reason to pull you over, otherwise, it is known as an illegal stop. In the event of an illegal stop, it is possible to have any evidence gathered from the stop inadmissible in court.
  • 20 Minute Rule: When pulled over by a police officer, they must conduct an assessment of the driver’s condition. In the state of New Jersey, the officer has to examine the driver for at least 20 minutes before administering a chemical breath test. While evaluating the driver, the officer will look for evidence of a high blood alcohol content level. Some of the most common signs may include regurgitation, belching, and vomiting. If an officer fails to assess the driver for the proper amount of time, an experienced attorney may be able to have the test results suppressed.
  • Field sobriety tests: If you have been pulled over because you have been suspected of driving while intoxicated, the law enforcement officer may conduct Field Sobriety Tests. These tests are designed to determine the level of the driver’s intoxication through their motor skills and balance. There are three tests that may be conducted:
    • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test
    • The One Leg Stand test
    • The Walk and Turn test
    • These tests have rules as to how they must be carried out legally. The officer must not only read the instructions of the test to the driver but demonstrate it for them as well. Before the tests begin, the driver must fully understand them. If an individual fails a test, the officer may arrest them for a DWI.

Some defenses of a Field Sobriety Test may include the following:

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


Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.

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