Dismissing or Downgrading a DWI or DUI Offense
This article addresses the use of plea bargaining in DWI cases. The term plea bargaining refers to the process whereby a prosecutor or police officer downgrades an offense in the exercise of their discretion. The reduction or downgrade of the charge is based solely on discretion rather than a bona fide proof or trial issue. This avenue for resolving cases is not available in New Jersey as it relates to driving while intoxicated. What this means is that a drunk driving charge can only be downgraded if there exists a genuine proof issue concerning the prosecutor’s ability to prove a DWI.
Examples Of Issues That Must Be Presented In Order To Avoid Conviction For Driving While Intoxicated
As stated many times on the website, there is no plea bargaining of driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs cases. The law does not prevent a DWI/DUI from being dismissed, however, where a legitimate issue exists as to the prosecutor’s ability to prove you guilty. Examples of issues that can be raised in this regard include:
- The Alcotest Machine was not operating properly and/or the state is unable to establish proper operation based on the proofs in their possession
- Probable cause to support the dwi stop does not exist
- The field sobriety tests were not instructed, administered or scored properly such that there was insufficient evidence to make an arrest
- Proper chain of custody for the blood samples is lacking
- There was other evidence to explain the behavior of the accused other than intoxication
- The officer failed to conduct a proper twenty (20) minute observation
Skillful Representation Is Pivotal To The Success of Your DUI Case
Experience and skill is pivotal in identifying issues in a case and then raising them properly such that the prosecutor, police officer and/or judge buys into the argument. Qualifications like knowing the ins and outs of how the Alcotest works or how to actually train someone in proper administration of Field Sobriety Testing can prove invaluable in this regard. Five of the lawyers at our firm are among the approximately fifty (50) in the entire state who are certified on the Alcotest breath test machine. Moreover, our staff not only includes 5 of the approximately 10 attorneys statewide who are certified in Field Sobriety Testing but also includes 3 lawyers who hold instructor certifications to teach these tests. There is little doubt that the members of our dwi defense team hold credentials in DWI that exceed the qualifications of the typical police officer. This level of knowledge and expertise is what can help someone turn a difficult case into a downgrade and/or dismissal. This is probably a factor in explaining why our success rate in DWI cases (i.e. reducing or dismissing a DWI altogether and not just secondary tickets) exceeds fifty (50) percent. An attorney is ready to review your case anytime of day and initial consultations are without charge. So do not hesitate to contact us to take advantage of speaking to a highly trained dwi defense lawyer.