Totowa NJ DWI Defense Attorney: Explaining Blood Tests in DWI Cases
DWI Defense Lawyer Representing Clients in Passaic County, New Jersey
Criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout New Jersey, including Clifton, Paterson, Totowa, and Wayne, who have been charged with DWIs and criminal offenses such as criminal restraint, burglary, harassment, and resisting arrest.
Ms. Hascup understands that people make mistakes. A DWI charge can happen to anyone. In New Jersey, if a police officer suspects that you are driving while under the influence of alcohol, he or she may detain you. If you fail or refuse a breath test, you can be charged with drunk driving. If this happens, you are going to want to speak with an experienced DWI lawyer. The penalties for DWI in New Jersey are severe: even a first offense can result in possible jail time and suspension of your driver’s license.
Ms. Hascup has successfully handled countless of cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). She is a former domestic violence prosecutor and special deputy attorney general. She is a former municipal prosecutor who prosecuted DWIs and municipal-level offenses. Now she is fighting for you.
Contact her office anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.
Blood Tests in New Jersey DWI Prosecutions
In New Jersey, if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, you will be arrested and cited for DWI. The vast majority of DWI cases rely on a breath-test result to prove the defendant’s level of intoxication. However, in certain circumstances, a blood test is used to prove that the driver was intoxicated. For instance, the police may take blood when the driver is injured and in need of medical attention. Additionally, the police may draw blood when the driver’s blood alcohol content is either dangerously high or dangerously low.
New Jersey DWI Defenses: Challenging the Results of Your Blood Test
Even if you your blood test reveals the presence of alcohol (or drugs) in your system, there are defenses available to your DWI charge.
For instance, Ms. Hascup may challenge the legitimacy of the police stop. Perhaps the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle in the first place. If it was an illegal stop, then any and all evidence obtained during the stop can be suppressed.
Additionally, she might question the reliability of the equipment used to administer the blood test in your case. Perhaps the technician administering the test used an alcohol swab, which could have affected the alcohol content in your blood. Perhaps your blood was drawn into tubes that were defective.
Moreover, Ms. Hascup might be able to get your DWI charge dismissed if the police failed to follow necessary safeguards when administering the blood test. In the landmark case of State v. Ravotto, the NJ Supreme Court ruled that the taking of a blood sample “must be done in a medically acceptable manner and environment.” This means that the person administering the test must be medically authorized and licensed to do so. If possible, she will attempt to prove that the sampling methods used in your case were improper. Perhaps the technician who administered the test was unqualified to do so.
She will also force the prosecution to present a “chain of custody” (or handling of the blood) for your blood sample. It is essential for the prosecution to establish this chain of custody in your case. If your blood sample was improperly handled at any step in the process, Ms. Hascup may be able to get the evidence thrown out.
Refusal to Submit to a Blood Test: Not a Valid Charge in New Jersey
Although refusal to submit to a breath test is a valid charge in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2, there is no similar charge for declining to take a blood test. This is because the NJ refusal statute refers only to a chemical breath test. However, many times, the police officer making the arrest will not advise the driver that he or she may refuse to submit to a blood test.
Contact a Totowa NJ DWI Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you find yourself in a situation where you or a loved one have been charged with DWI / DUI, the consequences can be serious. Alissa D. Hascup can help.
Contact her online for more information. Your initial consultation is free of charge.