A police officer pulling you over in a New Jersey traffic stop is an unsettling experience. When you noticed a patrol car’s lights flashing in your rear-view mirror, your heart rate may have instantly increased. There’s no way to predict with certainty how the events of a traffic stop will unfold; certain issues might lead you to believe there’s a possibility it won’t go so well, especially if you’re worried about DUI.
Perhaps you had a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage at dinner before getting behind the wheel to drive home. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you illegally operated a motor vehicle, if the police officer asks you to step out of the car, you can bet that he or she suspects DUI. If an arrest takes place, you’ll want to start thinking about defense options that might be available.
You may be able to argue that a necessity prompted you to drive
If you’re facing DUI charges in New Jersey and plan to employ an affirmative defense, you must convince the court in your favor. In some cases, it may be possible to successfully argue that a necessity prompted you to get behind the wheel of a car to drive after consuming alcohol.
The court, of course, would want to know exactly what the necessity was. Legitimate causes might include a medical emergency or fleeing a situation that was posing an imminent danger to your life or health.
Additional DUI defense options, including breath test inaccuracies
If you believe that you were not intoxicated when a police officer took you into custody and charged you with DUI, you can present evidence in court to prove it. Perhaps you ate something or used a product before driving that you believe may have caused a preliminary breath test device to register a false positive for alcohol.
You might also believe that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was below the legal limit while driving but continued to rise between the time of your arrest and the moment you took a Breathalyzer test, especially if several hours passed. And, if you suspect that the police did not handle the blood sample you provided in accordance with protocol, you can refute charges with a “chain of custody of blood test” defense.
The defense option you choose may affect the ultimate outcome of your case
Any number of issues may influence the court’s decision in a New Jersey DUI case. If you believe a personal rights violation took place leading up to, during or following your arrest, or you have other evidence to establish that you did not commit a DUI or that your case should receive a dismissal for some reason, you deserve an opportunity to bring the matter to the court’s attention.
Since navigating the criminal justice system can be a stressful experience, most DUI defendants request legal support as soon as possible after an arrest has taken place. Such support is often a key factor in being able to mitigate circumstances when facing DUI charges in court.