Common Law Enforcement Mistakes When Making a DWI Arrest
DWI charges can be defended on a number of different grounds. In some cases, police officers make serious errors that violate the rights of the accused and/or render the evidence that they collected unreliable or inadmissible during the trial
A DWI charge could potentially be dismissed because of law enforcement misconduct. In this article, our New Jersey DWI defense attorney Matthew V. Portella highlights some of the most common police officer errors when making drunk driving arrests.
Four of the Most Common Law Enforcement Errors Made During DWI Arrests
Law enforcement errors can take a wide range of different forms—from procedural violations to sloppy work that renders the evidence that they collected inadmissible at trial, and therefore cannot be used against the accused to convict them. . Here are four of the most common examples of police officer mistakes made during DWI arrests in New Jersey:
- Lack of Probable Cause: In defending DWI charges, one of the first steps is to review the motor vehicle stop itself. Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you are protected against a search and seizure conducted without probable cause. If the stop was illegal, the evidence obtained as a result of it may not be admissible in court.
- Improper Field Sobriety Testing: Some DWI charges are based, in part, on the results of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). These tests are notoriously inaccurate. Improper SFST given by a police officer may render the results of the tests unreliable.
- Improper Administration of a Breath Test: A breath test is more reliable than a field sobriety test—but it is not reliable if it is improperly administered. When police officers make errors with breath tests utilizing New Jersey’s breathalyzer, called the Alcotest machine, it can lead to false or scientifically unreliable blood alcohol concentration readings which cannot be used as evidence against the accused.
- Failure to Provide a Driver Miranda Rights: When making an arrest following a traffic stop, law enforcement officers in New Jersey are required to read a driver their Miranda rights. Most importantly, Miranda rights inform the accused of their right to remain silent. The failure to properly read a defendant their Miranda rights is a law enforcement error that can make incriminating statements by an accused inadmissible at the trial.
A Law Enforcement Mistake Could Lead to the Dismissal of DWI Charges
All DWI charges require a comprehensive investigation and a careful review of the evidence. Among other things, there should be an in-depth evaluation of the conduct of the law enforcement officer. A mistake, error, or misconduct by police officers may be used by the accused’s attorney to help get a favorable outcome of the charges.
In some cases, police errors could lead to certain evidence being declared inadmissible. Charges may even be dismissed outright. If you were arrested for drunk driving and you believe that law enforcement made a serious error in your case, an experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorney will protect your rights.
Contact Our New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer for a Confidential Consultation
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, our New Jersey DWI defense lawyer Matthew V. Portella has the skills and experience that you can rely on in receiving aggressive and competent representation. He and his team will thoroughly review your case to identify any mistakes made by law enforcement.
Again, an error by police officers could lead to charges being dismissed. Contact our law firm today to set up your completely private initial consultation. From our law office locations in Pleasantville and Haddonfield, we represent and assist clients throughout New Jersey.