5 Key DWAI Defenses
Charged with a DWAI? Here Are 5 DWAI Defenses You Should Know
The New Jersey Police Department is responsible for ensuring that our state’s roadways from Wantage to Wildwood are safe for travelers and commuters alike. If you have recently drunk alcohol or taken drugs and you decide to drive, an officer reserves the right to pull you over and impose a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charge. The legal action that follows can prove to be a nightmare for drivers, especially if they are innocent or believe their rights were violated. In order to fight a DWAI charge, ask your DUI attorney in New Jersey about these facts as you prepare your DWAI defenses.
1. Remember: You Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty.
Simply because a DWAI charge has been levied against you, you are not automatically guilty in the eyes of the law. A DWAI is a serious matter, but it indicates only that you have been formally accused of driving while under the influence. Proving that you were in fact impaired by drugs or alcohol is the duty of the state.
2. The Moments Before You Were Stopped Are Crucial.
In a pre-trial hearing, your DUI attorney will be able to directly examine the officer’s report, and this provides a valuable opportunity: a DWAI case has the potential to be dismantled and dismissed on the basis of probable cause. Before the officer pulled you over, surely you as the driver committed some sort of infraction? If the officer did not have a valid reason to stop you and administer a drug test, there is a chance that your case can be dismissed.
3. The Passengers in Your Vehicle Can Come to Your Legal Aid.
If you were not alone in your car when you were pulled over, you have access to a third party who can support or disprove the officer’s argument. A passenger in your vehicle at the time of the stop can speak with your DUI attorney and provide an eyewitness account that could discredit your case. The account that your passenger contributes can contradict the officer, potentially leading to the dropping or reduction of your charges.
4. Possession of Drugs Does Not Equal Influence…
Drivers whose vehicles reek of marijuana during a stop will find it difficult to prove that they were not under the influence when they were behind the wheel. However, while it will lead to a possession charge, the mere presence of marijuana or other drugs in your vehicle does not necessarily indicate that you yourself were driving while ability impaired.
5. …But a 0.0 BAC Does Not Mean You Were Unimpaired.
A breath test is a typically accurate means of measuring a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), but because alcohol is not the only possible source of impairment in DWAI cases, passing this type of test does not prove a lack of impairment. A urine or a blood test can reveal the recent ingestion of drugs, and testing positive is indisputable evidence of the influence of drugs on a driver.
No two DWAI cases are identical, and there are many factors that contribute to a verdict. A driver may in fact be innocent despite an officer’s allegations, or less common means may be required to prove the driver’s guilt. An officer may have had an unjust reason for stopping a driver, and any passengers present can testify as to whether the driver’s rights were violated. It’s important to hire a skilled DUI attorney in New Jersey, like Carl Spector to defend your freedom. He has helped countless clients prepare strong DWAI defenses.
Download our New Jersey DUI guide for more help and insight into other defenses for alcohol related offenses.