Just because you face a DWI charge does not mean you will experience a conviction. According to recent reporting from NJ.com, the number of DWI dismissals is increasing. From 2008 to 2018, the DWI dismissal rate rose from 10.3 percent to 24.3 percent.
This is solid evidence that it is possible to defend against DWI charges. Here are some strategies for avoiding a drunk driving conviction.
1. Pleading guilty to another charge
Sometimes, it may be smart to plead guilty to a different charge to get out of DWI penalties. For example, pleading guilty to reckless driving may stop the court from convicting you for drunk driving. This method may get you a shorter suspension, fewer fines and less jail time. Before you do this, however, you should talk to a lawyer to make sure it is a good idea in your situation.
2. Challenging chemical test results
One reason for more DWI dismissals is the fact that attorneys can more effectively challenge blood toxicology and breath test results. Your lawyer may be able to question the validity of test results by investigating the following details:
- The administration of the blood draw
- Whether the paramedic had proper training
- The maintenance and calibration of the breathalyzer
- Storage or contamination of the blood sample
Even if the court does not throw the results out, these challenges may call them into question and weaken the case against you.
3. Questioning the traffic stop
The police can only pull you over if they have reasonable suspicion. A cop may have reasonable suspicion if he or she witnesses you weaving, speeding or driving erratically. An officer may also pull you over if there is something wrong with your car, such as a broken taillight. If there was no reasonable suspicion to stop you, the court may suppress the evidence obtained due to the unlawful stop.