Common Defenses in a New York DWI Case
by King Law
When you are facing DWI charges in Rochester, you need to have a plan in place to defend against the charges to avoid a DWI conviction. At King Law, we know how important it is to develop DWI defense strategies that are tailored to the specific facts of a case. To be sure, a defense strategy that might be especially effective in one DWI case might not be applicable to another DWI case. When we represent clients facing DWI charges, we assess the facts surrounding the DWI arrest and charges, and we develop the best defense strategy we can to help prove that you should not be convicted of a DWI.
Although each case is certainly distinct and has its own specific facts, there are some common DWI defense strategies that may be relevant to consider in your case. The following are examples of some frequently used DWI defense strategies. As you read through them, we want to underscore just how important it is to have an experienced Rochester DWI defense attorney on your side to give you the best chance at beating the charges you are facing.
Unlawful Search Under the Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. While the terms “search” and “seizure” might seem somewhat vague, you should know that any sample taken from you to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For example, a breath sample (through a breathalyzer), a urine sample, or a blood sample are all examples of searches under the Fourth Amendment. If the law enforcement official did not have probable cause for a search, which is required under the Fourth Amendment, then the search (meaning the sample taken) may have been obtained unlawfully. If the sample proved that you had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, that evidence against you could be thrown out and the charges against you could be dropped.
Warrantless Blood Test and the Fourth Amendment
Speaking of unlawful searches under the Fourth Amendment, you should also know that the police cannot automatically order you to take a blood test in order to test a blood sample if you are arrested for a DWI. In the U.S. Supreme Court case Missouri v. McNeely (2013), the Court ruled that police must have a warrant to order a blood test unless there are specific exigent circumstances. The Court emphasized that a person’s rights against bodily intrusions outweigh the interest the state may have in quickly obtaining the results of a blood test for DWI or DUI purposes. Accordingly, if you were required to take a blood test and there was no warrant, you may be able to argue that the blood test was conducted unlawfully.
Breathalyzer Was Faulty or Was Administered Improperly
A lot of things can go wrong with a breathalyzer test, often called a portable breath test (or PBT). For example, the breathalyzer machine itself may be defective, and thus may produce a defective result. If we can prove that the breathalyzer that showed you had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher was faulty, the charges against you could be dismissed.
In addition, law enforcement officials must be trained to properly use and administer a breathalyzer test. If the law enforcement official who administered the test was not properly trained or performed the test improperly, the results may not be used against you.
Chemical (Blood or Urine) Test Results Were Tainted
If you were required to take a chemical test, including a urine or blood test, after a DWI arrest, it is important to determine whether the test was completed accurately and whether the test sample was stored properly. There are many different ways in which a chemical test can be tainted, from an error during the testing process to mishandling after the test is completed to improperly storing the specimen. If there is a chance that your chemical test results were tainted, it is important to work with a DWI defense lawyer in Rochester to determine whether you can seek to have the charges against you dismissed.
Contact an Experienced Rochester DWI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing DWI charges, you need to have an aggressive Rochester DWI defense lawyer to help you craft a defense strategy. One of the attorneys at our firm can speak with you today about the particular facts of your case, and the possible options for building a strong defense to help you beat these DWI charges. Contact King Law for more information about the services we provide in New York DWI cases.