Blood tests have long been a tool used by police throughout New Jersey to detect alcohol and drugs in DWI cases. Although a breath test is the standard in DWI detection and enforcement in towns like Ewing, Hamilton, Trenton and elsewhere in Mercer County, there are instances where a motorist is unable to provide a breath sample because of injury, illness or the extent of their impairment. A police officer will typically resort to pursuing a blood test when this occurs. Our attorneys prepared this article to explain what is involved in properly obtaining a blood sample and for the test to be admissibility of proof of intoxication under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are available 24/7 to discuss your case and how we can help you eliminate any proof established through the blood test that was taken by the police at the hospital. You should also know that we have a rich history of success in defending DWI blood charges utilizing our 100 years of combined know how, including everything we learned serving as prosecutors. A lawyer is ready to taken the time to explore what can be accomplished for you in a free initial consultation. Contact us us at 609–683–8102 to speak to an attorney about your DWI offense.Blood Tests in Mercer County DWI Cases
Blood tests in DWI cases has been the focus of much attention in reason years. The primary reason for this consideration is recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in Birchfield v. North Dakota. This ruling eliminated virtually any ability for police officers to secure a blood sample to detect alcohol or drugs without first securing a warrant. What this means is that a police officer in West Windsor, Lawrence, Princeton or another town must obtain a warrant before they can force you to submit to providing a blood sample. This is accomplished by making a roadside call to the judge on duty, presenting facts that support the need for the blood test and issuance of a telephonic warrant authorizing the taking of the sample from the motorist. Even when this is properly accomplished, there are many defenses that can be raised by a savvy attorney to render the laboratory results to be inadmissible, including:
- Failure of the Laboratory Scientist to Appear at Trial. As long as a lawyer files a timely objection to the blood test laboratory report, it cannot be used to prove intoxication or some other issue at trial. The laboratory scientist who tested the blood and arrived at the conclusions in the report must come to court and testify in support of the report. The report is inadmissible hearsay absent appearance and testimony by the expert who tested the blood. By forcing the prosecutor produce the laboratory scientist, our lawyers can often eliminate a blood test result since the state is often unable produce this individual as required.
- Inability to Establish Proper Chain of Custody of the Blood. Police are required to execute chain of custody and evidence forms that establish a clear record of how the blood made it to the lab after it was taken from the motorist. A gap or hole in the chain of custody is fatal to the validity and admissibility of the test results.
- Sample Was Contaminated By Substance Containing Alcohol. It is important that the sample be taken from an area of the body that is free from any alcohol based substances – even the swab should be alcohol free. If our lawyers can establish that a EMT, nurse or anyone else used a substance containing alcohol to clean the area where the sample was taken, the reading as been compromised.
- Foundational Documents For Proper Testing Cannot Be Provided. The state can be required to produce all the relevant foundational documents evidencing that the test system is in proper working order. The state police laboratory has a very difficult time keeping up with work and producing support records tends to be at the bottom of their priorities. This often creates areas of attack that our attorneys can use to bar a breath test result.
East Windsor and other area municipalities like Hightstown and Robbinsville, have occasion to request DWI blood tests all the time. Proof of intoxication in this form tends to be much more complicated and technical than with a breath test and our attorneys are adept in exploiting these issues to a client’s benefit. If you would like to speak to a lawyer on our staff about your DWI offense based on a blood test, contact our office anytime 24/7 at 609–683–8102. Initial consultations are without charge so do not hesitate to give us a call to speak to an attorney.