Illegal Traffic Stop Defense to NJ DWI Charges
New Jersey DUI Lawyer Explains Challenging Probable Cause for the Motor Vehicle Stop
When looking at possible defenses for DWI charges in New Jersey, one of the best questions to ask is: Did the Arresting Officer Have a Valid Reason to Pull You Over and Arrest You? Police in New Jersey need probable cause for multiple reasons in a DUI case. First, an officer cannot pull you over without probable cause to stop your vehicle. Second, if they want to arrest you for driving under the influence, they must have probable cause to do so.
To justify the traffic stop, police need reason to believe that someone in the car – the driver or a passenger – has committed a crime. The only exception to the probable cause requirement is a valid sobriety checkpoint. However, there are certain rules that must be followed for a DWI checkpoint to be allowed in New Jersey. You can read about challenging sobriety checkpoints on our DUI checkpoint defense page.
If there is probable cause for the initial traffic stop because you committed a traffic violation, such as speeding or reckless driving, the next element of probable cause is the actual reason to arrest you. If you were stopped without probable cause, any evidence obtained thereafter cannot be used against you in a court of law.
In order for you to be arrested for DWI in New Jersey, the officer must have probable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle in violation of New Jersey DUI law (NJSA 39:4-50). Probable cause for a DWI arrest is typically satisfied through testimony from the officer about your appearance or behavior, field sobriety test results, and possibly your breath test results if you provided a breath sample.
Some common examples of the officer’s observations that may prove probable cause in a DWI case include: an odor of alcohol, bloodshot or watery eyes, slurred speech, and disorientation. Failing the field sobriety tests or performing poorly on them can also result in a valid arrest for drunk driving.
Forcing the State to prove probable cause for the vehicle stoppage or the DWI arrest frequently gives us a successful defense against DUI charges. If we can undermine probable cause in your DWI case, anything that you said and any evidence gathered after the moment your rights were violated is inadmissible. You can imagine how hard it is to prove a DWI in court when key evidence is thrown out.
“The following videos explain other defense strategies that we can use to beat your DWI charges:”
“This page will answer any other questions you might have about DWI in New Jersey:”
Fortunately, all of these New Jersey DWI and DUI penalties can potentially be avoided if you’re ready to fight your case. We have created our own advanced DWI defense system that we use to beat these charges.