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What Do Police Need to Conduct a Blood Alcohol Test?

What Do Police Need to Conduct a Blood Alcohol Test

You’ve had a few beers with friends or a couple of cocktails with dinner and, on the way home, you get pulled over for a broken tail light or a minor traffic violation. You weren’t driving erratically and weren’t giving any visible signs that you were impaired. Can the police officer require that you submit to a blood alcohol test? Are there any restrictions on the officer’s discretion to order a BAC test?

Under current law in New Jersey (which has changed in the last few years), one of two things is required before you can draw someone’s blood you must either have knowing consent, or you must have a warrant. Drawing your blood is considered under the law as an invasion of your privacy, so it can’t be done without consent or a warrant.

It’s pretty common for a police officer to ask if you will submit to a blood alcohol test…and it’s your right to refuse to take the test. The simple refusal to take the test is not evidence of guilt. Nonetheless, you don’t want to refuse, as you’ll face an automatic suspension of your license. A better strategy is to submit to the test and try to challenge the reliability of the readings.

If you don’t consent, or if you are unable to consent because you are unconscious, the officer cannot make you undergo a BAC test absent a warrant. The officer can obtain what is known as a “telephonic warrant,” where the officer calls a judge, describes the situation and obtains a verbal warrant over the phone.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (800) 608-1350.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015 by The American Society of Legal Advocates

Defending a DUI Charge in New Jersey-Searches and Warnings

2. Defending a DUI Charge in New Jersey

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving in New Jersey, and the blood alcohol tests confirm that you exceeded the legal level when pulled over, you may still be able to successfully defend the charges. Police are required to follow a very specific set of procedures when stopping you, and often make mistakes that can warrant the dismissal of the case against you. One of the most common involves failing to meet Constitutional requirements.

Under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. To be reasonable, there must be what is known as the probable cause the officer making the traffic stop must either observe a traffic violation or have reasonable cause to believe that you are violating or have violated the law. In addition, if you are taken into custody, you must be advised of your “Miranda” warnings – that you have the right to remain silent, that you have the right to an attorney, that you have the right to have an attorney appointed for you if cannot afford one. If the police don’t put you on notice of your Miranda warnings, anything you subsequently say may be excluded from evidence at trial.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

You don’t have to lose your license or go to jail. Let attorney Greenberg fight to protect your rights!

Your first consultation is free. We’ll meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We take all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

For an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (800) 608-1350.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015 by The American Society of Legal Advocates

What to Do When You Have Been Pulled Over by Police—Part Four—What to Say to the Officer

police-officer

When you’ve been pulled over by a police officer while driving, you can understandably be nervous. What you say to the officer and how you say it, though, can have a significant impact on the outcome of the traffic stop. Here are some guidelines.

Let the Officer Do Most of the Talking

In many ways, responding to a police officer during a traffic stop is like being cross-examined at trial—you want to answer with the shortest phrases possible without being rude or discourteous. The officer will listen carefully to everything you say. Unfortunately, the more you say, the more chances you’ll say something that either offends the officer or suggests that you were doing something you shouldn’t have been doing. You have the right to remain silent—don’t say anything unless you need to.

Don’t Try to Argue Your Way Out of the Ticket

Be responsive, but honest, with the officer. If the officer alleges that you were speeding and asks where you were going, tell him or her in as few words as possible. If there were extenuating circumstances—you were headed to the hospital or urgent care—be truthful, but don’t elaborate. Let the facts speak for themselves. If you try to argue your way out of the ticket or downplay what you were doing, you may appear insincere or unconcerned about violating the law.

Take a Few Deep Breaths before the Officer Comes Up to Your Car

This will help you relax, and if you are relaxed, chances are the officer will be relaxed, too. Remember, chances are that the officer is nervous, too. For many police officers, there’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop—too many officers have been seriously injured or killed in what others might call routine traffic stops.

Contact Attorney Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (800) 608-1350.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015 by The American Society of Legal Advocates

What to Do When You Have Been Pulled Over by Police—Part Two—Your Initial Exchange with the Officer

traffice

You’re on the road and see flashers in your rearview mirror. You safely and promptly pull over to the side of the road. The next few moments will likely be critical, determining whether you’ll drive away with a warning, or with something worse. Here are some tips to help you through this stressful and intimidating situation.

  • Turn off your vehicle immediately—This signals the officer that you are not likely to provide resistance or to try to flee.
  • Turn on the interior light, if it’s after dark—Turning on your light indicates you have nothing to hide, and it can ease any anxiety the officer has.
  • Stay in your car!—This is perhaps the most important advice. If you try to get out of your car (without the officer’s request to do so), it can be perceived as an aggressive act.
  • Engage in acts of courtesy—Roll down the window before the officer gets to your car, put out your cigarette (if you were smoking), discard any gum and turn off the stereo.
  • Wait for the officer to ask questions or instruct you to do something—Don’t try to fish your registration out of the glove box or pull your wallet out of your pocket until the officer asks you to do so. The officer may be as nervous as you are—many officers have been seriously injured and killed in traffic stops—so don’t do anything that may be wrongly perceived as an aggressive act.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

You don’t have to lose your license or go to jail. Let attorney Greenberg fight to protect your rights!

Your first consultation is free. We’ll meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We take all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

For an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (800) 608-1350.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015 by The American Society of Legal Advocates

What to Do When You Have Been Pulled Over by Police—Part One

speed-limit

You’re driving down the road…maybe you were going a few miles over the speed limit—when suddenly you notice flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Whether you’ve never had a ticket before or you’ve had multiple DUIs, you’ll probably feel that moment of panic. But you need to pull it together and pay attention to what you say and do, as the initial moments after a traffic stop can make all the difference between a warning and something more serious.

Pull Over Quickly, But Safely

There’s a common misperception that, if you immediately pull over, you’re admitting your guilt—not true!! In fact, it’s more likely a sign that you were actually paying attention to the road. But don’t make things worse by coming to a screaming halt or putting others at risk. Ensure that you have an opening to get off the road. Furthermore, if you are on a narrow or extremely busy road, look for an exit or a parking lot you can pull into. The officer will likely be more flexible if it appears that you were concerned for his or her safety.

Also, make certain you obey all traffic laws as you pull over. Use your turn signal if you are going to change lanes, turn corners or just to pull over to the shoulder. If you pull onto the shoulder of the road, get as far to the right as you safely can, so that the officer can come to and stand at your vehicle without being in the road.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. We will fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (800) 608-1350.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015 by The American Society of Legal Advocates

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

What Is Reckless Driving in New Jersey?

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a serious motor vehicle infraction in New Jersey, with the potential to add five points to your driving record, as well as five insurance points. While your license will not automatically be suspended in the aftermath of a reckless driving conviction, the court does have the discretion to impose a temporary loss of driving privileges, and the conviction can cause you to accumulate enough points for probation or suspension of your license. In addition to the points, you may have to pay a fine (up to $200) and may be sentenced to jail time (60 days for a first offense, 90 days for a repeat offense).

Though reckless driving is commonly associated with driving while intoxicated or traveling at high rates of speed, the prosecutor does not have to show either of those factors to be present to obtain a conviction. Under the law, the state must show that you were operating a vehicle “heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others” and that you were consciously aware that your driving posed a risk to the general public. You can be charged with reckless driving, even if there was no one anywhere near you, if your driving was likely to endanger a passenger, another person or property of any kind.

Many people often confuse reckless driving with “careless driving.” With reckless driving, the prosecution must show some form of intent, that you either knowingly or purposely endangered yourself and others. With careless driving, which carries a lesser penalty, the state needs only to show that you were negligent.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (800) 608-1350.

 

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015 by The American Society of Legal Advocates

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