DUI Discovery Rules Apply To Defendants, Not State
- October 9, 2013
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Right to speedy DUI trial, as long as the state wants one, and the right to know the evidence the state will use against you but anything they leave out will be admissible later. Hardly sounds fair right? In State v. Wolfe the defendant was convicted of driving while intoxicated based only on his Alcotest result. The DUI was the second for defendant, carrying harsher penalties. The state failed to provide discovery, including the Alcohol Influence Report (AIR) which includes machine test blanks, defendant’s test times, breath sample quantities and provides the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level to determine whether defendant is over the legal limit of .08%. At the time the trial began Wolfe, not having received the results of his breathylizer test, believed the trial would be based only on the observation of officers on the scene of the arrest regarding his balance, coordination and ability to process information mentally. Midway through the trial the state provided the results and defendant was convicted of per se driving under the influence based on the Alcotest result. The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the conviction because defendant suffered no prejudice as a result of the delay and the state’s failure to submit the document was an error and not intentional. By way of contrast, if the defendant failed to provide notice of exhibits or witnesses, was not ready to proceed or otherwise sought to alter the standard procedure in the trial of the matter it is unlikely, based on experience, that judges would allow for such measures by defendants. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in New Jersey can have serious and lasting consequences including the loss of license which limits freedom, can preclude you from certain jobs or other opportunities, bears substantial fines and penalties including the possibility of an interlock device being installed in your vehicle and even jail time. If you are charged with DUI, you should consult an experienced attorney immediately to provide you with the best defense possible and ensure your rights are protected. For more information about DWI, controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, driving while suspended or other serious municipal court matters visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.