Traditionally, law enforcement authorities have requested that motorists suspected of intoxication perform sobriety tests, such as walking a straight line, putting a finger to the nose, or balancing on one foot. This is in order to corroborate their conclusion of intoxication of the motorist based on objective findings. In addition to any physical tests, chemical…

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The word “arrest” means that you are being put in custody of a law enforcement officer and deprived of your liberty. Being put under arrest gives the police the power to restrain you. After you are put under arrest, most jails will allow you to contact someone else by telephone and visit with your attorney. …

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The Fourth Amendment is the constitutional provision that places basic restrictions on all police searches. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the police. To be considered a “search” under the Fourth Amendment, there must be an expectation by a defendant of privacy in the area that is searched by authorities. Items found by the…

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When a driver is pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), they are often asked to submit to standardized field sobriety tests. These tests are physical acts which are designed to test the driver’s coordination for the purpose of determining intoxication. These tests are the one-leg stand, walk and turn,…

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The Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination forbids the government from compelling an individual to provide a testimonial or communicative evidence that could be used to incriminate that individual. The right against self-incrimination may be claimed in any circumstance where the government seeks to compel a response about a crime, whether by legal process or through…

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A DWI arrest serves the function of notifying the community that an individual has been accused of a crime and also serves to try to deter the DWI suspect from committing other crimes. A DWI arrest may occur by a police officer (1) putting handcuffs on the DWI suspect or (2) by any act of…

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DWI CHEMICAL TESTS In general, there are three tests used as evidence in DWI cases: blood tests, breath tests, and urine tests. A chemical test refers to any analysis of the chemistry of blood, breath, or urine to determine the blood alcohol content of a defendant. A DWI chemical test in New York is presumed…

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In a DWI case, the defense attorney may attempt to impeach a prosecution witness. The process of impeachment is intended to discredit the witness as a reliable source of information. Successful impeachment of a witness renders the witness less worthy of belief by a jury. The most common method of impeachment is the showing of…

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New York has a strict Zero Tolerance Law against drinking and driving for those individuals under the age of 21. The law applies to all persons under the age of 21 who operates a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) of not less than 0.02% and no more than 0.07%. Safety NY describes…

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The case of State of New Jersey v. Dennis Newell introduced the new DWI defense of pathological intoxication. In the case, Mr. Newell was convicted of DWI after falling asleep in his car after taking a large dose of Phenobarbital pills. Nr. Newell tried driving his car after taking the pills, had a car crash,…

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