Probable Cause for a DWI Stop in Morris County NJ
DUI Defense Attorneys with offices in Morristown, New Jersey
Travis J. Tormey is an experienced criminal defense and drunk driving (DWI) attorney who has been representing clients throughout New Jersey for years charged with alcohol related offenses including refusal to submit to a breath test, DWI in a school zone, and leaving the scene of an accident throughout Morris County including in Morristown, Denville, Dover, Roxbury, Parsippany, and East Hanover. Mr. Tormey is one of a few New Jersey attorneys who is a certified Alcotest 7110 operator, the breath-testing device used throughout the state to prosecute drunk driving cases. As a result, Mr. Tormey knows the components of the machine, how it works, and if there are any issues with the functioning of the breath testing device.
Our DWI defense team is composed of a former New Jersey DWI prosecutor, an attorney who is certified on the Alcotest 7110 breath testing device, and a retired NJ State trooper who is certified not only on the breath test machine but also in the field sobriety tests.
A DWI is a very serious charge in New Jersey that can have an impact on many different aspects of your life. Mr. Tormey’s knowledge and expertise allows him to make sure that your DWI stop was lawful and that the proper procedures were followed by the officer. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-949-6948.
Probable Cause for a Traffic Stop in NJ
The first component of a drunk driving (DWI) case that must be examined is the probable cause for the initial traffic stop. According to New Jersey law, the police officer must have anarticulable and reasonable suspicion that a violation of the traffic laws has occurred in order to effectuate a traffic stop. This is called the “probable cause” for the initial traffic stop. Common traffic violations which serve as probable cause for a DWI stop include:
- Failure to Maintain Lane
- Broken Headlight or Taillight
- Obstructed View
- Talking on a Cell Phone
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Driving with a Suspended License
If an officer has a reasonable and articulable suspicion that one of the above traffic violations occurred, this is probable cause for the initial stop. If the probable cause for the stop is baseless, then the entire case can be thrown out and dismissed based on the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. If the initial stop was illegal or flawed, then the entire case is considered flawed and should be dismissed.
One additional ground for the initial stop is a sobriety checkpoint or DWI checkpoint or roadblock. Drunk driving (DWI) checkpoints in New Jersey are constitutional if certain requirements are met. These sobriety checkpoints are allowed for public policy reasons if certain procedures are followed. According to State v. Moskal, 246 N.J. Super 12 (1991), a DWI checkpoint is valid if the location of the checkpoint is appropriate based on historical arrest rates at the location, public safety and awareness would be fostered by the checkpoint, there is participation in command and supervision, and notice of the checkpoint is published to provide motorists with notice. If these requirements are followed and met, the DWI checkpoint is valid and the initial traffic stop is lawful.
Note: Mr. Tormey was able to have a DWI dismissed recently in Holmdel after police officers conducted a DWI checkpoint at the PNC Arts Center without the proper regulations in place.
Contact a Rockaway NJ DWI Lawyer for Help
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers are available immediately to assist you with your DWI case in New Jersey. Our DWI defense team is composed of a former New Jersey DWI prosecutor, an attorney who is certified on the Alcotest 7110 breath testing device, and a retired NJ State trooper who is certified not only on the breath test machine but also in the field sobriety tests. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-949-6948. We are happy to talk to you about your case.