N.J. SUPREME COURT RULES THAT 20,000 D.W.I. CONVICTIONS MAY BE THROWN OUT
If you were convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol in New Jersey in Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties between 2008 and 2016, you may be able to reopen your conviction. The reasoning for the ruling is as follows, an officer who was in charge of calibrating the machines to determine blood alcohol level, using a specialized thermometer was convicted of lying about his calibration. Though the State authorities maintained that the temperature check that this officer was accused of skipping was just one of many redundancies and that omitting that one step did not invalidate the results, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that the omission of the step raised “substantial doubts” about the reliability of the machines. County prosecutors began notifying defendants in 2016 that their cases could be thrown out, but those cases had been on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling. On Tuesday, the court ordered state authorities to “notify all affected defendants of our decision … so that they may take appropriate action.” However, it must be stated that some defendants may have moved or the state may have their incorrect addresses.
Present New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said that his office was reviewing the decision. “We’re still coming up with guidance for our county prosecutors and municipal prosecutors who handled many of these cases,” he said.
It’s unclear how many cases will ultimately be tossed. Breath tests are an important part of DWI cases, but a person can still be convicted of drunken driving without one.
This is an ongoing story, but if you or a loved one was convicted of D.W.I. they may have the ability to throw out a conviction, which permanently affects their insurance, employment opportunities and even their ability to drive. Expunging felonies, misdemeanors from your criminal record can have many beneficial effects on one’s life. Contact my offices for assistance for information about reopening a case.
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