Blood Tests in DWI/DUI Cases
Union County DWI/DUI Blood Test Lawyer
A municipal prosecutor in Union County can utilize the results of either a breath test or blood test to prove that a motorist was intoxicated or operating with drugs in their system. When the proof of blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) is blood, there are strict guidelines that must be adhered to in securing the sample, maintaining custody and toxicology testing. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall include former DUI prosecutors in more than 20 municipalities who have handled many blood test cases over the last two decades. An attorney on our team can assist you in defending your charge now by contacting our Union Township Office. Attorneys are available 24/7 by calling 908-272-1700.
Authority to Demand Blood Sample. The police in New Jersey no longer have authority to force a motorist to submit to a blood test without a warrant. Law enforcement is required to secure a warrant to draw blood from someone arrested for DWI/DUI. The warrant is typically secured over the telephone (i.e. telephonic warrant) in accordance with Court Rule 3:5-3. In order for this application to be valid, the police officer must establish reasonable suspicion to believe that the accused is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Blood Sample Was Taken in a Timely Manner. One of the primary requirements in order for the blood test to be valid is that the sample be taken within a reasonable period of the motor vehicle stop. A blood draw taken within a reasonable time period of the encounter is necessary to insure that the blood alcohol concentration/BAC fairly reflects the level of intoxication when the motorist was operating his/her car, truck or other vehicle.
Chain of Custody. In order for the BAC results of a blood test to be valid, the state must establish a proper chain of custody. This means that the nurse or doctor must be observed drawing the blood and a certification executed by the medical care provided which indicates the name, time and place of the sample. All individuals who thereafter took custody of the vials or containers of blood must also be memorialized in the chain of custody documentation. Typically, this will involve a certification that the officer put the blood sample in face keeping (i.e. evidence refrigerator) and then a separate certification confirming who and how the blood was transported to the forensic laboratory for testing.
Use of Laboratory Reports. The prosecutor is permitted to utilize the blood test results and related laboratory report to prove the DWI if a timely objection is not filed by the defense. If an objection is filed, however, the state is required to call the laboratory scientist as a witness before it can admit the BAC result or drug finding into evidence to prove that the driver was intoxicated or had a mood altering substance in their system.
Right to Independent Testing. Unlike situations where BAC is being established through a breath test, there is no right to an independent test where the sample is blood.
Union Township DWI Attorney for Blood Case
The DWI lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall include a team of eight who possess over 100 years of combined experience. Our firm defends upwards of 200 N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 cases annually with many of them involving blood test cases. An attorney with the knowledge and skill to effectively defend you blood case is available to assist you. To speak to a lawyer on our staff immediately, call 908-272-1700.
Other DWI Resources to Assist You
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