Field Sobriety Tests Can Be Effectively Challenged in Court

Morristown residents pulled over and accused of drunk driving don’t necessarily need to blow above the legal limit on a breath test in order to be charged with DUI. Field sobriety tests conducted by an officer can also lead to criminal charges being filed against a defendant.

For example, a patrol officer in a community north of Morristown recently pulled over a car, claiming the driver’s license plate and tail lights were out. In speaking with the driver, the officer allegedly thought he saw indications that the driver was intoxicated. The officer then subjected the driver to a number of field sobriety tests.

When the officer decided the man had failed those tests, he arrested the driver. While the defendant was being processed at the local police station, an outstanding warrant was discovered. The driver now faces a number of charges, including DWI, driving with a suspended license and without insurance, in addition to the minor violations from the tail light and license plate light.

A driver in a situation like this may naturally feel frightened, intimidated and even hopeless. Facing multiple charges, defendants may consider throwing in the towel and pleading guilty. However, there are many ways in which a legal professional can help Morristown residents charged with DWI and similar crimes to fight back, particularly when a field sobriety test was involved.

These so-called tests are notoriously subjective, and the results are fair to challenge in court. An officer’s justification for administering such a test in the first place can also be called into question. Even defendants who do give up and plead guilty to drunk driving charges may be able to file a motion to vacate the plea if it was done without proper representation by a legal professional.

There are many rights and options defendants have when charged with DWI based on an allegedly failed field sobriety test. Unfortunately, the police will likely be more interested in a quick conviction than in ensuring a defendant’s interests are respected and protected.

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