Lab Reports May Help Your Defense when Facing NJ Criminal and DUI Charges
March 8, 2019
A prosecutor’s ability to prove several charges in New Jersey, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, often depend on the accuracy of laboratory results. Issues that may arise with the accuracy of these lab results may provide you with a defense in your criminal case. Our experienced defense attorneys use lab report errors and inaccuracies to successfully combat DUI and drug-related charges against our clients in courts throughout Union County, including in Clark, Linden, Union Twp, Elizabeth, Cranford, Springfield, and Roselle Park. If you would like to speak with an attorney about your specific criminal or DUI case, call our local office in Cranford anytime at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation.
Issues with New Jersey DUI Breath Testing Machines
If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, police will likely ask you to submit to a chemical breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. If the police do not follow proper procedures in administering this test, if they have not received proper training on how to administer the test, or if they have not properly maintained the breath testing machine used in your case, you may be able to move to suppress the results provided by those machines.
Operator error can also result in the suppression of breath testing lab results. For example, New Jersey media outlets reported in 2018 that upwards of 20,000 DUI chemical tests results could be thrown out after a police sergeant tasked with maintaining testing machines was charged with lying on official documents. Our skilled DUI defense lawyers are aware of these issues, and we can obtain and evaluate the accuracy, calibration, maintenance, and training records associated with your breath testing reports to determine whether you have this as a possible defense to the charges brought against you.
Problems with Lab Reports after Blood or Urine Tests
If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI on drugs, or a combination of both, or if you are arrested for being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, authorities may ask you to provide a blood sample for later analysis. The United States Supreme Court has issued several decisions that require the prosecution to call the specific analyst who tested your blood or urine to the witness stand so that you can cross-examine her or him prior to your lab results being admitted into evidence. Sometimes, the lab technician, toxicologist, criminalist, or other scientist who tested your sample may transfer or move out of state. Our attorneys know of your right to cross examine lab technicians, and if those technicians are no longer available to testify, you may have a defense to the admission of the lab results in your case. We can also use errors when administering lab tests or inaccuracies in these reports to challenge the admissibility of this evidence in court.
Was the Blood Draw for Your DUI Charges Legal?
Prosecutors must establish that any blood drawn from you—blood that may have led to a lab report establishing that you had a drug or alcohol in your body—was drawn in a medically approved manner that was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. If your blood was not drawn by a qualified phlebotomist or other trained professional, if the vial in which the blood was stored did not contain preservatives or anticoagulants, or if the wrong disinfectant was used on your arm, an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our firm may be able to challenge the accuracy of any lab results that were produced based on that blood draw.
Get Help with Your Best Defense Against Clark DUI Charges
If you have been charged with a DUI or criminal offense, get help building your best defense by calling (201) 793-8018 today. Our criminal defense lawyers represent clients in Union County and throughout New Jersey and we are here to help you. We will evaluate your case and begin discussing your potential defenses. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more.