Travis J. Tormey and the Tormey Law Firm recently helped a client fight DWI charges in Wayne, New Jersey. Mr. Tormey stood up for the client in Wayne Municipal Court and successfully argued that the judge to suppress the client’s blood test results.
The client was subject to serious charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) after he was allegedly involved in a DUI accident. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, a drunk driving conviction carries severe penalties, even when it is for a first DWI offense. The potential DWI penalties for the client in this case included: driver’s license suspension for a period of 1 year, stiff fines, alcohol education classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), and mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on all of the client’s cars after his license was restored.
The client was charged with the DWI after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident. The client crashed into a guardrail and sustained serious injuries, including a cut over his left eye that required medical treatment, a hospital stay, and plastic surgery. Since the client’s injuries required him to be transported to the hospital, he was unable to perform field sobriety tests at the scene of the accident. In the majority of DWI cases, law enforcement must obtain a warrant before they can seize a driver’s blood for drug and alcohol testing. However, in this DWI case, Wayne police officers drew the client’s blood without securing the client’s written consent. Instead, police alleged that the driver gave them “verbal” consent. This made little sense because the driver was so disoriented as a result of his head injuries that he was in no state to offer actual consent to anything. Beyond that, Wayne NJ police officers neglected to inform the client that he had a legal right to refuse blood testing.
Mr. Tormey appeared in Wayne Municipal Court and filed a motion to suppress the blood test results. Mr. Tormey argued that Wayne police lacked a warrant to obtain the driver’s blood results. Moreover, Mr. Tormey argued that prosecutors in the case could not rely on the consent exception to the warrant requirement because the client’s head injuries meant he was not capable of granting consent. The Wayne Municipal Court judge agreed with Mr. Tormey and granted the motion to suppress. As a result, the case was later dismissed by the prosecutors. This was a very favorable outcome for the client and a major victory for the Tormey Law Firm.