Washington Township, NJ- In a recent case, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision must apply retroactively in a New Jersey man’s DWI case, which means that other DWI suspects in the state could have their cases reviewed.
The case before the state high court centered around Timothy Adkins who was arrested and charged with a DWI after he crashed his car into a utility pole. Because two passengers in his car were injured, police took Adkins to the hospital for a blood draw after he refused to submit to a breath test. The arresting officer didn’t obtain a warrant before taking Adkins to the hospital and have his blood drawn.
That ended up being a mistake in the arresting officer’s part and allowed Adkins to have his case reviewed by the state’s high court. Adkins, who was charged with DWI and assault by auto, appealed his DWI conviction arguing that the officer’s failure to obtain a warrant for the blood draw violated his constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. He asserted that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McNeely vs. Missouri should apply retroactively to his case, according to the NJ.com.
In that decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the dissipation of alcohol in person’s blood is not alone cause enough to justify violating a person’s constitutional rights. Justices ruled that warrantless blood tests are only allowable when a DWI suspect has caused a fatal accident or serious injuries. The court opinion states, “In drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant.”
By ruling that the McNeely decision could be applied retroactively in Adkins’ case, New Jersey’s highest court paved the way for other DWI offenders to have their cases and convictions reviewed. DWI offenders whose cases were still open when the McNeely decision was handed down, and had their blood drawn without a warrant should speak with a DWI attorney in Washington County to determine if their case is eligible for review. They may be able to have their blood test evident taken out of the court record and
A DWI defense attorney in New Jersey understands the importance of court decisions like this one. Allow USAttorneys to connect you with a DWI defense attorney near your location so you have someone to stand up for your rights. When you have expert legal representation, you have a greater chances of beating a DWI conviction and minimizing the many consequences a conviction entails.
An attorney who thoroughly understands the state’s DWI laws is a person’s best bet at avoiding a DWI conviction. They understand how to build a strong case on your behalf and will do what it takes to see that you avoid a DWI conviction. Our team of DWI attorneys in New Jersey know what’s at stake and will stand by you from beginning to end.