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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Sobriety Tests and Your Eligibility to Challenge Them

Being accused of a DUI can be an overwhelming experience and one that requires that you are knowledgeable about your rights as well as the many different ways that you can challenge the evidence in the case. Sobriety testing can be challenged in certain situations in New Jersey. You will often be expected to perform a number of different tests if you are pulled over for suspected DUI.

The following are referred to as field sobriety testing. Some of the most commonly used tests by authorities include:

  • Repeating the alphabet backward
  • A horizontal gaze test
  • Being asked to walk a straight line
  • Touching your fingertip with the tip of your nose with your arms stretched out
  • Standing on one foot while counting

The three acceptable types of field sobriety testing in New Jersey are the turn test, the horizontal gaze test, and the one leg stand. However, the subjectivity of these tests leaves a wide margin of error. When determining whether or not your field sobriety test results are problematic, you may wish to talk to an experienced DUI lawyer in New Jersey to challenge the validity of such tests. One of the primary concerns is whether or not these tests can be reliable. The New Jersey Supreme Court, for example, identified that the horizontal gaze nystagmus test is almost completely unreliable.

Other studies have found that the one leg test is reliable only up to 65% of the time. This means that these results, which can be used to charge you with DUI, could lead to potential criminal consequences and the hassle of trying to avoid a conviction when you did nothing wrong.

These tests can be found unreliable only when you have a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney who is highly experienced with protecting the rights of the accused after a questionable field sobriety test. Consulting with an attorney sooner rather than later is strongly recommended. At the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, you know you have an advocate who will explore all options for your criminal defense. Get help from John W. Tumelty at 609.385.4010 or fill out our convenient online contact form to get started today.


The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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