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Alleged falsification casts cloud on DUI convictions

Imagine for a moment that you're a Chattanooga resident or individual residing elsewhere in Tennessee who is stopped by a police officer or state trooper who suspects you are driving drunk.

You don't think that is the case. Maybe you've had a drink or two while out with friends, but you feel solidly in control behind the wheel and safely below the legal limit for liability.

But then the breathalyzer you blow into indicates otherwise, and you are convicted on a drunk driving charge. The results are predictably negative, resulting in fines, court costs, spiked insurance rates and many other adverse outcomes.

How would you subsequently feel a year or two later upon receiving a letter from state officials stating that a police officer might have falsified records regarding the calibration of the breathalyzer that contributed to your conviction?

Angry yet vindicated at the same time? Hopeful that some remedy might be forthcoming after a further review of the matter?

That is likely how many thousands of persons convicted on DUI charges in another state feel in the wake of receiving just such a letter. It informs them that a breathalyzer checker in New Jersey was allegedly seen skipping a step in the process taken to ensure the machine's accuracy.

Such information obviously makes for widespread unease concerning system integrity, justice in actual cases, negligence and other matters.

And it is giving officials in New Jersey real headaches, owing to the possibility that the outcomes of many decided cases might now be altered. The above-cited letter is reportedly being sent out to more than 20,000 people.

Any kind of news regarding contaminated evidence, abuse of process or irregularity of any sort in the criminal justice realm naturally breeds discontent in the public.

Tennesseans and residents of all other states have a rightful expectation that they will be treated fairly in a criminal law matter and that any evidence used against them is not tainted or otherwise compromised in any way. A proven criminal defense attorney can help ensure that such is the case.

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NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Samuel A Byrd