Award Methodology

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Defendant’s Right to Discovery of Information, Documents and Things in New Jersey DUI Cases

It is well-established that defendants charged with violating New Jersey’s DUI statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, are entitled to discovery of relevant documents and things from the municipal prosecutor handling the case. Indeed, it is the municipal prosecutor who is solely responsible for preparing all aspects of the state’s case against the defendant, and for providing discovery to defendant.

Defendant’s demand for discovery is properly made at the same time counsel enters an appearance on behalf of the defendant — at the outset of the case. Thus, it is not unusual for defense counsel’s initial letter of representation to contain various demands for discoverable items.

The scope of discovery in New Jersey DUI matters is limited to “relevant evidence.” At least one court has interpreted this to mean that a defendant’s right to discovery is limited to those relevant items within the limitation of the Rules of Court which there is reasonable basis to believe will assist the defense. In this regard, NJ Court Rule 7:7-7(b) sets forth eleven categories of materials that are discoverable in these matters. Additionally, case law sets forth specific requirements for discovery that should be provided in cases involving a breathalyzer test.