Were you charged with drunk driving between June 2012 and September 14, 2014 based in part on the results of a breathalyzer test? Were you then convicted based on the breathalyzer test results? Or maybe you plead guilty or admitted to sufficient facts (known as a Continued Without A Finding) based on the results of the breathalyzer test? If so, then you may be entitled to challenge your conviction under a recently decided case. If you tendered a plea agreement based on the breathalyzer test results, you may be able to reopen your case and pursue your rights to a trial. If this sounds like you, contact us at Sweeney & Associates for a free consultation. We can be reached at (617) 328-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a recently decided case, Commonwealth v. Evando Ananias et als., Judge Robert Brennan siting in Concord District Court ruled that the breathalyzer test results from the Alcotest 9510, a breathalyzer machine produced by Draeger Safety Diagnostics Inc., for the time period of June 2012 to September 14, 2014 may be flawed. Specifically, the court said "the annual certification methodology employed by OAT from June 2012 to September 14, 2014, based upon the evidence presented, did not produce scientifically reliable BAC results; however, the Commonwealth may demonstrate to the trial judge, on a case-by-case basis, that a particular Alcotest 9510 was calibrated and certified using scientifically reliable methodology; and thus that a particular BAC result is scientifically reliable." This means that the Commonwealth has to demonstrate the reliability of the breathalyzer test in each case where as in the past, the courts would just presume the breathalyzer tests were scientifically reliable. If you were convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol and the breathalyzer test results were introduced at your trial, you may be able to request a new trial. At the new trial, you would be able to challenge whether the breathalyzer test results can be used against you. If the Commonwealth cannot prove the test results are reliable, then the prosecutor cannot tell the jury about the results. Without the breathalyzer test results, a person’s chances of being found not guilty at trial greatly increase.
Unfortunately, if your breathalyzer test was taken after September 14, 2014 then you cannot challenge the results because according to Judge Brennan the "methodology employed by OAT from September 14, 2014 to the present produces scientifically reliable BAC results."
The Ananias decision changes the legal landscape for many defendants. There are some reports stating that nearly 20,000 cases could be affected by this recent decision while 2-3,000 cases have been stayed in the court system waiting for a decision in this case. You could be one of the people affected by this case!
If you plead guilty or tendered a plea agreement and your case involved the results of a breathalyzer test taken during the June 2012 to September 14, 2014 time period contact us at Sweeney & Associates today for a free consultation. We can be reached at (617) 328-6900 or email@example.com. We look forward to speaking to you and determining if you have any legal remedies available to challenge your conviction!