DWI Blood Tests
When a person is suspected of drinking and driving, law enforcement tries to gather evidence that supports their suspicion. They can gather evidence in a variety of ways, including observing the suspect, asking him or her to perform a roadside sobriety test, or collecting samples of the suspect’s blood, breath, or urine. Because of the serious criminal consequences that can arise after a DUI arrest, it is important to speak to a New Jersey DUI lawyer immediately.
Searches are Subject to Constitutional Limitations
The way in which police search suspects are subject to constitutional limitations is based on the 4th Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure. Whether a search is unreasonable depends on a number of issues, including the degree to which the search intrudes on an individual’s privacy.
States have recently brought two cases before the United States Supreme Court arguing that they should be able to conduct warrantless blood draws of people who are suspected of DWI, and both times they have failed. In the first case, the state of Missouri argued that the fact that blood was dissipating in the suspect’s bloodstream was akin to the destruction of evidence and thus justified a warrantless search under the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement.
In the second case, North Dakota officials made the argument that warrantless blood tests were permissible based on the “search incident to arrest” exception, which allows a full search of an individual when he or she is arrested. The court rejected this argument on the grounds that a forced blood sample was a serious personal invasion that could reveal significantly more information than a suspect’s blood alcohol content.
It is Important to Have Every DUI Arrest Reviewed by an Attorney
It is important to understand that if a court determines that a search was unconstitutional, any evidence gathered from that search will probably not be able to be used against the defendant. For example, if a police officer should not have stopped you in the first place, the results of a breathalyzer test he or she performed would likely not be admissible in court. Without critical evidence, the prosecution may be forced to drop the case. For this reason, you should always have your case thoroughly reviewed by an experienced lawyer. Even if there were no constitutional violations, a lawyer may be able to raise a defense or negotiate a plea bargain that can result in a much better outcome that you would have obtained representing yourself.
Call 856-227-2434 today for a free consultation.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you should speak to a South Jersey DWI attorney as soon as possible. A DWI conviction can wreak havoc on your life, but there are often many ways in which a skilled attorney can mitigate the consequences that you are facing. To schedule a consultation with an attorney, call John C. Iannelli, Attorney at Law today or send us an email through our online contact form.