Generally, the police need a warrant to search a person, and searches conducted without a warrant are often unconstitutional. The courts have determined that blood draws in DWI cases constitute searches, and absent exigent circumstances, compulsory blood tests without warrants are impermissible. If the police take a blood sample from a person without a warrant or permission, it could result in a reversal of a DWI conviction based on the blood test, as demonstrated in a recent New Jersey ruling. If you are accused of a DWI crime, it is prudent to speak to an assertive New Jersey DWI defense lawyer to gauge your options.
The Defendant’s Charges
It is reported that the defendant struck a pedestrian after he was drinking at a bar. He immediately stopped, but the victim ultimately died due to the injuries sustained in the accident. When the police arrived at the scene, they described it as chaotic and found the defendant to be agitated and argumentative. He was taken to the police station, where he refused to submit to a field sobriety test. The police did not attempt to obtain a breath sample but placed the defendant under arrest and transported him to the hospital for a blood draw.
Allegedly, the defendant originally was uncooperative and asked to make a phone call, but his request was denied. He ultimately signed a consent form and gave a blood sample. He was charged with multiple offenses, including DWI and vehicular homicide. He moved to have the results of his blood draw suppressed, but his motion was denied. He pleaded guilty, and after his sentencing, he appealed. Continue reading