In many instances, the police will seek blood draw from a person suspected of DWI. The police must obtain a person’s consent or a warrant prior to obtaining a blood draw, however, and if the police fail to comply with the proper procedures for obtaining a blood sample, the results of any test on the sample may be precluded from evidence at trial. In a recent New Jersey case, the court discussed the issue of whether an improperly obtained blood draw precludes the state from introducing evidence from a second blood draw, as the fruit of an illegal search. If you were charged with DWI in New Jersey following a blood draw, it is in your best interest to consult a New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding whether you may be able to argue that the evidence against you should be precluded.
Facts of the Case
Reportedly, the defendant was involved in a fatal car accident. When police officers arrived at the scene, they observed that the defendant had an unsteady gate, glassy eyes, and an odor of alcohol. The defendant was transported to the hospital due to injuries. When the defendant was first admitted to the hospital, his blood was drawn pursuant to the request of an officer. He did not sign a consent form until after his blood was drawn. A second officer arrived at the hospital and spoke with the defendant and the passenger who was with the defendant in his car at the time of the accident, who informed the officer that she and the defendant had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana prior to the accident.
It is alleged that the officer learned that a blood draw had been taken, but was concerned whether the defendant’s consent was properly obtained. Thus, the officer sought and obtained a warrant for a second blood draw. He did not know the results of the first blood draw at the time he sought a warrant. Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion to suppress the results of both blood draws. The court granted the motion as to the first blood draw but not as to the second. The defendant was convicted of vehicular homicide, after which he appealed the denial of his motion to suppress the second blood draw. Continue reading