In New Jersey, when a person is suspected of DWI, the police must obtain either a warrant or the person’s permission prior to obtaining a blood sample. In certain instances, however, the police may obtain a blood sample absent consent or the authority to do so from a judge. The circumstances under which a warrantless blood draw may be conducted were recently discussed in a New Jersey appeal in which the defendant was convicted of aggravated manslaughter. If you are a New Jersey resident currently charged with a DWI crime, it is wise to speak to a New Jersey DWI defense attorney about the rights you are afforded under the law.
History of the Case
It is reported that a police officer responded to the scene of an accident where he learned that two young girls who were walking down the side of a road were struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant. When the officer spoke with the defendant, he appeared to be impaired, in that he smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. He was asked to submit to field sobriety tests, which he failed. The officer then noticed that the defendant’s right hand was injured and transported the defendant to the hospital for medical care.
Allegedly, while the defendant was at the hospital, a blood draw was conducted that revealed the presence of prescription anxiety and pain pills and a BAC of 0.183%. The officer involved was not trained in administering a breath test. The two girls involved in the accident died, and the defendant was charged with aggravated manslaughter. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the results of his blood test, which was denied. He then pled guilty, and following his sentencing, appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion. Continue reading