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White Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer - Attorney John M. Cromwell
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Warrant Required for Blood Sample, but Not For Breath US Supreme Court Rules.

By a 7 -1 margin, the Country’s highest court has ruled that police must obtain a warrant, absent exigent circumstances, in order to extract blood from a suspect for purposes to use as evidence in a criminal prosecution. In Birchfield v. North Dakota, the Court considered three cases in which the respective defendants were each charged with Driving While Intoxicated. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel A. Alito held that the the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches, requires law enforcement officials to first obtain a warrant if they want a sample of a suspect’s blood. The seven-Justice majority opinion stopped short, however, of requiring a warrant in cases where police sought to obtain a breath sample from a suspect. The court drew a distinction, stating that warrantless breath samples were permissible because of the significantly less intrusive nature of demanding a suspect blow into a machine, as opposed to the drawing of blood, which required the piercing of skin. Two justices dissented. Justice Sonia Soto-Mayor would have required warrants for both breath and blood, while Justice Clarence Thomas would have allowed the warrantless intrusion in either situation. To ready the article click here.

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense with potentially devastating direct and collateral consequences, including jail time, loss of driving privileges, and significant monetary penalties. It is a complex area of law which requires that you have an attorney experienced in handling DWI cases. If you have questions about the defending against an accusation of driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while ability impaired by drugs (DWAI), contact the Office of John M. Cromwell.

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Law Office of John M. Cromwell - White Plains Criminal Attorney
Located at 135 Montgomery Avenue, Scarsdale, NY 10583.
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