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Are Police Allowed to Draw Blood from an Accident Suspect?

By San Diego Attorney on September 6, 2017

When a video of a Utah nurse being arrested for refusing to give a blood sample of an unconscious patient to the police went viral in August, it sparked conversations around the country. Many hoped that nurses in their state would be just as committed to the law as the nurse in Salt Lake City.

What are the laws in southern California on drawing blood from a DUI suspect?

Truthfully, they are confusing.

No?

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution gives every American protection from unlawful searches and seizures. It also states that if law enforcement agencies have probable cause that the person in question has broken the law, they must obtain a search warrant before taking further action. Under this amendment, it seems that police must either have a warrant or written consent before taking blood samples from a suspect.

Yes?

But when referring to someone suspected of committing a crime such as driving under the influence, the law is not as clear. This is because in California, there are “implied consent” laws. These laws state that anyone with a driver’s license has already provided implied consent to testing if there is probable cause to think they are driving under the influence. Testing could include not only blood tests, but also breath tests and urine tests.

Law enforcement agencies are required to provide the suspected person with a choice of the type of testing. If the person is unconscious, as he was in the Utah case, the police have the authority to perform whichever test is most possible. In most cases, this would be a blood test.

Do Not Forget…

California suspects do not even have the right to an attorney before a blood test is administered. And if the person refuses to allow testing to be done before speaking to an attorney, that refusal could also be used against him or her in court.

What Is the Final Word?

It is easy to see why the laws in Southern California are so muddled when they pertain to drawing blood from a DUI suspect. The Fourth Amendment clearly states that a warrant must be present before any tests are administered or any blood is taken. But implied consent laws in California say differently…

If you are in this situation, it is best to allow police to administer the tests and then to speak to an attorney. An attorney may be able to prove that the test was unlawful, which means the test results will not be allowed in court.

If you have been in an accident and either refused a blood test or had a test taken illegally, contact JD Law. Lead attorney James N. Dicks is a board-certified criminal defense specialist and he knows the law surrounding DUIs and BAC testing. He fights hard to protect the rights of his clients, and he will fight for yours, too. Call him today at (760) 630-2000 and give yourself the best chance for a successful outcome in court.

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A note from James N. Dicks:

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law.

Currently San Diego Superior Courts are closed but are set to reopen on Tuesday May 26th, 2020 barring any
future orders.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family. Please follow us on Facebook for any future updates.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law.

Los Tribunales Superiores de San Diego están cerrados, pero están programados para reabrir el martes 26 de mayo de 2020, salvo una nueva orden.

No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia. Síganos en Facebook para seguir siendo informado de novedades nuevas.


James N. Dicks
jD LAW, P.C.

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COVID-19 Announcement

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law. No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia.

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