Supreme Court Ruling May Require Warrants for Blood Draws in DUI cases in Florida
Florida law stipulates that police officers can only take blood for DUI cases under very limited circumstances. If the DUI suspect was part of an accident in which someone died or sustained severe injuries, then police officers can collect the blood samples that they need. Essentially, because there was a severe injury or death involved, the stakes are higher. As such, it is considered justified for the police to take the blood.
Drawing Blood During Florida DUI Cases
Police officers are usually encouraged to take urine or breath tests while gathering evidence during DUI cases. However, there are situations in which the potential offenders in question are hospitalized and cannot complete those tests. In those situations, according to Florida law, police are also authorized to take the blood that they need for the medical tests.
However, the recent Missouri versus McNeely Supreme Court case should complicate matters even further for people involved in DUI cases and Jacksonville DUI lawyers. According to the new Supreme Court ruling, police officers can only perform blood tests during DUI cases if they have obtained search warrants in advance. The exceptions that Florida law makes when it comes to cases involving injuries, deaths, or incapacitated potential offenders may not make a difference according to the new ruling. As such, the legal situation is even grayer than it was before, which can provide fertile ground for complicated legal situations.
Hiring a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer
People that are facing DUI charges should always hire the best lawyers they can, if possible. DUI cases are often mishandled, and a Jacksonville DUI lawyer may be able to help a person that is stuck in the middle of a bad situation as a result of DUI charges. People that were pressured to give blood during the DUI investigations should tell their Jacksonville DUI lawyers about it, since errors like that can completely change how a case works out in the end. Some cases get dropped altogether because the police officer in question mishandled the evidence or investigation.
There’s a great deal of controversy surrounding the idea of police officers drawing blood from potential offenders during DUI cases. Many opponents of the practice consider it to be a human rights violation. Supporters of the practice point to the need for information, and argue that the police need to be able to gather the evidence that they need in order to properly solve a case. People that are trying to find solutions to the problem of drunk driving may be wary of laws that take any measure of power away from the police. People that are concerned about regulating the level of power that the police possess will similarly want to put more power in the hands of real or suspected offenders. Maintaining some sort of balance is difficult.
The Future of Florida DUI Cases
It remains to be seen how the legal situation in Florida will change. Taking blood during DUI cases will continue to be something that police officers will more or less have to avoid if they do not want to risk legal problems and controversy. Jacksonville DUI lawyers will have their hands full in the meantime. Contact me, James Davis, at (904) 358-0420 if you have been charged with a DUI in Florida.