Do Police Need a Warrant to Take Your Blood in a Suspected DUI or DWI Case in Texas?

The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled in the case of Missouri v. McNeely that there are circumstances where police need a warrant to draw blood when police suspect someone has been driving under the influence of alcohol.  The decision was not clear enough to outlaw many state laws regarding warrantless blood testing.  As of right now, citizens suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may refuse a breathalyzer test and sometimes a blood test as well.

Texas Law Regarding Warrantless Blood Testing

Under Texas law, there are circumstances where police may take blood without a warrant.  These situations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Where death or serious injury results from a suspected DUI accident
  • Where the DUI suspect has two or more DUI convictions
  • Where a child is a passenger in a drunken driving accident
  • Where the DUI suspect has been convicted of intoxication assault or manslaughter

Unfortunately, not all Texas police officers follow the law and obtain a warrant prior to getting a blood test from DUI suspects that do not fit into one of the state’s many exceptions to the warrant requirement.  The recent United States Supreme Court decision makes it even more difficult to determine if Texas law enforcement is respecting your constitutional rights.

Have You Had Your Blood Taken After Being Suspected of Driving Under the Influence?

Texas law enforcement may have not caught up with the law of the land.  Texas citizens should be aware of their rights and should voice them.  If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI and the police obtained your blood without first getting a warrant, you may be able to have the blood evidence suppressed if it turns out the blood alcohol content was above the legal limit in Texas.  It is quite possible you don’t even recall if your blood was taken.  For example, if you were involved in an auto accident and suspected of driving under the influence, and if you were unconscious and taken to the hospital, your blood may have been taken without you even realizing it.

In those situations where the law is unclear, a court may look more favorably on the defendant.  There are many ways to have evidence suppressed and warrantless blood tests are becoming a hot topic with the recent United States Supreme Court decision.  As a Texas citizen, you deserve to know what the law is and you cannot always count on the police to be clear on what your rights are – especially when the police themselves are unclear about the law.  As Texas catches up with the law of the land, you can be ahead of the game should you, or someone you know be subject to a warrantless blood test after being suspected of driving under the influence.

Contact An Experienced DUI/DWI Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI and have had, or suspected that you have had your blood taken without the police first obtaining a warrant, contact Attorney Jack Pettit as soon as possible to discuss your case.  Mr. Pettit is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has devoted a substantial part of his practice to representing clients charged with DUI’s and/or DWI’s.  Mr. Pettit will make sure the police have followed the law and not violated your constitutional rights.  If you would like a dedicated, hard-working criminal defense attorney on your side, contact Mr. Pettit today by calling 214-521-4567.  Our office offers services in both English and Spanish and also accepts major credit cards.

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