The Law offices of Charles R. Green Articles Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Warrant Requirement

Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Warrant Requirement

By Law Offices of Charles R. Green  Dec. 17, 2012 12:55p

Officer Seeks Blood Test Without Waiting For Warrant

After hearing the facts of a recent DUI case, the state Supreme Court made a ruling upholding the necessity of seeking a warrant before issuing a blood test to DUI suspects. The state has appealed to the US Supreme Court, who may decide to take the case and issue a verdict with nation-wide consequences.

According to court documents detailing the incident, the case relates to a DUI arrest in which a Missouri State Trooper arrested a driver who was allegedly behaving erratically. After pulling the suspect over, the trooper claims that he performed several field sobriety tests on the man. The suspect was arrested after failing to perform to the officer's satisfaction, displaying slurred speech and inability to balance.

Despite the legal requirement in Missouri that law enforcement officers wait for a warrant before drawing blood from a suspect, the trooper drove the suspect to a free clinic and got a blood alcohol content test taken illegally. The test, which returned a result of .15 percent, would normally have been used as evidence to convict the driver. He appealed, however, arguing that his rights had been violated due to the warrantless test.

SCOTUS Ruling Could Have National Ramifications

In the case, attorneys for the state argued that, due to the fact that alcohol dissipates in the bloodstream, blood alcohol tests need to be performed as quickly as possible in order to get the most accurate results. The delay necessitated by following the law, they claim, creates "exigent circumstances" which should allow law enforcement officers to circumvent the requirement for a warrant. Several other states, including Wisconsin, have agreed with this argument and created an exception.

The Missouri Supreme Court, however, sided with the plaintiff, deciding that no such exigent circumstances exist automatically in DUI cases. With the state appealing to the US Supreme Court, however, this ruling could be overturned. If the SCOTUS rules to change the verdict, it could set a precedent throughout every state in the US, allowing law enforcement officers to perform BAC tests without needing to wait for a warrant.

A DUI Defense Attorney Is On Your Side

If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, it is imperative that you contact a trained defense lawyer as soon as possible! Authorities are often very aggressive in their attempts to seek evidence against you, and may try to trick you into incriminating yourself accidentally. With the help of an attorney from the firm of Charles R. Green, you can contest your charges and protect yourself from unscrupulous law enforcement tactics. Please, visit our website at to educate yourself about your rights and responsibilities before it is too late!

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