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Can Police Take My Blood Without a Warrant?

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Can Police Take My Blood Without a Warrant?


If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, police might ask you to take a blood, urine, or breath test at the station. While you can legally refuse to take a breathalyzer test at the time you are pulled over, you are obligated to give a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the station. This obligation is because of Nevada’s implied consent laws. However, people do refuse to give a sample and decide to face the potential consequences of refusal. The question is, “When officers draw blood using force after such a denial, can the blood be used against you in court?”

Prior to 2013, the answer probably would have been “yes.” However, the case Schmerber vs. California went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was decided any blood taken by force without a warrant couldn’t be used against a defendant.

Part of the reason for this ruling is the court noted advances in technology now allow for quicker and easier warrant processing. In the past, an officer might have to wait an hour or longer to obtain a warrant, during which time the defendant’s body would have had enough time to process and break down the alcohol in the blood. Because of the delay, officers were legally allowed to draw blood without a warrant if it seemed like the evidence would be gone by the time the warrant was granted.

If your blood was taken for a BAC test without your consent, you might be able to fight your charge and avoid a DUI conviction. Talk to our skilled Reno DUI lawyer about your case as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover is ready to defend your rights and your freedom. Attorney Stover has more than 20 years of legal experience to offer your case. As a former deputy district attorney, he understands how the prosecution works and how best to defend against their tactics. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (775) 502-1575 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.

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