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Texas High Court Declares Mandatory Blood Draws Unconstitutional

State v. Villarreal No. PD-0306-14 (Tex. Crim. App. Nov 26, 2014)

In a 5-4 decision, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) – the highest court that hears criminal cases in Texas – ruled that a blood draw taken under the mandatory blood-draw statute, without a warrant, was unconstitutional.

Defendant in this case was arrested for felony DWI. His blood was taken without a warrant under the state statute allowing warrantless blood draws for repeat offenders (DWI Third or More). Prior to trial, his motion to suppress the blood was granted on the basis that Missouri v. McNeely made that warrantless blood draw unconstitutional. The State appealed.  The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed.

The CCA ruled that warrantless blood draws do not fall into any of the recognized exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement for searches. The warrantless search of a person is unreasonable in this situation, where the primary purpose of the search is gathering evidence. The CCA also rejected the State’s argument that the warrantless blood draw was consensual under implied-consent.

If you have been pulled over for DWI in Galveston County you need an experienced Galveston DWI defense lawyer. Read more info on Driving While Intoxicated, then call our office to discuss your options. Also read your blog entry entitled “Arrested for DWI in Galveston County, Texas – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND KNOW THE LAW“.

If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated in Galveston, you have only 15 days after the arrest to request a hearing on the suspension of your driver’s license. Contrary to popular belief, your driver’s license is not automatically suspended.

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