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Tag Archives: 4th Amendment

Canine Sniffs and DUIs – United States v. Rodriguez

Imagine being pulled over for a minor speeding violation. The law enforcement officer casually approaches your vehicle, checks your driver’s license, proof of insurance, registration, and then issues a warning for the trivial violation before returning to his patrol car.  Relieved, the driver places the citation in his console assuming that the traffic stop had concluded.  Unexpectedly, the law enforcement asks you if his police canine may walk around your vehicle. Despite your refusal, the police canine is jumping and ... Read More »

Tennessee v. Kennedy & Tennessee v. Wells – Blood Draws and the Fourth Amendment

Two Tennessee cases were recently decided concerning the constitutionality of mandatory blood draws of those accused of driving under the influence (DUI). This legal issue is highlighted in Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals cases, State v. Kennedy[1] and State v. Wells.[2] Both cases discuss at length the constitutionality of the Implied Consent statute, Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A) § 55-10-406(f)(2) in relation to Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, T.C.A. § 55-10-406(a) provides that “[a]ny person who drives ... Read More »

Unconstitutional Blood Draws

There is a good deal of debate in the legal community about whether warrantless blood samples taken from DUI suspects are constitutional following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. McNeely.  The core of this debate is whether “implied consent” laws constitute an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, or whether such consent is “involuntary consent” because it is based on the threat and imposition of a license suspension. The McNeely decision did not invalidate “implied consent” statutes ... Read More »

Blood-Draw Search Warrant

Getting a blood-draw search warrant in California in a misdemeanor offense of driving under the influence case is statutorily prohibited, based on the statutory construction principle of expressio unius est exclusio.  California Penal Code Sec. 1524 does not authorize it.   If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California and you withdrew your “implied consent” to chemical testing, then any blood-alcohol evidence obtained by threat or use of force may be subject to exclusion for ... Read More »

GPS Tracking Devices – SCOTUS Decision

 The 4th Amendment has been resuscitated!! That is good news for Maine citizens arrested for Operating Under the Influence (OUI) and other criminal offenses. Hopefully you recall back in September of 2010, I wrote about GPS tracking devices and a recent decision from the District of Columbia Circuit (“GPS Tracking Devices – A Warrant or Not A Warrant – That is Now the Question”). Well, on Monday we got our answer; kind of…. In United States v. Antoine Jones, #10-1259 Justice Scalia wrote the decision of ... Read More »