SUPREME COURT REQUIRES SEARCH WARRANT BEFORE THE NONCONSENSUAL TAKING OF A BLOOD SAMPLE

The Supreme Court, today, in Missouri v. McNeely refused to grant the State of Missouri a per se rule allowing the warrantless taking of a blood sample to determine the blood alcohol level, in cases of suspected driving under the influence. In a driving under the influence of alcohol case the question that the jury must answer is whether at the time the defendant was driving was she/he under the influence. There are a number of methods of determining whether […] Read more »

WIRE FRAUD CHARGED IN CALIFORNIA POLICE SCANDAL

Former Danville, California police officer Stephen Tanabe who was charged with arresting men for driving under the influence after private detective, Christopher Butler set the men up to assist their wives get favorable divorce results was charged in a new Federal indictment with wire fraud based on text messages exchanged with Butler prior to his DUI arrest of a man set up by Butler. Still pending are four counts of extortion under color of official right.He was indicted on the […] Read more »

BODY CAMERAS BECOME COMMONPLACE AMONG POLICE

More and more police departments are using body cameras. Body cameras are attached to a police officer’s uniform and allow them to video arrests, searches and confrontations with the public. Over 700 police departments in the United States now use the small cameras which can be attached to the officers’ uniforms or to the dashboard of the police car. If used properly, the body cameras serve many purposes. They help to exonerate the innocent and force guilty pleas from the […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT REAFFIRMS MELENDEZ-DIAZ

Last year in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts the Supreme Court ruled that the admittance at trial of a lab report without the testimony of its author violated the Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause. But sometimes saying something once is not enough. In nearly identical facts to Melendez-Diaz the Supreme Court of New Mexico approved the admittance of a blood alcohol test when the New Mexico Court allowed the prosecutor to use the testimony of a chemist other than the one who performed […] Read more »

DUI CHECKPOINT APS TO CONTINUE

Google and Apple have refused to bow down to Congressional pressure and remove aps which identify the location of DUI checkpoints. However, Apple has agreed not to accept any new DUI checkpoint aps. The pressure from Senators Schumer and Reid is interesting. One of the purposes of the checkpoints is to publicize the problems with drunk drivers. In fact the California Supreme Court has said, “Advance publicity is important to the maintenance of a constitutionally permissible sobriety checkpoint. Publicity both […] Read more »

CALIFORNIA SHERIFF’S DEPUTY ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING A BRIBE

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about two former Antioch, California police officers, Norman Wielsch, who was the head of the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), and Christopher Butler, who now has a private detective agency. Wielsch was accused of providing drugs seized by CNET to Butler who sold them to his clients. They split the profits. Also accused of narcotics and weapons violations was another former Antioch police, officer, Stephen Tanabe, who was working for the […] Read more »

VIDEO CAMERAS MOUNTED IN POLICE VEHICLES

Chicago mayor Richard Daley told the ABA conference this week that cameras in police cars will reduce the amount the city will have to pay out in damages for police malfeasance. He may be right. But let’s not forget the case of Raymond Bell who was arrested by Chicago police officer Joe D. Baker, a 23 year veteran of the force, for driving under the influence. According to Baker, Parker staggered when he got out of the car and could […] Read more »

HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET–No. 6.

A Woodbine, Maryland woman was arrested twice in a five hour period for driving under the influence of alcohol according to the Baltimore Sun. Police stopped the twenty year old woman for swerving across lane markers at 2:15 am on the third in Ocean City.She was charged with being under the influence. Maryland law prohibits a driver who has been arrested for a DUI from driving within twelve hours of her arrest. So when less than five hours after her […] Read more »

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT RULES PARTITION RATIO EVIDENSE ADMISSIBLE IN SOME DUI CASES

The California Supreme Court joined courts in Vermont and Arizona in finding that partition ratio evidence is admissible in defending against a generic DUI allegation. All states have separate charges for driving under the influence of intoxicating substances (generic DUI law) and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 (per se DUI law). Often people are charged with both generic and per se violations. Anyone driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above is guilty of violating […] Read more »

AGGRAVATED DUI–A CRIME OF MORAL TURPITUDE

Armando Marmolejo-Campos, was convicted of the crime of aggravated driving under the influence under the laws of Arizona. Under the Arizona statute one is guilty of aggravated driving under the influence if one “driv[es]” or takes “actual physical control” of a vehicle “while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs” and “while the person’s driver license or privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, revoked or refused or while a restriction is placed on the person’s driver license or privilege […] Read more »