First “McNeely” case argued before the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas

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I participated in oral arguments today before the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas on a case regarding the constitutionality of a mandatory blood draw taken without consent or a warrant under Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code following an arrest for DWI with an accident. Recently, the Supreme Court has held in Missouri v. McNeely there must be exigent circumstances, a recognized exception to the 4th amendment warrant requirement, to force a blood draw without first getting consent or a warrant.

My argument today centered on the lack of exigent circumstances that existed in the facts on the night in question, the ease with which the arresting officer could have obtained a search warrant, and the implied consent statute (724) does not take into account the totality of the circumstances. In short, the way my client’s blood was taken violated his 4th amendment rights.

Our case today could be the first one to come down from the 5th Court of Appeals on this issue when the case is decided in the next few months. I am very excited to be counsel on this case where we are on the leading edge of the law that will help shape how blood is taken in future Texas DWI cases.

Stay tuned for how it turns out.

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