Recent Case Win: Dallas 5th Court of Appeals Reverses Collin County Trial Court Conviction

By Bo Kalabus
Writ Bond 24-Hotline 214-402-4364
Office 972-562-7549

Last October I participated in oral arguments before the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas on a case regarding the constitutionality of a mandatory blood draw taken from my client without without his consent or a warrant under Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code following an arrest for DWI with an accident.

My argument centered on the lack of exigent circumstances (an exception to the warrant requirement) 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 regarding exigency. In short, the way my client’s blood was taken violated his 4th amendment rights.

The Court of Appeals agreed, issuing a lengthy 26 page opinion last February holding that my client’s constitutional rights were violated when his blood was drawn without a warrant. More specifically:

1) the trial court erred by concluding that based on the totality of the circumstances, exigency was met and the warrantless mandatory blood draw performed on my client was constitutional; and
2) the taking of my client’s blood without a warrant under Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code was a violation of my client’s 4th Amendment rights and the results of the blood test should have been excluded.

It’s been a long road for my client-the original hearing to exclude the blood before the Collin County trial court took place in July of 2013, but the results have been worth it. I have enjoyed being on the leading edge of shaping the law regarding warrantless blood draw issues that have followed the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in McNeeley v. Missouri.

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