Telephonic Requests for Search Warrants for Blood Tests in Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Cases

On April 17, 2013 I wrote about the recent US Supreme Court’s Opinion in McNeeley vs. Missouri where the Court found that dissipation of blood alcohol no longer constituted exigent circumstances as a means to bypass the ‘warrant requirement ‘ prior to a blood draw at a hospital.  The Court further ruled that each case must be evaluated on its own merits in a case by case ‘totality of the circumstances’ test to determine of a warrant should be issues by a court.

As a result of this ruling the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts has issued a directive today establishing the procedures that any law enforcement must follow in order to obtain the necessary telephonic warrant from the specifically assigned on duty municipal or superior court judge. The directive refers the law enforcement personnel to the established telephonic procedure that was first made reference to in the 2009 land mark state Supreme Court ‘exigent circumstances’ decision in State v. Pena-Flores. In that case, and now blood draw cases, the police can obtain an electronic warrant from the appropriately assigned judge via cell phone, radio, or other electronic means (text or email probably).  Rule 3:5-3 was amended to permit such electronic warrants that are then followed up with written documentation of the affidavit from the investigating officer, the judge’s decision, and ultimately the issuance and filing of the search warrant itself.

For more information, see here: Telephonic Requests for Search Warrants for Blood Tests in Driving
While Intoxicated (DWI) Cases

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