Fighting a DUI charge isn’t easy. You need an experienced lawyer who knows how to fight the evidence against you head-on, look for holes in the case against you, and uncover potential mistakes made by the police and district attorney.
One of the most common ways to improve your chances of winning your DUI case is to challenge the evidence against you. In the state of Montana, the results of blood draws are frequently used as evidence in DUI cases.
Today, we’ll talk more about blood draws, why they’re becoming more common, and how the attorneys at the Judnich Law Office have succeeded at challenging blood draw evidence in DUI cases.
Implied Consent & Civil Breath Test Suspensions
It’s important to remember that in Montana, there are implied consent laws, meaning when you drive, you’re giving implied consent to a breath or blood test. Should you refuse a blood or breath test, you’ll be subject to a civil suspension of your license that’s completely separate from any possible criminal DUI charges.
I wrote about implied consent laws and breath test refusal suspensions a few months ago. Throughout the rest of today’s post, I’ll be talking about blood draw evidence as it relates to criminal DUI prosecutions. It’s an important distinction to make, as breath test refusal suspensions are much more difficult to challenge.
Blood Draws vs. Breath Tests
For decades, breath tests were the main evidence used in DUI prosecutions. However, recent studies and tests have shown that breath test evidence is plagued by inherent inaccuracies and other problems.
These issues surrounding breath test evidence can potentially improve a defendant’s chances of winning their DUI case. This is why prosecutors have looked for other, more reliable sources of evidence.
More recently, criminal DUI cases are being built around blood test evidence, which is believed to be more accurate (although this isn’t always the case). Blood tests can also reveal the presence of other drugs that may affect a person’s ability to drive safely. For these reasons, many district attorneys prefer blood test evidence when prosecuting DUI cases.
Law Enforcement’s New Tool: Telephonic Warrants
Generally speaking, if you refuse a blood draw, you can’t be forced to consent to one. In order to compel you to give a blood sample as part of a DUI investigation, an office will need to obtain a warrant from a judge.
In Montana, law enforcement officers are beginning to take advantage of what are known as “telephonic warrants.” Telephonic warrants are just like regular search warrants, with one exception:
A telephonic warrant can be issued over the telephone.
Telephonic warrants aren’t available in all cases, however. An officer can attempt to obtain a telephonic warrant if you’ve:
- Ever refused a breath or blood test in the past
- Been previously convicted of a DUI
Law enforcement officers prefer telephonic warrants because they are easier to obtain– just a phone call is required. If an officer obtains a telephonic warrant, you will have to provide a blood sample to be tested for drugs and alcohol.
Challenging & Excluding a Blood Draw in Your DUI Case
At the Judnich Law Office we have been very successful in excluding blood evidence from ever coming into trial, even when it has been forcibly drawn after a warrant was granted.
When collecting blood evidence, law enforcement officers must follow very specific protocols. If an officer doesn’t do everything by the book, your attorney can challenge the evidence obtained. We’ve studied the rules and regulations and know what to look for.
Similarly, prosecutors must produce very specific information to ensure other testing protocols were adhered to. This is to eliminate no questions about the blood samples and the resultant test results.
Experienced lawyers, like those at the Judnich Law Office, know the rules the police and prosecutors must play by. We can spot even the smallest mistakes and use them to your advantage when challenging a blood draw or other evidence.
When our attorneys have successfully challenged and excluded a blood draw or blood test results, the cases are often easily resolved as non-DUI offenses.
Contact the Judnich Law Office
Have you been charged with DUI? Was your blood drawn? Do you want to know more about the possibility of challenging the blood evidence in your DUI case?
Contact the Judnich Law Office and tell us your story. You can also call (406) 203-0913. We take every case seriously and we’re here to help you.
Your initial no-obligation consultation is always free. Contact the Judnich Law Office today.