Criminal Law Paper

1389 Words Sep 5th, 2013 6 Pages
Criminal Law
August 5, 2013

Criminal Law
Supreme Court case Missouri v. McNeely, 569 U.S. __ (April 17, 2013) On October 3, 2010 Officer Mark Winder stopped Tyler G. McNeely for speeding and driving over the center line. Officer Winder noticed that McNeely was apparently intoxicated, his eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred, and he smelled of alcohol. McNeely admitted to Officer Winder that he had been drinking, but only had a couple of beers. Officer Winder had McNeely run through a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed. Officer Winder asked McNeely to submit to a breath test, but McNeely refused. Officer Winder placed McNeely under arrest and was transporting him to the police station, and again McNeely told
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The trial court ruled that the exigency exception did not apply in this circumstance because there was no evidence to suggest that officer Winder faced an emergency circumstance. In a related case, Schmerber v. California 1966, the Supreme Court ruled that no warrant was required to obtain a blood sample without consent from a suspected drunk driver after an accident in which the driver or passengers had been injured. This is because alcohol levels dissipate over time, it takes the officer time to investigate the accident, and to transport injured persons to the hospital by which time the suspects BAC may be completely diminished (Schmerber v. California, 1966). On June 21, 2011, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Courts decision, stating that the exigent circumstance exception to the Fourth Amendment applied, so Officer Winder did not need to obtain a warrant for the blood test. However, the Court of Appeals transferred the case to the Missouri Supreme Court, giving the Supreme Court Jurisdiction, which in turn reversed the Court of Appeals decision, and affirmed the Trial Courts ruling (Cornell University Law School, n.d.). In the Supreme Court of the United States document (2013) Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor delivered his opinion stating that "In drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in an individual's bloodstream does not constitute and exigency in every case

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