I was arrested in Texas and refused to take the breath test or give blood. The officers then carried me to the hospital and directed them to take my blood without my consent and without a warrant. At the time Texas law said they could do so but since then the US Supreme Court has ruled that they can not do so. Missouri vs McNeely So I want to know if I have a case against them for violating my 4th amendment rights by taking my blood without my consent or a warrant.
Thank you for your response and clarification.Although the Supreme Court has held that forcing someone to have blood drawn under the circumstances of an OUI is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, the police officers, at the time they ordered your blood to be drawn were acting under the reasonable, although erroneous, interpretation of the law in Texas. Police officers have qualified immunity from civil actions against them if they are acting in good faith and within existing law. It is only when their actions go beyond the bounds of reasonableness, such as the use of excessive force, that they can lose immunity and be subject to a civil suit for violation of civil rights. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.
So you are telling me that while ignorance of the law is not an excuse for violating that law for a citizen is justified if a state does the same thing. I mean I can come up with several interpretations of many laws but that does not make it legal for me to act upon those interpretations and if I do I can be criminally prosecuted. A good example of that is many people do not believe the government has the right to tax the public but Wesley Snipes found that his interpretation of that law was not accurate. What if the state of Texas decides we no longer have the right to free speech does that mean they can arrest citizens for exercising that right without repercussions to the state. You say they were acting within existing law I do believe the 14th amendment was around before Texas made their law.
Last thing is how can you say that inserting a needle into some ones arm and withdrawing their blood without their consent does not go beyond the bounds of reasonableness? Is it only because the bruise left afterwards is not sizeable or is it because they use a hospital to exert excessive force? If I was to stab someone with a needle I know I would be arrested for assault. After all isn't a needle just a small knife? It is still an invasion of the body. What if they had decided that blood is not enough would they then be within those same bounds of reasonableness to take body tissue?
I appreciate the response and no disrespect meant but I believe that lawyers saying as you did that "It is what it is" is the reason they were able to get away with it until the Supreme Court told them that "It is not what you think it is" and if not for McNeely they would still be doing as they please. I guess you can chalk it up to Big Brother doing as they like until someone with enough money to call them out on it comes along.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).