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ER Patient came in by ambulance. Sedated by EMTS with a broken foot. EMTS took clothes they had cut off Pt in transit, bagged then into a see-thru personal property bag, and labeled them as the Pt personal Property before ever arriving at ER. All the information needed by ER hospital was already obtained and given to them. There was no need to ID patient or go thru the SEE THRU property bag, as you could clearly see that the items inside were just what the label said they were: 1 coat, 1 legging, one t-shirt. Thats it. Pretty straight forward.While being treated in ER the bag Pt's personal property was in was opened and riffled thrju by a random Aid. Apparently drug paraphernalia (pipe) was found inside coat pocket. The Aid took the pipe to police whom charged the Pt with felony drug possession.The property bag had been thru multiple peoples hands and moved multiple times. Dozens of people having access. While completely out of custody and control of the Pt, whom was sedated on a s
I agree. The chain of custody seems dubious.
However, this goes to "weight" and not "admissibility"
That is, there is nothing in your description that would amount to a violation of the rights of the patient. So the evidence can come in
But the defense can argue, at trial, that the chain of custody is so weak that it does not amount to evidence to convict "beyond a reasonable doubt"Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.
Yes. You could. But that is where the burden of proof at criminal trial kicks in. They have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; that chain of custody is dubious...if that is all they got? They may have a tough time convicting.
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Can not do case law research now...I will opt out..perhaps someone else can do the case law research for you.I wish you the best
I would...that is, if I were the defense lawyer, I would file the motion.
But it is a "looser" motion. The law in this area is clear...the chain of custody will go to "weight" and not "admissibility"
So the motion would likely be a loss. But perhaps worth the effort, since you can force the government to put the witnesses on the stand, and you have the chance to cross examine them on the record.At the end of the day, the law will not preclude the government from submitting the evidence.But you can argue that the chain of custody is weak (which goes to the weight of the evidence). Again, if that is all they have, they have a weak case.