The Champion

September/October 2003 , Page 48 

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Part 2: Essential cases to know in handling challenges to scientific evidence

By Leonard R. Stamm

Fourth Amendment

No discussion of cases that may be used to challenge scientific evidence would be complete without acknowledging challenges based on Fourth Amendment cases to the search and seizure of samples of breath, blood, urine, or of the defendant’s person. At the same time, this area is the subject of treatises, numerous cases, and articles on a subject that is too broad to be adequately covered in this article.  

Blood Tests

In Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966), the Supreme Court approved the forcible extraction of blood without a warrant where the state had probable cause to seize the defendant’s blood for an alcohol test and established that due to the dissipating nature of blood alcohol there was no time to obtain a search warrant. The police acted within the Fourth Amendment requirement of reasonableness when they took the defendant to a medical facility, where the risk of infection was minimized, to have blood drawn, even thou

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