Hiring Jeff Kennedy turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Mr. Kennedy was able to have my case dismissed. Yes, outright dismissal of the charge!

A.C.

We did exactly as Jeff instructed and the case was dismissed. There are no words to explain how happy we are with his performance.

Anonymous

Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car.

Anonymous

Hiring Jeff Kennedy turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

A.C.

We did exactly as Jeff instructed and the case was dismissed. There are no words to explain how happy we are with his performance.

Anonymous

Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car.

Anonymous
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Douds v. State of Texas

Facing criminal charges is never a positive experience for any defendant, and many times even a misdemeanor charge can be very problematic. Driving under the influence is a primary example of a charge that is classified beneath felony status although the charges are always prosecuted sternly. State legislatures like the state of Texas have passed impaired driving laws that standardize the blood alcohol content level for presumed intoxication nationwide, along with setting new standards for reckless driving. All of these enhanced laws have not only tied the hands of prosecutors in terms of latitude to settle a case, but they have actually encouraged district attorneys to charge individuals even when the material case evidence is not necessarily admissible. Additionally, the serious attention that is paid to intoxicated driving has almost given the state a position that they can ignore search and seizure laws, effectively claiming a right to a conviction for charges of driving under the influence in any case regardless of arrest protocol. This is especially true when a case involves an accident, even when the accident is minor. This scenario is exactly what occurred in the Douds vs. State of Texas case.

Material Case Facts

Douds vs. State of Texas began as an auto accident case that occurred in the early hours of the morning in a small Texas community, requiring an investigation by a police officer. Of course, any time there is an accident police are suspicious concerning the sobriety of the drivers and especially well before daybreak. The accident occurred around 2 a.m., making this accident one of those investigations that could reveal an impaired driver. Upon arriving, the officer found that an accident did occur and there was an injured passenger in the crashed vehicle. The injured passenger was the wife of the driver, and the driver failed multiple field sobriety tests during the investigation of the accident. The officer then left another patrolman at the scene to conduct a search of the vehicle while he took the driver Douds directly to the station for an official breathalyzer, which Douds refused. He was then transported by the arresting officer to a medical facility, and the officer then coerced the suspect into providing a blood sample without securing a warrant for search and seizure first. The officer claimed he had a “reasonable belief” that the wife was being treated for injuries, which allowed for compulsory blood tests on the driver without the need for a warrant under a Texas statutory exception. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence and the en banc trial court refused to suppress. Douds appealed the decision by the local court.

Appeals Decision

The appellate court rejected the claims of the officer for exception status and reversed the court decision to block suppression. The final ruling was that the blood test constituted a Fourth Amendment unreasonable search violation because no warrant procurement was even attempted by the officer. His testimony was that the “evidence” of Douds’ intoxication level was fading, which he claimed was probable cause to force a blood test without a warrant. The court also rejected this claim, stating that the mere fact that the driver was sobering up during the process was not sufficient to conduct a search without a warrant. The conviction was then ordered vacated by the appellate court. This case established the controlling precedent regarding illegal search and seizure concerning blood tests as requiring a signed warrant issued by a judge based on a totality of material case facts. The Texas law authorizing compulsory blood testing without a warrant in certain instances could not be applied as a blanket excuse in unqualified situations, as each case must be evaluated individually by a judge before compulsory blood testing can be enforceable.

Call a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney

Never assume that the actions of a police officer are legal just because they are an officer. States are not entitled to case convictions, nor can they command that a suspect provide incriminating evidence against their will. The suspect can still actually refuse to comply with the order. Anyone in Texas who may have been the victim of an illegal search and seizure should contact Fort Worth criminal defense attorney Jeff Kennedy for a full evaluation of your search and seizure or DWI case

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Contact us today for a free strategy session on how we can help you win your case.

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CONTACT US &

GET THE DEFENSE YOU DESERVE

Contact us today for a free strategy session on how we can help you win your case.

* All Fields Required

Or Call 817-618-5215