Q: My blood was drawn with NO WARRANT on July 10th of this year. I got pulled over. They said I failed the FST’s but I know a didn’t and I have witnesses who were in the bar parking lot. They took me immediately to hospital where blood was drawn.
A: You are probably charged with two subsections of the DUI statute. One based on the officer’s observations-how you acted, smelled, spoke, looked, handled FST’s, etc. 3802 (a). The second subsections, 3802 (a) (1) and (b), would be based on the blood test results. Pennsylvania adopted Birchfield v. North Dakota under which the blood test results will be thrown out (suppressed) if there was no warrant used to seize the blood from the hospital by the police. However, if the arresting police department amended their informed consent form prior to your arrest to counter the effects of Birchfield, Birchfield may not apply. Even if you get a break with Birchfield, you still can be prosecuted on subsection (a). I would review your case with a lawyer.
Q: Former Employer has taken my I Pad which I bought from them on 9/11/2013 and I have the Bill of Sale signed and dated. What do I need to do? I quit working for them Nov. 2013. It was a week later that Police came to my house saying that I stole the I Pad and they wanted in back. I showed the police the Bill of Sale and they said to hold on to it. I held on to it and now police are asking for me to give them my pass code for my I Pad. They said that my Former Employers is trying to have charges brought on me for stealing. I feel like that they are trying to get back at me from reporting them to CPS for child safety reason because their child was my former client and the child highly unstable and broke my leg due to his outburst when I was working for them.
A: I would need to review all of the facts but it sounds like the police may have illegally taken your I Pad and are now trying to illegally search it. Do not give them the code. Do not talk to the police. Contact a lawyer immediately. He or she can file a motion with the court to return property right away and get your I Pad back. It will put pressure on your company and police to either file charges or return your I-Pad. If the police want to search the computer, they likely need a search warrant. They need to make up their mind and let you get on with your life.
Q: Is it legal in PA to search a room without a search warrant? I was at home and a relative called the cops, let them in, and they searched my room. Once with my girlfriend present then again when we were both out of the room. I was told they can only search my room if they had a warrant, or if it was in plain sight, which it was not. I also did not give consent. (Oakland, PA)
A: The legal presumption in PA is that all searches of homes and cars must be done with a search warrant. Even if the home was someone else’s and you are renting or staying there, you still may have a right of privacy in that living space and thus have legal standing to challenge the search. Whether you would win on a suppression motion depends on many factors and is very fact specific. What do the police say in their report? Can the police rely on any exemption to the warrant requirement? Did you consent to the search? Did the police have an exigent circumstances to assert the would legally circumvent the warrant requirement. There are many more questions. You need to review all of the evidence with a criminal defense attorney who is versed in constitutional challenges of illegal search and seizures.