Several of our local law enforcement agencies are interested in pursuing search warrants for blood draws in instances of DWI breath test refusals. Seems like I recall some discussion on this board about some jurisdictions having "canned" or checklist types of probable cause affidavits and warrants that could be easily completed where time is of the essence. If anyone has such forms I'd appreciate copies of same. I'd also be curious to know of any policies that have been implemented governing what circumstances are deemed to warrant bothering a magistrate for a warrant. Please feel free to contact me directly.
In Williamson County, we have focused on seeking search warrants for blood when the defendant has at least two prior DWI convictions. As you can imagine, judges are not thrilled to be awakened at early morning hours. We just tell them we are preventing a murder.
I saw your posting concerning your infant murder trial, and noticed that Dr. Robert Bux was called by the defense as a medical expert. Our office is currently prosecuting a shaken baby case (luckily, the baby didn't die, but she does have brain damage), and the defense has listed Dr. Bux as one of their experts also. I wondered if you would be willing to share any information you may have found about Dr. Bux history as a defense expert. I've tried looking him up on the internet and I see that he has testified as a defense expert in several murder cases, but it is hard find the specifics as to what his testimony was, what he charges to testify, if there is any pattern to his testimony in these cases....basically, if there is any dirt that we can throw at him in our trial. :-) If you know anything about him, or are willing to talk about your experiences dealing with him, please let me know. I'm trying to accumulate as much ammunition as possible, as quickly as possible. My co-counsel is scheduled to depose Dr. Bux in about a month, and we want to be sure that we are ready for whatever he throws our way. Thanks in advance for any help or advice that you can give us. I hope that your trial went well.
Posts: 1 | Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa | Registered: July 28, 2005
I've sent mine too, although they are probably the same as Ken's because I think I stole his. We do them in all DWI cases. Officers have grown to really appreciate the program and I have a blood test in EVERY felony DWI case.
Posts: 283 | Location: Montague, Texas, USA | Registered: January 26, 2001
Hi! I was wondering if any of you fellow rural prosecutors (with only 2 or 3 eligible judges to sign these blood warrants) could e-mail me and tell me about your experiences in implementing a program like this. We want to start one up and have the forms, but we only have 2 eligible judges. We know there would be time issues and can anticipate the typical defense argument that their client was sober when driving, then BAC spiked by the time blood was drawn. But we wanted to know what other issues rural, multi-county jurisdictions like ours have faced and how they addressed them. Thanks for your help! email@example.com
Posts: 176 | Location: Hempstead, TX, USA | Registered: June 02, 2005
Tried your email but it bounced. We�ve been doing the SW for about a year now. Since we do not have a court of record in county, our JP�s can sign the SW. We have had some problems with officers using one JP all the time and causing him many sleepless nights. We have ask the officer�s to "spread the love around" and use different JP�s. We have also suggested they limit the SW to felonies, misdemeanors where the defendant unjustifiably causes the Police above averge ire (POP) or misdemeanors where there is NO other evidence (like when a defendant refuses to do ANY tests). So far we have been very successful but have not had any legal challenges to the warrants. Holler if we can help
We have 2 JP's and one county judge and one multi-county Dist. Judge. Each takes a week of calls for warrant applications and therefore has 3 weeks off each month. The system has worked well with most of the paperwork being sent via fax and the turnaround time for the judge about 5-10 minutes from the time he or she gets the call till the time they can go back to bed. We request blood on each refusal case, felony or misd. So far, it has worked well and a couple of defendants have been exonerated....the majority though, have had higer BAC results than what might have been guessed from watching the videos. I have been surprised at how many don't look that drunk on the tape and then the test comes back high. I don't long for the days before the blood draw when all we had was a maginal video, but "knew" the subject was intoxicated. If I can help in any way, call me. Mike Hartman Scurry County 325-573-7440 firstname.lastname@example.org