Is It Legal For Police To Draw The Person’s Blood?


In Arizona and throughout the United States, the police are not able to lawfully search or seize any evidence from a person without a warrant. They can only get a warrant if they could show probable cause that the evidence they are searching for is related to the crime they think the person committed.

The police officer has to sign an affidavit or do a verbal, under oath, affidavit to a judge stating the reason they need to draw blood. If they are able to establish probable cause and the judge signs it, then a valid search warrant will enable them to force somebody to have their blood drawn.

This is what usually happens in DUI cases, vehicular homicide cases or vehicular aggravated assault cases. It is possible this can be done for other types of crimes, although it is more common in cases that involve vehicles.

How Fast Can They Get The Warrant And How Easy Is It To Get?

The time it takes to get a warrant varies. I have seen cases where an officer was able to verbally call an on-call judge — whose job it is to be on call at any time — and give the information needed for a warrant. The judge signs a warrant and faxes it back to wherever the officer is. That can happen in as little as fifteen minutes. There have also been situations where it took as long as two hours for the warrant to come back.

How Long Does It Take To Get Blood Test Results?

It can take 30 days, although a good average is about 45 days from when the blood was drawn. Many DUI arrests happen every week in Arizona, so the crime labs they send blood to are usually very busy. Also, more police agencies are moving from breath tests to blood draws.

How Do They Do Draw The Blood For The Blood Test?

The blood draw is done by a certified phlebotomist. In some cities, like Scottsdale, the majority of the blood draws for DUI cases are done after a suspect is taken to a hospital where blood can be drawn. In other cities, many officers are certified phlebotomists so they are able to draw the blood anywhere and will sometimes even draw blood on the side of the road or in a police station. In some cases they can literally hold a person down and draw their blood if they have a valid warrant.

Where Do These Forced Blood Draws Tend To Happen?

The blood draws are usually done at either a DUI task force, which is like a makeshift station, or at the police station. It can sometimes also be done at the hospital, although it is usually at a police station or a task force area. A physically forced blood draw is usually done when someone refuses to let the officers draw blood, even after being shown a warrant. In that case, the officers might have to forcibly hold the person down or restrain them so that they can draw blood.

Where Do These Refusals Happen, On The Roadside Or Only At Police Stations Or Hospitals?

The refusal can happen anywhere, but it commonly happens when the police officer takes the person to the DUI taskforce van, police station, or hospital to either draw blood or have the person blow into a breath device. If the person refuses, the officer is required to read the refusal admonition to the person, which explains the consequences of refusing to take the test. If the person still refuses, then they consider it a refusal and the officer will most likely apply for and fill out the necessary paperwork to get a search warrant. A judge will send back the search warrant paperwork after signing it, which gives the officer the legal right to forcibly draw blood.

For more information on Forced Blood Draw, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (480) 378-0807 today.

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