Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Provide Further Guidance on Birchfield

Filed under: DUI by Steven F. Fairlie @ July 26, 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has allowed an appeal to determine whether Birchfield principles (that criminal sanctions can’t be applied to warrantless or involuntary blood draws) apply to cases that were not yet finally resolved at the time the Birchfield decision was arrived at.  This might help those whose cases have been thrown out of court on retroactivity grounds.  Birchfield v. North Dakota was a United State Supreme Court decision that held that police may not perform warrantless or involuntary blood draws in DUI cases.  Its principles have led to widespread application to invalidate involuntary blood draws in Pennsylvania.  In many cases, defense challenges were grounded in misleading language in PennDOT’s DL-26 form (and subsequent revisions) or otherwise coercive conduct.  The new case to be reviewed is Commonwealth v. Kirk Hayes, No. 125 MAL 2018.  The PA Supreme Court agreed to review the case on July 24, 2018.

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