In a recent opinion from a New York appellate court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his convictions of attempted assault in the second degree and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. The defendant argued that the blood sample the State used as evidence against him was both based on an invalid search warrant and was inadmissible in court. Disagreeing with the defendant on both arguments, the court denied the appeal and affirmed the guilty verdict.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant had been charged with violating a traffic law in New York one evening in 2017. In connection with the accident that occurred as a result of the defendant’s violation, he was taken to the hospital and his blood was drawn for medical purposes. One month later, while investigating the original violation, the State applied for and was granted a search warrant and order of seizure for the defendant’s blood sample. After examining and testing the blood sample, officers discovered that the defendant had been intoxicated at the time of the traffic violation.
Based on this information, the defendant was charged, convicted, and sentenced to time in prison.
On appeal, the defendant argued that the seizure of his blood sample was based on an invalid warrant. It was an issue, said the defendant, that so much time passed between the accident and the granting of the warrant, and thus the search warrant should be deemed invalid. The court disagreed, citing a law that states that under violations such as these, a blood sample may be obtained pursuant to a validly issued search warrant, and there is no specific time requirement under which the warrant must be obtained. It was thus acceptable, said the court, for a month to pass between the accident and the granting of the warrant.
The defendant also argued that the results of the blood alcohol test should have been suppressed. He argued that the disclosure of his medical record number and the name of the treating physician to the police officers was a violation of physician-patient privilege. The results of the test should have been confidential, and thus the incriminating evidence should not have been used against him. The court disagreed with this argument as well, citing case law concluding that the name of the physician and the medical record number does not constitute confidential information between a patient and his physician. Given this reality, the blood alcohol test was appropriately used against him in court.
Given these conclusions, the court denied the defendant’s appeal.
Have You Been Charged with a DUI in New York?
If you are facing DUI charges in New York, know that you have options moving forward. At Tilem & Associates, we have been serving New York for over 25 years and have built up substantial expertise that will allow us to carefully defend your rights and your freedoms. We are knowledgeable, aggressive, and caring New York litigation lawyers, and we are ready to offer you our expertise. For your free and confidential consultation, give us a call at 877-377-8666.