Friday, April 19, 2013

Supreme Court upholds your constitutional rights!

Your fourth amendment and fifth amendment rights are preserved at least a little while longer.  Although no one likes that some people choose to drink and drive drivers unconstitutionally taking blood from a suspected drunk driver is not allowed by the United States Supreme Court.

Here is an article in the Kansas City Star talking about the decision.

U.S. Supreme Court denies Missouri's push for
warrantless blood tests in DUI cases

By: Brian Burnes of the KC Star

Missouri’s push to more easily draw blood from people suspected of driving drunk failed to convince U.S. Supreme Court justices Wednesday.  Law enforcement must continue to seek warrants to take blood from drivers stopped for possibly driving impaired, the court ruled in a case that originated in southeast Missouri.  More than 30 other states and the Obama administration had joined Missouri in asking justices to give officers almost complete discretion in drawing blood samples without a warrant.
The ruling thrilled Doug Bonney, chief counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri office in Kansas City.

“It shows that the court understood that drunk-driving laws can be enforced in a way that is consistent with the Constitution,” said Bonney, referring to the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

At least the court left in place current procedures for obtaining such blood tests, said Eric Zahnd, Platte County prosecutor who also is head of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
“The good news is that those tests will still be an arrow in the quiver of law enforcement in appropriate circumstances,” Zahnd said. “I am heartened that the court continues to recognize that alcohol dissipates naturally from the blood and therefore time is of the essence in these cases.”
The Supreme Court held that police usually must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects.

In their 8-1 ruling, justices sided with a Missouri man who had been subjected to a blood test without a warrant and was found to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood is generally not sufficient reason to dispense with the requirement that police get a judge’s approval before drawing a blood sample.

The case stemmed from the Oct. 3, 2010, arrest of Tyler McNeely in rural Cape Girardeau County.
A state trooper stopped McNeely after he observed his car speeding and swerving. McNeely, who had two previous drunken-driving convictions, refused to submit to a breath test to measure the alcohol level in his body. He also failed several field sobriety tests.  The arresting officer, Cpl. Mark Winder of the Missouri Highway Patrol, said McNeely’s speech was slurred.

Winder did not attempt to get a warrant but drove McNeely to a hospital, where a technician drew his blood. McNeely’s blood alcohol content was 0.154 percent, well above the 0.08 percent legal limit.
After a circuit court threw out the test results, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld that action, saying that the blood test violated the Constitution. Police need a warrant to take a suspect’s blood except when a delay could threaten a life or destroy potential evidence, the Missouri court added.  About half the states already prohibit warrantless blood tests in all or most suspected drunken-driving cases.
Bonney, of the local ACLU office, filed a brief with the Missouri Supreme Court on the McNeely case. McNeely’s lawyer then asked the ACLU to argue Missouri v. McNeely before the Supreme Court. Steve Shapiro, the organization’s national legal director, did so in January, and Bonney attended the arguments.  Zahnd, meanwhile, is continuing on other fronts with efforts to expedite evidence-gathering in possible drunken-driving cases.

The Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, he said, is supporting House Bill 461, pending legislation that would add a subsection to the state’s evidence-tampering statute saying that a suspected drunk driver who refuses to provide a breath or blood sample would be charged with that offense.

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

KU football player arrested for suspicion of DUI and other charges.

Looks like the boys in blue busted one of our boys in blue.  Nicolas Sizemore was arrested this weekend on suspicion of DUI.  He has been issued a bond from the Lawrence municipal court and given a new court date to appear on the charges.  An article in the Lawrence Journal World covers the story.  Accordingly, the KU Head coach, Charlie Weis has suspended him for the first three games of the season for violating team rules.

DUI is a unique crime that many people, from all walks of life can easily find themselves charged with in the state of Kansas. If you've been charged with a DUI it doesn't mean you're a bad person. DUI charges are usually the result of an error in judgment. People usually don't consciously drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. What is more common is that people drive under the mistaken belief that they are "okay"; to drive. Of course, most people aren't equipped to determine what their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is before they start driving.

Most people that are charged with a DUI in Kansas know that it is a serious charge but beyond that have no idea what to do. They find themselves with many questions and concerns but because they have never been in trouble before they do not know where to turn, or they are embarrassed and are unwilling to seek help. From the outset there are very important deadlines that need to be met to preserve not only your freedom but your privilege to drive. In Kansas, simply one missed deadline will cause you to automatically loose your ability to contest the suspension of your driver's license.

From the start of your DUI case you need the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney. You need to sit down with an attorney that can give you some honest and accurate advice, based on experience handling these types of cases. The DUI laws change nearly every year and the consequences of those changes can way heavily on your case. 

The article is below.

KU Football player Nick Sizemore arrest on suspicion of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident

by Ian Cummings

A senior Kansas University football player has been suspended after being arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of DUI early Sunday morning in the 1800 block of West Sixth Street.  Nicolas Wade Sizemore, 22, Lititz, Pa., was stopped by police for driving without headlights just after midnight, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman. Officers suspected that Sizemore was intoxicated and had struck a parked vehicle in the parking lot of The Ranch, 2515 W. Sixth St., minutes before being stopped. He was booked into Douglas County Jail on suspicion of DUI and leaving the scene of a noninjury accident.

Sizemore was issued a notice to appear in Lawrence Municipal Court on May 1 and was released from jail on a $700 bond.  Kansas football coach Charlie Weis announced Monday morning that Sizemore, a senior tight end, has been suspended for the first three games of the 2013 season for a violation of team rules, according to a news release from Kansas Athletics.

“As I have previously stated, every player on our team knows and understands our rules and regulations,” Weis said in the statement. “They also know the consequences for violations.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

Liberty Man seriously injured in Platte County accident

Vincent Vangundy age 60, of Liberty Missouri was seriously injured in a on April 12, 2013.  According to SGT. D.J. Hendrick of the Missouri Highway patrol the accident occurred at midnight on Interstate 29 Southbound.  The details of the accident appear to be that a 2002 Ford Windstar driven by Vincent Vangundy was traveling southbound when a 2012 Ford driven by Joshua Simon rear ended the Ford Windstar.  The rear end accident then caused Mr. Vangundy to lose control and go off the right side of the roadway.  The 2002 Windstar then slid down the embankment and overturned.

After the accident Mr. Vangundy was transported to Liberty Hospital by ambulance where he was listed as in serious condition.

Police Report only online for 30 Days

When seriously injured in an incident like this you need to obtain an experienced personal injury lawyer to investigate the facts and determine whom is at fault.   If you or a loved one find themselves in need of an experienced personal injury lawyer please contact the attorneys of Copley Roth and Wilson LLC.  Our firm has extensive experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims and is here to compassionately assist you in your time of need. If you, a loved one, or a family member has suffered the devastating , and oftentimes tragic consequences of failed security, please do not hesitate to contact Copley Roth and Wilson, LLC (913-451-9500) to address any questions or concerns you may have.  The initial consultation(s) telephone and in person, are always free.