Archive for 2019

Unconscious DUI Suspect – Blood Seizure Without Warrant – Supreme Court Opinion an Abomination!

The United States Supreme Court recently remanded (returned to the state court) a case involving a DUI suspect whose blood was extracted without a warrant at a hospital while the suspected DUI driver was unconscious. The Court’s opinion in Mitchell v. Wisconsin (2019) 588 U.S. ____, authored by Justice S. Alito, is an outrageous deviation from constitutional jurisprudential standards – namely, stare decisis – and could be construed as an “advisory opinion” in violation of the Case or Controversy Clause of the United States Constitution.

President Trump Supreme Court nominee and now Associate Justice, N. Gorsuch, dissented (disagreed). As would be expected of a liberty-loving, government-constraining, jurist in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In disagreeing with the Court’s opinion, Justice Gorsuch wrote, “Rather than proceeding solely by self-direction, I would have dismissed this case as improvidently granted and waited for a case presenting the exigent circumstances question.” That’s Justice Gorsuch’s way of saying the court was out of bounds to consider an exception to the warrant requirement that was not argued by the parties below and that, moreover, the facts of the case did not meet the exigent circumstances standard required to lawfully extract Mitchell’s blood without a warrant. Stated differently, if Justice Gorsuch were talking with Justice Alito at a bar, he might say something like, ‘Sam, that was wrong; and you are an idiot!’

For those who value the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures and the requirement that the government and police obtain a warrant before engaging in reasonable searches and seizures, there is no higher court to appeal this abomination of constitutional jurisprudence to, unfortunately.

Petition for Resentencing or Dismissal Pursuant to Health & Safety Code section 11361.8 – Marijuana Justice Meets 21st Century – California’s Prop 64

It’s almost hard to believe it took so many years to “decriminalize” marijuana in California. Yet, California’s Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act does exactly that, under certain circumstances. Under Health & Safety Code § 11361.8, a person currently serving a sentence, or who has completed a sentence for a conviction of a violation of sections 11357, 11358, 11359, or 11360 of the Health & Safety Code may be eligible to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor or an infraction and resentenced, or dismissed as applicable.

The Butte County Superior Court has made it relatively easy to check eligibility and, if eligible, to download and file the petition or application, as the case may be, for those with Marijuana convictions in Butte County, California. Simply go to https://www.buttecourt.ca.gov/LocalRules/ and scroll down to “Other Forms” and click the .pdf file entitled “Petition or Application and Order under HS 11361.8 (Proposition 64)” to see the instructions and to complete the fillable form. Or hire an attorney to do it for you.