A second chance for those convicted of blood or urine test refusal?
If you or someone you know refused a blood or urine test...
A couple years ago, in 2016, the U.S. Supreme Courtdecided a trio of cases that came to be known as Birchfield v. North Dakota. This watershed decision generally bans law enforcement from taking a blood draw without a warrant (or the existence of a legal exception to the warrant requirement). When Minnesota’s highest court adopted Birchfield, it extended the Birchfield holding to warrantless urine tests, as well.
In August, the Minnesota Supreme Court handed down its decision in Johnson v. State of Minnesota. In the Johnson decision, the Court held that Birchfield’s ban of warrantless blood draws was a new, substantive rule. Because it is substantive, the rule can be applied retroactively to cases that were decided before the Birchfield decision was issued.
This means, generally, that anyone who has been convicted of test refusal for failing to submit to a warrantless blood or urine test in Minnesota may attack those convictions. While Johnson opens the doors to collaterally attacking test-refusal convictions, it does not guarantee success. Rather, each case will have to be evaluated on an individual basis before determining whether it is ripe for attack.
If you were convicted of or pleaded guilty to a test refusal charge, after refusing a warrantless blood or urine test, you may be able to have your conviction reversed. Contact an experienced attorney, like those at our law firm, to have your case evaluated.
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