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Name: People v. Fish
Case #: B290108
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 11/27/2018
Summary

Where a valid search warrant authorizes a blood draw from a defendant arrested for DUI, and the circumstances of the blood draw are typical and routine, the defendant bears the burden of showing the blood was not drawn in a “reasonable manner.” Fish was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). His blood was drawn at a hospital pursuant to a valid search warrant. The trial court granted Fish’s motion to suppress the results of the blood test because the prosecution failed to prove the blood was drawn in a reasonable manner. The prosecution appealed to the appellate division of the superior court, which reversed. The Court of Appeal granted a transfer petition. Held: Affirmed. When blood is drawn from a person arrested for DUI, the Fourth Amendment requires that the blood be drawn in a reasonable manner. The U.S. Supreme Court has not determined which party has the burden of proof when the defendant claims that a warrant was improperly executed. However, it has expressed a strong preference for warrants and there is a presumption that a search warrant and the affidavit supporting the search warrant are valid. Under California case law, the defendant bears the burden of proof that a search went beyond the scope of the warrant. After analyzing relevant case law, the Court of Appeal here concluded that there was no unfairness in requiring Fish to assume the burden of presenting evidence that the blood was drawn in an unreasonable manner, which he did not do. Fish’s blood was statutorily required to be drawn in a reasonable, medically approved manner (Pen. Code, § 1524, subd. (a)(13)), and there is a presumption that official duties have been regularly performed. (Evid. Code, § 664.) The blood draw occurred in a hospital in the presence of an officer. The circumstances of the blood draw were typical, routine, and not peculiarly within the government’s knowledge or control.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B290108.PDF