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Name: People v. Fulton
Case #: C065057
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/18/2012

A warrantless search and seizure of DNA evidence was in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Appellant was under arrest a few hours after he was accused of raping his stepsister. At the jail, he was taken into a room where possible DNA evidence was collected by a criminalist, including a penile swab. A search of an intimate part of the body involves a major intrusion on the defendant’s dignity. Exigent circumstances could have justified an exception to the warrant requirement, but the prosecution failed to present any evidence about destructibility of the evidence to support exigency. The procedure could not simply be justified as a search incident to arrest. (See Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders (2012) __ U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1510, 1511 [strip searches during booking for any offense strike a reasonable balance between inmate privacy and the needs of the jail.])