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Police execute search warrants at Missouri State University

On this St. Louis DWI blog we've written several times about the Fourth Amendment and how it protects people against the unlawful search and seizure of their person or property by law enforcement officials. However, it is important to understand that this does not bar every search in every situation. A series of recent investigations at Missouri State University highlights some issues surrounding warranted searches and how police conduct drug investigations.

DNA collection and the presumption of innocence

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in a case that will shape the future of evidence collections and criminal justice across the country. The widespread practice of collecting DNA from criminal suspects at arrest is before the court, with advocates speaking up passionately on both sides.

Supreme Court to consider DNA evidence collection

In February a Supreme Court ruling could shape the laws that govern DNA evidence collection by law enforcement officials. Each state has its own laws governing DNA collection, which many believe is more invasive than a fingerprint or breath test.

The shady side of crime labs

Several cases of severe evidence mishandling in crime labs in recent months have raised concerns about the reliability of forensic technicians. With no federal regulations governing crime labs and no universal certification requirement in place, evidence handling remains a real concern in criminal cases.

Supreme Court considers drug dogs and the Fourth Amendment: part two

Last week we introduced two cases recently heard by the United States Supreme Court. The court has taken up several issues surrounding the use of drug-sniffing dogs in arrests and criminal investigations that could have lasting effects on Americans' due process rights and criminal defense.

Supreme Court considers drug dogs and the Fourth Amendment: part one

The Supreme Court recently heard two cases involving drug charges that were facilitated by drug-sniffing dogs. Their ruling in these matters could have broad implications for criminal defense and redefine the rights of the accused, particularly in drug cases.

High court to rule on warrantless blood draw in Missouri DWI case

A Missouri DWI case is making national headlines this month after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a dispute over forced blood draws for drunk driving suspects. The decision of the nation's highest court could affect drivers' privacy rights across the country.

Chemist Shakes the Foundation of the Judicial System

Recently, a chemist in Massachusetts allegedly tampered with criminal evidence in the state's drug laboratory. Allegedly, the chemist contaminated samples, mixed different samples and manipulated the weight of drugs. The chemist worked for nine years in the laboratory and handled approximately 60,000 drug samples over that time period.

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