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Blood sample evidence from St. Paul woman's crash inadmissible

Those accused of crimes in Minnesota have rights. If it is believed those rights were overlooked, this may end up leading to certain evidence being deemed inadmissible in court. 

Recently, the attorney for a 24-year-old St. Paul woman was able to successfully argue the blood test results from a hospital trip after an accident should not be allowed to be submitted as evidence in the case against the woman. The judge ended up agreeing, which may result in at least one count against the woman being dismissed.  

The accident goes back to April 19, 2011. The now 24-year-old was out with friends celebrating her 22nd birthday. At the time of the crash, she was a passenger in the vehicle. 

According to the criminal complaint, the woman was under the influence of alcohol and jerked the steering wheel right before the car smashed into the median on Interstate 94. The driver ended up suffering from two broken ribs in the crash and the woman hit her head.

The 22-year-old celebrating her birthday was taken to the hospital. That night, a Minnesota state trooper visited her and had a nurse take her blood sample. 

However, one year later the blood sample was destroyed, which is typical when blood samples are more than a year old. 

Part of the issue though in this case is the state trooper did not first obtain a search warrant for the blood sample. Additionally, the state ended up destroying the sample even though the woman asked for all evidence related to the case preserved. 

In this Minnesota case, the state also missed a number of deadlines to contest her motion and the prosecutor even wrote "I handled the late submission poorly" in a letter to the judge.

Going forward, the 24-year-old is facing two counts of felony criminal vehicular operation. Her attorney is hopeful the count related to the woman having a blood alcohol content above 0.08 percent will be dismissed since the state has no way to prove this without the blood sample. 

Source: Pioneer Press, "St. Paul woman's blood alcohol results ruled inadmissable at crash trial," Kia Farhang, Sept. 18, 2013

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