CHARGES FILED IN MCKEAN COUNTY
An Olean, NY woman was charged with Homicide by Vehicle while DUI and related charges following a vehicle accident that occurred in January of 2021 in Ceres Township, McKean County. Among the charges filed was possession of marijuana.
The news report said that the woman charged was taken to a hospital in Olean, NY after the accident. That is a significant fact in this case. It is significant because her blood was likely drawn at that hospital. NY does not have the same laws that Pennsylvania has relating to the drawing of a blood test for legal purposes. Furthermore, hospital blood tests generally use an enzymatic method that does not comply with forensic standards. If marijuana was found in her blood or urine and the testing was done at the hospital, then under Pennsylvania law, the test results will not be admissible.
The reason urine test results are not admissible is because in 2016 urine was eliminated as a matrix that could be tested when Section 1547 was amended by the Pennsylvania. Furthermore, even if blood was tested, hospitals are not approved for testing for drugs. Only forensic labs, and only forensic labs certified by the Department of Health, can test for drugs and have their results be accepted in Pennsylvania Courts as evidence. The blood test that is used to find alcohol is also fraught with issues.
Several years ago, this firm handled a DUI in McKean County where our client was taken to a hospital in Buffalo and his blood was drawn there. The blood was eventually shipped from the hospital to a Pennsylvania State Police Lab for testing. We found that the blood tubes were not forensic tubes and they had no preservatives in them. That and there were chain of custody issues and other problems with the testing in that case. The blood alcohol content was alleged to be over .28. Because of the issues in the testing my team and I found, the case settled very favorably with our client getting to keep his driver’s license and his salesman job.
One of the most powerful pieces of evidence in a Homicide by Vehicle While DUI case is the blood test. Every aspect of the test should be investigated and attacked if feasible. Just because the government says they have a test results showing alcohol, drugs, or both, does not mean the test results gets admitted or is as good as they say.
Manchester and Associates is a law firm dedicated to criminal defense that operates throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1978. Our 5-star ratings prove what our firm is all about: making sure that the best possible outcome for our clients is achieved. Our team is comprised of lawyers who are specifically trained as to how blood is tested and the defenses to those tests. One of our team members is a member of the American Chemical Society and is a Certified Lawyer-Scientist through them. He is also a national lecturer on blood and drug testing. We are the law firm that teaches other lawyers how to properly defend DUI and Homicide by Vehicle While DUI cases. If you find yourself charged with Homicide by Vehicle While DUI and related charges, please call our team right away for a free consultation.