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Can a California "blood split motion" ever hurt my DUI defense?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Sep 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

A "blood split motion" in a California DUI case is a defense tactic that can be used when the defendant took a DUI blood test or urine test at the time of arrest.

The police are required to retain a portion of the blood or urine sample. The defendant and his/her defense attorney can then request that the prosecutor hand over that sample and conduct a test on it at an independent laboratory. The results of the independent test sometimes show that:

But what if the results of an independent blood test following a blood split motion don't show anything beneficial to the defendant? What if the results actually work against the defendant (for example, if the test shows that his/her BAC was actually higher than the prosecution claims)?

In this situation, the blood split won't help you. But it doesn't have to hurt you either. As a DUI defendant in California, you are not required to disclose to the prosecution any evidence that you don't plan to introduce at trial. So if the test results from your blood split are not helpful to your case, nobody needs to know about them except you and your DUI defense attorney.

And it's worth noting that even if the blood split re-test shows that your BAC was as high as the prosecutor claims it was, that doesn't mean the test can't still be helpful to your defense.

It might reveal that the blood sample was contaminated or wasn't sufficiently mixed with preservative or anticoagulant, for example. If this is the case, you can challenge the admission of the prosecutor's DUI blood test as evidence against you.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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