Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Schmerber v. Cal.

Supreme Court of the United States

April 25, 1966, Argued ; June 20, 1966, Decided

No. 658

Opinion

 [*758]  [***912]  [**1829]    MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner was convicted in Los Angeles Municipal Court of the criminal offense of driving an automobile while under the influence [****4]  of intoxicating liquor. 1 He had been arrested at a hospital while receiving treatment for injuries suffered in an accident involving the automobile that he had apparently been driving. 2 [****6]  At the direction of a police officer, a blood sample was then  [***913]  withdrawn from petitioner's body by a physician at the hospital.  [*759]  The chemical analysis of this sample revealed a percent by weight of alcohol in his blood at the time of the offense which indicated intoxication, and the report of this analysis was admitted in evidence at the trial.  Petitioner objected to receipt of this evidence of the analysis on the ground that the blood had been withdrawn despite his refusal, on the advice of his counsel, to consent to the test. He contended that in that circumstance the withdrawal of the blood and the admission of the analysis in evidence denied him due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights secured against the States by that Amendment: his privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment; his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment; and his right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches and [****5]  seizures in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Appellate Department of the California Superior Court rejected these contentions and affirmed the conviction. 3 In view of constitutional decisions  [**1830]  since we last considered these issues in Breithaupt v. Abram, 352 U.S. 432 -- see Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478; Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, and Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 -- we granted certiorari. 382 U.S. 971. We affirm.

THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE CLAIM.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

384 U.S. 757 *; 86 S. Ct. 1826 **; 16 L. Ed. 2d 908 ***; 1966 U.S. LEXIS 1129 ****

SCHMERBER v. CALIFORNIA

Prior History:  [****1]  CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE DEPARTMENT OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

blood, self-incrimination, testimonial, compulsion, extraction, alcohol, arrest, the Fifth Amendment, intrusions, blood test, testing, Rights, withdrawal, driving, papers, words, chemical analysis, of the Fifth Amendment, communications, circumstances, privacy, guilt, search and seizure, prosecutions, convict, of the Fourth Amendment, incriminating, provisions, responses, searches

Criminal Law & Procedure, Defendant's Rights, Right to Remain Silent, Communicative & Testimonial Information, Evidence, Scientific Evidence, Bodily Evidence, Blood & Bodily Fluids, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Self-Incrimination Privilege, Privileges, Self-Incrimination Privilege, General Overview, Search & Seizure, Exclusionary Rule, Scope of Protection