Defendant Has Been Injured: Hospital Blood Samples

There will be times when the injuries are so severe to the defendant that the police will be unable to secure independent blood samples for their own use. Generally, this is due to the fact that the doctors or other emergency room personnel are working on the defendant in an effort to save his or her life. However, in virtually every case, the hospital will withdraw blood from the body of the defendant and perform a drug and alcohol screen in order to determine the level of alcohol in the defendant’s body, and to identify any drugs which may be present. Obviously, emergency room personnel need to know this information to avoid introducing substances into the defendant’s body during treatment that may adversely interact with the drugs and alcohol in the defendant’s system. New Jersey law provides procedures whereby the investigating police can receive a copy of the results of the blood screen taken by the emergency medical personnel.