Bullcoming v. New Mexico: Part I

by John on July 15, 2011

The Supreme Court recently ruled in Bullcoming v. New Mexico in favor of the Petitioner. The details of this otherwise mundane DWI/DUI case are as follows: Bullcoming, when initially pulled over on the night of the bad incident, refused to take a breath alcohol test. As a result, a blood alcohol test was ordered, which later was introduced as evidence.

The rub, however, is that the results of the blood alcohol test were presented as a business record, meaning that someone other than the forensic investigator which analyzed the blood sample could testify to its accuracy and veracity. Bullcoming argued that the evidence was instead testimonial, and that the Confrontation Clause would therefore be applicable. Although the New Mexico Supreme Court did indeed agree that the blood analysis was testimonial evidence, it ruled that it was admissible without the testimony of the forensic analyst who tested the sample. This ruling was reversed when brought before the Supreme Court, who voted 5-4 in favor of Bullcoming. Congratulations to my friend and colleague Justin McShane, Esq. (@JustinMcShane) who was one of the amici that filed a brief in support of Bullcoming with NACDL/NCDD.

Next week: What does this mean for us?

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general, not specific, information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author(s) and the reader(s).

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