According to the Texas Forensic Science Commission, the crime lab of the Houston Department of Public Safety is under investigation after a set of blood samples from a felony DWI arrest were mistakenly mailed to a defense attorney that is not involved in the case. The Texas Forensic Science Commission has announced the issue would be taken up at their quarterly meeting on October 5, 2018.
The blood sample was taken in northern Texas during the DWI investigation. It was sent by law enforcement to the Department of Public Safety lab in Garland, Texas. However, due to a recent resignation, the Garland lab has been woefully understaffed. To clear the bottleneck, other labs have been testing samples in order to help the Garland lab catch up.
In this case, after the Houston lab completed the test the sample was intended to be returned to the Garland lab. There, the results of the testing would be forwarded to the arresting officers in northern Texas. Instead, the results were mailed to a criminal defense attorney in Houston that was entirely unrelated to the case.
This incident could have a major effect on the DWI investigation that began this episode. By mailing the sample to an unrelated party, a court will likely find the chain of custody to be broken. It is possible that this error could lead to the felony DWI charge in the underlying case to be dismissed.
Challenging DWI Blood Test Results
While the facts in the case are atypical, there are a number of ways that an experienced DWI defense attorney can challenge the results of a blood test in court. Blood tests may be heavily relied on, but they and other forms of testing are not perfect. This case is a good example of how human error can render the results of a blood test useless as evidence. Some potential challenges that can be raised regarding blood tests include:
- Blood samples were improperly stored
- The chain of custody was broken or improperly recorded
- The samples were taken an individual without proper qualifications
- The equipment used to test samples was not properly calibrated
- Alcohol swabs were used before the sample was drawn
The Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C.
If you have been charged with a DWI in the Houston area, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm today. If a blood sample was collected, Doug Murphy will ensure that the sample was properly taken, stored, and tested. If protocols were not followed or the chain of custody was broken, the Doug Murphy Law Firm will fight to have any results from the blood test excluded from your trial.
Doug Murphy knows what is required of law enforcement and he is prepared to hold them to those standards. He is one of only two attorneys in the State of Texas that is a Board Certified expert in both DWI defense and criminal defense. If you would like to have that expertise on your side, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation.