Jacobson v. State, No. 02-19-00307-CR

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtOpinion by Justice Bassel
Citation603 S.W.3d 485
Parties Chad Christopher JACOBSON, Appellant v. The STATE of Texas
Docket NumberNo. 02-19-00307-CR
Decision Date23 April 2020

603 S.W.3d 485

Chad Christopher JACOBSON, Appellant
v.
The STATE of Texas

No. 02-19-00307-CR

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fort Worth.

Delivered: April 23, 2020
Discretionary Review Refused November 4, 2020


ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JAMES CHRISTOPHER ABEL, ABEL LAW FIRM, PLLC, FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS.

ATTORNEYS FOR STATE: PAUL JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY; ANDREA R. SIMMONS, ASSISTANT CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, CHIEF OF APPELLATE DIVISION; JOSHUA RHODES & GINA MORGAN, ASSISTANT CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS DENTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE DENTON, TEXAS.

Before Sudderth, C.J.; Gabriel and Bassel, JJ.

Opinion by Justice Bassel

I. Introduction

A jury convicted Appellant Chad Christopher Jacobson of driving while intoxicated. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.04. The trial court assessed his punishment at ninety days' confinement in the Denton County Jail and a $500 fine. The trial court suspended the sentence and placed Appellant on community supervision for a period of sixteen months.

In a single issue, Appellant claims that although the State obtained a warrant to draw his blood based on probable cause that he was driving while intoxicated, a second warrant should have been obtained that authorized a test to determine the blood's alcohol concentration. Without that second warrant, he argues, the test results should have been suppressed. We reject Appellant's contention.

Appellant's contention is premised on his reading of recent precedent from the court of criminal appeals as holding that a blood draw and a subsequent test of the drawn blood are separate searches, each requiring their own warrant. Appellant overreads this precedent. In the precedent, the defendant had an expectation of privacy in a blood sample that had been drawn for medical purposes, i.e., without a warrant. Here, Appellant's blood was drawn pursuant to a warrant based on probable cause to believe that he was guilty of the offense of driving while intoxicated; at that point, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy that required a second warrant to test the sample to determine its blood–alcohol content.

II. Factual Background

The facts relevant to this appeal are uncontested; thus, we will forgo a detailed

603 S.W.3d 487

recitation of the background of the offense. Appellant committed traffic-law infractions and was stopped by police. He evidenced signs of intoxication. The arresting officers obtained a warrant authorizing a blood draw and transported Appellant to a hospital where his blood was drawn. Testing of the blood revealed that Appellant had a blood–alcohol concentration of 0.124.

At trial, Appellant objected on various grounds to the introduction of the blood kit containing the blood sample taken and of the blood-test results. Specific to his issue on appeal, Appellant objected that "the search warrant only allow[ed] the officer to obtain the specimen. The subsequent search, the analysis, was not by consent, and it was not by legal authority via a search warrant." The trial court overruled the objection.

III. Standard of Review

When reviewing an objection that seeks to suppress evidence, we give almost complete deference to the trial court's determination of historical facts. State v. Martinez , 570 S.W.3d 278, 281 (Tex. Crim. App. 2019). This aspect of the standard does not impact our review because the facts are undisputed. Our task is to determine "whether [our] particular [undisputed] historical facts give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy." Id. We make that determination by applying a de novo standard of review. Id.

IV. Analysis

In his sole issue, Appellant argues that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion to suppress because the State failed to obtain a search warrant authorizing the testing and analysis of the blood sample taken from Appellant.

A. Appellant relies on the court of criminal appeals' opinion in State v. Martinez to argue that the State had to obtain a second warrant authorizing the testing of his blood to determine its blood–alcohol concentration.

Appellant's argument—that his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures1 was violated—turns on his reading of the court of criminal appeals' opinion in Martinez. Appellant argues for an interpretation of the rule announced in Martinez that fails to confront the critical differences between the facts surrounding the blood draw in Martinez and those of his own blood draw. As we will explain in detail, Appellant's blindly pounding on the square peg of Martinez cannot drive it into the round hole of his facts.

In Martinez , the defendant was charged with intoxication manslaughter. Id. at 281. He had been transported to a hospital after an auto accident. Id. at 282. After his blood was drawn for medical purposes, he fled the hospital. Id. Law enforcement obtained a grand jury subpoena and took possession of the blood sample. Id. Law enforcement then submitted the sample for testing without having obtained a warrant to permit that testing. Id. The trial court found that the test results were inadmissible. Id. at 283. The court of criminal appeals agreed. Id. at 281.

Martinez concluded that the State should have obtained a warrant before testing the sample. Id. The court of criminal appeals looked to its prior precedent and that of the United States Supreme Court to conclude that the defendant had an expectation of privacy in the sample. Id. at 283–91. First, the court noted that it

603 S.W.3d 488

had previously held that a person's expectation of privacy had three different stages in the process of drawing and testing blood: "(1) the physical intrusion into his body to draw blood, (2) the exercise of control over and the testing of the blood sample, and (3) obtaining the results of the test." Id. at 284 (quoting State v. Hardy , 963 S.W.2d 516, 526 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997) ). After analyzing various authorities, the court reached the conclusion that under the facts before it, the defendant had an expectation of privacy in the second stage of the process that required the State to obtain a warrant when it sought to test blood extracted for medical reasons. Id. at 291.

The court summarized its reasoning in a paragraph that demonstrated that it was dealing with a situation in which the blood was drawn for medical purposes—unlike the situation in this appeal in which the blood was drawn pursuant to a warrant:

Based on the foregoing, we believe the [ State v. ] Comeaux [, 818 S.W.2d 46 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991) (plurality op.) ] plurality reached the correct result twenty-eight years ago when it considered the question we are faced with today. There are private facts contained in a sample of a person's blood beyond simple confirmation of a suspicion that a person is intoxicated.

These private facts are those that a person does not voluntarily share with the world by the mere drawing of blood and may be subject to Fourth Amendment protection. We hold that there is an expectation of privacy in blood that is drawn for medical purposes. The expectation is not as great as an individual has in the sanctity of his own body against the initial draw of blood. Missouri v. McNeely , 569 U.S. 141, 148, 133 S. Ct. 1552, 185 L.Ed.2d 696 (2013) (compelled physical intrusion beneath the skin and into the veins to obtain a sample of blood for use as evidence in a criminal investigation "implicates an individual's ‘most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy[ ]’ " [ ] (quoting Winston v. Lee , 470 U.S. 753, 760, 105 S. Ct. 1611, 84 L.Ed.2d 662 (1985) )[) ]; Hardy , 963 S.W.2d at 526. But it is greater than an individual has in the results of tests that have already been performed on the blood. Individuals in the latter case have, as we held in Hardy and Huse , no expectation of privacy. Hardy , 963 S.W.2d at 527 ; [ State v. ] Huse , 491 S.W.3d [833,] 842 [ (Tex. Crim. App. 2016) ].

Id. (emphasis added).

Appellant extracts what he describes as a "bright-line rule" from Martinez that mandates that blood testing—no matter how the sample was obtained—must be authorized by a separate warrant:

The recently decided Martinez opinion is significant because it
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10 practice notes
  • Crider v. State, NO. PD-1070-19
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • September 16, 2020
    ...for a specific purpose will be analyzed for that purpose and no other.") (quoting Martinez , 570 S.W.3d at 290 ); Jacobson v. State , 603 S.W.3d 485, 491 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2020) ("[T]he Fourth Amendment does not require the State to obtain a second warrant to test a blood sample that wa......
  • Davis v. State, NO. 01-19-00756-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • July 30, 2020
    ..."a bright-line rule" mandating that blood testing, no matter how the sample was obtained, must be authorized by a separate warrant. 603 S.W.3d 485, 488–89 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Apr. 23, 2020, no pet. h.). The court in Jacobson observed that Martinez held that "there is an expectation of pri......
  • Schneider v. State, NO. 03-19-00732-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • March 10, 2021
    ...explicit purpose of determining its evidentiary value to prove the offense of driving while intoxicated"); see also Jacobson v. State , 603 S.W.3d 485, 491 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2020, pet. ref'd) (noting that Martinez did not mandate that second warrant be obtained before testing may be per......
  • State v. Wenzel, 21-0925
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • December 7, 2022
    ...jurisdictions and other authority arriving at this conclusion), further review denied (Jan. 31, 2018); see also Jacobson v. State, 603 S.W.3d 485, 490 (Tex. App. 2020) (finding the defendant lost his expectation of privacy in blood seized to investigate his intoxication while driving, so a ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Crider v. State, NO. PD-1070-19
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • September 16, 2020
    ...for a specific purpose will be analyzed for that purpose and no other.") (quoting Martinez , 570 S.W.3d at 290 ); Jacobson v. State , 603 S.W.3d 485, 491 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2020) ("[T]he Fourth Amendment does not require the State to obtain a second warrant to test a blood sample that wa......
  • Davis v. State, NO. 01-19-00756-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • July 30, 2020
    ..."a bright-line rule" mandating that blood testing, no matter how the sample was obtained, must be authorized by a separate warrant. 603 S.W.3d 485, 488–89 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Apr. 23, 2020, no pet. h.). The court in Jacobson observed that Martinez held that "there is an expectation of pri......
  • Schneider v. State, NO. 03-19-00732-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • March 10, 2021
    ...explicit purpose of determining its evidentiary value to prove the offense of driving while intoxicated"); see also Jacobson v. State , 603 S.W.3d 485, 491 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2020, pet. ref'd) (noting that Martinez did not mandate that second warrant be obtained before testing may be per......
  • State v. Wenzel, 21-0925
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • December 7, 2022
    ...jurisdictions and other authority arriving at this conclusion), further review denied (Jan. 31, 2018); see also Jacobson v. State, 603 S.W.3d 485, 490 (Tex. App. 2020) (finding the defendant lost his expectation of privacy in blood seized to investigate his intoxication while driving, so a ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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