SCHMERBER v. CALIFORNIA

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
658
Petitioner 
Schmerber
Respondent 
California
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
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Term:
Facts of the Case 

Schmerber had been arrested for drunk driving while receiving treatment for injuries in a hospital. During his treatment, a police officer ordered a doctor to take a blood sample which indicated that Schmerber had been drunk while driving. The blood test was introduced as evidence in court and Schmerber was convicted.

Question 

Did the blood test violate the Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for California, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

No. Justice Brennan argued for a 5-4 majority that the protection against self-incrimination applied specifically to compelled communications or testimony. Since the results of the blood test were neither "testimony nor evidence relating to some communicative act or writing by the petitioner, it was not inadmissible on privilege grounds."

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SCHMERBER v. CALIFORNIA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 20 August 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1965/1965_658>.
SCHMERBER v. CALIFORNIA, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1965/1965_658 (last visited August 20, 2014).
"SCHMERBER v. CALIFORNIA," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 20, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1965/1965_658.