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RESEARCH PAPER: MITCHELL VS. WISCONSIN
Research Paper: Mitchell vs. Wisconsin
Abigail Rose Farmer
Lynn University
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Research Paper: Mitchell vs. Wisconsin
The Supreme Court case Mitchell vs. Wisconsin was an important case to Americans.
This court proceeding resulted from a person’s fourth amendment rights being violated under the
United States Constitution. Per "Mitchell V. Wisconsin", "Whether under the Fourth Amendment
police can order a blood draw from an unconscious motorist without a warrant where state law
purports to impute “consent” to a blood draw to everyone who drives an automobile in the state
(Mitchell vs. Wisconsin, 2019). Per Mitchell V. Wisconsin, Petitioner Gerald Mitchell had his
blood drawn at the direction of the police after becoming lethargic on the way to the police
station and being taken instead to the hospital (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin). This is a normal
everyday occurrence and on the surface, seems very legitimate because Mitchell had been
arrested because the officer suspected he was driving while intoxicated. The problem began
when this blood test was administered while Mitchell was unconscious, and therefore able to
give consent. Additionally, the arresting officer did not have a warrant. The officers later
admitted there was no reason why they could not have obtained a warrant, either as in there were
“no exigent circumstancespreventing the arresting officers from obtaining one (Mitchell vs.
Wisconsin). Mitchell’s blood alcohol level was found to be .222 and he was charged with driving
while intoxicated (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin).
During the court proceedings, Mitchell’s attorney moved to have the test results
dismissed due to Mitchell not giving consent. The state of Wisconsin presented the argument
that under “implied-consent law” no warrant was needed. Implied-consent law give police the
authority to have blood drawn from a suspect who is unconscious if the officers have enough
reasons to suspect drunk driving. There is a presumption of the implied consent statute for all
Wisconsin drivers that if they are using the public roadways, they are consenting to a search.
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However, the Fourth Amendment does not support this definition of implied consent. In order for
a search to be agreed to or be voluntary, the person who is giving consent must be able to also
change their mind. This would include having the freedom to deny consent. An individual who is
unconscious cannot make a choice to give consent. Therefore, the state cannot use the defense of
a presumption of consent on a person who is unconscious simply because they are using the state
roads. The trial court sided with the state and Mitchell was found guilty of the charges against
him.
Mitchell and his attorney appealed the trial court decision on the grounds of having his
blood drawn without his consent and without a warrant. This was filed with the court of appeals
who sent it to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. The State Supreme court said that the
enhancement was not constitutional. They also noted that it was a violation of First Amendment
rights to free speech. Mitchell’s case got the attention of the ACLU both state chapter and
nationally (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin). Both filed briefs that argued under the Fourth Amendment,
the consent to draw blood must be voluntary and the suspect must freely agree to the test.
Obviously, a suspect who is unconscious cannot give free and voluntary consent to a search. The
dissenting opinions stated that 1) hate crimes are more serious because they victimize an entire
class of people, rather than just the individual, and 2) the “act” of selection is more than just free
speech. The US Supreme Court overruled the state finding and found the enhancement
constitutional, based on these dissents.
The social ramifications of the decision of Mitchell vs. Wisconsin are that civil liberties
(such as consent) are now not considered as important as the rights of the states to search a
person who does not have the capacity to consent. Consent is the subject that is being dismissed
in these findings. The fourth amendment is being violated and the Supreme Court is upholding
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this. The Bill of Rights says, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no
Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (Casetext ,U.S.
Const. amend. IV,). When the Supreme Court decided the implied consent rule was
constitutional, they laid the ground work that all civil liberties guaranteed to citizens are up in
the air at the whim of law enforcement. Mitchell’s civil liberties granted by the fourth
amendments cannot be infringed upon, regardless of any state or city law. This opens the door to
suspects being targeted such as minorities or ethnic groups and being tested without their consent
based on the “implied consent law”. It removes the checks and balances that require the police
and other government officials adhere to certain guidelines to protect civil liberties.
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Resources
Casetext Online Legal Research Service Review (2020). (2020, February 4). Retrieved from
https://lawyerist.com/reviews/online-legal-research-tools/casetext/
Mitchell v. Wisconsin, (2019). Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/cases/mitchell-v-wisconsin
U.S. Const. amend. IV.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

RESEARCH PAPER: MITCHELL VS. WISCONSIN Research Paper: Mitchell vs. Wisconsin Abigail Rose Farmer Lynn University RESEARCH PAPER: MITCHELL VS. WISCONSIN 2 Research Paper: Mitchell vs. Wisconsin The Supreme Court case Mitchell vs. Wisconsin was an important case to Americans. This court proceeding resulted from a person’s fourth amendment rights being violated under the United States Constitution. Per "Mitchell V. Wisconsin", "Whether under the Fourth Amendment police can order a blood draw from an unconscious motorist without a warrant where state law purports to impute “consent” to a blood draw to everyone who drives an automobile in the state” (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin, 2019). Per Mitchell V. Wisconsin, Petitioner Gerald Mitchell had his blood drawn at the direction of the police after becoming lethargic on the way to the police station and being taken instead to the hospital (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin). This is a normal everyday occurrence and on the surface, seems very legitimate because Mitchell had been arrested because the officer suspected he was driving while intoxicated. The problem began when this blood test was administered while Mitchell was unconscious, and therefore able to give consent. Additionally, the arresting officer did not have a warrant. The officers later admitted there was no reason why they could not have obtained a warrant, either as in there were “no exigent circumstances” preventing the arresting officers from obtaining one (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin). Mitchell’s blood alcohol level was found to be .222 and he was charged with driving while intoxicated (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin). During the court proceedings, Mitchell’s attorney moved to have the test results dismissed due to Mitchell not giving consent. The state of Wisconsin presented the argument that under “implied-consent law” no warrant was needed. Implied-consent law give police the authority to have blood drawn from a suspect who is unconscious if the officers have enough reasons to suspect drunk driving. There is a presumption of the implied consent statute for all Wisconsin drivers that if they are using the public roadways, they are consenting to a search. RESEARCH PAPER: MITCHELL VS. WISCONSIN 3 However, the Fourth Amendment does not support this definition of implied consent. In order for a search to be agreed to or be voluntary, the person who is giving consent must be able to also change their mind. This would include having the freedom to deny consent. An individual who is unconscious cannot make a choice to give consent. Therefore, the state cannot use the defense of a presumption of consent on a person who is unconscious simply because they are using the state roads. The trial court sided with the state and Mitchell was found guilty of the charges against him. Mitchell and his attorney appealed the trial court decision on the grounds of having his blood drawn without his consent and without a warrant. This was filed with the court of appeals who sent it to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. The State Supreme court said that the enhancement was not constitutional. They also noted that it was a violation of First Amendment rights to free speech. Mitchell’s case got the attention of the ACLU both state chapter and nationally (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin). Both filed briefs that argued under the Fourth Amendment, the consent to draw blood must be voluntary and the suspect must freely agree to the test. Obviously, a suspect who is unconscious cannot give free and voluntary consent to a search. The dissenting opinions stated that 1) hate crimes are more serious because they victimize an entire class of people, rather than just the individual, and 2) the “act” of selection is more than just free speech. The US Supreme Court overruled the state finding and found the enhancement constitutional, based on these dissents. The social ramifications of the decision of Mitchell vs. Wisconsin are that civil liberties (such as consent) are now not considered as important as the rights of the states to search a person who does not have the capacity to consent. Consent is the subject that is being dismissed in these findings. The fourth amendment is being violated and the Supreme Court is upholding RESEARCH PAPER: MITCHELL VS. WISCONSIN 4 this. The Bill of Rights says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (Casetext ,U.S. Const. amend. IV,). When the Supreme Court decided the implied consent rule was constitutional, they laid the ground work that all civil liberties guaranteed to citizens are up in the air at the whim of law enforcement. Mitchell’s civil liberties granted by the fourth amendments cannot be infringed upon, regardless of any state or city law. This opens the door to suspects being targeted such as minorities or ethnic groups and being tested without their consent based on the “implied consent law”. It removes the checks and balances that require the police and other government officials adhere to certain guidelines to protect civil liberties. RESEARCH PAPER: MITCHELL VS. WISCONSIN Resources Casetext Online Legal Research Service Review (2020). (2020, February 4). Retrieved from https://lawyerist.com/reviews/online-legal-research-tools/casetext/ Mitchell v. Wisconsin, (2019). Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/cases/mitchell-v-wisconsin U.S. Const. amend. IV. 5 Name: Description: ...
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