Can My Hospital Records Be Used Against Me In a DWI Case?

Stephen H.: Hello, my name is Stephen Hamilton. I’m a board certified criminal defense lawyer in Lubbock, Texas. I practice in Lubbock and the South Plains. And today’s video question is: you’ve had an accident, you’ve been arrested for a DWI, can the hospital records be used against you in a criminal case?

Stephen H.: If this has happened to you and you went to the hospital for treatment, whether you were there just shortly and then released to the police, or maybe you had an accident and you stayed there for a day or two, there are going to be hospital records and most importantly, what should be a concern to you is; the hospital is almost always going to run a series of labs to see if you have any alcohol in your system.

Stephen H.: Now it’s a hospital blood test, that’s different from, what we call an, “Evidentiary blood test,” but there’s going to be a number in those medical records and so the first thing that the district attorney is going to try to do, is obtain those medical records to use against you in the criminal case.

Stephen H.: There are some issues of privacy, but most of the law says that the criminal investigation can get around that, and so there are a few things that we can do to try to prevent them from using the hospital records. If you call me, come in and sit down with me, I’ll walk you through those things.

Stephen H.: The other issue dealing with hospital blood test is they’re not as reliable as what we call an, “Evidentiary blood test.” Think about it; does the hospital really care what your true and accurate blood alcohol concentration is? No. What they’re using it for is a screening device. Do you have alcohol in your system? Because, “If you do, based upon this injury, we can’t treat you with this drug; we need to treat you with this other type of drug.” The effects of one drug with alcohol, that’s really what they’re looking at. I call it a dipstick test; a quick and dirty mechanism. That’s why it’s not as reliable as a evidentiary blood test and so we want to look at those issues. We want to find out who took your blood, whether or not you had certain IVs before the blood was taken at the hospital, because that can affect your blood test result number.

Stephen H.: There are a lot of issues that really can make a difference in what your blood alcohol concentration is at the hospital. The bottom line is we need to put the hospital on notice quickly that we’re going to object to your records being turned over in the criminal case.

Stephen H.: If you have questions about an accident and a blood test that they did at the hospital being used against you in a DWI, call me. My office number is (806) 794-0394 we’ll set up a time for you to come in and visit with me about the hospital blood test.

Stephen H.: That’s it for today. My name is Stephen Hamilton. Thank you for watching and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

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