Schmerber v. California

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Schmerber v. California
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided June 20, 1966


Schmerber crashed his car while intoxicated. After the accident, police officers had medical staff draw blood from his car without his consent. The alcohol test proved that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.


Schmerber argued that using his blood against him violated his 5th Amendement right against self-incrimination. He had never consented to have his blood drawn.


The defendant's 5th Amendment right hasn't been violated.


The Court announced that the protection against self-incrimination doesn't apply to physical evidence such as the blood with alcohol obtained to convict the defendant.

The 5th Amendment protection, according to the Court's interpretation, applies to testimonial evidence.