The Richmond Register

Crime

April 28, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court: Warrant needed for blood test in most cases

Similar issues have come up in Madison County courts

(Continued)

RICHMOND —



Changes in technology affects the law

The writ of prohibition still stands, and Neal declined to comment on specifics surrounding Logue’s ruling or the 2012 drunken driving case, which was resolved in a different division of Madison District Court.

However, Neal said he agrees with the Supreme Court’s position that technology now allows judges and law enforcement to move quickly to obtain warrants while also safeguarding citizens’ constitutional rights.

“Technology has completely changed the practice of law,” Neal said.

Neal said the 25th Judicial Circuit, which covers Madison and Clark counties, has a team of judges who are available to law enforcement officials “24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

“It doesn’t take any time these days to get an arrest warrant or search warrant,” Neal said.

Neal said the judges use smartphones, tablets, email and messaging to move quickly on warrants and emergency protective orders for victims of domestic violence.

In the past, once arrest warrants were signed by a judge, it could take nearly three days before they were placed in the computer system. But with the new “e-warrant” system that’s been in use in Madison County for more than a year, it can take as little as 15 minutes to get a signed warrant into the nationwide police database, Neal said.

The state court system also is moving toward an electronic filing system, similar to what already is in use in the federal courts, Neal said.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@

richmondregister.com

or 624-6694.

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