21 Jan 24

Federal Subpoenas for Blood Tests and DNA Samples: Available Defenses

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Last Updated on: 21st January 2024, 10:46 pm


  • The government can issue subpoenas to compel individuals to provide blood, DNA samples, fingerprints, etc. if relevant to an investigation. However, there are some constitutional protections.
  • The 4th Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Courts have held that blood tests and DNA samples are searches, and require either a warrant, consent, or special law enforcement needs.
  • Potential defenses against federal subpoenas for blood/DNA include arguing the subpoena lacks probable cause, is overbroad, or violates constitutional rights to privacy or against self-incrimination. Legal motions can try to quash or modify the subpoena.
  • There are specific federal and state statutes that authorize blood tests/DNA samples in certain circumstances, such as for federal employees or arrestees. The scope and application of these laws are often litigated.
  • Consultation with a criminal defense attorney experienced with federal subpoenas is highly advisable to protect one’s rights and develop case-specific defenses. Local laws and precedents matter greatly.