Maryland v. King

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers supporting Respondent.

Brief filed: 02/01/2013


Maryland v. King

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 12-207

Prior Decision

Decision below 425 Md. 550, 42 A.3d 549 (Md. Apr. 24, 2012).

Question Presented

Does the Fourth Amendment allow the States to collect and analyze DNA from people arrested and charged with serious crimes?


A state’s search for DNA samples from an arrestee’s body without a warrant or any basis for suspecting the DNA is connected to a crime is unreasonable, regardless of the balance of interests. Physically intrusive searches like the collection of DNA from inside an arrestee’s body require a warrant and probable cause. The balance of interests alone does no determine reasonableness even for less intrusive bodily searches. The state’s collection of DNA from arrestees falls outside the limited circumstances permitting warrantless, suspicionless searches. Accordingly, the judgment of the Maryland Court of Appeals should be affirmed.

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Lisa Blatt, Anthony J. Franze and Sarah M. Harris, Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, DC; Jonathan Hacker, Washington, DC.