CRIMINAL: WILLIAMS M.D. V. COM. (SC 11/22/2006)

WILLIAMS M.D. V. COM.
Criminal:  Search and seizure 
2003-SC-000319-MR.pdf
PUBLISHED: REVERSING AND REMANDING;
DATE RENDERED: 11/22/2006

SC reversed and remanded Defendant’s convictions and 20 year sentence for four counts of unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance in violation of KRS § 218A.1404(3). Government’s warrrantless raid was not permissible pursuant to the exception in New York v. Burger, 482 U.S . 691, 699, 107 S.Ct. 2636, 96 L.Ed.2d 601 (1987). In Burger, the United States Supreme Court held that a warrant was not required for "administrative inspections" of "commercial property employed in `closely regulated’ industries." In order to proceed forward with a Burger analysis, the court must make two initial findings: (1) that the medical profession is a "closely regulated industry," and (2) that this search was conducted for administrative, rather than law enforcement, purposes. Here, the Commonwealth has failed to make any credible showing that the search in this case was conducted for an administrative rather than law enforcement purpose. Next, Defendant’s statements were "sufficiently an act of free will to purge the primary taint of the unlawful invasion, and thus, are not subject to suppression as ‘fruit of the poisonous tree."

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