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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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What is the Difference Between Whole Blood and Serum Blood?

By Spodek Law Group | February 24, 2017
(Last Updated On: July 23, 2023)

Last Updated on: 23rd July 2023, 03:40 am

When it comes to forensics and criminal investigations, sometimes blood samples are collected at the scene of a crime. Blood is also collected in other settings as well. If someone is pulled over by a police officer and suspected of driving under the influence, the officer might require this person submit to a blood alcohol test. This could include taking a blood sample for analysis. This leads many people to wonder what the difference is between whole blood and blood serum. Does this make a difference in the outcome of a case, or does it matter at all when it comes to a DUI case?
What is Whole Blood?
Medically speaking, whole blood is blood taken from the body through a vein. It’s not diluted in any way. It’s simply taken from the body and analyzed for whatever the medical professional is looking for, and it’s used in many forensic matters.
What is Serum Blood?
Serum blood is not whole blood. It’s a portion of your blood that is taken once coagulation occurs. It can be used to test for specific substances in a person’s blood, and it’s often used in forensic matters.
What’s the Difference?
As you can see, there are many differences between these two types of blood despite the fact they are the same blood from the same person. When it comes to forensics, though, there are many things to consider. Serum is often referred to as medical blood while whole blood is referred to as legal blood. It’s not always easy to understand the difference and what it means in a legal case that has to do with your blood alcohol level.
There’s a big difference, and both have their own qualities. You might not care or think it matters much, but the type of blood used to determine your blood alcohol level during a DUI stop can have a significant outcome on the case in which you’re involved. When you enter the hospital or see the doctor for a test, they might test your whole blood. If they wait and test your serum, however, it can greatly impact the case. You want to know what they tested, because your attorney can use that for your defense.
Testing Serum Blood
There are many medical professionals that believe testing serum shows higher concentrations of blood alcohol. This means your level seems higher than it might be in reality if your whole blood was tested. Whether you prefer one or the other is up to you and your attorney. A whole blood sample can show your alcohol level is not a number that exceeds the legal limit, which could put an end to the case before it begins. If your serum was tested, your attorney can argue the results are not trustworthy or conclusive and you can argue that matter. It’s all up to you, and it’s all up to how you choose to handle this situation. In reality, you have no power over which type of blood is tested when you enter the hospital after a DUI to have your blood taken.
Calling an Attorney
If you are arrested for DUI and your blood alcohol tests show your level is above the legal limit, it’s time to call an attorney with experience handling cases of this nature. You want to ensure your case is being handled by the best so you have a chance of keeping your license and facing a much smaller penalty. Before you say anything to anyone, call an attorney. You can do that immediately, and you are not required to speak to anyone until your attorney is present. This is your right, and you are free to enact that right at any time following a stop or arrest if you’re suspected of driving under the influence.
This type of stop is serious, and DUI is not something that goes away. Jail time, fines, and even community service can be potential disciplinary actions taken against you, and each one is more severe than the next. You also face losing your license for a length of time. If you cannot afford to go through this, it’s time to call an attorney so we can control the outcome of your case by analyzing the type of blood sample used.


Understanding the Difference between Whole Blood and Blood Serum in DUI Cases

When it comes to forensics and criminal investigations, blood samples can often hold the key to unravelling the truth. From crime scenes to DUI stops, the analysis of blood can provide vital evidence. But do you know the difference between whole blood and blood serum? More importantly, does it make a difference in the outcome of a case? Let’s dive into these two terms and discover how they can impact a DUI case.

Whole Blood: The Undiluted Truth

In medical terms, whole blood refers to blood taken directly from the body through a vein, without any dilution or alteration. It is extracted and analyzed for various purposes in both medical and forensic settings, providing an unadulterated snapshot of a person’s blood profile.

Blood Serum: A Pertinent Portion

On the other hand, blood serum is a portion of a person’s blood that is obtained after coagulation has occurred. It is often used to test for specific substances in the bloodstream and is commonly utilized in forensic matters.

Comparing the Two: What’s the Difference?

While both terms refer to blood from the same individual, several differences exist between whole blood and blood serum. In forensic contexts, serum is colloquially called medical blood, while whole blood is known as legal blood. To understand how these differences might impact a DUI case, it helps to explore how blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured in each type.

Whole Blood Blood Serum
Undiluted, direct blood sample Portion of coagulated blood
Known as Legal Blood Known as Medical Blood
Generally shows lower BAC levels Typically exhibits higher BAC levels

Testing Blood Alcohol Levels: Navigating the Nuances

Many medical professionals believe that testing blood serum yields higher BAC results than whole blood analysis. This intriguing discrepancy can have a significant impact on the outcome of a DUI case and can be a crucial piece of information for your defence attorney.

For example, a whole blood test might show a BAC level below the legal limit, potentially putting an end to the case before it even begins. Conversely, if your blood serum was tested, your attorney could argue that the results are not conclusive or trustworthy, opening up avenues for your defence.

Why Calling an Experienced DUI Attorney is Essential

If you find yourself arrested for DUI with a BAC level above the legal limit, it’s paramount that you seek the expertise of an experienced attorney to handle your case. With their knowledge and insights, they’ll be able to navigate the complexities of blood sample analysis and utilize any discrepancies to your advantage.

Remember that you have the right to call an attorney immediately and are not required to speak to anyone until your attorney is present. This is a powerful right that you can and should enact following a stop or arrest for suspected DUI.

A DUI conviction is no laughing matter. It can lead to jail time, hefty fines, community service, and the suspension of your driving license. If the thought of these consequences sends shivers down your spine, don’t hesitate to call an attorney. With their expertise, they can assess the type of blood sample used in your case and work tirelessly to defend your rights and secure the best possible outcome.

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