Thursday, July 14, 2016

Can the State and Courts Circumvent Your Rights?

All week long I have been discussing the implications of the Miranda decision on the criminal justice system.  Lately there have been numerous cases on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC focusing on police conduct and the implications of such conduct on society.  We know the majority of police out there patrolling the streets are outstanding cops doing their job.  Occasionally, like all professions there are a few bad ones.  Once in awhile a police officer makes a bad stop without probable cause or a warrant.  A suspect is hauled into the police station and interrogated until he confesses.  For starters, the suspect was not doing anything at all. Merely on his way home from work when the officer stopped his vehicle.  Once he is placed inside a interrogation cell he is Mirandized in an attempt by the police to get a confession.  The confession is thought to eliminate the effect of the unlawful stop.  Yes and no.  Here is what you need to know.  Simply giving Miranda warnings will not always admit statements or confessions that were obtained after a Fourth Amendment violation.  Even if the confession or statement is made following a Miranda warning, it can be suppressed if the suspect was arrested without probable cause and without a warrant.  This is because the law requires that such statements be "sufficiently an act of free will to purge the primary taint" under the Fourth Amendment.  There are other factors to consider however. What are those factors?  Glad you asked.  Factors include the temporal proximity of the arrest and the confession, the presence of intervening circumstances and the purpose and flagrance of the misconduct. There are other relevant factors as well.  Here are some examples to make this clear.  The Court has held in a case where there was a warrantless arrest and no probable cause at all, that the defendants confession given six hours after Miranda, should not have been admitted in Court. Here the Court flat out dismissed the idea that the Miranda warnings themselves could somehow purge the bad arrest and cure the Fourth Amendment violations.  On the flip side however, the Court also has said that a suspects "spontaneous" admission of owning drugs found in another persons purse  after he was detained is admissible.  Here the officers believed their warrant might have been erroneous.  The Court however rationalized that the conduct of the police did not rise to the level of flagrant misconduct requiring prophylactic exclusion of the defendants statements.  Which brings me back to my earlier post.  The Court and the State are always willing to characterize a defendant's constitutional protections as elastic to avoid suppressing evidence resulting from unconstitutional conduct by the police.  If you have been charged with a crime, call The Law Offices of Randall J Craig. You may reach us on the web at or  We will make sure your rights are protected. #Mirandarights #RJC #Criminaldefense #Law #knowyourrights #domesticviolence #criminaldamage #drugtrafficking #randallcraig #possession #dui #Arizona #phoenix #phx #az #lawyer

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