Marc Tittlebaum is the Hill Country Breaking News Legal Analyst. He recently reviewed the motion to suppress that was filed by Amanda Hawkins’ lawyer. Attorney Tittlebaum’s study resulted in the following findings.
If a judge grants a motion to suppress, the evidence that was obtained can’t be used against the defendant at trial except in very limited circumstances.
The motion filed in the Amanda Hawkins case seeks to have statements made by the Defendant that were allegedly obtained in violation of her Miranda rights.
The Miranda warning is a warning given by police to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.
A typical Miranda warning can read as follows:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you by the court. With these rights in mind, are you still willing to talk to me about the charges against you?”
The Miranda warning is part of a preventive criminal procedure rule that law enforcement is required to administer to protect an individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its functional equivalent from violation of her Constitutional rights.
The evidence which is sought to be excluded must have been the product of interrogation. A defendant who seeks to challenge the admissibility of a statement under Miranda must show that the statement was prompted by police conduct that constituted ‘interrogation. A volunteered statement by a person in custody does not implicate Miranda.