June 27, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Suppression of Statements was Error Because Defendant Not Subject to Custodial Interrogation

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Barraza on Monday, April 8, 2013.

Criminal Law—Fifth Amendment—Suppression of Evidence and Statements—Custodial Interrogation—Miranda Advisement.

In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether the district court erred in suppressing evidence and statements defendant made to law enforcement officers. The district court concluded that the officers were required to administer a Miranda warning to defendant before police questioning that occurred on the driveway outside his home, and that failure to give the advisement required suppression of two sets of statements defendant made to the police. The second set of statements made at the police station followed the Miranda advisement; however, the trial court ruled those statements were fruit of the poisonous tree because defendant received no Mirandawarning before making the first set of statements outside his home.

The Court reversed the district court’s suppression order. Defendant was not subject to custodial interrogation at the time he made the statements at his home, so it was error to suppress both sets of statements.

Summary and full case available here.

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