Violation of Due Process | Exclusionary Rule

Additional State Protections

When drafting a motion to suppress do not forget that states are typically permitted to enact laws that grant a defendant more protection than is afforded in the United States Constitution. In Michigan Department of State Police vs. Sitz, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari jurisdiction and ruled that sobriety checkpoints were valid under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. On remand to the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Michigan’s Constitution provided additional protections and that sobriety checkpoints were unconstitutional under the state constitution. A similar situation occurred in Florida after the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Moran vs. Burbine case. So even if there is a federal case on point, make sure that your state does not provide additional protections.

Moran vs. Burbaine

In 1986, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Burbaine knowingly and voluntarily waived his Fifth Amendment right to have a lawyer present during questioning. The facts of the case were as follows:

Mr. Burbaine was taken into custody by the police concerning a murder. Mr. Burbine’s sister contacted an attorney to represent her brother. The attorney contacted the police department who stated that Mr. Burbine would not be questioned until the following day. It is no surprise to find out that the police began questioning Mr. Burbaine regarding the murder less than 1 hour after they informed the attorney that the questioning would not take place until the next day. Mr. Burbaine was never informed by the police that his sister had retained an attorney for him and Mr. Burbaine waived his 5th Amendment rights. During the interrogation, Mr. Burbaine signed 3 separate statements confessing to the murder. His attorney’s moved to suppress the statements as illegally obtained in violation of Mr. Burbaine’s Fifth Amendment Rights guaranteed under the United State’s Constitution.

United States Supreme Court Holding: Neither the police conduct nor Mr. Burbaine’s ignorance of the fact that an attorney was hired to represent him and had been attempting to contact him rendered the statement’s given in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Mr. Burbaine’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel had not yet attached. Additionally, the court did not find a 14th Amendment Violation, although leaving room for a potential violation under more egregious facts.

The United States Supreme Court specifically stated that the various states may adopt different standards which have the effect of providing additional protections under state law.

Haliburton vs. State

The facts in Haliburton vs. State are substantially similar to the facts in Moran vs. Burbine. In Haliburton, the Florida Supreme Court held that Article I, Section 9 of the Florida Constitution required that the evidence in Haliburton be suppressed. The Florida Supreme Court focused on the dissenting opinion in the Burbine matter written by Justice Stevens. The main point in Justice Stevens dissent and the Haliburton opinion is “Police interference in the attorney-client relationship is the type of governmental misconduct on a matter of central importance to the administration of justice that the Due Process Clause prohibits………Just as the government cannot conceal from a suspect material and exculpatory evidence, so too the government cannot conceal from a suspect the material fact of his attorney’s communication.”

Public Link Provided By: Fastcase, Haliburton vs. State, 514 So.2d 1088(Fla. 1987)

Haliburton in a DUI Context

Appellate ruling coming soon.

Omnibus Motion to Suppress DUI| Form Motion to Suppress DUI

Omnibus Motion to Suppress

This is simply a checkbox motion to suppress which attorneys were using in District Court DUI cases in North Carolina. A defendant doesn’t have a right to discovery in District Court cases. However, the legislature passed a law mandating that all motions to suppress be filed pretrial. As a result, it was not uncommon to end up trying a case that had substantial problems that would have been the basis for a motion to suppress. However, all of your grounds for a motion to suppress were waived due to your failure to file a pretrial motion. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but this form started circulating wherein you simply checked every box that might apply to the case. When you filed the motion, you would get a hearing on your motion and you could use that as a means to flush out the facts. North Carolina has a right of appeal for a jury trial de novo if an individual is convicted in District Court.

Use in Other Jurisdictions:

This type of motion would not be acceptable in Florida under normal circumstances. I can think of certain scenarios when there might be an exception. However, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(g)(2) requires that a motion to suppress contain a legally sufficient factual basis for filing the motion to suppress. If the motion is not legally sufficient on its face, the judge should deny the motion without a hearing pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(g)(3). Accordingly, the use of this motion or a “check box” type of motion is going to depend on the rules of procedure in the jurisdiction where you practice. However, you would need to tailor the motion to the specific case law in your own jurisdiction. For example, items 3, 4 & 5 in the motion reference case law from North Carolina. If I were filing the motion in Florida, I could change “Knoll” in item 3 to “Halliburton” and move to suppress based on a due process argument.

I wouldn’t expect much in the way of good results from this type of motion. If you can write a more specific motion, it would probably be in your best interest to do so. However, filing a “& the kitchen sink” motion might be good for the record if the State is playing games with you regarding discovery and attempting to get you to waive your speedy trial in order to get discovery.

This motion is in Word format so it can be downloaded and modified to suit your individual needs.

Download ( Omnibus-Motion-to-Suppress.docx, DOCX, 16KB)